It hasn’t been a great winter for the formation of sastrugi. The snow has been heavy and wet, not much given to drifting. But this last snow storm brought frigid temperatures and high gusting winds. The result is the first sastrugi of the year forming at the western lip of the Sunken Garden. The word sastrugi is from a Russian word which means snow wave or caves. We have all noticed them.
More now. The sastrugi shifts and the Sunken Garden is filling up with drifts.
I couldn’t resist adding this photo showing the final sastrugi sculpture now that the snow and wind have stopped.
Some times the sastrugi waves are very gentle
A windy winter brings many sculptural shows like this sastrugi along the road. The wind is a powerful and artistic worker.
Sometimes the sastrugi is so extreme that it collapses under its own weight. You may also notice the depth of the drift in the Sunken Garden. That stone wall is over 6 feet high. The Heath winds come blowing from the northwest across the open field and dump tons of snow into the Sunken Garden. I often have to shovel the last icy bits of the drift out onto the lawn to help get all the snow out of the garden.