Thursday, December 21, 2017

New Ice on the Lake

OK.  Shopping is done, gifts are wrapped, cookies are baked, garlands are hung.  Finally, I could take a breather from holiday preparations and head up to Moreau Lake State Park for a walk around the lake.  Oh, how sweet was that cold clear air, how wide that bright blue sky!  And how eerie the sounds emitted by that expanse of frozen lake, iced over at last from shore to shore.  As I descended the forested bank to the lake, it sounded like a Star Wars battle was going on out there: Pew!  Pew!  Pew!  No ray guns around, however.  Just the sounds that lake ice will make as it responds to changing temperatures.  It may have been well below freezing today,  but yesterday was much warmer.  Pew! Pew! Pew!

The park had posted "Thin Ice" signs warning walkers from venturing out on the lake, but I could see that the ice close to shore was thick enough to bear my weight. So I set off around the lake on the ice, keeping to where the water was no more than ankle deep, should I happen to hit a weak spot.

Because snow had fallen on the ice as it froze, I found very few patches of crystal-clear black ice.  But I did find a few that were clear enough to capture these tiny bubbles, looking as fizzy as those in a glass of champagne.

We had had a series of above-freezing days, causing the ice sheet to open in cracks, where water oozed up and then refroze, creating these long feathery lines that meandered across the now solidly frozen expanse.

I was lucky I could find two workable ice-grippers for my boots in the trunk of my car.  Who cares if they didn't match?  That ice was slick!

Some of the ice close to shore was clear enough to reveal the multicolored pebbles lying beneath, now rendered like an Impressionist painting by the textured ice above them.

Where the ice was covered with remnants of snow, I found these patterns of sharp black slashes.  They reminded me of drawings by some Abstract Expressionist.

Here were more fascinating patterns, formed by white crinkly ice overlying clear black ice.

Where a tiny creek entered the lake, I found some beautiful frozen bubbles suspended above the creek bottom, left behind when the temporarily splashing water dried up again.

The sun went down awfully early, on this, the shortest day of the year.  Time to head home.

There was still enough light from that sun, however, to turn the clouds to spun gold. So lovely! 


The Furry Gnome said...

Such endlessly interesting patterns when ice freezes!

Uta said...

Beautiful pictures, so enjoyable. Wishing you and yours Happy Holidays and a great 2018.

Ann said...

what treasures you have seen well and shared well, gifts of the season. Thank you. And greetings from eastern Kentucky.

Anonymous said...

Were you standing on the ice all ready?

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas to you. Enjoy your blog postings.
Good day to stay inside

Momo said...

Just catching up with your last several blog entries as a gift for the season. Thank you!!! I especially lingered and returned to the images of the pre-Christmas ice forming at Moreau seen through your most creative photos and narrative. Happy New Year and many blessings to you, Jackie!!