Over the past week, I’ve visited Big Manitou Falls and Little Manitou Falls on the Black River in Pattison State Park in northern Wisconsin. It’s been freezing at night long enough for ice to accumulate around the waterfalls. The ice takes on strange, bulbous shapes. The orange/brown color in the ice and water is from tannin. “Streams that flow through watersheds dominated by conifers have a characteristic brown tea color that is the result of tannins leaching out of decomposing conifer needles.” *
It’s a fine time for hiking – no people, no bugs, no foliage blocking sight lines for photography. It hasn’t snowed much; not enough to prevent hiking.
* U.S. Forest Service Web Site (https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/ethnobotany/tannins.shtml)