Woody Packard

Words + Pictures

River Ice

The past few days it has been cold—a high around freezing, and at an elevation over 5000', dropping down into the single digits at night. Yesterday I ran south by the river and could see the explanation for the landscape that is shown in the Google maps aerial views of this area, which shows a much larger and wider area of ice than the small stream that is here. Already there are floes of ice drifting in the stream. In some places there is ice on the bottom of the river, slabs that have broken off and are pinned there by the current. Rocks, logs, old mattresses, and tires that protrude from the river are collection points for ice that accumulates as new chunks and which then catch floating chunks until small dams are formed that divert the water elsewhere. A few days ago we were here and there was no sign of the ice. Now it is something that you hear as it passes in the water, a constant tinkling sound as the floating pieces rub against other pieces of ice. It is easy to imagine what this might look like as the temperature drops, water is diverted over the banks, and larger slabs pile up.

Here are a dozen quick details.

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River Ice

River Ice

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Details of ice forming along the banks of Buyant Gol.