Sorry - I completely forgot to check the web cams before it got dark tonight. However, I can tell you - that cement block is so solidly frozen into the ice you'd have to blast it out. We went to West Danville and Danville this afternoon and couldn't believe that the pond is completely frozen over again. Both the smaller ponds were almost completely free of ice this weekend, but last night the temperature slipped into the single numbers and we had some snow flurries going on, so today the whole pond is white. Closed in. Cold. Winter all over again. Although we've had snow squalls off and on again today, nothing is sticking to the ground - only on the ice.
We were on Clubhouse Circle Road at around 3 p.m. to give Henretta Ice-Out tickets to put into her spreadsheet, and she showed me the cove in front of her house, looking towards the marshes. She said it had been mostly open until last night. Now it's completely frozen in and white, and as Henretta put it, "the pond is groaning." I think what she's hearing is air bubbles that form under the ice and rumble back and forth. On the other hand, it could just be that the pond is grumbling about being closed in again just as it was about to be freed from the confines of ice. I feel like doing a little groaning myself, actually. I'm so ready for spring.
We got pictures of Pearl Island and you can see there's no open water even when the channel is. And oh, yes, that haze is not fog - it's snow. Next picture down is the beach area and below that, the middle pond. Those two ponds were mostly open until last night. The big pond (bottom picture) was still frozen in this weekend except for around the shoreline, but the ice was beginning to change from white to dark blue-gray, which always means the end is near; however, tonight it's white and looking like it did in January - after it finally froze over completely on January 8th.
The forecast for this week looks like it will be more wintery than spring-like, so now we just have to admit we don't have a clue when this contest may end. We're feeling pretty silly at this point, having worried so much that the darned block would sink and stop the clock before the deadline of April 1st, but nothing about this winter has been "normal," so we aren't really surprised it's bitterly cold again; but I still can hardly believe a week ago we were keeping fingers crossed hoping the block wouldn't sink too soon. It just proves that this contest is purely chance - one guess is as good as another and reason or common sense just doesn't work to figure it out.
Even though I'm sure the block will be locked in place tomorrow morning - just the same as it was this morning - I'll be sure to post pictures for those of you who cannot access the web cams.