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When Carnegie Lake Became a Stained Glass Window
Stephen Hiltner
Friends of Princeton Open Space
Energy drives water's greatness. No molecule responds more brilliantly than water to the energy regime negotiated by the planet's atmosphere. If there were a physical template that drove the evolution of our imaginations, it would be water. Water is the ultimate artist, a renaissance molecule, exploring endless patterns and textures and playing with light as it shifts nimbly from solid to liquid to gas. Glaciers and rivers are channeled energy, but in a lake, water is trapped, and must do its work within the frame of a shoreline. A steady exodus of energy yields congealed, dark ice. But more often, the process is complex a series of freezes and thaws, compressions and expansions. One day this past January, crossing the Harrison Street bridge, I happened to look over and noticed that all of Carnegie Lake had taken on the rich patterns of a giant, horizontal stained glass window. This close-up is part of a comparative exploration of the forces driving creativity in people and in nature.