For a brief moment on Saturday morning there is ice-glee around the Bass Islands. From west to east, from north to south, thin ice sheets danced across Lake Erie’s Western Basin. Air temperature hovers in the mid-twenties (F), and Marblehead Station reports the noon water temperature at 32.5°F. Shanties may not pop up anytime soon, but the partially frozen inland sea lifts spirits for all of us who thrive on weather dynamics!
Gusty winds, below-freezing temperatures, snow, and frozen rain paint Put-in-Bay in full winter mode–with the exception of no ice on Lake Erie. Overnight snow and ice glazed the Bass Islands, with some reports indicating a total depth of four inches. Ottawa County remains under a Level One Snow Emergency, as of 12:26pm. At 1:18pm, NOAA issues a Hazardous Weather Outlook:
Patchy freezing drizzle and snow are possible today and tonight. Slick spots may be possible on untreated and elevated surfaces. Minor snow accumulations of less than an inch are possible on Friday.
Lake Erie Islands Conservancy, Put-in-Bay Township Park District (PIBTPD), and the Lake Erie Islands Nature and Wildlife Center (LEINWC) look to hire an AmeriCorps Environmental Steward Intern for the summer of 2020. It is a ten week program working a minimum of 30 hrs per week. Interns are provided a small stipend biweekly and a Segal Educational Award at the completion of the internship–to be used for qualified student loans or tuition.
The intern works on projects like trail maintenance, invasive plant management, grant writing, design of signs and brochures, social media, wildlife and plant surveys, nest box monitoring for the Conservancy and the PIBTPD, depending on the intern’s skill set. For the LEINWC, the intern assists with tours; Wild Tuesday; Nature Camp; native wildlife and pollinator exhibits; community events and outreach; and monitoring the phenology garden and pollinator gardens.
Applicants must be at least 17 years old. Preference is given to university students; a high school education is the minimum requirement to use the education award. It is preferable for candidates to have island housing. If interested, contact Lisa Brohl at leiconservancy “at” gmail.com or 419-366-2087. To take a look at the Environmental Steward program, go to www.environmentalstewards.org
If you wish to make a donation toward the expense of our AmeriCorps intern, please make out a check payable to LEIC and put AmeriCorps in the memo line.
Lake Erie water levels fluctuate daily, but today’s readings are a bit ominous with a nor’easter forecast for Wednesday night, 5 February 2020. Wind Alert predicts gusts in the mid-thirty knots range. The current water level at Marblehead reads 59.2 inches above low water datum. According to Captain Billy Market, this is six inches above last year on this date. A glance at selected spots at Put-in-Bay confirms localized flooding may be on the doorstep. [Photos by Donna Steinbach]
Among the great pleasures of living on South Bass Island is the opportunity to explore the natural environment during all four seasons. Especially interesting and satisfying is the nature walk at Scheeff East Point Preserve on a winter’s afternoon. Today’s excursion was a discovery of ice art!