April 9, 2017: Rabbit Lake

I was out for my morning walk today, and stopped at the Gazebo on Rabbit Lake to look at the ice. Rabbit Lake is completely candled. Candling is when the solid structure of the ice starts to fracture into separate crystals.

Rabbit Lake.

Later, I stopped at a dock and plunged my hand into the water to pull out a fist sized cluster of those crystals. They’re only loosely stuck together, because water has penetrated the fissures between the crystals.

Candled ice: crystal cluster.

It was holding together, so I lifted it up and dropped it a few inches. SPLINK.

Candled ice: individual crystals.

This is the last stage of how lake ice melts, so it means the ice on Rabbit Lake is rotten and weak. Rabbit Lake will let go in the next few days, quite possibly this afternoon, but if not, early next week.

Today would be a great day to take your kids to the park by the rowing club, or Rabbit Lake beach, because the candled ice will now float up and down with every wave. If wind and waves get the crystals rubbing together and breaking apart, you will be able to hear the tinkling sounds.  If conditions are right, it will sound like a billion tiny chimes. Science!

Do not let your kids walk on the ice. It won’t support anything, and that water is cold.

8 thoughts on “April 9, 2017: Rabbit Lake

  1. I only saw and heard this once about 50 years ago. It was amazing. Wish I was in Kenora this weekend.

  2. Great pics of Rabbit Lake and ice. Loved the term “splink”! Good advice to get the kids out to see and hear those sounds, music of nature. Always look forward to your blog. My family has had a camp on Southwest end of Scotty since 1934. Sure wish I could show Grandpa and Grandpa what we have access to now to see a view of our place they never saw! We head north from our home in Colorado mid June—been looking forward to that migration since 1944. Safe winging over the lake to you! Gwen Koehler

  3. Thanks for the pictures, great to hear the tinkling sound. My husband also called it honeycomb ice.

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