Friday, June 18, 2010

Commencing Into Summer

Breakup of the river ice is long over now, but all the snow is not totally gone. The deep snowdrifts that build up around the buildings are still melting. Ice on our lake next to the house is weeks away from being all melted too. (Deep-water lakes all across the North Slope remain ice infested clear into July.) The prairie grasses are brown and dirty-looking, but will soon start turning green. In the picture below, taken from an upper window in our lodge, the river is ice-free, but one snowdrift that was over 12 feet tall in May is now down to 4-5 feet at the thickest. Away from the buildings, the ground is snow-free. Sometime in late July, I will put another picture up showing this same scene with tall green grass covering the land.
Colville Breakup time 022

Added later for comparison (from August):

Let me back up a bit…on June 7th, the last of the river ice finished breaking up and was pushed out of the delta, the foggy weather soon broke and we had 5 days of clear, sunny days. On the 9th, my birthday, I took our small aluminum boat upriver for my first river outing of the summer. Teena boating_June 9, 2010 Capt. Teena_6-9-10 There was little wind to create waves, so it was smooth going, except the water flow was still under a lot of pressure and moving downriver with faster then the normal sluggish delta rate. I took pictures of some of the ice chunks that had been stranded along the bank as the broken ice churned it’s way downriver a few days earlier.
Colville Breakup time 013 They were melting fast and already “candled” and falling apart, which the ice does as it melts and separates into long crystals. Colville Breakup time 010
Since that day, the water has dropped over 4 feet. There have been no more “nice” boating days, since it has been very windy and foggy. I look forward to more pleasant days that call me out to enjoy the river again…soon, I hope…exploring old haunts, flower picking, etc. Meanwhile, I’ll share some indoor flower pictures from my sunroom.

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