Monday, January 29, 2018

See-saw Temps Bring Impressive Ice

Freeze-thaw, freeze-thaw, freeze-thaw!  That's what the weather has been of late.  On Thursday, my friends and I nearly froze when we faced frigid winds and icy footing along the Spring Run Trail (see my previous post).  Then yesterday, I had to take off my coat before it got drenched with sweat as I walked along Spier Falls Road, which follows the Hudson River at the northern boundary of Saratoga County.

I had come to walk along Spier Falls Road, first, because it offers beautiful vistas along the mountainous river banks, and second, because walking on crusted snow in the woods was awkward, even painful.  And I also thought I might see some spectacular splashing water in the rushing cataract that tumbles down the mountain across from the Spier Falls Dam.

Well, despite several days above freezing, the waterfall was still hidden under a thick ice cover.

I could hear the water's music as it splashed and rumbled from boulder to boulder, but I could not see it under this wedding-cake-frosting of ice.

There was lots of impressive ice to be seen along the road, where the mountains rise steeply right at  the road's edge, and constantly dripping springs have created fantastic ice formations among the boulders.

But the most impressive ice of all was to be seen on the spring-watered cliffs that line the road, in areas where the mountain's bedrock was blasted out to create material to build the Spier Falls Dam, which lies directly across the road from these cliffs.

I could see by their trails to approach these cliffs that ice-climbers had been testing their skills on these ice formations.  Their well-packed trails made it easy for me to make my way to the bottom of the cliff, where I could really sense the dramatic effect of this massive ice buildup.

Back on the road, I was sad to find this porcupine lying dead by the roadside.  Poor Porky!  He thinks his quills will ward off attackers, so he moves along slowly as if he had no enemies.  Porcupines haven't yet evolved to be afraid of hurtling cars.

The clear blue sky made a lovely foil for the rising moon, on its way to becoming the Super Moon (a moon that is full at perigee)  that will brighten the sky Wednesday night -- although that brightness will be dimmed for a while during a lunar eclipse.  It will also be a "blue moon," a second full moon in a single month.  Let's hope for a sky as clear as this to make for great moon-watching!


The Furry Gnome said...

That is one beautiful pile of ice!

Woody Meristem said...

Ice is truly beautiful.