Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ice, Thrice

January 17, 2015
Ice Meadows on the Hudson River

Part Three – The River

Ice is an interesting subject for contemplation. 
  HDT Walden, The Pond in Winter

It was one of those perfect winter mornings.

Clear and cold.

Two weeks had passed, and I was finally feeling like venturing outdoors again. 

Jackie suggested a drive up to the Hudson River Ice Meadows, where we could observe yet another form of ice, making short forays from the warmth of the car. That suited me fine !

You have to wait until the coldest days of January to see the frazil ice, and then you have only days in which to see it in best form, before the next snowfall covers it over. (here’s a link to Jackie’s explanation of the unique nature of this type of ice.) 

Today’s conditions were favorable, and so off we went, sniffles or no. It’s becoming a midwinter tradition of sorts.   
I was so bundled up that my arms and legs didn’t bend very easily.

We drove up the east side of the river, where you could see the ice piling up in gleaming plates.

Stopping where the road crosses the river

We ventured out onto the bridge, despite a chill wind from the northwest,  and the bluster of cars and trucks speeding past us,

To see where the frazil ice begins to form,
in the mist of rapid water just upstream.
It forms large rafts

that drift downriver, toward the Ice Meadows

Even the clouds directly overhead were delicate frazil-clouds

We then headed down River Road, which follows the west side of the river closely.

We visited the spot where we find orchids in July

(Can’t find any at the moment !)

And further downstream, we stopped at Snake Rock,

Where, in warmer days, we picnicked with dear friends
in the cool shade of the pines

It’s all coolness now
And the shady ice takes on fantastic shapes and colors

Near a little farm, at the end of River Road, where the Schroon River meets the Hudson,
We huddled in our coats for warmth, and with frozen fingers, snapped photos of untracked expanses of snow

and the ice-bright landscape where the two rivers join

As the residents looked on with amusement

Cold ? Who’s cold?