Spring Ooching In, Part 1

by Carl Strang

Of the 6 Chicago seasons, Late Winter is my least favorite. This year it seems to be dragging its feet even more than usual. In part that is because there was so much snow and ice deposited in Mid-Winter.

Here the wind and a leaf co-created a snow tracing in February.

This week began with Mayslake Forest Preserve’s lakes still largely ice covered. Yesterday, though, most of the remaining ice on May’s Lake vanished before my eyes during my lunchtime walk. When I came up to the lake, half of it still appeared to be ice covered.

View from the west end of May’s Lake. The day before, only a narrow fringe of open water stood between the shore and the edge of the ice.

I looped around the friary site, and when I came back down to the east end of the lake I found the light wind was pushing the ice against the shore.

When I first went by here 20 minutes before, a span of water still was open between the shore and the ice.

The ice was only an eighth of an inch thick, and it made amazing hissing, creaking, squeaking and cracking sounds as it crumpled.

This was a rare occasion when I wished I could record a motion picture with sound.

At that moment the ice was moving about a foot a minute.

Layer upon layer of thin ice was piling up.

This picture I took 45 minutes after the first in this sequence, from the same point.

The ice has all been pushed into the east end of May’s Lake.

I won’t be surprised if the ice is all gone from the lake today.


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