Things have dramatically changed at the Lake. We have gone from some ice on the lake to no ice on the lake to now to frozen. In the course of a week, this is a pretty amazing change. Now, there is probably an inch or more of ice on the lake and with few unfrozen places, the wind probably won’t be able to break it up. Also, it is supposed to be below freezing for the next week so the ice will get thicker. While it is still very questionable to be out on the ice, it may soon be great ice skating. Large parts of the lake seem to be smooth ice.
On December 2nd, there was some ice around, mostly slush. Places had little bits of snow but it was still not at all snowy or frozen.
There had been an northeast wind and the slush on the lake had been pushed near the shores into some pretty weird patterns. The slush was an inch or so thick and when it pushed up onto shore, it folded into “ropy” patterns.
These patterns were frozen in place but were also quite fragile and they didn’t last for long.
On December 3rd, the wind picked up and got rid of any remaining ice and the warmer temperatures got rid of the snow on the beach.
The temperatures fell by the 6th and the ice started to freeze near shore. The frozen waves near shore made a white line along the beach.
Before the lake froze, winds and waves created icicles on the rocks and tree branches (as seen in the featured image) but now that isn’t happening because the lake is frozen. No waves and spray, just a frozen lake.
Along the shore, there are interesting patterns of the freezing process. No idea of why these form the way that they do but they are quite amazing. At the bottom of the picture is the sand beach, then there are the ice patterns in triangles and at the top of the image is the rough ice with some snow that had blown down the lake.
As the ice freezes, there are often cracks which form. When it is thin, the cracks often are large. Remember that ice is a solid and after it freezes it will contract and expand like a solid. This zig-zag crack probably resulted from when the lake froze and then it got colder. The surface ice contracted and caused cracks to form and because the ice was relatively thin, it didn’t crack in multiple places but caused a large crack to form in one place. This crack was a foot or so wide and went for a couple of hundred yards.
Near shore, the ice and water layers are still battling. The rocks are covered with ice and ice formed by splashing, the next little section is actually open water, then there is a line of a filled crack and then rather smooth ice that continues across the lake. Seeing these changes is a privilege for those who are here at this time of year and who have access to the lake. While it is warmer in Florida, those who go there miss out on some special events.