Several weeks have passed since the snowy weekend of February 22-24th glowed by the light of 150+ candles, so without further delay, I would like to present the 2018 Middlemoon Creekwalk in photos!
The above photo spells out the scene: glowing ice lanterns of all shapes and sizes, an open water creek ambling through giant cottonwood trees, drifts of newly fallen snow, groups of people young and old, hot chocolate with cookies, a few dogs and a flock of ducks laughing at us all. Or wait, is it a paddling of ducks? Regardless, it was a winter community event that was beautiful in every way.
First and foremost, we would like to THANK all those who came to the event and to the many many volunteers (mentioned below). We are very thankful for the neighborhood in which we live and the Creekwalk is our way of saying "thanks". Seeing such a wide range of people all bundled up with cheerful smiles is always heartwarming and makes it all worthwhile. After a long winter, it's wonderful to gather in a simple beautiful place and reconnect--I know Tom and I love that neighbors (as well as those who drove a little farther) have a chance to meet others with kindred spirits. We also love running into old friends of ours that make the effort to support our endeavor. It's now our favorite part of winter.
Let the photos begin . . .
Bob Hays (photographer of the first image shown above) captured several shots of the Leaf Flower Tower and the Ice Bar. Bob knows I love photos of people interacting with the ice and he did not disappoint. This is a beautiful picture of a young woman's face lit up by candlelight as she looks into the ice. Stunning photo!
And, as is the way with ice lanterns, this tall ice lantern with semi-transparent red leaves embedded in the ice proved to be a fun photographic challenge for many. Matt Sepeta of Sepeta Photography wowed me with this photo:
This next photo is not only a beautiful photo of the Ice Bar and Leaf Flower Tower taken by Per Breiehagen, (neighbor, photographer and illustrator of The Wish Books written by wife Lori Evert), but it is the only photo (to date) that captured a glimpse of my favorite part of the Creekwalk - the Bundt Pan Community Garden. If you look in the upper left hand side of the photo you can see an arrangement of glowing ice.
It's not the arrangement of the ice that captures my heart, it's the idea that neighbors and friends answered the call to make Bundt Pan Ice Lantern pieces and bring them to the creek. From there, our Bundt Pan Queen, Jean Grossman, stacked and glued them together so that the mini towers would stand taller out of the snow and would more easily withstand the rigors of a hot candle and wind. A warm thank you to all the bundt pan ice creators and Jean!
This next photo was my attempt to capture the Bundt Pan Garden after twilight which is not an easy task. If anyone has a better photo, I would love to see it.
Fortunately, Craig Paquette posted these birds-eye views of some of the Bundt Pan Lanterns on Facebook, so you can see for yourselves the variety of mold shapes and attention to detail. I just LOVE the fact that people made them and brought them down to the creek. I love it!
Thank you to the Volunteers!
As you can see, Tom and I like to think of the Middlemoon Creekwalk is a community event and this year, the Lynnhurst Neighborhood Association joined in. On Friday night, they had a fire pit burning and offered hot cocoa and cookies to all the creekwalkers! Their contribution was well received. They went through all the big boxes of cookies and had to make several runs for more cocoa! Thank you to Jeremy Lunsford, Paul Ragozzino, Ruth Olson and the other members of the LNA who helped throw more logs on the fire.
Another wonderful thing that happened this year was that our volunteer crew multiplied! Not only did the Middlemoon Creekwalk regulars come back in force [Mary Arneson and Dale Hammerschmidt (creators of oodles of ice lanterns); Tom's brother Peter Hedberg (constant source of heavy lifting help); Bill Dossett (amazingly handy man of all work); Bob Hays (generous neighborhood photographer) and Dan Berg (ice lantern lighter extraordinaire)], but joining the ranks were the following:
• Joe Hofmeister is the Ice King of our neighborhood. When the weather allows, he builds fantabulous ice structures in his front yard. This year he added a few ice benches for the southern end of the creekwalk. Thanks Joe!
