Monday, April 21, 2008

Black ice, peepers and invisible moose

I drove through the park last night on my way home from a last blast of spring skiing in Vermont. Small ponds are open but all the big lakes you can see from the highway are still covered, with maybe a canoe length of open water around the shoreline. The good news is that the ice is very black, so clearly the hot sunny weather is having a dramatic effect. What we really need now is wind, to get the ice moving around, and rain, to dissolve it further. The forecast is calling for continued hot sunny weather, so regardless what else happens, there is a very good chance that many lakes will be open by the weekend. Hopefully all access roads will be too! Believe it or not, there is still patchy snow in the woods. Stay tuned and don't forget to check the Algonquin Park ice report.

While driving, I turned off the radio, opened the sunroof and was treated to the glorious sound of spring peepers. I also slowed down and kept a very watchful eye for moose. They are hanging out near (and on) the road. At night, moose are virtually invisible until one appears in your headlights. Even knowing the road and knowing the usual "moose zones" doesn't help. On my way through park very early Friday morning, I came as close as I ever have to hitting a moose at the Smoke Creek Bridge, one of the last places you'd expect to see one. The danger doesn't end at the park boundary either. Both moose and deer are commonly seen on Hwy 60 both east and west of Algonquin Park.

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