The Ice Before “Ice-Out”

April 21, 2015

Spring “Ice-out” on a Maine lake is always a dramatic event.   For months the lake has a static, monochrome surface that evokes, at least for me, the inorganic nature of winter. Then, within a matter of hours, everything changes; the final, thin, layer of ice breaks up and sinks and the lake suddenly becomes fluid and mobile, a living thing.   At ice-out, a door swings wide open on the new season; we know there is no going back.  Before this bold shift occurs, however, in the days leading up to ice-out, there are more subtle changes that are striking in their beauty.  Daily, the color of the ice darkens as more and more water seeps into the softened ice structures.  Sometimes, under pressure from wind and the flow of snow melt and rain into the lake, water channels form, looking like slow moving rivers meandering through a level plain.  I like to pay attention to these changes, even as, like everyone else, I am keenly anticipating the “big” event to come.

Two inches of rain—

Over night a delta forms

on the lake’s dark ice

I took this picture on April 21st, the day the river network appeared. On the 22nd it was still there, with the rivers growing a bit wider. On the morning of the 23rd the ice was out.
I took this picture on April 21st, the day the river network appeared. On the 22nd it was still there, with the rivers growing a bit wider. On the morning of the 23rd the ice was out.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s