Icy Winter Wonder

“…it is not half so important to know as to feel.” Rachel Carson

Underground ice crystals are something that have my sense of wonder captured. I guess, technically, they are more embedded in the soil than underground, but the fact that you often have to disturb the soil or mud to discover them makes them seem magically underground. I know they are there by the sound they make crunching under my feet when I walk through the woods on winter days. They can’t be found everywhere, and if the ground is too frozen they are also hard to find. I imagine that the perfect combination of loose soil, moisture, and freezing temperatures are the recipe for these pretty pillars of ice. The ice crystals look a lot like rods of the gemstone selenite.


“If facts are the seeds that later produce knowledge and wisdom, then the emotions and the impressions of the senses are the fertile soil in which the seeds must grow.” Rachel Carson

I don’t know anything about the underground ice crystals scientifically, and really right now I don’t care to. I just love to discover them on winter walks and let their mystery capture my wonder and add beauty to my day. I think when exploring nature with children (or adults) it is important to remember that you don’t always have to know. Sometimes, it is just as important and fulfilling to simply be in nature and let the beauty and wonder relax and inspire your day. I hope these icy photos inspire yours!


There doesn’t have to be snow to find these. I have even seen them when the temperatures are above freezing.


The icicles hanging from the broken trees in the creek were so pretty. This early morning discovery came the day after a huge rainstorm turned snow. 


More post storm icicles.

Seeds to Sprout:

Discover more about selenite here.

Find icicle science lessons here.

Find a really cool icicle art activity here.


Happy winter!



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