Wednesday, January 5, 2022

One (Just ONE!) Cold Day

OK, we had one really cold day this week. Temps down into the single digits.  That was yesterday (Tuesday), and since that one cold day had been preceded by a week of warmish rainy days, my friend Sue and I got all excited about the prospect of clear ice on Moreau Lake and hurried there in the morning.  Well darn it!  The lake froze, yes, but a dusting of snow fell on it, too. Guess we won't see any stacks of ice bubbles in crystal-clear ice this year.  (If you're curious why we two get so excited about lake ice, check out my blogpost from one of the most spectacular years of it.)

We did get to see some hoarfrost though, atop the ridge along the western shore of the lake.   Had it been just enough colder higher up on the ridge, or had a cloud of mist settled there to coat every twig and leaf with frost? I was amazed by how sharp was the line of demarcation between the hoary trees and the lower ones just dusted with snow.

A flock of Canada Geese still occupied the lake, but they were strangely quiet. Were they stunned to find their stretch of water suddenly closed over?

Since the lake held little of wintry interest today, we headed over to what Sue has named Zen Brook, a lovely little stream that tumbles down the steep slope of the western ridge. This stream's water seldom reaches the lake before it sinks into underground channels, but today -- thanks to the previous week of occasional rain -- the water was dancing and tumbling amid the rocky banks all the way to the lake shore.

We weren't going to find any lovely lake ice today,  but the stream would offer plenty to delight us. Thin plates of crinkly ice lined the banks where the stream flowed through level ground.

But as we climbed higher, the ice took on thicker and glassier shapes, formed as the rushing water tossed up droplets into the sub-freezing air.

The exertion of climbing up the steep rocky streambed kept us warm for a while, and we kept hoping the promised clear skies would deliver some warming sunshine.  But the skies never cleared enough to warm our cold-stiffened cheeks, so we soon headed home. Just as we left the lake shore, a stray sun beam broke through the clouds to light up this distant peak. This peak forms the "brow" of what we think of a "the lady of the lake."  Go back to the first photo of this post and note how her reclining body, hip and bosom swelling, rests along the western shore of the lake.

Temps climbed back up close to 40 today (Wednesday).  So much for winter.  But we sure had a spectacular sunset tonight.  I can't see much of the western sky from my downtown Saratoga kitchen window, but what I could see was truly astounding!


threecollie said...

Love these photos! You are intrepid to venture out among all that ice. We were out in that sunset too and took a few photos. It was a lovely night.

The Furry Gnome said...

Ice can be so fascinating! Those stacked bubbles from your 2015 post are amazing!

Trix said...

Thanks for the ice photos. Love them and the 2015 ones too.