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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Here's a quick update on the ice situation here at Joe's Pond.  The
first two ponds have a stretch of open water all the way where the current is, from the narrows to the dam.  The top picture is the first pond and you can see the water at the far side towards Route 15.  The second picture is the middle pond and there is a strip of open water sort of in the middle of that, with a lot of open water right after the narrows coming from the big pond.  The ice is moving with the flow of water towards the dam.

 The third pond has more water showing along the shoreline now, and the water level is quite high, which means the ice will be melting from underneath and should begin to move about soon, hastening the process, but for now the big pond looks pretty solid.  The air temperature has been in the 30s all day, with intermittent snow flurries advancing on us from the Walden hills. 

The block and flag are tipped at a crazy angle, which could be a result of the strong winds we've had lately combined with erratic melting, or it could be that the sun warmed the blocks on the south side and that caused the ice to melt faster letting the block tip - it's just a wild guess. We got a closeup picture today and will try to keep you posted on the condition of things.  The stakes that held the rope off the ice have long since fallen over - no harm done as there's no traffic on the pond now and while we like to keep the rope from freezing into the ice, that will take care of itself when the weather warms up again.  Right now, I suspect it's frozen in.  There's no warmup predicted, so we don't expect any new developments soon.  Here's a closeup shot of the block.

We were in St. Johnsbury today and as soon as we got to Danville we noticed there was no snow there.  There is still snow in West Danville, of course.  In St. Johnsbury, not only is there no snow but the lawns are turning green!  We didn't see any flowers, but I bet there are some early bulbs blooming down there.  It's still raw and cold here - 39 degrees is the highest I've seen, and that was just a few minutes ago when the sun came out for just a few minutes.  More rain/snow showers expected tonight and right through the weekend.  I measured .40 inches of rain on Wednesday morning and .80 inches this morning.  And the road has some pretty good muddy patches between us and Route 2.  There's still lots of frost in the back roads so mud season isn't over yet.  We may not be spared; it's just that this cold weather is prolonging the agony of it all. Spring will reach us eventually, and in the meantime, we wait and watch for the block to go down and stop the clock.  Incidentally, I also heard from Kate Chatot that the ice at Lake Morey went out on Monday.  Can we be far behind??  I haven't heard from Chico Carcoba how Woodbury Lake is looking - or from son Bill whether Stiles Pond in Waterford is still solid, but these local ponds traditionally go out before Joe's.

Here's a sure sign things are moving in the right direction.  Work has resumed on the rail/trail.  This is across Route 2 from Marty's 1st Stop in Danville.  There were Munson workers along this stretch and at one of the access points just out of St. Johnsbury we saw a piece of their construction equipment parked, so they may be working both in Danville and on the St. Johnsbury end.  I bet they were cold working outside on the trail today.  We saw a couple of the workers heading into Marty's and they looked as if they needed a cup of hot soup and some place to warm up.

Here's a link to a blog post I think you'll enjoy, and my thanks to Pam Hebert for sending it to me!

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