Not much going on, snow melted, ice still stayed, going out on the ice was possible but not unless you took precautions. Now it is all snow covered. It has been a strange winter. If you know where the ice didn’t go out in early January, you are probably safe out on that part of the lake. If you didn’t, the snow now covers all the ice so you can’t tell! Not fair to not be able to wander on the lake in February. There are reports of people going to the islands but the reports indicate that it was not easy finding ice thick enough to proceed. Now, the ice is covered with snow so it won’t be any easier finding your way. If you go, take self rescue devices and realize you might be swimming.
But there are things that are happening. It seems like the eagles are back and thinking of nesting. They do it in late February or early March so our eagles seem to be on track to nest again. A rather repetitive picture of an eagle on the nest tree is below, but this is in January, 2016 so it is a new season for the eagles.
Bu there are other things that might be of interest. About 10 days ago there seemed to be a lot of action east of Point of Pines. An eagle kept coming from there and headed to Stamp Act. Then, I saw something that might have been of interest, ribs. Yes, it was the rib cage of a deer. Probably it was driven onto the ice by coyotes and then fell because the hooves didn’t stick into the ice. Once on the ice, it was easy prey. This is life in nature, not what you might like but the way it is. If coyotes are to survive, they must find meat. And others, like eagles, benefit. Crows and ravens benefit, too.
But it seems that there are other predators eating Lake Wentworth residents. Walking around the shore there have been many mussel shells open and in piles. In the Summer, I have heard people talk of how they don’t see as many mussels but it may be that they disappear in the Winter. Along the edge of the lake, there are piles of mussel shells. Some piles are bigger than the one shown in the photograph. Otters seem to be be ones who are eating them but the piles are sometimes pretty large. They must have quite a feast.
But yesterday, it was warm and had rained. The lake had patches of water on top of the ice and many of the inlets had large sections of water at their mouths that were ice free. The patterns on the water were interesting and quite pretty.
But there are always things that catch your attention. I walked out on the ice to see the eagles (walking on ice that hadn’t melted and refroze) and there were wonderful patterns of air bubbles in the ice. Below are some of them.
The same trip to Stamp Act, the ice and open water on the Sand Bar off Stamp Act showed how the lake can do strange things. The open water that extends toward Cate Island is a frequent situation there. In the foreground, there is ice that has been folded upward and this, too, is common at this pressure ridge area.\
This is an area where you always want to be careful. Other areas around the lake have similar issues and this year, there are large areas with much thinner ice because in early January it was open water and there hasn’t been a whole lot of cold weather since then. We now have 5 or 6 inches of snow, it looks like winter and XC skiing is again possible.