Photo 1. Žbeljac Pond as seen from the top of Žbeljac Hill (Photo by M. Randić)
Žbeljac Pond is located in a small depression at the foot of rocky Žbeljac Hill, not far from where Kripanjski Put, an old forest road, leaves the road leading to Platak. The pond was made by digging into the deeper layers of soil that cover the depression. During dry periods, the pond regularly dries up, but it fills up again when there is a lot of rain and the surrounding terrain becomes saturated with water. And so it was, after the recent heavy rainfall. When the night temperatures began to fall, the surface of the pond froze over. Over the days that followed, the level of water in the pond gradually dropped (obviously, the bottom of the pond is not watertight), leading to the formation of unusual and interesting patterns in the frozen crust that was left hanging in the air.
Photo 2. Frozen crust on Žbeljac Pond, 10 December 2016 (Photo by M. Randić)
Sunday, 10 December 2016, was an exceptionally warm, sunny day, causing large drops of water that sparkled in the sunshine, to form on the underside of the icy crust. When approaching the pond, we could hear the crackling of the ice, which later stopped (we didn’t notice any animal either alongside the pond or in the pond that could have caused the crackling sound). We found this a bit puzzling and hard to explain. Could it have been that our steps produced gentle tremors in the ground, causing the ice to crackle?
Photo 3. Icy patterns and large drops of melted ice on the underside of the frozen crust (Photo by M. Randić)