Nice ice on the Pigeon River

I went down for a walk in the woods today.

Path to woods with snow
Path to woods with snow

The Pigeon River is starting to freeze over, so I got some pictures of the ice formations and some animal tracks.

Pigeon River starts to freeze
Pigeon River starts to freeze

A closer look at the rock in the foreground:

Ice on Rocks
Ice on Rocks

In a less turbulent stretch, it is already frozen bank-to-bank. It has never frozen solid at least while I have lived here, it runs underneath all year.

Pigeon River more frozen
Pigeon River more frozen

Safety tip: It is dangerous to walk on because even when most of it will bear my weight, so I always walk softly and carry a big stick, both for stability and to test the ice by banging the stick on it. So far I haven’t had any accidents, in 20+ years.

Me with stick
Me with stick

As the sheet of ice works its way out, it makes interesting shapes.

Edge of the ice
Edge of the ice

The next picture is of clear ice with lots of specks of white ice crystals. I don’t know how this happens. They are a about 5 cm (2″) across.

Ice lace
Ice lace

This rock has a green beard.  I’ll have to search more to find out what kind of plant this is; I think it’s a form of horsetail (Equisetum) from looking closer at the stem, but it didn’t show up on my first attempt at IDing it.

Horsetail on rock
Horsetail on rock

There were plenty of animal tracks about, but no sign of the local bobcat or bear today. Some dog tracks but only one animal so probably not coyote, though there are many more coyotes than dogs around because people don’t let their dogs stray. Too much risk they’ll bother farm animals and get shot. Tracks too small for a wolf. Not many of those around.

Deer tracks
Deer tracks
Squirrel tracks
Squirrel tracks

Final word: please don’t leave garbage. I don’t place a lot of emphasis on private property, feel free to wander around except just by the house, but why can’t people take their garbage home. Even when the ground is covered with snow, there’s still stuff stuck in trees.

Garbage
Garbage

Too cold for most pictures – wimpy photographer

A few pictures of our frozen landscape.

This is the first time since we moved here, 20 years ago, that the water has “disappeared” from the little creek under the driveway. I could still hear some running water so it is not solid, but there is no water to be seen. This is where it runs out of the culvert on the driveway, on its way down to join the Pigeon River. I haven’t been down to the river as it is very icy so I don’t want to risk falling in, which could be fatal.

Frozen creek
Frozen creek

This is the roof of one of our bird feeders. There are layers from the various snow storms and ice storms. The gap is because of a wind storm that blew out the middle layer of softer snow, leaving an ice “bridge” across the top.

Icy roof on feeder
Icy roof on feeder

The black/gray squirrels only come out when it is above freezing but this red squirrel has a network of tunnels under the snow and even stuck its head up when it was -33ºC.

Subterranean squirrel
Subterranean squirrel

Medium Ice Storm yesterday

We had an ice storm yesterday. Even though it was somewhat destructive, it did have its beauty; here are some pictures of ice-coated plants and a few birds having a difficult time perching.

We had an ice storm yesterday.  We were luckier than many of our neighbours as our power was only out for three hours. Others had to wait about 24 hours, including Pontypool stores.  We drove up highway 35 for a little way, to go from Pontypool to Nestleton to find an open store.  We saw lots of trees on power lines, snapped power poles and lots of trucks with cherry-pickers repairing the lines.  Even though it was somewhat destructive, it did have its beauty; here are some pictures of ice-coated plants and a few birds having a difficult time perching.  Several skidded right off our deck, trying to land close to seeds we put out.

Cardinal on iced thorn bush
Cardinal on iced thorn bush
Mourning dove on iced vine
Mourning dove on iced vine

A couple of trees:

 

Iced corkscrew hazel
Iced corkscrew hazel
Ice covered birch
Ice covered birch

 

Here are a couple of shots of a Northern Flicker.  They are a variety of woodpecker that does not usually feed on trees.  It is looking for some grubs in the (frozen) lawn in these shots.

Thrasher on iced lawn
Thrasher on iced lawn
Thrasher on iced lawn
Thrasher on iced lawn

Here is a short video clip of the thrasher, which demonstrates how it got its name.

Flicker

(Click link to view Flash video)