Frazil Ice at Mickey Hill Pocket Wilderness

mickey-hill_1653 Today we explored the Mickey Hill Pocket Wilderness Trail (map).  This short easy trail has tons of things to see and do.  Today we spent a lot of time by the river/stream flowing from Lambs Lake to Grand Lake.  The trail itself is short, maybe 15 minutes at a good pace, but there are so many things to see it can take a lot longer.  It is a wonderful trail to do with kids and we have spent many happy afternoons there will our children. This trail is owned by the Bowater Mersey Paper Company Ltd., one of several it maintains in Nova Scotia. Today we saw something I have never seen before…small round pieces of ice, almost like floating pancakes.   mickey-hill_1696 The stream flows quickly and with all the rain we have had the water was high…not as high as it has been, but still plenty of water to create a good rush.  This quick flow and the low temperatures (-8°C) created ideal conditions for the creation of frazil ice (basically ice crystals formed in turbulent water) which in turn collects in conglomerations to form ice pans.  In a small shoreline eddy we saw small (15 cm – 38cm) ice pans circle around and around. Follow the little spruce twig to catch the pattern.

(The info on frazil ice was gleaned from several sources including an article posted by the New Brunswick dept of Environment and this education webpage from California State University, Long Beach)

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