The wonder of fire in ice

I would like to encourage my blogging friends to join the Lens-Artist Weekly photo challenge. It is the hard work of 4 enthusiastic (and esteemed) photo bloggers. You can read more about these ladies and how to go about this challenge by clicking on the link above.

In the context of my interpretation of this weeks theme being Wonder, I will admit that I became a bit fired up when WordPress decided to discontinue the Weekly photo challenge. But the reality is that AUTOMATTIC is a business and it is their right to channel resources somewhere else, but not informing the WordPress photo community of an eminent closure, say at least a month ahead, left me a bit cold. Fortunately we can now warm up to a new photo challenge.


I was fortunate to join 4 of my male friends, for a “DA MAN” weekend – I got that term from Tina Scnell one of the moderators of this challenge, after I informed her of a technical glitch regarding a post. All of us are married thus it was done with our wives’ blessing (they allowed us to go that is). I will certainly write about our adventures in a separate post, but these photos were taken during that weekend. On the Saturday morning I got up while the others were still sleeping at “Krabgat”, a cottage on a friend’s farm who invited us there. All the photos where taken on this farm close to the town Riviersonderend in South Africa – winter in the Southern hemisphere.

I took photos of Krabgat cottage before in more dramatic weather and wasn’t really inspired and a bit down even wondering if I should be here. I strolled about 300m to take photos of bee-hives but when I got there was greeted with beautiful, contrasting and even ironic scenes.

Underneath is a disposed wheel of a farm tractor bearing the Firestone brand. Small crystals of ice were clinging to the letters and the Fire could not melt it. I bent down and was astonished to smell vanilla while I heard :

Ice ice baby, Too cold, Ice ice baby, Too cold too cold !

Was the fire being frozen or a case of ic(e)ing on the fire. Surely it couldn’t be someone with a hairstyle very different to mine telling the singer Vanilla Ice “you’re fired” – no can’t be, that would add petrol to the fire…

⇓But what inspired me most was the ice crystals clinging to all the leaves, be it grass or plants. These leaves, only a few centimeters in diameter, had small thorns protruding from the leaves and the crystals formed on each of them.

⇓When I look at the “work of art” knit together underneath, I can’t help but think of Psalm 139. I am sure if a human artist sculpted something like this it would receive great critical acclaim.

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful Psalm 139:13-15

⇑These leaves were smooth, with less erratic edges, and the ice crystals framed it beautifully. Here two leaves combine to show me (and you) their heart shaped love, telling me something which humans may forget at times. The sun’s rays are reaching onto one of the leaves and will soon succeed in melting the crystals. As a small child I believed that toys became alive at night; well the ice crystals become alive at night. I do not think that living toys would give me greater pleasure than focusing on these plants and crystals. The early bird gets so much more than the early worm. Capturing these images transformed my mood and day without me even realizing it⇑

⇓The last rays of the sun was unsuccessfully trying to cling to the earth. Soon it would be gone and the shy ice crystals would come out and play. I need not wonder where the crystals were as I knew their secret and was ready to join in their game.

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
or let the fish in the sea inform you.
Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this?
In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.
Job 12: 7 – 10
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72 thoughts on “The wonder of fire in ice

  1. Well Abrie, you pulled out all of the stops for our first challenge. I love your subject at both ends of the day, and the ice crystals are amazing. And only someone who is indeed “da man” would have seen that little heart. Well done my friend!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Kan dink jy was in jou eie wonderwêreld vasgevang. Dankie vir die vroeë uitstappie (terwyl ek definitief nog geslaap het.) Dankie ook vir die Woord!!!

    Liked by 1 person

        1. In hierdie tye van “‘vreemde” denke bly die openbaring van die kruisiging en opstanding van die die Here Jesus Christus via die Bybel steeds die grootste openbaring. Maar die Here spreek bepaald deur die skepping ook

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  3. All lovely. The first cottage capture is beautiful in its simplicity. Love the closeup of the ice crystals. Then, the finale of the sunset behind the cottage. Wow! Thanks for sharing such awesome beauty.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is my first glimpse of your photos/site and all I can say is “Wow!” Gorgeous images and post. Needless to say, I’m delighted that you joined our challenge and contributed these inspiring moments of wonder. 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Abrie, Thank you so much for the encouraging words of Lens Artists. A great pleasure of having you.
    This is a beautiful set of photos. I love all your photos. The last one is breathtaking!
    Thank you for sharing your adventure! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pleasure Amy. I like this type of challenge, some bloggers have lots of challenges and than I can’t make up my mind which one to take part in and personally I prefer to do 1 photo challenge a week

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  6. Wow, Abrie, you took us on your trip in a capsule. I can’t quite imagine the I have photos of ice crystal next to my thermometer says 110 degrees F. Yes, we have a heart wave here but is leaving. I love the quiet morning of the cottage, taking a walk when the air is cool. Your photos of the crystals on the leaves cool me off here. And I love the sunset behind the cottage. Sunset always evokes emotions. 🙂
    I appreciate all the photos (a few among many more). 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I liked the light on the barn….and also the ice crystals….because right now it’s close to 100F here in southern USA. But I’m on the lake so it’s OK…not looking forward to when we have ice here. Don’t want our summer to go too fast! Thanks for hooking us up to the photo challenge four bloggers!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love the pictures with the ice framing the plants — like Winter meets Spring. I also enjoyed your thoughts about what you were seeing; it was like walking with a friend and savoring the wonder all around.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The pictures of the leaves and and sunset are just breathtaking. Especially I was wondered by the photos of something (a plant may be), which reminds a net. This looks like a masterpiece, actually it is – masterpiece which nature creates every day.

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    1. Hi Lidiia, I am glad you are commenting about that specific photo, (the first person to comment about it in fact). Yes it is a type of plant and I also think is a masterpiece. Good to hear a voice from Croatia (especially yours 🙂 )

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  10. That’s a fabulous start to the new challenge, Abrie. Absolutely gorgeous photos and a lovely read. All the best! 🙂
    Wishing you a wonderful Sunday,
    The Fab Four of Cley

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