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Monday, January 27, 2014

Icy Lake Barcroft

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With the temperatures remaining below freezing for days now, and way below for several days and nights running, Lake Barcroft has become an icy wonderland. The scene above was the view on Saturday afternoon. 

Living near a frozen lake is not a new experience for me. The Lake at my previous residence in Falls Church, Lake Fairview, froze several years ago during the big snows of winter 2010.

Lake Fairview, Fall Church, Virginia, Februrary, 2010.

Lake Barcroft, a 135 acre lake, is unique, with its clean water for swimming, sandy beaches for sunning in the spring, summer and fall, and now, its beauty as a frozen panorama. 

I've been out photographing for the past few days with a new camera, the Canon 5D Mark III, a marvelous piece of photographic engineering.   

View from Lake Barcroft's Women's Garden
I recently learned that lake ice forms in two different ways. Opaque white ice results from the mix of snow and lake water freezing together.  Clear, dark ice forms when temperatures drop but there is no snow. This photo depicts both types of lake ice.

Here is another view of the two types of lake ice:

This was the scene on Saturday. Skaters and hockey players donned skates for an afternoon on the ice. Note how far down the lake you can see people.

I stepped out onto the frozen surface and walked down the lake, past Swift Island. The scene was visually stunning.

Although the lake is a private community lake, once the word gets out that the lake is frozen, skaters from around the area show up and show off. The hockey players came from far and wide. 

During this freeze, people take a huge risk skating near open water. I called out to this young guy about the danger, but he kept skating.

We post warnings about swimming in dangerous areas, but this sign next to the frozen lake is somehow funny.

Our winter birds continue to enjoy the lake, frozen or not.

Canada Goose

Tufted duck

Ring-billed gull, treading carefully.

The lake will likely remain in this frozen state throughout the week.