Whoever thought spring was here last week is probably reeling from the rapid and drastic change yesterday and today. Tonight my weather station is showing -1F and a mean -15F windchill. It's actually been colder off and on during the day, and the wind has been relentless. I was outside only long enough to measure the slightly less than one inch of new snow this morning, and haven't stuck my nose out since. Even Woody knows it's no time for being outside - or even in the garage. He asked to go out once today and I let him into the garage; he hasn't asked to go out again all day. Smart kitty.
Our granddaughter, Jo-Ann (17) is on spring break with some of her classmates. They headed for Dominican Republic today for a couple of weeks of volunteer work. She wasn't sure exactly what they would be doing - possibly working on building projects or working with children in schools. Whatever it is, she was looking forward to it - at least it will be warm and she'll love that. She's such a good sport, whatever work she's assigned, I know she'll do just fine. I'm hoping we'll get some pictures, but she may be pretty busy, so I might have to wait until she gets home.
I've had some questions about this year's Ice Out Contest. I've sent press releases to the local newspapers, but sometimes they don't use what I send, instead will do an interview over the phone when they get around to it. We'll see how that goes. In the meantime, I don't think the block and flag are out yet. Larry was planning on doing it this past week, but the weather turned nasty and cold, so I imagine he has wisely postponed that project. It would be brutal out on the ice fussing with wires and ropes in this below zero weather.
We won't have the web cams this year. Unfortunately, Bill Rossi has had health problems and Diane has to concentrate on other things than the web cams. That is fine with us - we will be checking the setup twice each day when it gets close to the time it might sink and stop the clock. There's no danger for the present - there was 14 inches of ice a while back and for the last several days we've probably gained a few more inches, so there's nothing to worry about right away.
I was looking at past Ice Out dates in order to write a press release this week and noticed that during the first 10 years of the contest, the clock stopped five times in May and five times in April. The next decade, 1998 to 2007, the clock stopped twice in May and eight times in April, and since then it has stopped only in April, with three times being dangerously close to going out in March. This certainly shows a warming trend.
It seems to me this year the ice didn't get nearly as thick as other years, but I haven't located any data to prove that. I think it's usually been at least 24-28 inches thick in the past, sometimes thicker. However, if these crazy deep freezes keep up, it all might turn out to be about the same as usual. We'll have to wait and see.
Another question I was recently asked was when did we move the flag up the pond to in front of Rossi's. The 2013 contest was the first year it was at that location. The other question was about when the pay on line tickets would be available, and the answer to that is that is RIGHT NOW! and RIGHT HERE! Have fun!