Posted: 31 January 2015
In what may become a habit, I've saved up all my photographs of the lake taken from our bedroom window for the month and am putting them in one post. I figure that makes them easy to compare.
It was on Saturday the 11th, just before 08:40, that I took the first of the pictures this year. It was a bright day but, with the sun only recently risen, the ground behind the house was still almost entirely in shade. The breeze meant that the trees only form a faintest of reflections in the water and what frost there was was only hinted at on the new chipping path.
On Tuesday 13th I left it till around 10:50 to take the photograph. Now the grounds are in full sun but the reason for taking the picture was not that but rather that I had spotted the arrival of the cygnet. The air was wonderfully still leaving beautifully crisp reflections of the trees.
Two days later I took another photograph. This time even later in the day, around 14:40. This time there is slightly more motion on the surface of the water, blurring the reflections slightly. However, the water level has remained as high as it was two days earlier, and a little higher than it was on the 11th.
Another two days later, on the 17th and it was 11:20 when I took my picture. The lake was solid ice and there was no chance it was going to thaw during the rest of the day
It was still thick ice on the 20th. This time the photograph was taken at about 10:20. It always intrigues me that the covering of frost bares little relation to whether the lake freezes.
I took the next photograph at 08:30, just after I'd spent 20 minutes on Friday 23rd, breaking up the ice to see if it was practical for the "Green Team" to carry on with the planned work to remove what remains they could of the fishing stands which had already been part-dismantled. It turned out that it was.
In this final photograph this month, taken on Thursday 29th at 15:15, you can see my confusion about frost and ice. It's a flat calm. The reflections of the trees are as crisp as any seen in the month, so there's no ice around, but the frost still lies thick on the ground till only an hour or so before sunset.
The other thing that I always check on is the water level, both in the dyke and the lake. Throughout this month the lake has remained consistently high, with the ramp to the duck house covered until the final photograph, when only the lower edge is still below water. I've always claimed that goes up and down far more quickly than the lake. It's difficult to judge from these photographs, but I fancy the dyke had seemed to have dropped a little before the 20th but was higher again on 29th.