The Pigeon River is starting to freeze over, so I got some pictures of the ice formations and some animal tracks.
A closer look at the rock in the foreground:
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.
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.
As the sheet of ice works its way out, it makes interesting shapes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I went for a walk down to the river on the weekend, as it warmed up.
This is not quite the same spot as my header picture, but not far off. Notice the difference?
Here’s where I cross the river. My “bridge” was too slippery but the deer tracks across suggested I could cross on the ice. (The round ones are the deer, the warm spell took the edge off.) You can just see the roof of our house just below the 20m black cherry in the background.
or, if you couldn’t, here is a closer shot.
When crossing the river, I used a stout cedar pole in each hand to bang on the ice to make sure it was strong enough to hold my weight, because as you can see the river still flows underneath as it does all winter even in -30ºC weather.
Coming back up, here is the garden. For some reason, my brother-in-law stapled a flag to my shovel. As if I need a reminder what country I am in with all the snow and the -20ºC it has returned to.
You can see why I’m too lazy to shovel the driveway. Oops, rain on the lens.
For walking on rivers and the like, serious boots are a good idea. I have the same soles on my running shoes and sandals, so I don’t wear the boots very often any more, but these protect against twisted ankles if you slip. Lots of dubbin have made them supple and waterproof. They have hiked the west coast trail and lots of Rocky Mountain trails, amongst others, and I enjoyed the ride as they carried me about.
Since we only have shallow snow yet, the rain was enough to collapse the tracks of these voles. Usually, by spring thaw, the entire garden has a network of these tunnels but this weekend there were just a starter few.
I’m hoping these are towards the end of my winter pictures and I’ve changed the header to spring.
Minus 15ºC again this morning, we are sick of winter so I’m abolishing it if only in my header picture which is now one of the Pigeon River, in spring, where it cuts across our bush.
Unfortunately, it is still winter. The day before St. Patrick’s Day, too. This is by far the longest, coldest winter we have had in about 20 years here. Thank goodness we had propane heating installed, I would never have kept up with bringing wood in.
Just to show what we are soon to be missing, here are my last winter pictures (unless something really interesting shows up, like the ‘possum).
Yes, the icicles really are sloping to the left. The wind was so high, from the north, that the icicles actually point a few degrees south.
OK, this was actually taken towards the east where there aren’t so many cedars but an homage to the book and a lot of our property is covered with Eastern Red Cedars (not botanically cedars, actually junipers but that’s what everyone calls them). I’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to spot the pine, rowan, birch, maple, spruce, beech and probably some others.