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Although the winter officially begun less than a week ago (on winter Solstice on December 21) we have been in the grips of subzero temperatures for several months by now with both the Whitemud Creek and the North Saskatchewan River solidly frozen for quite some time now. On Christmas Day we took the kids sledding at the hill at the north end of the ravine. It was a beautiful sunny day with a balmy -10 °C. I decided to go up a small icy trail off the main trail. It looked like the trail had been flooded at some point in time as it now was covered in a thick expansive sheet of ice. At the end of the icy section it became apparent where the water came from…, well sort of. There was a black rivulet of water flowing down the slope our of the forest and as it made its way down the slope it dovetailed with sheet of ice covering the trail. It was a very peculiar sight to see water flowing when all other bodies of water have been frozen solid for months. The snow had melted where the rivulet came down and judging from the thickness and extent of the ice sheet the rivulet must have been there for quite some time. For the water to remain in a liquid state while it was coming down the slope can only mean that it must be quite warm at the source. The obvious question is, however, where is the water coming from? Is it discharge from a human-made source higher up in the forest? Is it a warm spring? Unlikely, but possible. I did not have time to follow the rivulet upstream this time around. Perhaps next time.
May the curiosity be with you. This is from “The Birds are Calling” blog (www.thebirdsarecalling.com). Copyright Mario Pineda.