Tales of the Ice

It's been an interesting year for the ice. Throughout much of April, we were able to walk out on it and explore its variations. We enjoyed the sounds of it early in the month. The temps were still cold enough for new ice to be forming, and the booming continued for a good week or so. As the sun rose higher in the sky, the colors changed, transitioning from white to gray, and now, well on our way to black.

In the first week, it was still very safe, in spite of the full sunshine working on it. We enjoyed a trek to the other side, and saw some early signs of spring. Little trees were stretching high to greet the warmth after the long winter, and a small spider was making its way along. Thanks to the heat radiating, we could smell those first scents of spring, most welcome to our noses. It was definitely sunglasses weather, and we picked up a little color on our faces in nature's version of a tanning booth.

As the days continued, we intermittently got snow and the decaying process would slow down. We would think that all progress had been lost, but I still felt that the waters underneath must be working some magic. Soon we were seeing evidence of that, as the usual locations began to open up: the west end by the Cross River, the creek that runs down in front of the rustic cabins, the landing down in front, and our beach area. Our walks on the ice are now finished for this season, as the ice gets grayer and grayer. On the sunny days, though few and far between as of late, the ice is black, a clear indication of its eventual demise.

As we get closer to open water, I look forward to the break-up, when the wind pushes the ice sheets into shore, and they slide on top of each other. The layers sometimes retain a bluish color for a brief stretch, and we can see the honeycomb of the crystals. If a chunk breaks off that's small enough to hold, it is totally clear, not frosty like an ice cube. Occasionally, we see the power behind the wind, when ice sheets will slowly push trees and rocks in the way. It seems like a long & slow path, but then suddenly, one day, it will have vanished.