ice flow on a lake

Winter Goes with the Floe

Temperatures are rising, and I’m watching a break-up.

Warm(ish) weather has reached our lake, melting and fracturing its icy cover. Ice floes of all shapes and sizes meander by. Some floes rival a sculptor’s art. Others carry creatures at rest, floating like innertubes on a lazy river.

They all send a most welcome signal.

The frigid season is finally saying farewell.

Images tell this story better than any words I might conjure up. Here’s a montage from the past few days.

I’ve written about common mergansers in the past. This post shows the full merganser mating routine.  Here’s another showing them diving in and between ice holes, fishing.

We’ll almost certainly get more snow in the weeks to come. But a prolonged deep freeze is unlikely, so I’ll take my cue from this week’s merganser show: Spring is truly on its way.

Resources and a Kids’ Book

Common mergansers are lively birds and lots of fun to watch. Here’s their profile on The National Audubon Society’s free bird guide.

And from the amazing University of Michigan Museum of Zoology’s Animal Diversity Web, the merganser article.

For kids, I’m thinking about the flip side of my post’s hopeful message about melting ice. I’m recommending a book about polar ice melt caused by global warming.  It’s a picture book for kids about ages 5 to 7, maybe older. It’s called  Winston of Churchill: One Bear’s Battle Against Global Warming. Written by Jean Davies Okimoto and illustrated by Jeremiah Trammell, the story is about a polar bear that organizes a protest, drawing attention to global warming and highlighting actions that humans, including kids, can take. The book is silly, with some laugh-out-loud humor aimed squarely at the adult reader. But it’s loaded with kid-friendly storytelling that pulls no punches in its message about global warming.

Image Credits: Carol Doeringer.

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