Sunday, November 12, 2017

First Ice!

Sudden bitter cold! The temperature plunged down into the teens last night and barely rose out of the 30s today (Saturday). And overnight, portions of the back bay of Moreau Lake became covered with a thin sheet of ice.

On other north-facing shores where the sun rarely shines, bands of crystalline ice had formed where still-open water met the sand.

But on sunnier shores, the sun still cast its warming beams, and open water lay still beneath a cloud-less sky.  The cold air felt pure and astringent as I walked along, while the sand felt soft and warm beneath my feet.

Black Huckleberry shrubs line the shore at the north end of the lake, and their still-brilliant leaves seemed to emanate warmth from their very color.

Clumps of Little Bluestem Grass shoot up from the sand along this shore. The fibers of the grass's inflorescence seemed to catch and hold the sunlight's gold.

I was surprised how quiet the lake was today, with very few people walking the shore. Even though it was cold, there was little wind, and a brilliant sun under a cobalt sky made for very pleasant conditions.

Where Hop Hornbeam trees hang over the sand, their branches were ornamented with cone-like seed pods.

A flock of Bufflehead ducks was visiting the far end of the lake, with most of the flock dipping and diving beneath the waters of the back bay. But a single Bufflehead drake came over to the main body of the lake to swim around with a group of Mallards.  See how small this little duck is, compared with the larger Mallards.  He is so distinctive, with his dark back and solid white undersides and that fan of white displayed on the side of his crest, that I could ID him even from this blurry photograph.

A small flock of Canada Geese was feeding along a grassy shore, but they swam away as I approached,  leaving a pattern of Vs on the sky-blue water.


Woody Meristem said...

Winter weather arrived quickly down here also, temperatures in the teens and a succession of snow squalls.

Daniel Wall said...

There are usually a lot of Bufflehead drakes out on Loughberry Lake in Saratoga, right close to route 50 in early spring and now. Nice photos!

Wayne said...

Your ability to notice and capture the beauty of nature in every season, in all kinds of weather is Amazing. You focus on frost on a tiny leaf one second, and take in the broad pattern of wakes from a flock of geese the next. Reading your blog and enjoying your beautiful photographs is inspiring.