The Heath In Winter, Tracks and Action by the Ice

It is most definitely winter now. While the temperature rises and falls and only a few below zero mornings have greeted us, winter is still the dominant force. Most of the swampy areas are now frozen so the Heath is skiable as long as you watch out for open areas but you won’t drown if you fall in, you will just get cold and wet and miserable. Coyotes seem to be active and there has been at least one deer killed on the ice, they go out and fall down and can’t get up. This is not good if there are coyotes around. Not much is left of the deer after a few days as coyotes, foxes, eagles and others who want a good meal are ready to feast. Not good for the deer but good for others…..

The new trail to the Heath has had snowshoers and skiers on it and looking north from the viewpoint you can see to where the Heath Brook turns right into the lake.

Along the shores, the coyotes have been active. Here are some tracks coming down over a stone wall and onto the lake.

Nearby was an area where it looked like they were just dancing around. A spot in the middle looks like a place where one lay down for a bit, perhaps in play.

And this is an place that has been “marked” to claim the territory.

Humans have been out on the lake, too. Before the last couple of inches of snow, the tracks of snowmobiles were easily seen frozen into the ice. It was warm and the snowmobiles were going in circles, most likely splashing water as them went and then it froze.

The ice is also active in that when it cools it contracts, like any normal solid, and when it warms, it expands. This pushes up on the beaches and here is a place where piles of sand have been pushed. This action is important in making and keeping beaches. If there are no rocks along the shore, the ice pushes on the sand and makes ridges.

Below is one of these ridges with a little more detail. The ridge is about 8 inches tall.

As always, there is something new to see at the lake, especially in the winter months.

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