THE RIVER REPORTER CLIMATE CHALLENGE
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Frozen sunshine

I’m not sure where the slang term “frozen sunshine” originated; I think I may have heard it from a cynical meteorologist while in the service. It meant that it was going to ice or snow either on the ground or in the air. If too much of the stuff was forecast, we stayed on the ground. Winter is the season for “frozen sunshine” and also frozen lakes and rivers. We either love it or hate it, depending on circumstance. Here are some scenes from January’s winter landscape.

TRR photo by Scott Rando
A recent January ice storm coated the needles of this white pine, as well as everything around it. This storm also caused slippery roads and walkways, as well as some accidents. It was fortunate that the ice load on trees was not enough to bring limbs down on power lines in most areas. There were some scattered outages, however. (Click for larger version)
TRR photo by Scott Rando
This mallard duck has no trouble navigating through the frazil ice on the Delaware River. If the ice freezes solid, the waterfowl will just move to a more open spot. Places such as the Lackawaxen River confluence stay ice free and attract many waterfowl species, as well as eagles. Otters have also been seen in that area. Many lakes in our area have at least six inches of ice, and ice fishing activity is in full swing. (Click for larger version)
TRR photo by Scott Rando
Water runoff has created this spectacular frozen waterfall across the river from the Zane Grey access area. The tree in the right part of the image is about 60 feet high. Even a small amount of groundwater seepage on rock faces can cause large icicles to form. (Click for larger version)