Terrazzo in ice, Hudson Bay, Canada

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

Comments (17)

Ian Stehbens on December 2, 2007

500 square kilomertes of ice that has been partially thawed, and refrozen, many times. As the ice moves with wind and current around Hudson Bay, sections that have broken away collide and weld. The surface is therefore uneven and meltwater lies in ice hollows sometimes refreezing and sometimes collecting as icy lakes. This image was taken from 12000M on a flight NE-SW across Hudson Bay during early summer 2005. A most remarkable icescape that the maps do not reveal. And I venture to say, better traversed by aircraft than on the surface! I welcome commentary from those who have local knowledge and expertise on such environments.

Dror Ben David on December 2, 2007

Amaizing picture. We hardly have below zero tempratures (maybe once in a winter)... looks tough to handle - even for polar bears

Marilyn Whiteley on December 2, 2007

Yes, Ian, it's an amazing scene--and well named! Whether it was on the plane or by cropping, you got it well-composed, too, something that's not always done with what is mostly (but not entirely) and all-over pattern. Marilyn

©Würmer on December 2, 2007

Ian, you may want to check out our Rushless friend Wim's pictures from his winter living/working in Antarctica... he may have "a ground view" to share about things... ;-)

Ian Stehbens on December 3, 2007

Thanks Bartowian. I have viewed Wim's images and I will contact him for his comment and explanation. I particularly was attracted to some of his taken at ground level on the sea ice of the Weddell Sea. I saw some pretty icy conditions on the roads of the mid-west yesterday - winter has arrived in that part of US. Stay south, or stay warm. Regards, Ian

Ian Stehbens on December 3, 2007

Thanks for the comments oronbb and Marilyn. Where do you live oronbb? And Marilyn, I hadn't been long from the days of film slr, so I was still composing in through the lens. I am gradually weaning myself off that, and using photoshop for cropping. It is quite interesting for me to reflect on how that has released some new elements into my photography - it allows me to be more daring - well more creative with perspectives and more "receiving" as Howard Zehr would say. Ian

Marilyn Whiteley on December 3, 2007

I agree, Ian, about the freedom offered by a digital camera and digital editing. How often I've looked at a slide taken through my SLR and wished I could tweak it a bit--or a lot! (I have put some slides in mounts of alternate sizes and shapes.) Even though my camera is "only" 7.1mp, the resolution is good enough so that often for straight-forward shots I zoom out a bit from what I think I want, knowing that I can compose more precisely on the computer than on the camera, so long as I have the raw materials. And then there are the more radical possibilities! Marilyn

Lilypon on December 11, 2007

Ian you are very inventive. :) No knowledgeable comments here on the ice in your photo except to that I'm very familiar with it in general. ;)

I hope you will join us in this photo chain and then invite someone else in. The instructions for joining are in this post. I hope you can find something more uplifting than what I posted.

Greetings from Saskatchewan, Pam (who saw your reply re Weyburn :)

Ian Stehbens on December 30, 2007

It is unfortunate that this picture was not selected by GE. I suspect the reviewer did not recognize it as an aerial, but thought it was a single topic close-up.

Ómar Smári Kristinss… on January 1, 2008

I agree with Ian Stehbens, but on the other hand, that is what makes this picture so interesting: the multiple ways of seeing and concluding.

Wim de Vries on October 21, 2008

It is an interesting view from this height Ian. At Marambio I arrived in March where the sea was still open, we stayed until august. As we have been transported with a C 130 during take off we didn't had the possibility to have a look at the sea. I only know the frozen waves at the sea as we went down on a weekend to the sea, because Marambio Base is at about 100 m above sealevel. It has been a great but also very cold experience, to stay over winter in the Antarctic.

Greetings, Wim

Ian Stehbens on October 22, 2008

Dear Ómar Smári Kristinsson, thank you for your most appropriate comment. Seeing differently is always a special part of our art as photgrpahers. (Sorry I missed your comment 10 months ago!)

And Wim I really envy you and the opportunities you have had to photograph in Antarctica. Marambio was new to me. Thanks too for the snippets of your stay. Like you, I truly am fascinated by this environment.

Kind regards from Sydney, where it felt like Antarctica today - and this is late October!


©Würmer on October 24, 2008

Flying from Europe to the US during winter I always looked forward to the "winter landscapes of the great white north" -- especially the Canadian parts were fascinating to see (to Europe takes one on a more southerly route, benefitting from the Jet Stream). Unless the plane happens to bank (to change direction) it is nearly impossible to get good shots through that coke-bottle window glass, frequently fogged over or distorting at the bottom...

A big ...sigh... for those "Good Old Days (tm)" when one only had to show a pilot's license during boarding to get invited to the cockpit for a show-and-tell and a better view of things later during the flight...

Amelia Royan on March 16, 2009

If I had not read any of the above explanations, or paid any attention to tags Ian, my guess would have been that this photo was an electron microscope picture of tissue, possibly epithelial in nature. Every time I visit your gallery I find something new to comment on, and this one is amazing. I think I can now pick out some ice flows.

