Sunday, December 18, 2011

December 18, 2011

It's starting to look a little like winter around lake Wicwas.  A light dusting of snow fell early Saturday, just frosting what little ice there is around the edges of the lake.   By noon the sun was out, shining on the fresh snow and blue water.

The dropping lake level also left some interesting ice crystals that grew from various branches touching the water.
Saturday night was quite cold, down to about 13 degrees, which encouraged the ice to grow farther out from shore, at least in the coves.  During the day the edge continued to creep outwards, and we watched the pattern form:  smooth ice when it was calm, interrupted by rings of roughness when the wind blew water up onto the ice and froze.

The main body of the lake remains ice-free, but with another cold night, it should start to freeze over.  If it stays cold this week as forecast, the whole lake will likely freeze in the next couple of days - and maybe this time it will last.  It will be the latest ice-in since 2006;  that's the year that winter came so late that loons in Lake Winnepsaukee had molted their flight feathers by the time the ice came, and they had to be rescued.  We haven't seen our young loon for a couple of weeks now, so we're guessing it has flown off to the ocean for the winter.

We also noticed that the beavers were busy on their lodge again this week.  They have pulled mud up from the bottom of the lake and packed it in all around the new framework they built in the prior few weeks.  They then threw a few more branches up on top for good measure.  Here are pictures comparing last week with this week.
December 9, 2011
December 18, 2011

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