Montana Outdoors

February 21, 2013

No “big bang”…

Filed under: Winter — Tags: — montucky @ 10:07 pm

Like Wun-Yi Shu’s theory “Cosmological Models with No Big Bang”, this frozen waterfall without a stream feeding it and no stream issuing from it has no beginning and no end.

Frozen waterfall


  1. It’s beautiful – maybe it’s a Möbius stream!


    Comment by shoreacres — February 21, 2013 @ 10:16 pm

    • Perhaps. And perhaps it’s pure “image”. Clearly it doesn’t exist in summer.


      Comment by montucky — February 21, 2013 @ 10:47 pm

  2. How wonderful! The mysteries of nature….


    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — February 21, 2013 @ 10:29 pm

    • Indeed! It’s mind-boggling to think of the physics of how that is created. And equally so to wonder about the beauty of the creation.


      Comment by montucky — February 21, 2013 @ 10:50 pm

  3. Mysterious water. Now if this were in Florida, I would expect it to be part of one of those rivers that’s on the surface, then isn’t, then is, as it flows in and out of limestone caves and tunnels.


    Comment by knightofswords — February 21, 2013 @ 11:11 pm

    • We have streams like that here too. In fact there are two of them just a few miles from my house. When there is a lot of water from snow runoff they flow freely but later in the summer there is no flow at the bottom end while the streams are pretty normal further up. I think this ice is formed from snow melt that just seeps down through that ravine a little at a time but freezes before it reaches the end of the formation.


      Comment by montucky — February 21, 2013 @ 11:25 pm

  4. I used to always wonder how rushing water could freeze, but a drop at a time will do it. This is amazing to get the whole thing frozen in mid-action.


    Comment by wordsfromanneli — February 21, 2013 @ 11:35 pm

  5. Very interesting. I have never seen frozen waterfall.


    Comment by Sartenada — February 22, 2013 @ 12:22 am

    • I think the formation of this structure is very slow and complicated, composed of many day/night cycles of snow melt seeping down over other icicles and freezing in the process, slowly building what looks like a waterfall. It is located in a rare location where the amount of daily sun and the amount of shade is in exact balance for the process.


      Comment by montucky — February 22, 2013 @ 9:55 pm

  6. Gorgeous photo! I have seen a TV programme that included the theories of Wun-Yi Shu, and I must admit I find them fascinating.


    Comment by Jo Woolf — February 22, 2013 @ 1:52 am

    • It just seems to me that much of his thought process is valid (as much as I can comprehend).


      Comment by montucky — February 22, 2013 @ 9:56 pm

      • Those were my thoughts too! What I can understand of it (sadly, not a huge proportion) just seems right.


        Comment by Jo Woolf — February 23, 2013 @ 12:58 am

  7. I’ve seen streams go underground, but never at both ends!


    Comment by New Hampshire Gardener — February 22, 2013 @ 5:20 am

    • With this ice structure there is no stream, either at the top of bottom. It all takes place from small amounts of water from brief periods of melting snow seeping down over previous icicles until the whole structure grows to look like a waterfall.


      Comment by montucky — February 22, 2013 @ 9:58 pm

  8. I’d love to see one of these in person. I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled.


    Comment by jomegat — February 22, 2013 @ 8:10 pm

    • I noticed that this is in a very rare location where it is in shade most of the day getting just enough sunlight to melt a little snow at a time above the structure, then freeze quickly as it seeps down over the previous ice growth. This is a fairly tall structure, perhaps 50 feet or so. It did not exist when I visited there at the end of December, so it has taken nearly two months of strange weather (warm days and cold nights) to grow that large.


      Comment by montucky — February 22, 2013 @ 10:03 pm

  9. That’s remarkable. How long has it been below zero? I’m wondering where all that water came from to form ice in that way if there’s no stream. Geat shot Terry!


    Comment by Finn Holding — February 23, 2013 @ 2:59 am

    • Almost every night from December until well into March the temperature drops below freezing. The water that formed this formation came from snow that melted in the daytime and trickled or seeped down the ravine over the ice already there. At night it would freeze, making the ice thicker and the “waterfall” longer, very similar to how icicles from on the roof of a house. This one took nearly two months to form as it is now.


      Comment by montucky — February 23, 2013 @ 10:04 pm

  10. I thought it was a riddle at first. I’m glad you provided a feasible explanation. Trying to figure out the “hows” of things drives me bonkers. Very bizarre. Do you think you’re the only human that has seen it?


    Comment by Candace — February 23, 2013 @ 5:18 pm

    • There have been other visitors to that part of the canyon while the structure grew, but very few and I guess it depends on how observant they were at the time and perhaps what their purpose for being there was. I am fascinated by it because that is a very large volume of ice, at first glance it looks very much like a waterfall, and it’s incredible that the whole structure was able to form that way. I can think of no other way it could happen.

