Massive ice sculpture crowns Popple Dungeon

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Peter Delaney’s ice sculpture on a recent sunny afternoon. Photo by Shawn Cunningham

In the late fall of each year, Peter Delaney erects a tall wooden framework for mounting a hose that’s fed by a spring up in the hills along Popple Dungeon Road in Chester.

He caps the hose and then drills five small holes in the cap to create a fine spray.

When the temperatures drop, Delaney turns on the water and the thin sprays shoot into the air, freeze and an ice sculpture begins to take form.

After that, it’s up to the weather.

Ice formed off the back of the sculpture arcs like a cape

After fits and starts with on and off warm temps crumbling the sculpture, consistent cold finally settled in to create an ever-changing masterpiece.

In past years, the sculpture was usually an ice column – sometimes huge – with interesting shapes and shades of blue.

This season however, the freeze/thaw cycle and some brutal cold has created a complex form that looks almost human with a crown-like top where the spouts have made their own ice pipes.

According to Delaney, those spouts sometimes freeze and the water continues to run inside the ice, etching out paths within the sculpture, but this year the water flow is protected by its ice pipes. The central portion also has an arc of ice protruding off its back like a cape.

As majestic as it looks today, spring is coming and before you know it, this season’s sculpture will be a memory.  While it lasts, you can see it on Popple Dungeon Road, 2 miles up from the Grafton Road. Sunny days are best.

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  1. Pretty awesome Pete , will this create any major flooding in the area? Should the National Guard and the Red Cross be on standby when it melts?

  2. Lois Coburn says:

    Pretty cool Pete!!!

  3. Bob Furman says:

    That’s a perfect depiction of King Pothole, Monarch of the madness that is Rt 35, Chester!

  4. Suellen Slater says:

    Best one yet. I smile every time I drive by. Am always curious to see how it changes from day to day. What a wonderful thing to do. Thank you.