Middle Spring Ice Hole Upper Pond
I had written the other week about the strong flow from the new 2″ pipe from the sap house spring keeping the upper pond significantly ice free. Since then we had that deep freeze to the negative teens. That isn’t the coldest we’ve ever had but it was cold enough so that where that pipe was splashing on the rocks built up enough ice that it blocked the end of the pipe. This caused the entire 2″ pipe to flash freeze back the 2,000′ to the sap house spring on Sugar Mountain. Flash freezing happens when the water is super chilled and then stops moving.
Thawing 2,000′ feet of 2″ pipe is not practical. Unburying it from the snow would also expose the 1″ pipe beside it which is still running fine. Once exposed the 1″ pipe might freeze too. Given that the 1″ pipe from the middle† spring provides enough water for us to get by we’ll just have to wait for the 2″ pipe to naturally melt in the spring. Sometimes the simplest solutions are best.
The other springs are keeping the upper pond full so it is not critical to thaw the 2″ pipe. Better to use our effort on other projects. As a general rule it about five times harder to work outdoors during the winter. That is to say every takes about five times longer and there are things that can occupy a whole day that simply don’t happen in the warm seasons. Patience is best as we conserve our time and effort for projects that matter. The pipe shown above is from the middle spring which is only about 1,500′ of 1″ pipe. It didn’t freeze because it splashes in to the pond high up above the water. This summer I’ll adjust the the 2″ pipe to prevent the end from freezing. In a perfect world we’ll also bury the lines but there are some other projects that have to be coordinated with that.
In the past the pond has frozen over solid, great for skating. But this year with the increased water flow we have open water. Sirius, one of our working dogs was a bit too inquisitive and fell in the hole at the middle spring outlet shown above. Another of the dogs, Remus, alerted Will (“Quick! Come! Timmy has fallen in the well!”) but by the time Will got to the pond Sirius had already dragged himself out from his chilly bath. Sirius’s outer fur coat was soaking wet but the water probably didn’t penetrate the dense under coat to his skin. Will put Sirius in the cottage to make sure he’s okay – he is no worse for the wear.
The dogs and I had a talk about the ice hole so hopefully that won’t happen again. This summer I plan to move all of the water flow inlets so they’re next to the beach area. That will make it safer for the dogs to get a drink at the pond during the winter.
Outdoors: 47°F/29°F Rain, High Winds
Tiny Cottage: 62°F/61°F
Daily Spark: It is remarkable how many workers at health food stores are smokers.
†“Middle spring,” I hear you say, “Surely it needs a better name than that!” Aye, perhaps it does.. Ideas? Not Roger, Peter, Paul or Mary. Most things around here get descriptive names. The middle spring looks to have been made by the settlers perhaps 200 or more years ago. I found a ancient brick there. Maybe we should call it the brick spring…