But there was more than just bubbles trapped in the ice. Twigs, spruce needles, beaver nibblings and water plants had ended up suspended in the ice as well. And they were every bit as interesting as the bubbles.
I’d smartened up and gone back to the truck for my drug-store crampons and they helped to anchor me but even so, the wind was still making walking difficult. But it was worth it.
A lot of times, there's so much gas trapped in the ice that it turns cloudy and translucent. But this winter, thanks to the sudden, deep cold we had at the beginning of the season, the ice, at least on this beaver pond, froze fast and clear as glass.
And because of that, the things trapped in the ice looked almost surreal.
Bits of plant matter, a lot of it still green, looked like they were suspended in mid-fall, as if they’d been photographed in motion and frozen by a camera’s flash. Twigs sticking through the ice surface from the local beaver’s larder were willow-coloured where they stuck out and coated with tiny bubbles below the surface. Other bits floated over backdrops of trapped methane and made fascinating shapes, their straight lines and long curves contrasting with the rounded blobs of the bubbles.