Earliest Ice-Out Ever!

March 19, 2016

Yesterday temperatures reached into the fifties and a brisk wind was up. The ice on the lake never got really thick this winter and the recent succession of days with above-freezing temperatures had left it dark and soft. It was ready to go. The ice was there in the morning when I left, but when I drove home around 3:00 pm it was gone. This morning the local paper declared yesterday, March 18, to be the earliest ice-out date ever for the lake. The latest was May 14 in 1874.

It is concerning to note how March ice-outs, unknown to previous generations, have become fairly common for this lake in recent years. But yesterday, even as I worried over the implications of it happening so early, I couldn’t help but draw energy from the burst of life an ice-out brings.  

Ice-out! Suddenly
eagles, osprey, mergansers
gather, dive, and eat.

Mergansers

           I wasn’t fast enough to capture the eagle or the osprey, but you can see the shiny white flanks of the male mergansers in the middle distance.

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