Photo of Pack Ice

Drift ice swirl, north Atlantic

The swirl is one of the shapes one sees consistently in nature, from the shape of the galaxies to the form of a nautilus shell to the patterns of whirlpools and tornadoes. I found the pattern mesmerizing as I flew over the north Atlantic in between Iceland and Greenland. I snapped the photo, since I had never seen anything like this before. It was a very propitious trip, as it inspired my later travels to the Arctic, in Greenland and Iceland, starting exactly 10 months later. (Click on the photograph to see a larger picture on a separate picture page.)