Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Nature Notes: Frozen creek and lake but thawing now

Last week my nature notes covered the first five days of the new year. This week I'll begin with day six and include shots from several different days moving into the second week of the year.


The first day I realized Shelley Lake had frozen, I wasn't even planning on walking around the lake.


It was freezing cold and the wind was 20 mph so I thought a short walk on the woodsey trail along the creek would be a better bet than around the lake.


When I saw that the creek and wetland part was frozen, I kept walking telling myself I'd walk until I got to where it was running water.


As it turned out the lake was frozen all the way across so I ended up walking around the lake not knowing how long it would last.


I knew that our daytime temperatures were going to get above freezing by the next week, for at least part of the week, and even when they were below freezing I had a feeling the sun would start to melt some of the ice. Normally the geese and ducks tend to hang out near the bridge on the right side a little more than midway up on the shot above.


However, with a frozen lake the geese had moved over to the top of the dam which you can see on the left hand side, midway up on the shot above.


Normally the only time I see them on that side of the lake is in the spring when they have babies and usually they are on the big fields with their babies wadling behind. It's rare for them to be walking on top of the dam. They were also down on the hills foraging in the little bit of remaining grass.


On another day when the sun had started thawing a little bit of the lake, I saw why it made sense for them to have moved to that side. The first part to thaw was the water around where the pipe fed water under the dam into the creek.


Much of the lake and parts of the creek were still frozen but I could hear cracks that almost sounded like muffled gunshots as some of the ice was breaking away.


I love winter and wouldn't mind some snow right about now but I do feel for the wildlife that has to adapt.


I know it's not easy dealing with the cold and ice when you don't have a warm house to go to.


Ever since childhood, I wanted to be a bird. The idea of flight and the freedom that brings are so appealing. Realistically though it's hard to be a bird.


Lately I've been able to photograph the hawk below a lot because he sits in my oak trees eyeing the bird baths on my deck. The birds that are normally there for the water I provide have been staying away because of the predator above. Of course he has to eat too.


For other participants, please visit the home of Nature Notes. Also, I'd like to mention that the host of Nature Notes has a beautiful blog with lots of good information about helping out the birds and wildlife as well as informative posts on a variety of topics. I've learned a lot from her blog.


Cezar and Léia said...

wow you are very inspired today dear friend!
For the first part, the nature is really breathtaking
I liked a lot the second part with those gracious geese, your pictures are amazing and it's really an informative post.
And finally you put ideas in our minds with that statement " Realistically though it's hard to be a bird ", but not for everthing that a bird need to challenge in life but for the meaning of be really free!
Enchanting post!
Well done!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for taking us along on your wintry walk today ... what a beautiful world you live in and what amazing sights to be seen!
Hugs and blessings,

Jeanne said...

Carver--Well, I just took a lovely walk with you without leaving my couch! Thanks.

And somehow this post inspired my desire for a pet duck ... although both the cat and the dog would have to be trained to leave it alone. But wouldn't that be fun? And it would eat slugs in the yard--a nice, organic solution.

I've been thinking about chickens for awhile, because in Seattle you are allowed to have up to three hens--no roosters, because of the crowing--and I know several people who get eggs from their own urban chickens.

We have raccoons, though, so the cage has to be really, really sturdy and strong.

Anyway, thanks for starting me thinking about this again.

Unknown said...

I enjoyed your walk around the pond. It never occurred to me that Canada geese might have a hard time in NC since we have some that actually stay in Ontario all winter. I figured going as far south as you are would be a total treat. So I learned something new!

Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful series. You live in a wonderful place.

eileeninmd said...

Thanks for taking me on your walk. Your creek and lake scenes are very nice but look cold.

AscenderRisesAbove said...

thanks for the memory of walking and stepping on crunching ice. the only thing better then doing it is seeing your kids learn to enjoy doing it. the ducks were such a surprise!

Caron said...

What a thoughtful post. I like hearing the sound of ice cracking and breaking up. As of yesterday, we are above freezing and lost 2" of snow. I have to admit this is very exciting news! Your lake is much more watery than anything we have around here right now. :)

Nicole said...

You always take us on the most lovely walks.
Being a bird, nice in some ways, not so much in others ;)
Looking for food all day long, nah ;)

Nature Notes said...

You have suceeded in keeping a real nature journal which is exactly what I wanted to do and haven't done. Your idea is wonderful and you are so thoughful in your observations that I learn about how to be more observant...Thank you for that.. It has warmed into the 30's here which will be somewhat of a break for the wildlife...Michelle

Jocelyn said...

ah, through the seasons with Carver is how this is beginning to feel. Gorgeous photos. I am getting caught up, have been offline a while. Cheers as always, Jocelyn

Leora said...

I like how you said you would like to be a bird. Your geese photos reminded me of our trip last summer to Cape May - so many birds love it there. Love all your photos with ice - something enjoyable to me about ice. I do like winter, but I am sure I wouldn't if I didn't have a warm house.

deena said...

hai, i'm from jakarta, indonesia. have u heard? sorry if my english so bad. i love u pic, how a wonderful place... i really really like it. so nature, so free, so shinning...hhh.. i never go to abroad n hope someday can go there!

MyMaracas said...

I share your envy of birds' ability to fly. But you're right - they do have a hard, short life.

I haven't braved the cold here, though when I see the lovely photos you were able to find I realize I'm missing out. Do you think the geese are congregating on the pavement because it is warm?