Photo by Barbara Yeaman
The layer of ice covering the Big Eddy in Narrowsburg measured 20 inches thick when I bored this hole on March 1.

First redwings (March 1). Early in the afternoon of March 1, two male red-winged blackbirds landed in the garden to glean seed that I’d scattered for winter birds. Male red wings are the first migrants to arrive at our place, and generally show up several weeks before females. The next conspicuous arrivals will be Narrowsburg’s turkey vultures, which may be circling above Peck’s Market by the weekend.

River ice. Despite unseasonably warm weather and a lot of melting, the river ice was thick as ever on March 1. Borrowing a hand augur from Larry Beale of the National Park Service, I bored two holes in the ice sheet at the Narrowsburg Eddy, and two more in the river ice about a mile below Skinners Falls.

At the eddy, the ice was 20 inches thick, the same depth I’d measured on February 15. The river ice below Skinners Falls was 18 inches thick near the PA shore, and 16 inches thick above the main channel on the New York side.

When this ice broke up on March 6, giant sheets and chunks surged down the river to rest on low-lying slopes and terraces, including a boat landing below Narrowsburg's Big Eddy. (Click here for a March 8 picture of a minivan parked at this landing, after threading a way through the ice debris.)

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