Sunday, June 15, 2008

Short 'n Sweet


The annual departure of river ice wasn't really a dramatic production this year. The jam at the southern bend finally broke loose initiating the frozen procession toward the Arctic Ocean...minus much of the ripping and roaring that I've seen in the past. There were still some signs of violence. Shreds of willows swirled in the current and chunks of ice were fringed with dark soil that had been stripped from the banks somewhere along the way. For the most part, though, the flow was more of a gentle slide than the mad rush that it can be.



This little video is somewhat dark and only shows a moment of the ice "going out," but I thought I'd go ahead and include it. There are more photos on my Flickr account as well. My curious dogs make cameo appearances. They weren't quite sure what to make of the whole thing. As usual, Precious finds something to carry around. She's a lab...retreiving is her thing.


lesle said...

So, did you win the pool?

Kimberlee said...

You know, there are places in Alaska where the community DOES make a big deal out of guessing the exact moment the ice begins to move, but here that hasn't happened in any organized way (yet). There was talk this year about having some kind of celebration NEXT year. I think that would be excellent.

If there had been a pool, I probably would have lost. :) I almost missed the whole thing because it occurred pretty late at night. I just happened to look out the window and noticed lots of people heading toward the river, so I grabbed the camera and went to investigate...just in time!

Steve said...

That's an amazing and fun thing! So once it starts moving, is that it? Or does it start and then get jammed again, over and over? I wonder what it would be like to sit out in the middle of it in a big rubber raft.

Kimberlee said...

It does get jammed every now and then, Steve. I actually tried to capture several (more interesting) moments on video, but the ice kept on stopping immediately after I started recording...which cut the interest factor down quite a bit! :)

It would be pretty wild out in the middle, I'm sure. People around here pull their boats out of the water just before freeze up to prevent them from being crushed by the ice. Sometimes fish get thrown up onto slabs of ice when they are caught and tossed by other pieces of ice that pop up suddenly. In the past, I've seen car-sized chunks of ice on top of other garage-sized slabs of ice. I think there is a lot going on below the surface that we don't see...sort of like the iceberg thing.