Thursday 14 January 2010

Heads up - it's rolling in

We watch the sky a lot, when we're not checking weather reports.
 Sometimes the best predictor is looking out the front door over the horizon!

Note the melting lake water. The temperatures have been less that that to keep the lake frozen. Water is most dense at 4°C and becomes less dense at both higher and lower temperatures. It is an anomaly in the world of compounds.

Ice floats and water, at temperatures just above freezing, sinks. Water is nearly isothermal with depth. Down in the depths of a lake the temperature is constant. Without any wind, this would be even more true. But both water density and wind mix and modify the lake. This is why sky watching involves watching the lake, too!

Due to the density-temperature relationships lake water temperatures tend to stratify and separate into distinct layers. You can see the meltwater on the top of the lake. Underneath a demon lurks in the constant temperatures deep below the surface. With the wind, it mixes the layers, whether there is ice or not.

You can see the weather moving in! It brings winds and the moisture whipped up from Georgian Bay to be dropped on those near the Great Lakes basin. This water cycle fascinates me. 

Evaporation, condensation, precipitation, respiration.
The interaction of photosynthesis and respiration by plants, animals, and microorganisms characterize the food web. We are all connected.
These organisms are all part of a food chain or web . A food chain is a linear connection between one organism and another relying on one another to survive. A food web is an interconnected web that illustrates the many connections between organisms.

I am fascinated with watching both the sky and the lake. And then a gorgeous sunset. What a blessing.

The wind on the ice surface causes the ice to flex and bow. It is most magical, especially when the shoreline is melted and the center of the lake is still frozen. The water rushes up and down like the tides at the shoreline. It is like the mother's hand that rocks the cradle, gently soothing the soul.

This is the water at the Bala falls on a slow day in winter! Check out my YouTube video for the sound! It is a powerful force, adding to the sensory experience of Muskoka.

Other effects on the lake, include water levels. In many lakes, especially in Muskoka with a complex web of streams, brooks, rivulets, creeks, ox-bow rivers all leading to a larger river or Georgian Bay.
Our lake has frozen, but it is not unmoving. The lake level changes regularly.

The Moon River, a massive transportation system for people and logging in the early development of Muskoka, was used by tribes 7,000 years ago.


Karine said...

Great Skywatch shots and lake info! I had never heard the mechanics of lake ice before, or if I did I was totally zoned out during that portion of grade 8 science class lol

Thanks for stopping by my blog,


SandyCarlson said...

We have soft spots, too. That means no hockey for a week or so. The thaw will pass. (Not very optimistic sounding, eh?)

Beautiful shots.

SandyCarlson said...

I sure do love the deer shots!

Rinkly Rimes said...

I never knew there really WAS a Moon River! Fascinating stuff.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Beautiful Jenn. I really enjoy the way you teach us about your Muskoka in such a painless way. And always feel as if I would recognize it if ever came there.

Anonymous said...

Stunning pics of your winter world and some amazing facts about the lake. I'll have to read that again. Fascinating.

Jenn Jilks said...

Thank you, all, for visiting. What I find out about our land, sea and air, totally applies to places north and west. My travels to ake Superior Park showed me how similar the geography, topography and hydrology of a place applies to nearby regions and US neighbours.

Joe Todd said...

Jenn all I can say is "I love your part of the world" and have been fortunate to spend many many weeks/months in your area. Took a sauna once in the middle of the winter at a cabin on Lake Penage. Went out and jumped in the snow to "cool off" problem was there was a crust of ice on the snow LOL

Anonymous said...

fascinating stuff...and your captures are beutiful. have a lovely weekend jenn

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

What a great post. You are so tuned in to your surroundings. Its very inspiring.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Jenn: You have gotten some neat skies, we are warmer but still have a lot of grey above. I love the photos over the lake ice and the beautiful colors. That was neat info on the ice.

Judy said...

jenn, i am learning all sorts of things, reading your blog!! it had never occurred to me that the water moved under the ice!!!
okay, so i also never thought about it...

Jenn Jilks said...

Thanks, Yogi, fishing guy! I have some curiosity about me!

I was curious, Judy, as I can see the water rushing up and down. In spring, especially. I like to watch the elements.

Unknown said...

Wonderful sky watch shots!