ETHEL’S SUNSET PERCH

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Wasn’t able to get out today,so I went down to see if either Ernie or Ethel were on their favorite perch? Nobody was home when I arrived but decided to wait. Sure enough one of them came by. It was Ethel taking over the best seat in the house! Glad she came by to say hi.

TOFINO INLET FROZEN!

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I went down Tofino inlet to see if I could any shots of the Trumpeters? The swans always hang out at the very end of these deep inlets.Tranquil,Deer Bay & Grice Bay.

I wasn’t shocked to find a ice sheet covering all of Tranquil but I was surprised to find that both inlets (Tranquil & Deer bay) had not only frozen ¬†over completely but had also joined together! From Barryman point to Rankin rocks was all ice straight across & down into each inlet! Thats 6 klicks down to Tranquil & 12 klicks down to Deer bay.

I saw many birds standing out on the ice or should I say “skating about”? I think I even saw a game of shinny break out?

The thickest ice would be down at the very end where the Trumpeters hang out.

I’ve worked down in Tranquil for several years & have never seen it this extensive,so I wondered why?

We have a big strong (cold) High pressure system for almost two weeks.Each night has been below zero.

I suspect our tides have something to do with it as well?

Each day there are 4 cycles of 6 hours each.Two high tides & two low tides. From the high tide to the low tide determines the amount of water coming in & going out the inlet.If there is a huge difference between the high & low tide,the “flush” will be great.If the difference between the high & low is not that much,the flush will be much less.The greatest flush we can have around here 14 feet.

Our tides lately haven’t been that high or that low.This makes a much smaller flush of about 5 or 6 feet.When the water doesn’t move very much,the ice structure can form more easily.

So you need a large fresh water source flowing into the inlet.The density of the salt water & freshwater is different so they do not mix readily.The colder temperatures makes this mixing even harder! So the fresh water can not only lay on top of the oceans surface.It also spreads out for many kilometres!

With this fresh water layer,the colder temperatures & very little movement, large expansive sheets of ice have formed.

It should start to break up as soon as the tides get higher,temperatures rise & the wind picks up.

Than I will be able to get more shots of the Trumpeters!

TRANQUIL IS FROZEN OVER

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I “tried” to get down to Tranquil today but couldn’t because of the ice.Many inlets freeze over in cold weather. The fresh water flowing out of these inlets lays on top of the salt water.If there is no wind,the fresh water will begin to freeze.

I noticed a group of Gulls playing a game of shinny!