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Sastrugi Revisited

I have written about SASTRUGI before. This word from the Russian refers to the snow waves that many of us notice after a snowfall, but sastrugi can take many other forms than the gentle ripples in the snow caused by the wind.

We have had a least a few snow showers every day for the past week, and enough wind to blow the light dry snow across our field and into the Sunken Garden, created when the old barn was hit by lightning in 1990 and burned, leaving three stone foundation walls. The wind blows and creates a sculptural sastrugi bending over the top edge of the garden, but also creates a deep drift below that can last into May when I finally take a shovel to spread it out.

There is a large section of our drive (it is really town road that continues and ends in front of our house) where varied sastrugi form.

This sastrugi has a smooth swooping surface creating a shallow cave that is indicated by the shadow of the overhang,
but you can see sculptural shapes are formed below.
All Mother Nature needs are snow and wind, and voila, an everchanging sculpture exhibit.

7 comments to Sastrugi Revisited

  • buedamau

    lately i’ve been seeing all this pictures of heavy snow landscapes from usa bloggers, and i must confess that i’m jealous of all of them. wouldn’t you exchange all that snow for some hot sunny beach days?! ;P

  • Pat Leuchtman

    Buedamau – a sunny day on the hot sunny beach sounds really enticing. Espcially when the Montreal Express is blowing down our hill.

  • Powell River Books

    I’ve never heard that term before. Our snow is usually pretty light and melts quickly. I’ll need to had for higher country to look for some Sastrugi. – Margy

  • Pat Leuchtman

    Margy, Your climate sounds so wonderful and the growing season so long, but I don’t suppose it is likely I’ll ever leave Massachusetts at this time of my life. I’ll have to keep the ‘creepers’ ready for my boots.

  • Kate

    I love how you find art in everything! It is truly beautiful up on the hill.

  • Anna

    Now that looks seriously cold. We have just had our first snow of the year in north west England, and just a sprinkling at that 🙂

  • Cara Hochhalter

    Having lived in Northern Michigan and Minnesota…sastrugi has always fascinated and delighted me, but this wonderful word is new to me. Sounds more like a savory Italian pasta…with fluted edges and maybe mushrooms inside? Your images are gorgeous, Pat!

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