• Grady Hannah saw the growing masses of ice lanterns in our front yard and knocked on our door to ask how he could help. After hearing our list of suggestions, he quickly signed up to be the Volunteer Coordinator! Yeah! He and his daughter June pitched in during the lighting phase as well.
• Susan Lenfestey and Carla Pardue I will list together because Susan came on the first work day (stayed all day) and then came back the next day with Carla. From that point on they were constants. Lifting, arranging, and lighting, this pair is a dynamic duo!
Extra Gold Stars go to Susan. Why? Not only did she come the day after the event to help clean up spent candles from the creek area, but after we were done, she said (with a big smile on her face) that there was probably more cleaning up and sorting to do at my house as well and that she was coming back the next day to help with that. Wow! Wonderful and tremendously thoughtful. What the heck, I'll give her a few more gold stars with some fairy dust thrown in.
• Miles Anderson is a bowling buddy of Tom's that had heard of the fun to be had during the Middlemoon building phase while throwing strikes at the local and decided to check it out. I am so grateful that he found joy in the hard work and stayed all day - everyday!
• Valerie Vantassel is a self professed winter scrooge who found herself completely immersed in the process of setting up ice luminaries and lighting them. I can't make this stuff up. While battling the falling snow on Saturday night as the sun was going down, she worked tirelessly for hours and finally came up for air when she remembered she had dinner plans. She shrugged here shoulders and stayed an hour more. That's devotion to a job well done!
• Donna and Bryce Hamilton are not newbies to the concept of ice lantern lighting, but I believe this was their first year lighting at the Middlemoon Creekwalk. Hopefully they will correct me if I am wrong . . . : ) Again, they tackled a great amount of work with smiles on their faces.
Aside: As it turned out, Donna Hamilton and Susan Lenfestey (listed earlier) are old friends who offered to joined forces on the last night to help me create one more ice luminary. It was after twilight (the best time to take photos of ice lanterns) when it was time to place it, so we decided to add an air of pomp and circumstance to the delivery. We filled one of our sleds with snow and set up the lit ice lantern in the sled and pulled it to its spot along the creek. Susan and Donna were delighted to see the crowd of people part like the Red Sea as we came along, and then once the lantern was in position, they were descended upon with inquiries as to how they created it. It was a delightful scene to absorb. The ice luminary was created using a large egg-shaped ice luminary that I had made and stashed in a snow drift. I asked them to glue ice cubes to its surface and here is a picture of their creation!
• Douglas Meisner is a neighbor who answered the call for help and just kept coming back. Lifting and moving on the first day changed to setting and lighting in the final hours. He was a huge help!
• Hilary Macleod is a transplant from Scotland who has fallen in love with ice lanterns. She helped us light ice luminaries at our Commons Park installation in January of 2017 and was not scared away. She came to set up and light for several nights at this 2018 Middlemoon Creekwalk!
• Jana Frieband is an old friend who has taken pictures at previous Middlmoon Creekwalk, but this year brought her broom and helped clean away snow and then came back to snap a few pictures. Thank you Jana!
• Joy Rikala, Kathy Boesch and Sue Seeger are all new volunteers who answered the call to help clean snow out of ice lanterns and relight. Having extra hands to help clear away all the snow was a great relief - thank you!
• And a thank you to Harry Edelman, also an old friend who jumped in to help finish the ice castle . . . which is my next story . . .
• This is Emma. Her mother, Alison Campbell, offered to help and brought Emma along (Thank you Alison!). On Wednesday I happened to mention to this adorable child that I was hoping to add an ice castle to the creekwalk. I haven't been the parent of a young child in a while and I forgot that you don't casually mention something enticing unless you are certain you can follow through. Sure enough, on Friday night, she tugged on my sleeve and looked up at me with those big beautiful eyes and said, "Where's the Ice Castle?".
