Sunday, December 30, 2012

Antarctica Part 7 – Ice bergs and Snowscapes: A Study in Contrast and Texture

In my last blog I talked about the multitude of colors in the land and seascapes of the icebergs. I want to continue that discussion and also talk about the varied textures. These three pictures show marked contrast in the colors and textures of the sky, snow and water. In the first one, the sky is light blue, a distinct contrast from the shiny bright white snow along the mountain ridge. The top of the mountain and the snow along the water’s edge are smooth. Compare that with the uneven gouges in the top. It’s as if a giant claw scooped out the snow, leaving it with a rough rugged texture. Parts of the gray-black rocks are showing though as uneven streaks. And the center of the mountain side is bathed in dark gray shadows. The blue ice berg itself is oddly shaped into smooth rolls and ridges, with alternating white and blue stripes. It’s as if many waves have washed the white powdery snow off the top of it. This was the only ice berg we saw with this shape and texture. The water is rippled and changes from aqua green right around the ice berg to deeper shades of blue and is polka-dotted with small white floating ice.
The second photo is busy and filled with all sorts of variation! You don’t know where to look first! The sky is light blue and has fluffy irregularly shaped clouds that appear at first glance to merge into the white snow. Unlike the first picture, the mountain peaks are uneven, as if reaching up to pierce the clouds. This contrasts with the smooth top of a glacier at the water’s shore line. The color of the water changes from light to dark aqua green as it illumines the submerged portion of the ice berg. The deep blue water has larger ice floe spotted throughout. The shape of the berg itself rises upward like a floating hill! It looks as though it was cut off in a perfect straight line by a giant carpenter using a T-square! Well, Jesus was a carpenter, and this is one of His creations! And look at the round pillars of ice underneath this perfect line! Well, as a carpenter, Jesus would know how to use a lathe and a router! Yes, this is a good picture to look at when you are feeling lethargic. It will energize you!
The third one is a real contrast to the other two pictures. It is much simpler, but elegant in its simplicity!  Its design is well balanced between the sky, the snow and the water. The sky occupies the upper part; it has a much darker blue and does not vary this shade. The lines of the white mountaintops flow gently and smoothly downward, making a defined border between it and the sky, and a stark contrast between their colors. This imparts a calm and restful feeling to the viewer. The texture of the snow starts out smooth and then shows signs of avalanches sliding down and into the water. Again these slight ridges are gentle and even, with long sleek lines leading to the snow by the shoreline. And there is a distinct line marking the border between these two textures! At the top of the mountain on the right side one can see tall columnar peaks of volcanic rock peeking through the snow.  These rocks consist of granite and basalt. The white ice berg is smooth on top. Its sides are uneven but they are not rough and seem to flow naturally around the berg and down to the water. There is a cormorant bird resting on top of the berg. Also called the blue-eyed shag, he is white with a black head and black wings. The water is colored evenly in a deep rich midnight blue, interrupted only by the gentle blue-green under the ice berg. This serene simplicity soothes the soul!
Thank you, God, for your beautiful creations!

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