Author Topic: The Fading Of Winter  (Read 1290 times)

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Offline sparks

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The Fading Of Winter
« on: March 22, 2013, 06:03:55 PM »
  It's actually been somewhat of a mild winter here in northwest Illinois. A couple of large snows and a blast or two of frigid tempuratures....but nothing like I remember say, 1978-79. Or 1962-63. Or..............allright I'm a old buzzard...........almost.

  The river froze over solid twice this season. The first time was around Christmas and the ice was quite thin. The last freeze accomodated ice skaters and a few daring souls on snowmobiles near the shorelines. On occasion I would hear them zinging along....60...70...80 mph or more on the ice.....at midnight.

 The ice thinned out in mid February. Holes appeared. And so did the eagles. Two of them. Magnifcant birds.The larger of the two would sit by the open water, stoically watching, nearly motionless for 15 minutes or more at a time. And then,with several powerful swoops of the wings, gain altitude and then do a Stuka move diving to the surface.....talons outstretched......and pow......come up with lunch. The smaller eagle was usually only seconds behind and followed suit. One morning the two of them were perched in the locust tree near my seawall......about 60 feet from my picture windows. Truly incredible to see them up that close. They'huge. And I've heard they mate for life.

  As the ice cleared out, so did the eagles. I saw them a couple of days ago hanging out below the dam. The big one sitting on an outcropped rock.......watching the water.........

  When the ice clears out, there are many factors involved. It's never the same. A few years ago I noticed a huge floe coming around the upper bend from my house. As it made the turn I thought that it would run the channel, but it didn't. Kept on a radius course. Intially it hit the seawall about 5 or 6 homes upstream from me, grinding and crunching along. The ice was 4 to 8 inches thick. Two homes away the ice started piling up and was crashing over the seawalls, building up like a small mountain. It was like watching the'blob' except this stuff was crunchy......big time. As it moved along, it captured a shore station and smashed it into my neighbors boat house......all in slow motion. When the monster came by my place it peeled a little bark off the locust tree and then headed to open water.

  The last small floe went by today from this years thaw. About a dozen gulls were sitting on it hitching a ride. Huck Finn came to my mind.

  The geese are back now and a few ducks. The gulls are too, lots of them. Soon the boats will be out, and the summer will bring new life to the river. And we'll have forgotten the winter.................







  For a while



  sparks
My vessel is so small....the seas so vast......

Offline MushCreek

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Re: The Fading Of Winter
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2013, 01:28:23 AM »
I'm trying to build a house- spring can't come soon enough! The coming week looks to be some 15 degrees below normal. Here in SC, it has been a cool, wet winter. Perfect for house building- NOT!

One of the great things about living on-site and building as a full-time job is that I get to watch all of the little subtleties of nature as it changes day by day. If you pay attention, there's something different every day.
Jay

I'm not poor- I'm financially underpowered.

 

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