Snow Circles & Ice Rings Season

With the winter solstice arriving this week, I thought this would be the ideal time to mention snow circles and ice rings. While I have personally never seen a snow circle – they are very rare – they have been documented and if you are interested in snow circles, this article is fascinating: Holland Snow Formations

While travelling in Newfoundland recently I came across some amazing ‘ice rings’ in various ponds off the highways in the Avalon Peninsula. Notice how many aren’t perfectly circular, but almost appear elliptical, like crop circles.  Although these rings are likely a natural phenomena, they are curious and one wonders exactly how they form:IMG_5485

ice rings, Newfoundland


more ice rings in Newfoundland

I also saw an ice ring around a rock, as you can see in this photo.  Perhaps it’s similar to these ice rings although they look much better than mine…


ice ring around rock

Back in December, 2012, I spotted a curious ice ring on the ‘Golden River’ – part of the narrow canals around the Forbidden City in Beijing, China. I managed to snap a photograph of it just as the guard walked away:


ice ring in Beijing

As for Canadian ice ring reports, here is a clip from an article which made many Canadian newspapers on March 8, 2001, thanks to an interesting ice ring report from Delta, Ontario in December 2000:

Mystery circles baffle investigators; Like their cousins in farm fields, ice patterns defy explanation by Jim Bronskill, Southam News (Windsor Star)

Mysterious ice rings in Ontario and Quebec are baffling investigators who track the appearance of strange circles in ponds and fields across Canada. Cold, hard facts about the frozen phenomenon are scarce, making it too early to tell whether the rings are related to their better- known cousins, the crop circles that continue to turn up in farmers’ fields worldwide, says a newly released report. Two rural ice-ring cases are among 11 described in the Canadian Crop Circle Research Network’s annual summary report for 2000. The network, a non-profit organization, collects information about circles from members, farmers, the media and other sources.  The round ice formations have been documented only rarely in Canada, the United States, Germany, Russia and Switzerland, said Paul Anderson, the network’s Vancouver-based director. “We’re lucky, usually, if we hear of one.” Early in December, a woman in the eastern Ontario town of Delta awoke to find an ice ring almost five metres in diameter on the pond behind the family barn. “She just swore up and down that it wasn’t there the night before,” said Anderson. “When they went out at six in the morning, there it was — a perfect ring.” He said the ice was apparently too thin to walk on, making a hoax unlikely. “How someone would do that from the shore, I don’t know.” Another circle, on small Lac Pelletier in Quebec’s Laurentian mountains, was reported in November by a visiting British researcher.  A series of circles and rings was discovered on the same lake in 1999, says the report. One theory suggests an ice ring is formed by a current flowing into a pond, which moves in a circle and affects the freezing pattern, said Anderson. “That’s the only explanation that anyone’s come up with so far that seems to make any sense.”

As always, I’d be interested to hear of any possible snow circle or ice ring reports in Canada this winter.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!