Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Breaking Ice Along The River

I took these shots one morning at the end of February. The Rideau River passes through the core of the city in a meandering path roughly parallel to the Canal. Here at Billings Bridge, there is always some open water through the winter, which provides ducks with a spot to congregate around. As a preventative measure against spring flooding, in late February, the ice is blasted downstream near the Rideau Falls, which allows the ice upstream to start breaking up on its own. Here that was starting to happen, with slabs of ice fracturing to the west. 


Coming back across the bridge from running errands, I saw the open water wearing away at the ice. The ducks were on the water as well as on shore, where there were many of them getting fed by a local family. A Canada Goose spent the winter here with the ducks and got through fine, which surprised me; usually they're all gone from here through winter. 


There's a wood duck in this mix- if you look at the bottom row of ducks, there are five- he's right in the middle with his back turned to me, but he had the distinctive feathers on the back of his head, unlike the rest of the male mallards here.


Here is how it looked a week later, first to the west, and then to the east. It doesn't quite look like it, but we were in the midst of a deep cold spell in the first part of March when I took these shots. Tomorrow we'll have another look at the river.

29 comments:

  1. Lovely series, William, and so nice to see the ducks.

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  2. It's amazing to see the river in its different states. Love Canadian nature!

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  3. So not only snow is blown up to prevent avalanches, so too is ice, to prevent flooding. It's a harsh climate.

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  4. The ice will be melting fast now!

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  5. I think the birds and other animals will be happy when the ice is gone.

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  6. When a river flows through a community, it really is the pulse of the city. Love that first photo.

    Janis
    GDP

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  7. lots of birdies. so cool!! looks like things are melting. ( ;

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  8. @Linda: thanks!

    @Halcyon: so do I.

    @Andrew: it seems to work.

    @Francisco: thank you.

    @Marianne: the slabs of ice one sees float by now are a lot smaller.

    @Marleen: they now have full access to the river.

    @Janis: thank you!

    @Beth: very slowly!

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  9. ...this means that spring is around the bend.

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  10. Roll On River.... and SPRING!

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  11. Spring breakups are always interesting as sometimes they can be very spectacular. In Ottawa's case they take action to prevent flooding.

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  12. Hello, pretty views of the river. I found the wood duck in the crowd. I am glad the ice is melting. Happy Tuesday, enjoy your day!

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  13. I like those last two photos the best! Nice to see sunshine and blue skies. But it still doth look cold!

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  14. Goodness me! What a difference a week makes William! It would be interesting to watch them blasting the ice, is there a viewer point or do they prefer the public to stay right away?

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  15. I love blue sky and water in last two pictures.

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  16. The ice is fading and the ducks are enjoying themselves.

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  17. @Tom: in some cases, literally!

    @Cloudia: it's been a slow spring.

    @Red: it's a sensible precaution. I've seen the river crest its banks elsewhere, and if homes were built closer to the water, it would have been a problem. It's a lot easier to see a tennis court with water in it than a basement.

    @Eileen: what strikes me is how the usual ducks are bigger than a wood duck.

    @Lowell: and today it's a cold rain.

    @Grace: I've never gone up myself to see it, but the bike paths on either side of the river would be ideal for watching it. I know each year there are photographs in the paper.

    @RedPat: but not too quickly, which suits me fine.

    @Klara: thank you!

    @Bill: they were enjoying themselves that day.

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  18. Ii'll bet it is nice to see the river thawing. I wonder if those ducks stayed because someone is feeding them ? Makes me wonder if they should do that?

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  19. Such a big change. I do love seeing the ducks!

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  20. Surely the ducks enjoy spring. Distinct seasons would stimulate the human community, a special experience taken for granted, almost unknown to me.

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  21. The ducks are living good in that cold with people feeding them.

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  22. Oh, those poor ducks! Does the snow ever go away?

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  23. I love ducks but Fiona could send them flying!

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  24. I am sure the ducks are glad to see the ice melts and looks forward to spring.

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  25. Really enjoyed this series of photo's, especially the ducks.

    All the best Jan

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  26. I've never seen river ice break up. It's a new one for me.

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  27. @Janey: there's enough open water that the ducks can make do quite well with just eating the vegetation beneath the water surface, but I'm sure they appreciate the extra grub.

    @Lois: I've always liked ducks.

    @Julia: here four distinct seasons are pretty much par for the course.

    @Mari: they do have some advantages.

    @Norma: they manage quite well over winter.

    @Eve: Fiona would do that!

    @Nancy: they're happier now!

    @Jan: thank you.

    @Kay: it's something I'm used to, both on this river and the Ottawa River.

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