After several days of not much news at all, we finally have something really surprising to report: Joe's Pond froze over last night!
Diane Rossi sent this picture this morning. The low was in the teens last night, but with the rain and warmish weather, I really hadn't expected the pond to freeze over much before Christmas. This is early compared to last year when we were wondering in late December if we'd even have enough ice to put the block out for the Ice-Out Contest. We did, of course, and the year progressed fairly normally after that.
This will be considered the "First Freeze-Over," and we can expect the pond will open up again at least once, maybe twice before it is frozen over for good. However, there are always exceptions . . . ! Thanks to Diane for the picture.
We are getting steady snow this morning - it began early in the a.m. and when I measured at 9 o'clock, we had 2.5 inches. That's in addition to about 3 inches new snow I measured Saturday a.m. I'm seeing 5 inches at the stake in the back yard. Roads were bad yesterday and there was an accident on Route 2 near Molly's Pond late yesterday afternoon. I don't know who was involved, but from what I heard on the scanner, nobody was injured but the car rolled over and they were concerned fluids might be leaking from the vehicle.
Roads are bad today and crews are out trying to keep everyone safe. The forecast for the rest of the week doesn't look promising for any letup - snow nearly every day (some rejoicing here, others not so much) and it's going to remain cold, even a little below what is considered normal. I was wondering what winters were like 100 years ago, so checked some of my weather notes. Most years the first snow came in early October and there was enough snow for "heavy sleds" (meaning logging sleds and local haulers) to operate by Thanksgiving. Of course there was the occasional unusual year like 1893 when it was 48 degrees and raining on January 5. The following year the pond froze over on Nov. 22, and by December 6, the temperature was hovering around zero, and through the holidays remained between zero and 20 below with snow and wind. In fact 1895 was a tough year right through March with mostly zero temperatures and lots of wind. Then in early April, when there was still a lot of snow on the ground, rain came and there was severe flooding with the pond raided two feet from normal at the dam. The problems continued over the years with lots of snow, cold and blizzard conditions - except in 1896 when West Danville local news reported little snow that season and in the Feb. 7 issue of the St. J. Caledonian, "Robins and crows have been seen on the farm of J. L. Frye all winter, unusual visitors at this season of the year." Late snowfall the following week delivered eight inches, and heavy snow storms continued well into April.
Actually, those years don't sound much different than what we have experienced in fairly recent years. We'll see what this year brings.