Mini-Middlemoon Creekwalk Recap including Photos!

Jennifer Shea Hedberg | 06 April, 2022

two kids looking into an ice lantern, wintercraft, ice wrangler, photo by bob hays

After a Middlemoon Creekwalk has been set up and enjoyed, another joyful step in the process involves sifting through all the photos and jotting down the stories of the event to include in a follow-up blog so the Wintercrafters and ice lantern lovers who don't live nearby can feel the love, too!

I'll start with these two photos (above and below, by Bob Hays) because they present the strongest reason why my husband and I strive to offer a Middlemoon Creekwalk when possible - because we love our kid-filled neighborhood! The look of wonder when a child sees a vessel of ice lit with a candle is mesmerizing - we love it! 

A huge thank you goes out to Bob Hays, who has offered scads of photos for the last 6 Middlemoons! We can safely dub him the official Middlemoon Creekwalk photographer! I asked if he could try to take pictures of people interacting with the ice and the grandpa in him started to shine.

kids standing by an ice lantern mini-middlemoon creekwalk 2022 icewrangler

People of all ages love to wander down by the creek to see ice lanterns and maybe run into some neighbors and friends. Because this Middlemoon Creekwalk was a subdued, back-to-the-basics Middlemoon, we were amazed that so many people answered the last minute call to the creek and brought their cameras and phones. 

the passersby at the Middlemoon 2020

Bob was the first photographer on the scene. He came down as we were setting up and then a little later when the sun started to set and the world turned blue. The true beauty of this photo (below) is in the details. I wish I could show you a bigger version, alas I am limited by the blog. 

the Middlemoon scene 2022 ice by ice wrangler photo by bob hays

Bob's photo below is of a "butterfly porthole", dubbed that name after installing a few in the walls of the magnificent Ice Castle in New Brighton, MN. (More on that in another blog to be written later [emoji with sheepish grin]). It was too warm for the ice to freeze into the snowbank, so I camped out next to it for an hour or so to make sure innocently inquisitive children (or adults) were not able to dislodge it. 

Butterfly Porthole by The Ice Wrangler Photo by Bob Hays

While the sun was still flirting with us from behind the houses, Bob saw this voluptuous ice lantern whose curves were carved by a doormat (see Doormat Ice Lantern in Ice Luminary Magic book).

Doormat Ice Lantern photo by bob hays

Bob had some fun with this Floral Ice Lantern (below). He first captured it while the sun was still shining . . .

sunlit floral ice lantern photo by bob hays

 . . . then in the blue hour . . .

Floral Ice Lantern blue hour photo by bob hays

  . . . and then in the true dark of night . . .

Colorful floral ice lantern in the true dark of night  photo by bob hays

 . . . and then could not resist getting in real tight to see every nuance of the light wandering through the sublimating ice and flowers.

close up of a sublimating floral ice lantern photo by bob hays

Tom has the placement of ice lanterns along an open creek so they reflect in the water down to a science.

Reflections and ducks along the creek photo by bob hays

This is me playing, but I saw the beautiful reflection in Bob's photo and wondered what it would look like by itself and flipped. It has potential!

reflections of ice lanterns in creek photo by bob hays

Photographer Jana Freiband captured people on the bridge taking in the scene in this iconic photo (below). 

creekwalkers on the bridge looking at ice lanterns wintercraft ice wrangler photo by Jana Freiband

And what were they looking at? This beautiful scene below captured by Jana, too.

grecian ice lantern by bridge photo by Jana Freiband

Photographer Natasha D'Schommer captured the entire scene—the ice lanterns, the people and the sky—all under the canopy of majestic trees that line the creek. It is a magical place. Thank you Natasha! (below)

Middlemoon Creekwalk 2022 by Natasha D'Schommer

I found the following 7 photos when @celeste.425 posted them to my Instagram page @icewrangler - thank you Celeste for allowing us to repost!

@celeste.425 photographer for Middlemoon Creekwalk 2022

@celeste.425 photographer for Middlemoon Creekwalk 2022

Rich Harrison, aka @hoppyguy22, stopped by later in the evening and there had already been some significant melting. Take a look . . .

Rich Harrison photos of Middlemoon Creekwalk 2022

Neal Hagberg offers a wonderful story that I will preface with the fact that my husband and I decided to put in 15 hour candles this year so there might be a chance that some would be lit to surprise morning creek walkers. Apparently, Neal found them: "I came around a corner on my morning walk, and on the creek in the woods, 50 lit ice globes greeted me, some on islands in the middle of the creek. I had an involuntary intake of breath that would have drowned me if I were underwater. All I could think was this is a true artist who sets stuff up in the woods for no one to see that will be gone in a matter of hours." He snapped this photo . . .

early morning ice lanterns still lit for walkers photo by Neal Hagberg wintercraft ice wrangler

With a Mini Middlemoon Creekwalk comes a small but hearty crew. There were just 4 of us, but we all worked hard! The biggest tip of the hat goes to my husband, Tom Hedberg, who saved 60 ice lanterns that were laying about our backyard in the snow and would have surely have suffered the ravages of the sun. He wrapped each one in a plastic bag and stacked them in our 3 large freezers. Then comes Joy Wagner who has several Middlemoons under her belt and is a seasoned setter and lighter. She lit practically one entire side of the creek and waded into the creek to set and light them on the small ice islands. I don't think it would have happened if Joy had not agreed to help. Cheers to Joy! And last, but not least is Sonja Larsen. I met her while placing my ice luminary donation in the Enchanted Forest of the Luminary Loppet this year. When I mentioned our humble, and much smaller luminary event, she said to keep her in the loop. Well, she jumped through the loop. She showed up with a moment's notice and helped cart all 60 lanterns down to the creek and then started to set them up as well. Thanks so much Sonja! We were all so busy working that there are only 2 pictures - that I know of - showing us at work. #1 Joy snapped the photo below of me torching the floral bucket ice lantern that was placed on an ice ledge of the creek. (FYI - Torching can make a hazy ice lantern sparkle again.)

Jen torching ice lantern

#2 The second working photo is of Tom handing me a piece of ice to cover the open back of the Butterfly Porthole.

Jen and Tom Hedberg photo by Bob Hays

Sadly, I must end our 2022 Middlemoon recap with a note about a fellow ice lantern lover who was sorely missed at this year's event. Our dear friend, Dale Hammerschmidt, who has helped his wife, Mary Arneson, lug her many creative and playful ice luminary creations to the creek in past years, has recently passed away.

Dale Hammerschmidt at Middlemoon Creekwalk 2019 photo by Bob Hays

I know people were searching for Mary's ice lanterns that have been decorated with ice ducks, hearts or flowers. Also missing were her delicate ice windows and her ice fish swimming in flame-colored ice, etc. Mary made them all and Dale made sure they were placed with care and lit with his handmade candles. Mary and Dale were a true team - forged with love for each other and for our community. All who have known Mary and Dale through one of their many shared passions will tell you that their lives were made better just by knowing them. Please send healing thoughts to Mary and let us look forward to the coming Winter when we might dedicate the next Middlemoon Creekwalk to our dear friend Dale.

final picture

Enjoy the Glow!
-- Jennifer Shea Hedberg, The Ice Wrangler, @icewrangler


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