As a follow up to the video, here are shots of ducks on black ice that formed on January 15th on Brighton’s millpond. Ice has been on the pond for some time, but the water kept open by the ducks was forming a thin coat of ice each night until the severe weather of the past few days closed it further. On this morning, I threw a few pellets on ice that was only one-eighth inch thick to encourage the ducks to climb onto it. Ducks aren’t particularly graceful at waddling on ice. They tumble once in a while but don’t have far to fall. They walk tentatively on such thin ice and it crackles from their weight. Eventually the ice bends and allows water to cover their ankles. By the time the sun heats the ice, their activity reopens their play area.
The bright orange of their legs and feet really show up against the dark water below the ice. When it’s as smooth as it was this morning, they seem to be walking on water. That’s especially true once a thin layer of water covers their feet as shown in a couple of these pictures.