A Week of Changes

Last Thursday the 15th, the temperatures were dropping and Friday, it was below zero in the morning with a high of around 8. Then, it snowed, then rained, then got cold again. Parts of the lake opened up and now it is frozen. Quite a  week.

As the lake became frozen, there were some interesting things on the ice. The ice had holes in it, initially, and these were initially used for going down to the bottom to get mussels for dinner or lunch more perhaps breakfast. Most likely an otter or mink was enjoying a feast.

The next day, they were gone as the winds picked up and this thinner ice was broken up. The few inch thick ice was no match in some parts of the lake to the wind that blew at 30 mph or so. This made more ice cubes than you could use in an entire summer. Some “cubes” were larger than others.

With the strong winds and cold temperatures, there became large parts of the lake that were then free of ice. From Point of Pines and Brummett Island west to Stamp Act was mostly free. Then there was ice to the west side of Bass but then a large ice free area up toward the Heath. Even though it was well below freezing, because of the waves, the water didn’t freeze.

Along the shore there was a band of froze ice cubes in piles, then flat chunks and then open water.  Some of the chunks were rather large, many feet in diameter.

Finally, the winds died and let the ice “catch” meaning that it could form. When the wind is blowing across the open water, it causes a current that brings water up from the bottom which is above freezing, actually about 39 degrees. This is a good thing because it allows the water to be in contact with air so it gets oxygen in it for the fish.

On the day after the snow when it rained, the shoreline was sloppy slush. The ski tracks from the day before in the 8 inches of snow were now slush tracks. This is on top of 4 or 5 inches of ice that was near the shore with open water just off shore. On Sunday evening, the temperature dropped and the wind came up which made things start to freeze.On Monday, places were still very slushy but the winds were strong and in the picture you can see plumes of snow blowing across the lake. The wind had made the ice move around and out near the second ledge there were places showing where there ice had pushed up into long rows of ice cubes.

But things froze well by the next day and all the places that didn’t break up in the wind are now solid with 3 or 4 inches of ice. If you know those places, you can be out on the ice. The problem is that 2 inches of snow have fallen since the following pictures were taken so you can’t see where the ice is thick or thin.

The solid blue is newly frozen ice and now that there is snow covering the entire lake, it is hard to know where the newly formed ice is as compared to the thicker ice. Out on the ice, there are some funny patterns. Below is an ice crack that bulged up and has a crack down the middle.

At Warren Sands, there was an “ice wall” that was about 2 feet tall guarding the beach.

The last picture is of Governor’s Rock and Mt. Shaw. It was fine skiing on the lake that day. I had my self rescue ice picks but never had to use them. It is going to be a White Christmas here and hope it is for you.

1 Comment

  1. gosbeej@msn.com

    Hi Peter,
    Nice job! Great photos. Thanks for keeping us updated on the conditions of the lake.

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