Ice dragon

The St. Paul Winter Carnival kicked off this past weekend, and although the snow sculptures were canceled for obvious reasons, the show went on for icy art. While temperatures last!

In February 1886, the inaugural carnival was held to showcase St. Paul as well as disprove a New York newspaper reporter who had described the city as “another Siberia, unfit for human habitation in the winter.” But in 2004, the last year St. Paul featured an ice palace, it might as well have been Siberia. You know it’s cold when the 2004 Ice Palace closed for several hours due to cold weather. It was a palatial, 27,000 blocks of ice (each weighing 400 lbs.) covering a steel frame and wired for a sound and light show.

This year’s carnival was much simpler. As I surveyed the sculptures, I heeded some recent photography advice to not just take the picture, but make the picture. After all, nearly everyone takes the same photo on the first approach. But if you study the scene, you can find more. And that’s when, while crouching like a tiger, I found my “hidden dragon.”