After some research on the bubbles in the ice I found that the bubbles are formed when plants on the pond bottom release methane gas and the bubbles freeze when they reach the cold surface of the pond, with further bubbles stacking up below. The ice on the pond in which these bubbles are frozen is 6″ to 12″ thick.
This afternoon it seemed appropriate to visit a place a few miles from the house where a tiny part of the Lolo National Forest sits right where a small stream enters the Clark Fork River. It’s a remote place, not because of its location, but because it’s rather brushy and boggy and rocky and therefore few people visit there. Animals do though; bears, deer, coyotes… and beavers.
A beaver dam which, of course, must be investigated.
The water backed up by the dam has frozen now and the ice there is nearly a foot thick. (I checked that very carefully before stepping out onto it.)
In the preceding photos small white circles can be seen and when they are closely scrutinized (with a little imagination saved from childhood) they become little galaxies, frozen in the ice.