Warm rain … soggy ground … the smell of wet soil, old leaves, and new shoots of green. It’s felt like spring in Port Darlington – but since it’s still January, other possibilities are more likely. Something is just over the horizon – but is it a deep thaw, a snow squall, a sunny afternoon, or another cold spell?
After ten days of unseasonably warm weather nearly all the shore ice has disappeared from the harbour. The snow on Bowmanville Marsh has melted in the rain, frozen at night, and gone soft again the next day.
While warm days in winter often come with dull, cloudy skies, there is still colour to be found embedded in the ice. Leaves, sticks and feathers stand out against the surface, and sometimes fine crystals of frost capture the hue of sunrise and sunset.
The week-long process of snow drifts condensing to slush, then finally turning to hard ice, has created a surface rich in topography. (Or poor skating, if you want to look at it that way.)
By the day’s last light, if you squint your eyes just right the marsh ice looks like the skin of a far-away land.
On a warm and quiet morning gulls and geese gather in the centre. The layer of water atop the thin ice makes for good reflections, but walking through this slick puddle is a tricky business.
Back in the shallows of the harbour suitable floes are now scarce, but this fisherman is enjoying some prime real estate.
Top photo: Floatation – January 28 (click here for full-size image)