Ice Dam

dsc00198I was astonished to see the height of the river yesterday afternoon on my walk. Rain had poured down all day with totals above two inches, breaking up the 8-10″ thick river ice. With the ground frozen, all that water sheeted off directly into the watershed. The grinding, backed up ice seen here is at least ten feet deep, a scary thing if any one or animal got too close and fell in.

Last summer, at the bend in the river at the top of the above photo, erosion toppled a large spruce tree into the river, essentially creating a dam. With debris flowing downriver trapped since then, it had become a formidable obstacle.

Below is a photo taken in October to give you an idea of just how high the water had risen. The flood came close to overflowing the left bank, but thankfully, didn’t crest it.

Around 11:00 pm, I heard the dam crack and give way– all that moving ice sounded like a giant glass tumbler of ice cubes, clinking together as the pieces were drawn downstream. Today, the river is all clear. Isn’t Nature amazing?

About Eliza Waters

Gardener, writer, photographer, naturalist
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117 Responses to Ice Dam

  1. JOY journal says:

    That must have been an absolutely amazing sound. Something interesting to listen to from a distance!

  2. Marsi says:

    Wow, that’s really awesome!

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