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The surprise flood


After the wonderful weekend of skating last week, we were ready to skate again this weekend.  There had been a warm spell in the middle of the week where it got up to nearly 60 degrees F.   There had been rain and obviously the snow melted but I had not anticipated that the Wallkill River would flood.  As we drove up today we were surprised to see the fields covered with a layer of ice.

This interesting combination of melting, flooding and re-freezing caused a very unusual phenomena. The flood waters had frozen about half an inch and then the flood receded leaving ice suspended a foot or two above the ground.   You could see this most clearly on our reed bed by the lake.

Suspended Ice
Ice suspended in bushes
Showing the height of the flood

Unfortunately since the pond had been under water the ice on the surface had been buckled and bent and broken in several places.  Ice skating would be impossible.  The 'flood ice' was all over the peninsula and we had lost a couple of our seats around the fire pit.

The peninsula
Ice rink destroyed
One sad moment was the discovery of one of our grey herons caught in the ice.  Not sure if he died there or got washed there in the flood.  They are such beautiful and majestic birds.  It's very sad.

Grey Heron in the ice
I could not resist the immediate urge to go and explore down by the river.  Last time the river flooded during winter it left massive chunks of ice on the riverbank.   When I got to our bridge I was sorry to see it had uprooted itself in the flood.  Thanks to the tether to the tree it did not go far.

Bridge moved
On the other side was a strange patchwork of thick blocks of ice joined together with thin flood ice.  It was very difficult to walk on without falling through.  Underneath there were layer and layers of blocks of ice.  Some of the so clear that it sparkled in the sunlight. 

ice patchwork

Thick on thin on thick
Ice jewel
I'm sad that there will be no ice skating this weekend.  If it freezes even more we might be able to have the world's first skate-able assault course.  

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