27 oct 12 ice patterns

Every year or two the conditions are perfect for ice skating in southcentral Alaska.  Temperatures dip below freezing before any appreciable snow falls.  The last twelve days have provided those conditions - clear skies, cold days and colder nights.  This past weekend we ice skated on 3 lakes around Talkeetna, and after work today we skated at Potter Marsh in south Anchorage.

I skated mostly with my eyes down so I could see the patterns in the frozen water. Cracks that curve instead of forming a straight line. Corkscrews and propellers along cracks. Bubbles trapped in action. Dark stars radiating into white ice*. Perfect circles on the surface. Hoar frost patterns under the surface. A new phenomena in every glide.


*Ned Rozell explained 'lake stars' in his Sunday Anchorage Daily News column.