Even in the winter, or maybe especially in the winter, there's a lot of creativity and beauty in our backyard, thanks to a fillable-spillable 35 gallon black tub that catches runoff from the roof. If the night dips below freezing, the open water becomes a canvas for elaborate 3-dimensional designs.
Why the water doesn't freeze flat is hard to fathom. Sometimes, if the night's freeze has been light, these geometric shapes will frame miniature pools of open water that jiggle when the tub is tapped.
Cold brings out an unexpected beauty in water, and sometimes in ourselves, if we have clothes to match the weather, and take the cold as a bracing stimulant rather than, as Garrison Keillor would say, "nature's attempt to kill us."
These images were first posted at VeblenHouse.org as News Flash: Nature is a Geometer, in a post that links to an Exploratorium exhibit that shows how supercooled water can freeze over in a flash.