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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Caretaker's Concern for 4/21/2010

TCC 4/21/10

ISLAND HOLIDAY. Running water!
The Caretaker picked up the plumber this morning so he could start the water again for the Summer season.

As for the weather today, the morning started cloudy and overcast but it soon cleared away and was sunny and clam for all of the morning but come mid afternoon more clouds rolled in with lots of blustery wind and a few rain drops here and there.

Photo from today:

Before there was the blog the Caretaker sent out posts via e-mail, the following is from the Caretaker's second winter on the Island:

Island Ice Report for 2/10/07:

Outside temp: 18 F
Ghetto temp: 55 F
Wind: occasional gusts from the South, but mostly calm
Sky: mostly cloud covered with occasional breaks of blue
Precipitation: none, darn it.

The Caretaker went for a run yesterday and this morning. This morning's run was at dawn before sunrise. Many Ice fishermen were already out on the Lake by this time, must be the weekend. This morning's run took him down around Three Brother Islands and back. Yesterday's run was to Leontine Island (over in Huddle Bay) and back. The run was at sunset, during what is called "the Artist's Hour", it was quite nice to see the colors of sunset reflected on the patches of ice. The colors of sky lent beautiful hues to the black ice. After rounding Leontine Island to return home the view was of the Narrows and the surrounding mountains, the tones of red and pink upon the East shore were quite a delightful sight. To provide an idea of what the Caretaker's view was there is a photo attached, however, it was taken this past January during the full moon and it does not have as much pink and red but you'll get the idea of what the Caretaker looks at on a regular basis. This photo was taken before the ice came in. (Sorry about the size of this photo, but the size it was taken in takes waaaaaaay too long to upload and the next size down I could get it to is how you see it, I would have liked to have made it a bit larger, when I get photoshop figured out I'll send it on again.) The Artist's Hour is the time at Sunset when the shadow of the Tongue mountain range is cast upon the Eastern shore. The summer months provides a more distinct and detailed shadow due to the location of the sun on the horizon. The photo taken today is of the Narrows but from a different perspective and not at sunset.

As for "things seen" in the photo's from the other day, someone else reported seeing a moose, this person also saw a "winged schnauzer holding a doll" in the clouds with sun photo--they did not really see the face.

Ice Eaters are what keep ice from forming. They are usually used around docks and boat houses but can be used around any structure that is in the water that one would want to protect from shifting ice. Another system is called the bubbler. Moving water does not freeze, both ice eaters and bubblers move water thus keeping it from freezing. The bubbler system comprises of a compressor and air tubes with holes. The air tube is run along the Lake floor close to the structure to be protected and is hooked up to a compressor. The pumped air from the compressor bubbles up from below constantly agitating the water keeping it from freezing. There are a few drawbacks to the bubbler system, if the power goes out and does not come on before the compressor freezes up, the compressor will not run and thus ice will form. Also, the air tubes can become blocked or broken so air is not getting to where it needs to thus the water freezes. The Ice Eater system is just a water tight motor with a propeller, much like a prop on a boat. The Ice Eater is suspended in the water and draws up the warmer water from below and constantly agitates the surface water. The drawback of an Ice Eater is that if the casing cracks water gets into the motor and it will cease to run, however, should the power go out it has no effect on the motor. Even if the power is out long enough for the water to freeze over, when the Ice Eater comes back on it will eventually "eat" the ice that has formed and keep the water open. For me the Ice Eaters here on the Island are very important, they allow me convenient access to open water for drinking, cooking, dish washing and bathing. With out them I would have to chop a hole in the ice every time I needed water. I am quite lazy, chopping holes in ice once or twice a day is not my idea of good time.

--The Caretaker

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