Monday, January 10, 2011

Panther Hollow in Midwinter

In the January Thaw post I made a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that Pittsburgh isn't usually below freezing for many weeks at a time without a thaw.  It's been a COLD winter here, though, and this winter there really haven't been a lot of thaws.  This morning the lows were in the teens (Fahrenheit) and the highs were in the mid to upper 20s.  This is the city I drove into last night, and the city I drove out of last August was muggy and hot.  The change is quite dramatic!

Today I bundled up and explored Panther Hollow in the cold.
Pittsburgh in Winter 066

The seeps along the road had created some amazing ice formations.
Pittsburgh in Winter 061

Pittsburgh in Winter 060

Pittsburgh in Winter 064

The temperature underground does not vary that much over the year, and groundwater in seeps is usually near the average yearly temperature of its area.  No matter how cold it gets, the seeps keep flowing, but once the water is exposed to cold air, it freezes.  Some of this ice may have come from water dropped in thunderstorms when I was in the park!

Like seeps, creeks generally don't freeze solid.  It's difficult for fast-moving water to freeze at all, but any time it splashes on or contacts another surface, ice can form.  This results in some really neat ice formations also.

Pittsburgh in Winter 072

Pittsburgh in Winter 074

Pittsburgh in Winter 085

Panther Hollow Lake was, of course, frozen over.

Pittsburgh in Winter 095

Pittsburgh in Winter 096

Pittsburgh in Winter 090

The ice was quite thick, and some people were playing hockey.  Ice skating is against the rules though, because it can be dangerous.

Pittsburgh in Winter 087

Don't forget that Panther Hollow Lake isn't a natural lake either.  If something happens to the drain that changes the water level of the lake, the ice could become more prone to breaking.

The rain garden has turned into a snow garden.  No water is running in here from the roof, though it will whenever the thaw comes.

Pittsburgh in Winter 044

Stay warm!

No comments:

Post a Comment