20171120 Snowy winter wonderland

The heavy snowfall of November 19th froze and remained intact for the trip to Parry Sound for our winter tire changeover on November 20th.  This is what we saw on the return to Britt via Skerryvore Community Road.

Ritchie Drive off of Woods Road, North of Nobel.

CPR crossing at Woods Road…

Westbound on Skerryvore Community Road …

These look south from Skerryvore Community Road…

Stream flowing into Big Lake off of Hwy 259 …

I just came across this, confirming that North Americans have a lot to be thankful for.  ( Scoring method. )


20171119 First heavy snow: bald faced hornet, winterberry, sailor

On November 19th we woke to a heavy snowfall of wet snow that had frozen to the landscape.   This is what we saw around Britt.

Across the highway along Boucher’s Pit Road:

Old Still River Road …

Still River from Hwy 526 …

From Old Legion Lane

Byng Inlet from Riverside Road  …

Tom and Sue came by and pointed out this nest  across the road from Joe and Allison’s place.   I emailed Joe Campbell at http://www.gananoque.com/goh/joe.htm

who told me that the nest was made by a colony of bald-faced hornets.

You may remember this wasp consuming its prey in this September 1st post.

In that post I mis-identified the wasp a Great Black Wasp.  It is actually a Bald-Faced Hornet consuming a big hoverfly.

This load of snow on winterberries reminds  me of Marge Simpson!

And every time I see this great carving I am reminded of my late dear friend John.

He is sadly missed by our little community and by kith and kin across our Country.

20171107-10 Cold Landscapes and Frozen Puddles

We enjoyed some warmth in early November before a dramatic change on November 9th, 10th and the 11th when it froze hard.

Here is a nice example of a Butter and Eggs flower which was enjoying Nov 7th along the roadside of Hwy 529.

“Linaria vulgaris (common toadflax, yellow toadflax, or butter-and-eggs) is a species of toadflax (Linaria), native to most of Europe, northern Asia, the United Kingdom, Spain, east to eastern Siberia, and western China. It has also been introduced and is now common in North America.”

The pollinated ripening seed pods are under the blossoms at the tip of the plant.

Cold Continental Arctic air moved in near the end of the week giving bright blue sky colours and low shivering temperatures.

Byng Inlet from Britt…

Western sky from the former Dream Inn on Hwy 69…

Afternoon sun on a Tamarack, looking East from Highway 69 at Clear Lake (part of Grundy Lake Provincial Park).

Farmhouse and wagon wheels on Hartley Bay Road …

Pond on Hartley Bay Road …

Puzzling puddle of ice near Louisa and Bowes Street, Parry Sound.  More about this later …

Pancakes of ice formed on Big  Lake …

Cloud patches generated nice dappled scenes…

Evening sun on Byng Inlet…

These ice  formations led to some illuminating conversations with other naturalists  …


Little bubbles ….


Frost crystals … formed from condensing water vapour at the Frost Point temperature.

Here are excerpts from a recent email correspondence:

Those puzzling rings….

The puddles froze for the first time on a very cold night (about -20ºC) after comparatively warm (>0ºC) days and nights. Cooling of both the water surface and land surface was due to radiative cooling on the clear night. Because of convective mixing* of water in the puddle, I suspect that water at the very edge of the puddle reached 0ºC first.

*At the start of the night water in the puddle and surrounding land was warm but cooling. The water at the edges of the puddle cooled faster than the deeper water in the centre. Surface water cooled to +4ºC, when liquid water is densest, and sank to bottom. As the cooling continued the colder (than +4º) water rose or stayed on the surface and froze, starting at the edges of the puddle.

The large bands would result from the progressive freezing of the puddle from the outer circumference. It would be modified by the varying depth of the water in the interior of the puddle. The nature of that progressive freezing would also depend on the rates of temperature drop and the seepage out of the unfrozen bottom of the puddle.

Since can form from liquid water and from condensing water vapour, I suspect that the variation in the the bands is due to varying amounts of frost (frozen condensed water vapour) on the underside of the ice sheet over the puddle.

Vertical structures…

I am now convinced that those vertical structures are long vertical (cylindrical) bubbles of air entrained in the ice.

How they got there is a matter for further observation and thinking.

In the above case the ice crystals are formed from condensing water vapour at the Frost Point temperature.

Nice range of photos: https://www.flickr.com/groups/frozenpuddles/pool/

AHA!!! Vertical expanses of bubbles frozen in water: https://www.flickr.com/photos/incrediblehow/6808582093/in/pool-frozenpuddles/

puddle detail

Another one. “Air in Ice” …. https://www.flickr.com/photos/gripspix/2396360040/in/pool-frozenpuddles/

Then I found this:
Description of “ring formation”: http://www.storyofsnow.com/blog1.php/why-do-frozen-ponds-and-puddles-have-lines

The above description explains how the ring formation is affected by the role of surface tension “pulling” the surface of the water up to the undersurface of the ice. Very nice.

So I think we’re on the right track here. Now, if we could only understand the formation and propagation of those ice bubbles the Universe would be understood, eh?



20171104 Snow and sights on Parry Sound trip

On a visit to Parry Sound we stopped to see the statue of Francis Pegahmagabow at the Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts.  He is one of the “soldier chiefs” who returned from service in WWI to exercise political leadership back in Canada.

These unknown berries were seen on a 2m high shrub/tree at the mail turnaround at Burnside Bridge Road and Hwy 124.

Storm clouds over Twin Rivers.

Highway 529 …

Snow flurry over Twin Rivers …

Snow is sticking at the north end of Hwy 529 …

Cow  Parsley umbels are catching and holding some melted snow …

… and finally … some melted snow on a milkweed pod …

Winter is on its way.

20171029-30 Cattle Egret and end of October storms

We saw our first Cattle Egret at Dave and Irene’s farm on October 29th.  It seems that it was moving South as it was seen at Rich and Judy’s place in B.I. later in the day.

Audubon says that these birds were unknown to North Americans prior to 1952, indication a remarkable expansion of their range.

The next day we had typical fall stormy weather giving us presentations of billowing clouds dappling the light on our landscapes:

You might have noticed a pause in my posting to this blog.   My cellular phone modem failed and  it took a while to get it replaced properly.

On a completely different note you might find this short video illuminating:


The ending is ironically hilarious!