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.