dreamshark: (Default)
Ice is out on Lakes Calhoun and Harriet (for liberal definitions of Ice Out). There is still a little broken ice floating free on the east sides of both lakes, but the main body of the lake and most of the shoreline is completely melted. If you look it up, you find that there are multiple ways of defining Ice Out, and none of the websites that report ice out dates actually report the definition that corresponds to the date. However, my rather hasty research suggests that if this is not the earliest ice out on record for these lakes it is at least a tie for the earliest.
dreamshark: (sharon tire)

Saturday, March 17, south side of Lake Harriet Saturday, March 17, south side of Lake Harriet You can see it won't be long now, but at least 80% of the lake surface still covered with ice. This was probably the largest expanse of open water I found. I predicted it would be three more days before the lake was clear.
Sun, Mar 18, 2012. South side of Lake Harriet.  Earliest ice out I can remember. Sun, Mar 18, 2012. South side of Lake Harriet. Earliest ice out I can remember. 24 hours ago most of the lake was still covered with ice. Now it looks like this.  Silly me. I guess I just didn't believe the 79-degree weather could keep it up.

Full disclosure - at 7:15 pm ice out wasn't quite complete yet.  There was one small patch of rotting ice squatting under some low hanging trees on the southwest side of the lake.  Two hours later, temp still above 70.  I figure that little patch will be gone by midnight.  I'm calling it.
dreamshark: (sharon tire)

St. Patrick's Day in the age of warming - Lake Harriet (76 F) St. Patrick's Day in the age of warming - Lake Harriet (76 F) Kids cavorting in the water on March 17, 2012.
Lake Harriet, north side.  March 17, 2012 Lake Harriet, north side. March 17, 2012 This is the icy side of the lake. The ice cake is floating free all the way around, starting to break apart. I predict ice out in 3 days (Tuesday, Mar 20).

dreamshark: (Default)
Not such a pretty day as yesterday, but warm enough that it seemed like the time to get out the home bike and check out the status of the ice on Lake Harriet. Yup, there's still ice on Lake Harriet. Quite a lot of ice, in fact. It's starting to decay around the edges, but only a little. There is one thin open channel parallel to the shoreline on the north side of the lake. It always melts first on that side.

I followed my weather tags to last year's entries and see that last year's ice out was in mid-April. It looks like we're on target for about the same date this year.
dreamshark: (sharon tire)
We think the last of it melted on Monday, April 21, under the warm April rain. Anyway, there wasn't a speck of ice or snow anywhere on or near Lake Harriet as of sundown on Tuesday.

Note that the Lake Harriet Ice Out last year was on or shortly before March 24 - about a month earlier than this year.
dreamshark: (sharon tire)
Totally gone, not a speck of ice or snow to be seen anywhere. It's probably been gone for days, but there's no way to be sure.

I was going to check the tagged entry I made last year to see when the ice went last year, but I discovered that although I know how to tag entries in LJ I have no idea how to retrieve tagged entries. Can somebody tell me how to do that?

And, y'know, it's not so bad biking in the rain. If it weren't for the glasses problem I wouldn't mind it at all.
dreamshark: (sharon tire)
It's going fast. On both lakes the ice sheet is coming loose from the shoreline along most of the lakeshore, although not floating completely free. Harriet is further along than Calhoun, especially along the north side, with long channels rotted through the ice to the water below, and a few larger areas of open water. A few optimistic ducks were paddling around in a small melted area right by the south shoreline.

I predict that the ice will go out completely on Harriet next Saturday, and the following day on Calhoun.

I biked 9 miles today, around both lakes. It seemed easy enough until I got to the far side of Lake Calhoun and really started to feel it. Now I'm completely exhausted. But I'm glad I didn't stop with the easy ride. My goal is to get to the point where I can ride to work and back by the end of April. It took me until July last year.
dreamshark: (sharon tire)
Solid cake of ice from shore to shore. However, pools of water are forming on top of the ice here and there around the shoreline, and every now and then you come to a spot where the ice has melted away in a small area (6 feet wide or so). No ice houses, but one stubborn ice fisherman sitting on a bucket about 50 feet from a sign warning "DANGEROUS THIN ICE!!! KEEP OFF!!!" A few mallards rooting around in the mud next to the bike path near the bandstand. What are they looking for? Truffles?

And what on earth are they building next to the confectionary? (No, not the ducks, silly. The Parks Department.) It looks like a triangular car port with a pointy carbuncle on top. Awfully small and odd-shaped for a picnic shelter, but what else could it be?
dreamshark: (sharon tire)
Lake Harriet is smooth as glass, with a faint bloom of mist on the surface. Ice is just starting to form around the edges. Yesterday there was a boat on the lake, motionless, with two fishermen standing in it. It's still there today. The fishermen do not move or make a sound, but I think they must be in a state of ecstasy. Otherwise, why would they be there? It can't be comfortable. It's 42 degrees out here and they are not moving a muscle. They aren't even relaxing on the seats; they're just standing there. For hours. The bike path rounds a corner and I see two more boats with immobile standing fisherman. Then I see a boatless fisherman close to shore standing in thigh-deep water. I will never understand fishing.

Calhoun is a much more urban lake than Harriet, and I don't expect to see fishermen here. But there is one. At least he's in a boat, and the boat appears to have a motor, although it isn't running. The water looks like the beautiful fake water you see in museum dioramas, and the city skyline is a marvel in silver. I think The Strawberry Roan is the best cowboy song ever, written by cowboys for cowboys and set to an achingly beautiful old Irish melody. There aren't too many people around so I sing along.

Lake of the Isles is where the upper class lives - no fishing boats here. Hilariously, as I glide past the mansions my iPod sings, "Baby you're a rich man, baby you're a rich man, baby you're a rich man tooooo." Judging from the state of the paths the geese are still here somewhere, but I don't see them. Maybe they're convening on the mysterious Isle of Herons to plan for the Big Trip. Not a goose in sight, but I'm annoyed to discover that all the people that weren't walking around the other two lakes are here, swarming on the bike paths. To be fair, the walking paths are less than welcoming, most of them still unpaved from last year's abortive attempt at renovation. Still, they're in my way and I hope they all get goose poo on their feet.

Home again. It's nice to know that I can still ride 12 miles.
dreamshark: (sharon tire)
Well, of COURSE, you say. Duh. It's 50 degrees and the birds are back and the grass is greening up and eager perennials are pushing their little heads up through the dirt. But the last time I rode my bike around the lake, it was still 90% iced over. And that was, gosh, last Tuesday I think. Four days ago.
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