I don’t think our part of Missouri has yet turned the corner into the milder fall temperatures, which is to say I’m pretty sure it will be as hot as blazes for at least a few more visits to Roundrock.
So I offer this photo of Lake Marguerite from last winter, when it was frozen over. L and I will venture down to Roundrock in the winter when there is at least the possibility that the daytime temperatures will reach into the thirties. That’s actually pretty good working and hiking and exploring weather, and if we get some sunshine as well, it can be pleasant.
Thus it was on the day I took this photo. This shot is looking to the SE, so at my feet was the NW shore of the lake. The ice was melting here, and the beginning of a watery ring around the entire ice pack was forming.
Before that happened, though, we had the chance to experience some lake sounds we had never heard before. The ice was cracking, and because of the nature of the dam the gods have blessed us with, we were provided with an interesting concert.
Here is what I think was happening: The ice had formed on the top of the water. The dam continued to leak water, so the ice became “suspended” over the falling water. Under its own weight the ice began to crack. The sound of the cracking reverberated in the hollow space below the ice and carried across the valley.
The booms were drawn out and would last several seconds. Every few minutes another boom came. They sounded like thunder or a loud jet passing overhead. The cracking began as the sun, low on the horizon in winter, first struck the ice, and it continued for about an hour — an hour L and I spent sticking close to the lake area so we could enjoy this novel experience. By then I guess all of the significant cracking was finished because it was less frequent and prolonged.
I’m not sure if all lakes boom like this when the ice cracks or if it is a phenomenon isolated to lakes with leaky dams. But I add it to my column of Roundrock adventures, and I hope I get the chance to experience it again.