Clearing the Ice

I just witnessed a dramatic scene. After a 50-degree increase in temperature followed by a heavy rain storm, the same creek bed that I could slide across on Monday shed its thick ice coat today, as I stood on the bank in awe. Eight-foot slabs floated freely down an already-melted section of stream until they met the thick shelf, which covered the water directly in front of me. Eventually the pounding forced the structure to fall apart as fissures became open channels, channels became enraged, and then– within 20 minutes–the entire frozen block was smashed apart, pushed away, and the scene became fast-moving water.

No more sliding, no more cracking, the ice has left the creek. It’s gone.

shedding ice
Ice atop cracked ice, soon to be washed downstream.


  1. Gone for now, anyway. Makes you think about the horrors of flowing mud in California neighborhoods. We are lucky to live here.

    1. Great point, PaulaG. Your comment helped me put in perspective, too, the fact that what I am currently mopping out of my basement is clean groundwater (not mud) and once it dries, all will be fine.

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