What I call 'ice tables' form along creeks and rivers and down in the swamps here under certain winter conditions. You start with a 'January thaw' (doesn't matter if it's January; anytime in winter will do), and you get high water levels that flood up or over the banks, or fill the swamp. Then you need a good solid freeze while the water is at that level.
As the thaw ends, and the water level subsides, most of the ice will subside (or crash) back down to lower levels, but sections that have frozen solid around tree and shrub trunks and stems may stay up in mid-air like a table!
This is the case at Wodehouse Creek, the karst system I've written about before where the creek disappears into sinkholes. In the high flows of a winter thaw, the creek backs up above those sinkholes forming a lake. And then you have the ice tables left behind as the creek subsides again.
This is a broader view of the photo above to give you the context. The creek runs right through the middle of the photo.
The Red Osiers that this chunk of ice is frozen to are a definite sign of spring! (Only 2-3 months away!)
Ice frozen on smaller shrubs like these willows will tend to collapse sideways, but if it's frozen to larger trees, it stays up like a flat table - check out the photos below.
So next time you see these ice tables you can be a detective and figure out what's been happening here over the past few days! It's not just the season that's interesting, it's the daily pattern of changes in response to the weather over the season if you look closely enough.