December 8, 2013
She had never known that ice could take on so many shades of blue: sharp lines of indigo like the deepest sea, aquamarine shadows, even the glint of blue-green where the sun struck just so. – Malinda Lo, ‘Huntress’
FOCUS: Still Life
Colorado has been in a deep freeze with temperatures well below freezing for over a week now. This bitter weather inspired my son and I to try an experiment with ice…
I’d seen on the internet that you could fill latex balloons with colored water and they would freeze outside overnight. When you peel off the latex balloons the next morning, you are supposed to have brightly colored balls of ice to display in your yard like colorful crystal marbles. Well, our experiment didn’t quite turn out the way it was supposed to. Apparently the food coloring we used is alcohol based, and since alcohol has an extremely low freezing point (as in -173 degrees fahreheit), our balloons did not freeze completely. Oddly enough, the parts that did freeze were perfectly crystal clear since the dye precipitated out of the ice during the freezing process. This resulted in irregularly shaped, perfectly clear spheres of ice whose centers displayed an amazing array of crystal ice spikes.
I think I will try this little experiment again, but next time with powdered dyes. In the meantime, the crystal clear globes did make for an interesting subject for today’s photography; They are the perfect representation of the weather we’ve been experiencing. What a happy accident :-).