Wednesday, January 4, 2012

On Thin Ice. Or Under It.

We recently had our first real ice of the season. I went to the lake to take photos and found much of it was covered in a thin layer of ice. It wasn't thick enough to support any serious weight, but it was enough to support the waterfowl and give them fits. In the photos, you can see the ripples of the open water versus the smooth surface of the frozen water. As I walked around the lake, I could hear the ice moving in the wind. It wasn't the loud cracking sound of heavy ice, but rather a high pitched noise. It sounded like a big flock of small birds all chirping at the same time. It was different to see the ducks and geese standing on the middle of the lake rather than swimming in it.





Most of the stumps, dead trees, and much of the shoreline were covered in thicker ice. The shallow parts of the lake were completely frozen over. I saw a few ducks as they attempted to land and they would hit ice instead of open water. Based on their reaction, I'm pretty sure they were surprised. I also watched in amusement as a coot, in one of the photos below, was "testing the waters" trying to figure out where the ice ended and the water began.











Now for the "or under it" part of the post. I came upon this dead fish in a shallow part of the lake that was completely iced over. I took the first photo and continued on. A while later, I came back and looked at the fish again and saw it was actually moving, hence not dead, after all. It wasn't moving much, but it was clearly still alive. I went on about my business and returned later to see three crows pecking at the ice where the fish was. One of the crows flew off, but the other two stayed until I got too close and then they flew off. In the last photo, you can see a hole in the ice above the fish where the crows had tried to get at their meal.








10 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

that coot made me laugh out loud! a 'dancing with the stars' pose or something!

the ice is interesting - looks like little hanging, frozen water balloons.

hope those crows were able to take the fish as it sure didn't look hopeful for a recovery.

Sall's Country Life said...

Great pictures! Isn't it amazing to have all this open water in January? The duck and geese flocks have left our area, but surely could've stayed this Winter! The fish is probably in winter dormancy, something I've been begging to do for years! (guess I should've been a fish)

Sallie said...

Great photo essay BK -- I'd rather see the ice (thin or otherwise) than be on it, but it sure is beautiful.

Carole Meisenhelter said...

oh my, your photos sure put it all into perspective. Bravo getting out there to take your pics! I'm not sure I'd have wanted to ... you're keen! Enjoyed them and your describing about the sound of the ice moving; I might just imagine.

Deb said...

brrrr looks cold...you got some great shots...poor little fish...

♥ Lisa RedWillow said...

The ice is beautiful and you managed to cross almost all the elements with so much Beauty.
Be Blessed in this the New Year.

Joe said...

Brrrr! I'm ready for summer ;).

Samantha said...

Hope the crows got their dinner!
Lovely ice shots.

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

Great collection of critters, Brian. :)

Dina said...

Really interesting shots. I would probably never see this otherwise. I love the one with the icicles along the shoreline. And the coot is pretty cute too.