||[Jan. 4th, 2018|05:37 pm]
Judy Anderson (yduJ)
We got to skate, finally; all that cold and no snow made the lake freeze very solid. Jocelyn and I skated around the lake this weekend. Then it snowed half an inch, and then the wind blew it into interesting formations called sastrugi. When there's hardly any snow, the piles of snow alternate with completely clear ice. So, in a sense, the lake's not useful for anything, because when you want to ski you have to pick your way across ice every so often, and when you want to skate, you have to pick your way across the snow every so often. I did both of these activities anyway.
One of the ways I know the ice is safe is by looking at the cracks. Every day the ice "breathes" with thermal expansion and contraction, which results in cracks. They don't indicate any actual structural problem, just when the ice is expanding the energy has to go somewhere. It makes the most amazing pinging and groaning noises! I admit, it's a little nerve-wracking when it pops right underneath you... Anyway, I often stop and check the size of the cracks to verify the ice I'm skating on is safe. And I found the most beautiful formation, which wasn't a full crack, just a flaw in otherwise clear ice. It looked like a dragon! Unfortunately, the pictures didn't come out very well. There's something missing in translation to a 2-D format.
Today, we had a blizzard. We got about a foot. Ken and I tried to use the snow-windsurfer. But it takes too much force to move and I am not able to control the sail, so there was a lot of flailing and no actual motion. Ken had a little success, but it was way too much work. I forgot to bring the camera down to take pictures of the orange sail against the whiteout conditions.
(Large version of this picture for more detail: http://www.olum.org/yduj/ice/ice-dragon-large.jpg)
Regular crack, this one I think was like 6-8 inches thick. I didn't give you anything for scale.
The lake with its sastrugi:
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