Monday, April 1, 2013

Dissipating ice

Ottawa River near Constance Lake
The ice on the Ottawa River is breaking up, by degrees. The picture on the left was taken from around 3500 ft ASL on the morning of Good Friday (March 29th) and the picture below it was taken two days later, on Easter Sunday, a few kilometres further east. The same phenomenon is to be seen on the Gatineau and Rideau Rivers now, with some sections still solidly covered with ice and other parts flowing freely. On Saturday, while we were away from town, the region basked in mild and sunny weather which must have speeded up the thaw.

Ottawa River just below its confluence with the Gatineau
From Parliament Hill in Ottawa today we looked down on an accumulation of drifting pieces of ice near the Musée des Civilisations that have been broken up by the force of the Chaudière Falls, carried a little way downstream and then blocked by a sheet of still unmelted ice under the Alexandra Bridge.

Now that there are enough stretches of clear water for them to land in, the geese are back, a potential hazard to pilots, but a welcome sight all the same.

Most of the geese and ducks returning to our neighbourhood were out of the river today, pecking at the grass or swimming in puddles of melted snow. The river itself was flowing fast, full of choppy waves, because it is windy at the moment, with 30 knot gusts. The wind chill tonight is back down to -16ºC!

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