Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Creek Walking

I grew up in Snohomish, Washington, and was taught that flowing water could not freeze. Of course, Snoho didn't know from real cold. I have since had ample opportunity to learn what avid ice fishermen have always known: that flowing water certainly will freeze, if temps are cold enough, for long enough.

It's been cold for quite awhile, so The Hub and I decided to go for a walk on Turtle Creek. And when I say on, I mean it. The creek runs from mere inches deep to 10' in spots, from 5' wide to 30' or more (and in the spring floods, it rises 20-30' and it's not unusual for the water to come up to where I stood to take this picture). Most of the ice is at least 6" thick, and plenty strong enough to hold vehicles, though the banks are too steep for anyone to drive down to it, and as far as I know, no one fishes there anyway. At least in the winter.

But there are a few narrow spots with high current that have resisted our many days hovering at or below zero, which means that one always needs to be careful when walking on ice.

We had a freezing fog yesterday morning, which left tracings on the weeds

and trees.

Our noses told us that the air temp was just below zero, but the sun was shining and there was no wind, so we were toasty warm inside our multiple layers. In fact, the effort of hiking a half mile through deep and unbroken snow, down a steep bank, and along the iced creek, left me warm enough to unzip my Carhartt jacket. For awhile anyway.

We were afforded a view of our house from an unusual vantage point.

The wind, once again, proved itself a skillful sculptor, forming surf-like snow curls. (click to enlarge, for the full effect)

The coyotes have burrowed into the snowbank. We watch this family from our house with binoculars, but didn't catch sight of any up close and personal. Note the tracks around the den.

How high are these banks, and how deep is the snow, you ask?


Bethel said...

Holy Cow! That's a big drift!

Geek Knitter said...

What a beautiful walk... and I didn't even have to freeze my nose!

joannamauselina said...

Beauitful pictures, but I think I need to stay where the creek doesn't freeze. It's a balmy 48 here in Seattle.

Mary Keenan said...

What a great walk, and just outside your house to boot!

knitterbeader said...

What absolutely beautiful photos. Loved the enlarged version of the "surf-type curls". We live down in Graham where it's 45 degrees at noon!

colorbynatures said...

Great picuters Kathleen, but our Dakota weather will blow up much more tonight! See what you post for tomorrow! Isn't the wind a beautiful sculptris?

Kathy Sue said...

The blue of the ice in the curl of the wave is the most perfect color there is. Wish I could duplicate it! BTW--73 in Camarillo today, nice warm sun.

Kathleen Taylor said...

thanks everyone!
Kathy Sue- that blue was even more beautiful in person. I'm so glad that the camera picked it up. and I could use a little Camarillo about now.

LizzieK8 said...

We lived in Anchorage for awhile and I've seen frozen waterfalls. Moving water can freeze!