Yes, the weather in New England changes a lot. We have had warm, then cold, then warm and now bitter cold. Oh, and it is supposed to snow on Tuesday…..
The end of February had very warm weather and had it continued, the ice would be out on the lake. But it then got cold and the ice was again safe to walk on. Then there was another warm spell and walking on the lake was not a good idea and there were some places where openings occurred. Oh, but presently, on Saturday the 11th, the high temperature was 11 with strong winds and Sunday is supposed to be the same. Then, a nor’easter is supposed to come and give us snow. Winter is not giving up.
On the 6th, the weather had been cold and it was possible to be out on the lake again. A walk around Stamp Act was very pleasant but there was an “open water” problem between Stamp Act and the Sisters. It was a typical “pressure crack” and in this case, the ice buckled downward and left a 10 to 15 foot wide area with water on top of the ice. You could walk around it but it ran most of the way from Loon Island to Stamp Act.
Other places were just fine walking although the area around the sand bar on Stamp Act, a place where the ice never really seems to freeze well was open. You could walk near it as the ice, literally just a few feet from the water was quite thick.
Walking on the ice, you could see remnants of past adventures on the ice. Often, you see animal tracks, snowshoe tracks, or snow mobile tracks but the ice was still recording skate ski tracks from a few weeks ago. The skis compressed the snow so when the rains came, it behaved differently from the the un-tracked snow and the marks can still be seen.
Continuing around the island, the new eagle nest came into view and it seems that there is a brooding eagle, the first recorded doing this in the lakes region this year (although many nests may not be able to be observed because of week ice conditions). With the very cold temperatures this weekend with wind, it is hoped that the eagles didn’t start this process too early.
Lastly, there are always strange things that happen with the ice. Between Brummett Island and Point of Pines, a crack opened up and during the recent sunny days, it opened up quite a bit. The two pictures were taken two days apart. Now, with the cold, it has refrozen but no picture was taken today because the photographer didn’t want to have frozen fingers.
As always, it is an adventure to be on the lake in all seasons.