My heart sank. I tried to explain that too much snow had come on Thursday night and with the job of cleaning out ice lanterns and relighting, I had made the decision that the ice castle would have to wait until next year. Emma did not look pleased. So, I went home that night and was determined to finish the ice castle for Saturday--the final night of the creekwalk! We made a call for more volunteers to work on cleaning out and lighting the established ice luminaries so I could spend time working on the ice castle. Thank goodness for extra help, because here is the 2018 Middlemoon Creekwalk Ice Castle . . .
Sadly, I don't have a photo with Emma and the Ice Castle, but I do have a few with almost every other kid that came to the creekwalk, plus a few dogs : )
I even mugged for Bob Hays' camera [sheepish grin] . . .
And there are more photos . . . I thought this one by Sarah LeDoux captured the feeling of the event in all its subdued quiet beauty . . .
This next photo by Per Breiehagen captured the surrealistic feeling of being in this magical place where crystal clear ice seems to emerge from the ground along the edges of a wandering creek.
The best part about photographers coming to this event is that we get to see the incredibly different way that they see and process the surroundings. In this next photo, Natasha D'Schommer has taken the same ice sculpture and made it look completely different!
And yet another view and treatment of the large ice sculpture by Theodore Sadler that also shows a glimpse of the crowds of people that hummed along the trail in the upper left hand corner.
Theodore's camera also found one of Mary Arneson's ice lanterns that she precariously placed on a tree hovering over the creek. The mass of ducks were amazingly stoic amidst the crowds of people.
Mary Arneson came to the party with many, many ice lanterns. This one, which was the crowd favorite, was designed to resemble ice gingerbread men ice fishing for ice fish that she glues to the inside of a large cylindrical ice lanterns. Her husband Dale Hammerschmidt brings his homemade candles, helps her light and takes tons of photographs. What a great partnership!
More enchanting ice lanterns by Mary Arneson caught by Bob Hays.
A few people have asked about the story behind the 3 new ice luminary sculptures at the end of the creekwalk (near Lake Harriet) that have been labeled "The Ice Marbles", "The Raspberries", or my personal favorite, "Lake Harriet Caviar". In the spirit of the Middlemoon Creekwalk, where we used ice that is ready to retire, we used salvaged ice from a previous event. We were hired to create 120+ globe ice lantern centerpieces for an event at the downtown Hilton.
After the event, we saved the globe ice lanterns and brought them home. So, together with Middlemoon volunteers Jana Frieband, Susan Lenfestey, we were able to stack up piles of the used globe ice lanterns and light them from within. I think it turned out quite well! This photo by Dale Hammerschmidt shows all the details in the freezing pattern of the ice. (To show scale, I will add a picture Dale Hammerschmidt took of me attempting to clean them off after one of the snowstorms - we had two - Thursday and Saturday. Phew - it was a lot of fun, exhausting work.)
I will end with another beautiful photo - really a composite of 4 beautiful images - captured by photographer Mary Becker Johnson. Thank you Mary!
Psst, . . . before I go . . . most of the time when I use the pronoun "We", I am referring to my life and business partner Tom Hedberg. I thought you would like to know that Tom made, or helped make, most of the ice we brought from our home, helped move it and put it into place along the creek. He really is a wonder. This photo (by Bob Hays) is Tom working through a snowstorm to make sure as many of the ice lanterns as possible stayed lit.
He doesn't seem to care that he rarely gets credit for how much time and support he gives me and the Wintercraft company. In fact, he just proofed this blog for me, so now I am going to sneak in this public thank you as a surprise! And you can help, too! The next time you see him, be sure to offer him a hearty handshake and a big thank you for helping to make the Middlemoon Creekwalk so much fun!
I think this blog set a record for the longest blog! I hope I remembered everybody who helped. Fortunately the ink never dries on the internet, so if you have a name to add, please shoot me an email and I will make the edit. I know this blog was a marathon to get through, but I hoped you enjoyed it.
Enjoy the Glow!
-- Jennifer Shea Hedberg, The Ice Wrangler
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