The Adventures of Vox Lumina

Rediscovering the lost world of Orga

What Water Does: Needle Ice February 6, 2013

Ice Needles

Ice Needles

This is another amazing form of crystallization that water does when it freezes.

What a gift it is when we get to see the form inside the beautiful mysterious musical movement that water IS.

I’ve been observing this phenomenon for a long while now, coming upon it in the woods in the right weather and it always delights me. It makes me wonder what happened in the cold night with the water and the soil. What were they doing? What kind of conversation were they having? And from where did the cold wind come? What kind of feeling makes water move this way? Why the drawing up and freezing in the moment? And always that great mystery- what is it like to change states, to go from liquid to solid?

Clarification: this is not a sublimation. It is liquid water turning to ice, but continuously, growing and growing upon itself. It’s water dewing and then freezing as it’s happening. AND making a completely new, structural columnar solid form. WATER! AMAZING!

Voxylu’s Haiku:

soil’s long warm exhale
frozen in the pre-sun chill
water lifts for light

This is: Frost Heaving, a natural phenomenon that makes “Needle Ice” which “occurs when the temperature of the soil is above 0 °C (32 °F) and the surface temperature of the air is below 0 °C (32 °F). The subterranean liquid water is brought to the surface via capillary action, where it freezes and contributes to a growing needle-like ice column.”

In other words, two different temperatures meet and mix and dance and MOVE and GROW and in water create an experience and change that looks like this beautiful thing: (see photo above)

So, since we are now together building and learning and expanding our visual and verbal language of natural phenomenon/things of natural beauty and natural wonder that we all treasure and share in common value as neighbors and inhabitants of Earth-Orga blessed to behold this Beautiful Life, look at this:
There are other people in other places, other cultures in other lands which ALSO have a name for this thing, this experience, this natural phenomenon.  They call it:

“frost pillars” (“Säuleneis” in German),
“frost column”, “Kammeis” (a German term meaning “comb ice”),

“Stängeleis” (another German term referring to the stem-like structures),
“shimo bashira” (霜柱 the Japanese term for “ice needles”),

or “pipkrake” (from Swedish pipa (tube) and krake (weak, fine)….” [3]

(quotes from and for more information go here:



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