Monday, January 21, 2013

New Sights, New Sounds

Just when you think you are getting the hang of it--you find you don't know anything at all.  We always assumed that all you needed was a nice freeze to make the ice fit for travel--now we find that the wind has a major roll to play. 

We had some warm temperatures (as high as 54) a few days ago, and a few small patches of the ice gave way to water.  Then the winds moved in and the temperature plummeted to well below freezing.  Now--incredibly--we are typing this with 9 degrees outside and the lake mostly open!

The wind worked to create relentless waves against the ice edges--expanding the open water almost shore to shore.

A neat side bar:  The sound of an ice retreat is the sound of a thousand castanets at one hundred times the volume.  All of those countless ice cubes being created and jangled together before the wind.  The closest thing I'd heard before was the sound of tens of thousands of agates being bounced together as the surf hit the appropriately-named Agate Beach on the Olympic Peninsula (now in private hands, alas).

We had to haul the rowboat away from the iced in shore and relaunch at the boat ramp.  We were able to get our mainland chores done today--but it was a struggle.