Ice acoustics on Juney Whank Branch January 7, 2014Posted by Jenny in hiking, nature, Smoky Mountains.
Tags: Juney Whank Branch, Noland Divide trail
We’ve all been hearing about the polar air mass that has enshrouded the eastern U.S. In fact, we’ve been hearing so much about it that we are enshrouded more in talk about the polar air mass than in the air mass itself.
But yes, it was cold last night and today. Here in Sylva, NC, it got down to around minus five last night, depending on elevation.
I waited until noon before venturing out on a short hike up the Noland Divide trail to the point it is crossed by the left fork of Juney Whank Branch, at 2900′. The stream has a cascade there that nearly disappears in dry weather but is very pretty in wet or icy conditions. It is not to be confused with the falls on Juney Whank down near the Deep Creek campground.
The hike to the cascade gives an elevation gain of 1100′, just enough for a minimal exercise hike.
When I got to the cascade, I saw that ice had formed on both sides of the streambed, merging together in places and leaving openings in other places where you could see water flowing in a frigid underworld beneath the ice. I stood there looking at the patterns of ice and listening to the sounds of the stream. It seemed to me that the sounds of flowing water were enhanced by the resonance of the ice.
The sounds rang out clear and bright, the melody of a winter stream.
A lovely song!
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