Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Ice spits

with 26 comments

A spit is normally ‘a narrow point of land extending into a body of water.’ On February 16th in Great Hills Park ice played the traditional role of land in that definition. Below is a closeup showing how the nearer of the two ice spits faded away into the creek.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 28, 2021 at 4:43 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , ,

26 Responses

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  1. So nice


    February 28, 2021 at 5:11 AM

  2. Being able to see through the dissolving ice in the second photo is intriguing. The even distribution of the bubbles is neat, too.

    In the first photo, I see two crawfish: a large one made of snow, curled around a smaller one formed by the clear water. When you took the photos, any real crawfish would have been buried deep in the mud, but these images certainly are a reminder of the tasty delicacies to come.


    February 28, 2021 at 6:02 AM

    • I’m glad the pictures didn’t stick in your craw. You’ve reminded me of a time in Great Hills Park years ago when we’d had heavy rains and the creek overflowed its banks and flooded over onto the trail maybe a hundred feet away. There I later found a crawfish that had gotten isolated far from its normal home in the creek.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 28, 2021 at 6:18 AM

  3. Ice spits are a novelty for me even though I live in the land of ice and snow. These are very interesting shapes, Steve.

    Peter Klopp

    February 28, 2021 at 7:39 AM

  4. I miss having ice to photograph. Here now it’s almost summer already and the wind blows 30 mpr. I see you’re having a lot of fun, the ice spits are really cool.

    Alessandra Chaves

    February 28, 2021 at 8:45 AM

    • Living in normally warm Austin, I’d also missed ice and snow and the chance to photograph them. They’ve been gone for over a week now, but during the days they stayed with us I went out repeatedly and took a slew of pictures. Some of them will keep appearing here for at least another week.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 28, 2021 at 9:37 AM

  5. I see a skyscape in the first image with a crescent moon and wispy, and puffy clouds. Cool abstracts! I rarely “see” this sort of thing.
    I’m too literal me thinks. 😀


    February 28, 2021 at 10:21 AM

  6. Like these shots, well done! I’ve never heard the term ‘ice spits’ but your photo makes clear what it is. Still hard to believe how cold it was and for how long it lasted. My garden is unhappy looking. 🙂


    February 28, 2021 at 3:33 PM

    • Thanks. I had a great time out in the cold with all the unaccustomed ice and snow (even if it made your garden look unhappy). While I’ve also not heard the geographical term spit applied to anything but land, I figured there’s no harm in analogizing to ice.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 28, 2021 at 3:44 PM

  7. From your title, I was wondering if “spits” would turn out to be a noun or a verb.I’m gratified that it was the latter, and I really like the detailed second shot.


    March 1, 2021 at 2:00 AM

    • As native English speakers we seldom stop to think how unlikely it should be that -s serves both as the main marker of a plural noun and as an indicator of the third-person-singular-present-tense in verbs (except modal auxiliaries), hence the ambiguity in “ice spits.”

      It occurs to me that someone seeing the second shot without the first might have a hard time telling what it is.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 1, 2021 at 7:22 AM

      • I’m reminded of a very clever name for such a piece of land in a movie; I think it was Muriel’s Wedding and the name of the place the main characters lived was Dolphin Spit. Pretty hard to forget (unfortunately), especially as they took care to place the emphasis on the first word.


        March 1, 2021 at 5:58 PM

  8. Spits to me are something you stick meat on for a barbeque although I do know the term as a land projection so it does fit with your title. Of course when photographing frozen waterfalls they also sometimes spit on me but, hopefully, not in an insulting manner.

    Steve Gingold

    March 2, 2021 at 3:29 AM

    • The ‘barbecue implement’ and ‘land projection’ meanings of the word share the sense of ‘a long, narrow, pointy object.’ The other kind of spit, which you said you sometimes get from waterfalls, is an unrelated word. In this case the semantics makes the unrelatedness easy to see, but similar or different meanings don’t always work as a criterion to tell whether two words that look the same really are the same. For example, almost all of us would assume that the coach that took Cinderella to the prince’s ball and that coach that works with the players on a sports team are different words, yet they’re the same word. The sports sense arose as a humorous metaphor in British university slang: a sports coach figuratively carries players from an unaccomplished state to an accomplished one.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 2, 2021 at 6:05 AM

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