Falling into the open water it provided ready-made ice which froze up over a good portion of the lake.
Then a strong wind a few days later blew much of it away, opening up the majority of the lake again. Even with temperatures down into the teens, the wind kept the lake wide open as recently as Saturday.
|No ice on the main body of Lake Wicwas on December 10|
|Rocks and branches coated in ice|
|Less than 24 hours later Mother Nature had put the lake to bed for the year|
Every year the lake freezes up in a new manner. This year the early ice in protected coves, followed by some moderate temperatures and sunny days created perfect circles in the ice with spider-cracks where water must have trickled off the surface, finding its way back into the lake.
|Soon after sunrise|
|Later the same afternoon|
Returning home from a Christmas shopping trip one afternoon I ambushed a rafter of turkeys that had discovered Linda's bird feeders. They left quickly but calmly, and I was able to catch a quick picture of the last two as they strutted off into the woods.
They had been around long enough to thoroughly trample the areas around the feeders, leaving plenty of evidence - they are not a stealth bird, that's for sure.
|Turkey prints are quite distinctive|
Fresh, early snow is always great for seeing what animals have been out around the lake all year, often without any prior trace. In addition to the turkey and the usual squirrels, this past week fox, coyote, rabbit (or hare), mice, deer, and otter all left their mark around the lake. Here a rabbit and a mouse followed the same trail.
At this point an otter slid along on its belly right across the trail and down into the lake.
|A River Otter belly-slide|
All these tracks will soon be covered up, as more snow is forecast to arrive tonight. It means there may be no skating on Lake Wicwas this year, but I'm starting to think: snow shoes, cross country skis, and pretty sunrises.
|A cold sunrise over Wicwas|