I have to credit my brother for bringing “hair ice” into my vocabulary. We had hiked up to the long-abandoned garnet mine site on Humphrey Mountain and were on our way down when he pointed out some odd looking white stuff on a log near the trail.
A first guess was that this was some kind of fungus but a closer look revealed what appeared to be tiny filaments of ice clumped together forming silky, swirling patterns. Neither of us had seen or heard of anything like this and ice didn’t really make sense. It was November, but the prior week had been unusually mild and we had not seen snow or ice anywhere on the mountain. It was a cool day, with the temperature hovering right at freezing, but the only unusual thing about the weather was that it was noticeably humid.
The LGA, in consultation with our members — and our friends at the Darrin Fresh Water Institute — have determined that “Ice-In” for Lake George was Thursday morning, Feb. 11, 2021.
We expect there were a few areas without ice on Feb. 11, as occurs every year, but the conditions met the definition of “ice-in” we have always used: when someone could walk from one end of the Lake to the other solely on the ice – though it is NOT SAFE TO WALK ON YET in some areas!
Much of the Lake had already frozen by that time, but the stubborn area in Hague had open water across the Lake through Tuesday, Feb. 9. The wind stopped after the snow on Tuesday night and the rest froze.
The Lake did not fully freeze last year, so it is the first time it is fully covered in ice since 2019. (Ice-out in 2019 was April 13, Ice-in in 2019 was January 22.)
In fact, according to LGA records that date back to 1908, the Lake has stayed “open” (not fully frozen over) seven of the last 21 years.
On a picture-perfect winter morning last year, 20 Saint Michael’s College students and I visited Vermont Fish and Wildlife scientists for ice fishing at Knight’s Point on Lake Champlain. We drilled holes, baited hooks, learned about ice safety, identified fish – and even caught a few. » Continue Reading.
Now that the weather has finally warmed up, we can appreciate ice a little more. Among other things, ice greatly improves summertime drinks, and an icy watermelon is hands-down better than a warm one. And in this part of the world, ice also provides us with unique wildflower meadows.
Along stretches of riverbank in the Southern Adirondacks, rare Arctic-type flowers are blooming now in the fragile slices of native grasslands that are meticulously groomed each year by the scouring action of ice and melt-water. » Continue Reading.
In his recent essay for Adirondack Explorer’s column, “It’s Debatable,” that was later re-published in the Almanack, John Droz presented more than an opinion that wind energy is a bad idea for the Adirondack Park.
He also slipped in a mention of the “AGW hypothesis,” meaning that the scientific consensus on “anthropogenic global warming” is mere guesswork. » Continue Reading.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is reminding anglers to be cautious when ice fishing.
After 1 to 2 feet of snow fell over most of the Adirondacks Saturday and Sunday, on Thursday temperatures reached near 40 in some areas melting ice and leaving slushy ice conditions with large puddles of water on many frozen waterbodies. » Continue Reading.
Come mid-January, when I’m acclimatized to winter, I enjoy an occasional stroll on the icy surface of Lake Champlain. I favor bays sheltered from the brunt of winter winds where the ice has had ample time to thicken. I pull microspikes on over my boots and off I go.
There’s room to roam between Burlington and the breakwater that parallels the shoreline. The lake ice locks spectacular natural art in place. Bubbles trapped under December ice are entombed as January’s ice forms below. Crystalline patterns resembling minute stars form during the various freezing and thawing cycles that occur as lake ice interacts with fallen snow. » Continue Reading.
In folklore and literature, Jack Frost is often portrayed as a mischievous guy, sort of Old Man Winter’s younger self. He’s a personification of everything cold. In our region he’s a busy guy, at least for half of the year.
And an artistic one.
He gets credit for painting the trees orange and yellow and red in the fall. And we’re all familiar with ground frost, that harbinger of winter that looks like a dusting of snow. This phenomenon occurs when the temperature of objects near the ground falls below freezing. Water in the air freezes onto objects, sometimes as what looks like frozen dewdrops, sometimes as branched crystals. » Continue Reading.
Skating out into Bolton Bay, Ted Caldwell stops to lift a custom-made, kite-shaped canvas sail rigged to ash spars jointed where the mast and boom cross. He hoists it above his head, then brings it down so that the boom rests on his shoulder. Tilting the sail into the wind, he moves off with a steady glide. Within minutes, Caldwell himself is barely visible, a swiftly moving swatch of white canvas against Dome Island.
This is what we observed a few years ago, when a long, hard freeze and little snow produced 2 ½ weeks of black ice, the ideal conditions for skating, ice boating and skate sailing. » Continue Reading.
Construction of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Ice Palace began Friday, January 27th. Construction involves harvesting ice from Lake Flower, transporting it to the shore and assembling it according to a blueprint. Construction on the palace will continue until the start of the carnival on February 3. The 2017 Winter Carnival will take place February 3rd to the 12th.
The Ice Palace is built by volunteers, organized by a group informally known as the Ice Palace Workers 101 (IPW 101). The public is welcome to volunteer and roles are assigned based on comfort level, skill and ability. » Continue Reading.
A Franklin County angler died after his utility-task-vehicle broke through the ice on Union Falls Pond, according to state police.
Gregory N. Manchester, 59, of Franklin drove his vehicle onto the ice on Sunday to go fishing. He was reported missing the following morning.
A state police helicopter flew over the area and spotted his UTV partially submerged. State forest rangers followed footprints to a seasonal cabin and found Manchester lying on the floor, suffering from severe hypothermia. He was unresponsive.
More than thirty years ago, Don Mellor was in a plane flying over the High Peaks region, taking photos for his rock-climbing guidebook, when he spotted a large streambed in Chapel Pond Canyon. He returned the next winter with Steve Wisenand, one of his students at Northwood School in Lake Placid.
The streambed was now a huge mass of ice, about eighty-five feet high. With Mellor leading, they climbed the frozen flow with ice axes and strap-on crampons, then the only kind available.
They named the route Positive Reinforcement, an allusion to the behavioral theory of the psychologist B.F. Skinner, whose utopian novel Mellor had assigned to his English students. The name also is a tip of the helmet to Positive Thinking, a classic ice route on Poke-o-Moonshine Mountain.
Positive Reinforcement was the first ice-climbing route in Chapel Pond Canyon. Since that winter day in 1982, climbers have established nearly twenty additional routes in the canyon, yet Positive Reinforcement remains one of the best and most popular. Though it’s considered only moderate in difficulty, many variations are possible, some harder than others. » Continue Reading.
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