Ice-Out Update: February 20, 1998
Today's Report Includes:
Don't forget to report the date ice-out occurs at your local lake, pond, river, stream, bay, estuary--or ocean! Just follow the instructions below. In our next report we'll provide a summary of all sites where ice-out has been reported. If you NEVER HAVE ICE, please report NOW.
Announcing the 4th Annual Internet Ice-Out Contest for Walden Pond
When do you think the ice will melt on Walden Pond this spring? Famous
naturalist Henry David Thoreau kept ice-out records in the mid-1800's and recorded them in his celebrated book, Walden. This year, students from Thoreau's home state will officiate the contest.
How to Enter the Ice-Out Contest
You're invited to place your guess. The deadline is the first day of
spring, March 20.
1. Find the ice-out records Thoreau kept for Walden Pond in the mid-1800's. (HINT: Check out the chapter he wrote about spring in his best-known book.)
2. Calculate the average date the ice melted over the years he kept records.
3. Next, find out if this winter is colder or warmer than an average
Massachusetts winter. Pay attention to the temperatures in Massachusetts
over the next few weeks. Read the latest news from Walden in the Field
4. Finally, place your guess by Responding to Journey North Ice-Out
Challenge Question # 2:
To respond to this question, please follow the instructions at the end of
Field Notes from Walden Pond
Here's the latest news from naturalist Michelle Dumas at Walden Pond State Reserve. We hope it will help you predict the 1998 ice-out date for the Pond:
February 18, 1998
"The ice on Walden Pond is still thick, about 8-10 inches, but this can
change quickly with continued warm temps, rain and WIND. The wind is what really drives the Ice-Out here at Walden--we have a tunnel effect that can drive the ice off in as little as 8-10 hours. We've had a warmer and wetter winter than usual. Temperatures have been in the high 30's and low 40's and we just had a BIG rainstorm which dropped 3 inches of rain in the area!
"There are still Ice-fisherman on the pond. There is no snow on the ground. There is some Red-tailed Hawk activity being seen, and Cardinals are more active now. Good numbers of deer tracks are being seen as well."
Writing Assignment and Challenge Question
from Fayerweather Street School
Henry David Thoreau built his wooden hut and went to stay by Walden Pond to live simply, to observe the natural world closely and to write. He did not mind being thought of as different or unusual by many of the residents of Concord. Although he walked into town regularly to visit his family and enjoyed having visitors stop by his cabin, he preferred solitude.
It took independence and courage for Thoreau to live his life as he chose.
To respond to this Challenge Question, please follow the instructions at the end of this report.
Reminder: Challenge Question # 1
This spring, we will challenge you to predict ice-out at each of our 1998 Official Ice-out Observation Posts. There's still time to respond to our February 6th questions which asked:
How to Respond to Ice-Out Challenge Questions
Each Challenge Question must be sent in a SEPARATE MESSAGE.
1. Address an e-mail message to: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. In the Subject Line of your message write:
The Next Ice-Out Update will Be Posted on March 6, 1998.
Copyright 1998 Journey North. All Rights Reserved