January 9, 2011


We're being invaded...by pancake ice!

This morning the water was mostly clear of frozen debris...there were maybe a few slushy spots, but nothing more to speak of.

When I got to school this afternoon for a quintet meeting, I could see sharp bands of white backed by dark gray edging the horizon...

Then, when I finished my work at the library a couple hours later, those bands had moved substantially inland...the white indicating the front of a steadily-advancing, amoebic, plane of segmented ice pancakes. What a sight! I stood on top of a boulder for a good half hour watching this strange life-like mass of freeze moving almost imperceptibly closer...and closer. It was almost scary.

The birds kind of seemed to like it. Little flocks of them were clustered in a little lee of ice that seemed to be advancing slower than the rest of the mass.

And check out this happy couple...

These guys must have some serious insulation!
Permanent waterproof down coats--not bad I guess.

I really have no idea where all this came from...or why the edge of the front is white while its body is dark gray...hmmm. Always more questions! Maybe the lake starts freezing further north and then when there's no more space to fill, it sort of drifts on down to the south. Before I left for Ithaca at the beginning of December, I bemoaned the thought that I'd have to miss watching Lake Michigan freeze. I really wanted to know how the process of solidifying such a large body of water began and progressed. Well...looks like my hypothesized pancake-ice idea panned out (rather than the edges out process that occurs in smaller ponds).

I can't wait for sunrise tomorrow!

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