Puddle Ice

Text and photos by Jon Hill, December 2004
Return to Articles Page

Puddle Ice 1, Ganghwa, South Korea, Nikon D2H, Nikkor 80-400 VR

"Hey check out that waygook (foreigner)!"


"Over there, by that mud puddle."

"Oh yeah, what's he doing? Did he drop something in there?"

"No he's taking photos."

"Of a puddle?"

"I don't know, but he's nuts... it's too cold out there to stand around looking at puddles."

"Maybe he had soju (local alcohol) for lunch?"

"Yeah probably, those waygooks do strange stuff on soju."

"Well let's leave him to his puddles."

I can just imagine that's what the Koreans in the nearby parked car we saying. It was bitter cold and I had been exploring Ganghwa Island for half a day, looking for birds. After finding (but not getting close enough to photograph) some ducks and a heron, I happened across a series of frozen puddles on a dirt side road. The two guys in the car seemed pretty interested in what I was doing, but the language barrier limits me to guessing at what they were saying in the warmth of their parked Kia.

I was cold, but fascinated enough by the patterns I saw to keep taking shots for 30 minutes or so. The patterns in the ice seemed to be caused by bubbles rising out of the mud below. I imagine the ice on the surface froze then the bubbles started to collect underneath forming the white parts. In other places streams of rising bubbles seem to have been frozen in place, like the interior of the water froze in an instant. However it happened, the patterns intrigued me, and here you get to see the six shots I like the best. Stuff like this does make it worth getting out on cold winter days, even if others think you're nuts.

Puddle Ice 2

Puddle Ice 3

Puddle Ice 4

Puddle Ice 5

Puddle Ice 6

For anyone worried if I'll ever put any wildlife photos on this site again, you can stop worrying! Next month's article will feature some winter birds in Korea. Hope you'll check back and see them. In the meantime, have Happy Holidays!


All images in this site are copyrighted. Do not copy or use without permission.