Monday 16 February 2009

cracking ice

We sat by the water...OK, frozen lake, today. The birds were chirping, the breeze was kind. Snow continues to melt from the land into the shoreline. There are spots where ice no longer meets the shore. The cats had a nice trip to the end of the dock. They like following us on our daily walks down to the lake. It helps them sleep at night!

They love rolling around on the cement step at the end of the dock and sunbathing. The sun warms it and they can survey the frozen lake. They are concerned by the snowmobiles screaming by, but stay close to us.

There is a lot of traffic on our small lake. There are people who travel across bringing back...something...wood? Who knows. People walk across, taking dogs on walkies. What with our recent thaw it is really sheer ice, and it is easy to walk now that the deep snow cover melted leaving skating rinks. I did snowshoe across a few short weeks ago. Now it is a bit rough and slippery.

Some cottage owners have bubblers that run all winter. They prevent the ice from shifting the docks. I presume the expense is less than a new dock, but it seems a colossal waste of energy to me. The law requires they post signage to prevent snowmobiles from ending up in the drink!

I am keenly interested in the ice and freeze and thaw patterns. The ice moves all winter. You can hear it talk.
After our big thaw and refreeze, we went from above freezing temperatures to below, I walked out onto the deck one night and could hear the ice rumbling and cracking. A deep, low bass boom.

On our afternoon walk in the sun, I could see the cracks. There are a couple of reasons for this. The water level is going down, and the ice that floats on top of the water has to crack as it lowers. Underneath this crevass, it is a couple of feet long, is a rock that we swim to in summer. You can see the heron flying over it here. The water is about 8' deep, and the boulder pokes out of the lake, dumped there during glacial action. What is cool is that this is where the ice has cracked as the lake level lowers.

In the meantime, traffic continues on the lake. All day you can hear the rumbles as the ice shifts. One afternoon, a truck came out on the lake. They unloaded a canoe and a few people built a fire on the ice and dug a fishing hole. Two men fished for a bit, while the truck drove up and down the lake, with apparent glee.

The ice wasn't too happy, though. In front of our property the ice cracked, rumbled, groaned and shifted with the waves that rolled under the ice. The lake is a constant 4 degrees above zero all winter, and the ice might be a couple of feet thick floating on top, but the lake let us know that it wasn't happy with this traffic!

They built a fire in some container, fished for a period of time. Sometime, after dark, they put it out and went away. At least I think they did. There doesn't seem to be a hole in the ice!


Crafty Green Poet said...

thanks for visiting my blog! This is a really interesting post, all the ice movements... I really like the photo of the cats by the frozen lake...

Jenn Jilks said...

Thanks, crafty! I know there is a poem in the moving ice - just haven't cracked it yet! :-)