Thursday, March 19, 2015

Ice Out on Cape Cod

Since I was young I have read stories of the frozen north, of rivers and bays covered in a creaking, cracking, groaning shell of ice. One bit that really caught my imagination was the spring breakup, when the ice suddenly broke up and drifted away. I even saw such a thing caught in a satellite snapshot of a bit of Alaska on Google Maps.... but never saw it in person until this week in Cape Cod.
For the last few weeks, at least, some of the bays up here have been more or less locked in ice.... more than I've ever seen on salt water. Fishing boats locked in, floating docks damaged and partially sunken, bubblers at Pease Boat Works keeping a clear area around the docked boats to protect them, ice shoved up onto shore by the pressure and tides.

​A few days ago, as I passed Ryder's Cove, open water showed, so I pulled into the marina and saw great ice floes drifting with the outgoing current, collecting in the nook to one side of the parking area and bumping their way past and out into the open. It gave me a taste of the far more exciting breakup of the arctic rivers.

And now there is just open water everywhere... and I watched as the marina workers began assembling the docks for the summer hordes. Such a change, so fast! Here is the Mill Pond a couple days ago:

Not only that, but the ground, white since the blizzard (see my earlier post), has lost its blanket in the last few days. Spring really comes in suddenly here. "March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb" really applies. Of course, even before that, the long forgotten crocuses at my grandparents' place on Sedge Lane came up in the sunny lee of the breezeway..

The giant soiled piles of snow still remain: here are some at Nauset Beach in Orleans.

​How long will they take to melt? I saw one at Home Depot that must have been 20' tall!

And, finally, where the snow is gone it leaves the sand that was spread on roads and the wild winds fling it into the air in swirling clouds. March is definitely still roaring today.

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