Each winter, our waterfall becomes ice encrusted as soon as the temperatures fall below freezing. As the water continues to fall and freeze, amazing ice formations grow, which I find fascinating and beautiful. Every day brings a different configuration.
Warmer weather or rain can increase the down flow, melting the ice and diminishing the varying forms which then build up once it freezes again.
Long stalactites form like sharp teeth, growing longer every day. Even more interesting are the stalagmites that form below water dripping from above or splashing repeatedly over the base of the waterfall. I like the round mounds that look like marbles all glued together. In the photo below, the icicles have fused with the ‘marbles’ that formed over mossy stones and bits of autumn leaves.
The ice grows inward from the edges, eventually closing off the stream except for a few pockets where the flow is very rapid. Often hoar frost will form and create feathered edges around these openings.
One more example of the beautiful art exhibits offered to us by Nature for our winter enjoyment!