Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Frosty Walk at the Beach

We took advantage of today's balmy weather to get out and see what the last few days of deep freeze had wrought at the beach.  The jetty and the shore were rimed with ice, but because of a good low tide, we were able to get down and walk on ice free beach.  It was sunny and bright when we arrived, but by the time we finished, clouds had covered most of the sky.
There clearly has been some freezing of the bay water; the ice line along the shore is full of small boulder sized flat chunks of ice that were once floating ice that have been piled up on top of each other by the tide.  Subsequent high tides have sculpted and undercut the ice, making it hard, slick, and pretty treacherous to walk on.  We did manage to find 15 small shark's teeth today, but at this rate, January will be a bit of a bust for fossils.
A somewhat rare visitor to the beach, a Kildeer (Charadrius vociferus).  Bigger and more colorful than the Semipalmated Sandpipers that are here much of the time in winter, this one was also more skittish, and didn't given me many opportunities to get a decent picture.
Georgia liked this frozen knob on top of a log sticking out of the beach.
A particularly ornate ice sculpture in the line of ice piled up on shore.
There was a big raft of Buffleheads in the harbor, along with a few mallards
The harbor itself is pretty heavily frozen, once you get a little ways back in from the bay.  I was surprised that the Bay itself didn't have any floating ice near shore.  It seems to me in years past when we've have cold snaps like this one (and we have), that there was more ice near shore.

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