corvi (corivax) wrote,

Glacier smash!

These are pictures from the Artic Circle trip, from the Muncho Lake/Liard River area. Not very far up - in Canada.

This is the Littlest Glacier. It's maybe ten or twenty feet thick, and a hundred feet long, complete with miniature snowpack and little gravel morraines. I never expected to find a cute glacier, but so it is.
I sang battle songs to it to try and arouse its bloodlust.
(Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the ice
It is smashing flat the logging towns, erasing in a trice
It is burying the burlwood1 in thirty feet of gneiss
The glacier's flowing on!

I told it of its ancestors, who envoloped the dinosaurs in icy doom and smothered troublesome mammoths in avalanches. I promised it Fort Nelson, and sang of the joy of crushing trailer parks and chasing small yappy dogs before its icy might. Of the glory of tearing rusty propane tanks from their moorings and painting the sky red with their fire.
Perhaps, one glorious day, my descendants-in-spirit will tune into their Microsoft-Time-Warner Neuro-modular News Circuits and hear that Fort Nelson and Chetwynd were eradicated in a single night, and the last thing they reported hearing was "GLACIER SMASH!"
Who says I'm not trying to make the world a better place?

The glacier itself is a subtle and incredible luminous blue, like moonlight on old-fashion thick translucent plate glass. It doesn't show very well in the pictures, but you can sort of see it. This is the same picture as above, but with arrows.

We saw a lot of this stuff. I think it's coal. Black, a little light for a stone, but has a harsh, musical ring. Flakes into planes, very sharp pieces. Woodlike texturing.

Liard river. The green is from oxides dissolved in the water.
You can see all the evergreen trees that are behind the row right at the water's edge bear a strange resemblance to a twig someone dipped in superglue and rolled around in pine needles. Tall and skinny. These are the Alpine Firs, and they've evolved very short branches so that they never collect enough snow to break. They're stiff, and tick like a metronome in the wind - no bending, no swaying. Eerie. Like bones rattling.


The edge of Muncho Lake. Muncho lake is the source of all the green in the river, but it is entirely frozen over.

I'm wearing silly Japanese bamboo sandals. A brief interlude on the spirit of true friendship:

    gfish: If you fall in, I'm going to point and laugh.
    corivax: If I fall in, you have a solemn responsibility to take pictures!

The ice is beautiful, once you get a few feet away from the melty uneven areas at the shore - dendritic crystal growth in feathery loops like solar flares and coiled ferns, intricate jagged moth-spirals and gaping mouths with fractal teeth, inside-out palaces and mobius-strip skeletons. A snowflake with a diameter measurable in miles.
Staring at it too long makes me contemplate spatial curvature, makes me wonder whether if I walked this fractal path to one of its rational solutions I could just step sideways, and out again elsewhere.
If I did this, the person who stepped out of fractal-space into my universe was also wearing silly Japanese bamboo sandals. I guess some thing are universal constants.

1Burlwood is wierd bulbous growths on a tree caused by a funcgus invading the wood. People make er, "sculpture" out of it. Assuming you consider toilet paper shredded by a cat sculpture, too.

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