      One of the pleasure of traveling through the backcountry is thinking about things like that and trying to figure them out. At the bottom of the canyon below that there is a series of beaver dams and it’s fascinating to read the signs that they leave in the snow and the ice and see what they have done to the trees, the branches that they leave around after they have eaten the bark from them and figure out how many there might be, at what stage of their winter activity they are presently and how well they are doing. There is plenty of evidence for someone who knows what to look for and what it means.


      Comment by montucky — February 23, 2013 @ 10:11 pm

      • Beautiful image, Terry…and I share that pleasure with you, that of traveling through the country and thinking about those many things and trying to figure them out…watching, listening…wondering….


        Comment by seekraz — February 23, 2013 @ 10:57 pm

        • Sure takes your mind off the rest of the world and its problems, doesn’t it!


          Comment by montucky — February 23, 2013 @ 11:03 pm

          • Oh, god, yes!!!


            Comment by seekraz — February 23, 2013 @ 11:04 pm

            • I wish many other folks could/would experience it!


              Comment by montucky — February 23, 2013 @ 11:06 pm

              • So do I, Terry…although I usually prefer to be out there by myself…everyone else can go during the week and on Saturdays and I’ll go on Sunday mornings…. 😉


                Comment by seekraz — February 23, 2013 @ 11:10 pm

                • I’m lucky that I can hike during the week and avoid the weekend traffic. I get upset if I encounter another person on a trail: it happens maybe once or twice each summer.


                  Comment by montucky — February 23, 2013 @ 11:15 pm

                • Yes, that is very fortunate for you…depending on the location and the time of year, I might not encounter anybody on the way up the trail, but there are invariably people coming up as I’m going down…sometimes only a few, and other times way too damn many…but I try to console myself by remembering that at least they’re out there and enjoying all of that natural wonderfulness…looking for that restoral of peace that we know can be had there….


                  Comment by seekraz — February 23, 2013 @ 11:20 pm

  11. Beautiful photo. You captured such a unique moment and I feel like this photo could evoke a long narrative.


    Comment by Maggie — February 24, 2013 @ 12:48 pm

  12. A perfect post. Clever and beautiful. Thanks – Lynn


    Comment by badwalker — February 24, 2013 @ 8:55 pm

  13. WOW…absolutely beautiful!!!


    Comment by Marcie — February 25, 2013 @ 7:05 am

  14. i like your thoughts on this frozen waterfall ~

    beautiful high mountain photos in your previous post. It will be so different when the high mountain snow leaves. I always like seeing a little snow up there. So beautiful.
    It is snowing here as i write, lightly.


    Comment by Tammie — February 25, 2013 @ 3:27 pm

    • Yes, it will be different when the mountains are no longer white. I remember when I was a kid, cherishing the snow on the high peaks of the Missions when it stayed through the whole summer.

      We had about an hour of snow this evening too, with huge flakes and enough to turn the ground white.


      Comment by montucky — February 25, 2013 @ 9:12 pm

  15. Beautiful. I suppose you see nothing there in the spring and summer since there is no stream?


    Comment by Tammy — February 26, 2013 @ 6:33 am

  16. the concept of “no beginning and no end” is comforting to me. Beyond the wonderful photo these words spark an endless universe.


    Comment by WildBill — February 27, 2013 @ 6:05 am

  17. Hi Montucky, Just simply put, gorgeous! Thanks for sharing this Winter beauty. Have an outstanding Thursday tomorrow!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — February 27, 2013 @ 4:49 pm

    • Thanks wildlifewatcher. I hope you have an easy move!


      Comment by montucky — February 27, 2013 @ 8:54 pm

  18. A happy meeting of philosophy and photography.


    Comment by Steve Schwartzman — February 27, 2013 @ 10:17 pm

    • Well, a thought anyway. I understand the concept if not the math.


      Comment by montucky — February 28, 2013 @ 10:21 pm

  19. interesting and really pretty


    Comment by skouba — February 28, 2013 @ 5:53 pm

    • It seems interesting to me that that structure exists only for a time and then vanishes, leaving not a trace. There are parallels there…


      Comment by montucky — February 28, 2013 @ 10:23 pm

  20. Nature is timeless, only to be captured by a photo. Breathtaking


    Comment by Evangeline Art Photography — March 2, 2013 @ 9:36 pm

    • It is indeed timeless. I wish more folks would consider just what that means.


      Comment by montucky — March 2, 2013 @ 11:14 pm

  21. It’s like life. Somehow it doesn’t surprise me you found this Terry.


    Comment by twoscamps — March 2, 2013 @ 10:27 pm

  22. Nice catch..I have not seen a stream frozen mid-stream…nor have I heard of that theory before. Thank you for teaching me a little something !


    Comment by Frances antoinette — March 5, 2013 @ 11:46 pm

    • There are many ice structures similar to this in the area, but this one is different because it resembles a complete waterfall. Thanks for visiting, Frances!


      Comment by montucky — March 6, 2013 @ 9:29 pm

  23. The waterfall of time


    Comment by Wun-Yi Shu — May 14, 2013 @ 3:59 am

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