While driving in to Pierre, South Dakota in early February to visit my folks, I couldn’t help but notice the ice build up on the Pierre side of the Missouri River. I thought, “Hey, that ice might make an interesting foreground subject!” So, on a brisk Saturday evening, I took stroll down by the river with my camera. I had to carefully negotiate the rock lined river banks to get close to the ice, and being careful not to get out onto the ice (I had no idea how thick it was) was able to get a few enjoyable images.
The Oahe Dam is just a few miles upriver from Pierre. Because the flows from the dam vary day to day, so does the level of the river downstream. Because of this fluctuation, ice sheets along the Missouri shore can crack apart and fall back into the river.
Wind and water currents pile up ice blocks along the banks of the Missouri below the 100+ year old train bridge that is still used by trains on a daily basis.
A historic flood hit this area a few years ago, with currents so strong, the sandbars and deep channels of the river were rearranged. This stretch of river used to be much deeper, but after the flood is very shallow, which probably promotes the ice formation along this section of shoreline.