Icy Drops

January 15, 2020


Photographer: Marco Meniero
Summary Author: Marco Meniero 

These icy drops were photographed on the slopes of Monte Serra (Pisa), Italy, approximately 1,312 ft (400 m) above sea level. The liquid drops had settled along the bottom of a twig during a rain event that occurred the previous day. That night as temperatures fell, the drops froze in place, resulting in these transparent ice lenses.

The drops' initial ellipsoidal shape, due to the pull of gravity, was kept in equilibrium until the process of solidification began. But the subsequent gradual increase in volume (water expands as it freezes), caused the still mostly liquid drops to slide downwards, forming the characteristic icicle pendant shape. The high transparency of the ice indicates the absence of air inside the crystalline structure, due to the slow dissipation of heat during the freezing process. Photo taken on February 2, 2006.

Photo Details: Canon EOS 10D reflex camera; EF100 mm; f / 2.8; macro lens closed at f / 3.5; 1/250 exposure time; 200 ISO.