Photo of Bluebell Woods in Sussex Photo of Bluebell Woods in Sussex

Tongues of Ice

I’m just back from six days in Cairngorms in the Scottish Highlands.

In the foreground of the first picture you can probably make out some indentations in the snow and ice. On first glance these impressions can look like footprints, but they are actually grooves and ‘tongues’ that have been carved and sculpted by the prevailing local winds.

In the the second photo, you can see that in this case they are giving a reliable indication of west/east.

In the book I explain how these tongues are used by indigenous Arctic people, like the Inuit, and how they come to know the different characters of the tongues and therefore which winds, and, critically, which wind directions have formed them.