Christmas star designed by Mother Nature

The Christmas Star -- also known as The Star of Bethlehem -- is most often depicted in art as a star with four main points. It also is usually pictured with a shaft of light reaching toward the Earth.

I found this striking image in new ice that had formed at the water's edge of a small pond. At the center of the "star" the point of a small stick can be seen barely protruding above the surface. On a windless cold night ice began to form on the water surface. Fragile fingers of ice began near the bank and grew out from any stationary object such as a stick or floating leaf. The fingers of ice grew and interacted with each other to form haphazard designs on the top of the quiet water.

I walked the pond's edge for several minutes that cold morning looking at Mother nature's new ice creations before coming upon this sight that reminded me instantly of The Star of Bethlehem.

Through the Woods is a weekly nature photo column by Aaron Horrell. Find this column at to order a reprint of the photo. Find more work by him at the Painted Wren Gallery.