When conditions are right in the winter, water freezes in some truly spectacular shapes and patterns. If you spend enough time in the Maine outdoors, you’re bound to run into some of these amazing ice formations — especially if you’re looking for them. But sometimes, it just comes down to luck.
Earlier this year, a family hiking near Jackman stumbled across tiny ice chimneys — vertical tubes of ice — that had formed along the edge of Cold Stream. Their discovery prompted us to wonder: What other remarkable ice formations are out there in the Maine wilderness?
For this informal investigation, we reached out to Bangor Daily News readers for help. And it turns out that a lot of you enjoy photographing interesting-looking ice in the winter. Here are some of the best images you sent us, along with some fun names that you assigned to your frozen discoveries.
Steve Yenco of Lisbon Falls found these circles of ice gathered near the banks of the Androscoggin River in his hometown. He calls it “pancake” ice, and it’s his favorite type of ice to find and photograph.
Yenco has also found pancake ice on the Cathance River in Topsham. Here’s a photo of him holding one of the “pancakes,” which he had just plucked from the water.
Alison Murdoch of Gouldsboro found these round disks of frosty ice gathered along the banks of the Georges River on Jan. 23 in Searsmont. At the time, she was hiking a public trail called the Canal Path. The ice disks were spinning and bumping up against each other, caught in an eddy, she said. Some of her friends named them “frozen lily pads.”
Anne Tatgenhorst of Winterport found this geometric ice pattern while ice skating Jan. 26, on Megunticook Lake, which lies in the midcoast towns of Camden and Lincolnville. The lake was full of ice artwork by Mother Nature that day.
Here’s a swirling pattern that Tatgenhorst found in the ice of Megunticook Lake while skating that day. Many of the ice patterns she found were located by Matlack Island.
Sandie Sabaka of Hope noticed some of the same ice on Megunticook Lake a few days prior, on Jan. 23, while ice skating. She took this photo showing some of the stripes and swirls in the ice.
Ron Logan of Orono noticed this feather-like pattern in the ice while skating on Phillips Lake on Jan. 20 in Dedham.
Logan also noticed several spiky, ball-shaped patterns in the ice of Phillips Lake. He said that the BDN’s request for interesting ice photos made him pay more attention to ice while spending time outdoors in the winter, and he started seeing beautiful ice patterns and formations everywhere. “Actually, it’s endless and overwhelming,” he said.
These ice patterns in the frozen surface of Pushaw Lake near Bangor reminded Logan of neurons, or cells within the nervous system.
While these patterns in the lake resembled tiny tornadoes.
If you come across any interesting ice formations in Maine this winter that you’d like to share, send a photo or video to Act Out Editor Aislinn Sarnacki at email@example.com. We’re interested to see just how wild our ice can be.