Sunday, January 10

Whitten Pond - Ice Bound

A few snaps from this afternoon's wander near Burley in the New Forest.

The camera flash creating a strangely moody image at my regular crossing point on this pond outlet stream. A place where I've occasionally spotted a swimming snake - but certainly not today.

The beam traverse may be short but it requires a steady nerve & careful balance to avoid the potential early dip. Not that that has happened to me. Yet.

But today it is an easier passage with careful short sliding steps across the surface of thick ice.

A few steps further on lies Whitten Pond, a large pool of water easily visible from the Burley/Bransgore road.

I remain wary of the variable nature of the icy conditions underfoot. So those who decided a trip out onto the ice, and so far from shore, were foolhardy to say the least.

In places the steeping ground requires careful attention to avoid a loss of footing. Necessary caution.

Occasionally the path route leads across a flat areas of snowy ground. Too flat to be solid ground I belatedly realise with ominous sounds of cracking ice underfoot. A reminder of the vast quantity of stored water potential awaiting the inevitable thaw before returning the New Forest tracks back to muddy quagmire for the winter months ahead.

Dark was falling as I finally returned to the car park, today's walking pace reduced by the need for wariness.

As I carefully maneuvered the car towards the icy incline at the car park exit other vehicles were still arriving to start their own excursions out into the dark and mildly treacherous conditions.

Well at least the cold will keep any victim suitably embalmed for easy body ID.

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Not sure I would fancy walking across there! Looks like you captured it just in time - the big thaw is underway now!
...and so it proved to be, although not quite as rapid as we usually get locally.
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