Greetings, Amelia

Ian Stehbens on March 20, 2009

Dear Ian and Amelia,

It is good to catch up with your comment, Ian 5mths on - sorry that I missed it then. Last time I was in Tonga, I sat with the pilot on a commercial flight but now I cannot tell you what kind of aircraft it was - about 8 passengers. And that was on the basis that my son was a pilot. Perhaps the GOD (this cannot be trademarked) will return, though probably not to the US.

As I haven't flown from US to Europe, I wasn't aware of the more southerly route. Both of my Incheon-Dulles & Dulles-Incheon flights arced over the Yukon but one was at night and the other a fantastic all day flight, which I enjoyed immensely, especially the Kamchatka-Sakhalin portion.

My rue was generally about being at 11000M and therefore there was another layer of cloud to intervene, for in the GOD, the Fokker Friendship would cruise around NZ or Papua New Guinea at 13000ft, and that was like riding in a Geography Classroom simulator!

And are you still flying, Ian, and in what aircraft?

It amazes me, Amelia that your discernment is so good, for perhaps my game is up - I must put away my electron microscope! (:0)

You are geographically right for this is not n-cadherin for it wasn't taken above Hudson Strait! This is the tissue that lines that huge cavity in the body of America, Hudson Bay. Just as there is a difference between connective tissue and epithelium tissue, there is a clear difference between the ice patterns of confined bays and passages. I have never seen a geomorphology book or research on this but, I have seen the difference from the air. I am sure you will appreciate the differences.

It makes my curious mind go to the different patterns of coral reefs. You might like to compare the areal forms of reefs at 10 27S 142 12E with 20 58S 151 24E. The former are in a connective region, the latter is an example of epidermic forms of reef. And now that I have taken your lead into another area of inquiry, you might like to explore for epithelial reef patterns, which you will find behind the epidermic reefs.

I think we should jointly publish a geomorphology journal article, Amelia.

Until now, epidemiology has been the science at the intersection of geography and medical science, for me, but perhaps we have created a new field.

All in the name of Panoramio Imaging!

Warm regards,


©Würmer on March 21, 2009

I was thinking of you just yesterday again, Ian, as Tonga was in the news again... (tsunami warning, undersea vulcanic eruption, earthquake ranking 7.8 points on the Richter scale... sounds like they got away with but little damage, fortunately. "You" 've also made the news several times before since we last conversed... fires, oil spills, what-have-you... the world's gone nuts!...

Otherwise, you've probably heard the news from my corner of the world: the school shooting at Winnenden was just 'a little down the road from me' (with my sister teaching physics in another school nearby). And next week you'll hear from demonstrations against the NATO conference "real close" at the French border area near Strassburg...

are you still flying, in what aircraft?

nope, I gave that (just SEL) up a while ago and switched to sailing instead.

for me, until now, epidemiology has been at the intersection of geography and medical scienc...

for me, between math (statistics and propability theory) and "real life" (biology)... :))

I think I can now pick out some ice flows...

...hard to spot the bears chasing the seals, right, Amelia ?!?


Ian Stehbens on March 22, 2009

I will be heading off to Tonga for the July-November semester, Bartowian, so I am rather hoping that the volcano is still there when we get there.

This kind of frontal-plate volcano in the Pacific tend to disappear beneath the surface of the ocean, after a period of eruption, as the cone of ejecta subsides. (There is another, Kavachi, with which I am familiar in western Solomon Islands.)

If it is still erupting, I'd hope to at least see it from the air. I guess the sunsets may be very coloured at least. It is not very far from where we will be living, for we will be on the western side of Tongatapu Island.

During one of my former visits I experienced a 7.6 quake and on another one of the most intense tropical cyclones (hurricanes) that Tonga had ever experienced! Yet, I would regard Tonga as being one of the more benign areas of the SW Pacific. Benign, but very significant as it sits on the uplifting edge of the Australia Plate, with the trench to its immediate east, the line of volcanoes on its west, and the quake zone beneath the Lau Islands further west. The subduction of the Pacific Plate can therefore be felt, seen and experienced in Tonga!

Through Panoramio, my awareness of specific events takes on new significance for they connect me to specific friends. The repeated events like Winnenden are sad and tragic, as well as disturbing. I extend my sympathy to you and your sister and the American people in your grief and responses to this shooting.

And if I may return to the Victorian bushfires, I was privileged to meet Mick & Kim O'Brien from Kilmore, Victoria last night at an event in Sydney. They lost home and other buildings during the fires, yet Mick was directly involved in saving the homes of two neighbours. Mick and Kim run a trucking business, and Mick has taken to writing poetry. They were invited to a pre-rugby match event to read one of his trucking poems, "Thunder Road".

I presume Thunder Road leads to Thunder Bay which leads me back to Hudson Bay, to help Amelia find seals escaping the bears on the floes.


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Photo details

  • Uploaded on December 2, 2007
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Ian Stehbens