18 degrees at Round Valley this afternoon. I walked around the corner just to take the place in, with the cold feeling good, seeing no one else, not surprised at that.
I got word from Landolfi by phone that Lake Hopatcong has four inches of ice in the coves. It's thickening fast, of course. Saturday afternoon may be the trial run of the power auger I bought fall 2011 and had no opportunity to use last winter. The split bar won't be left behind on any ice fishing venture, I think, but I won't use it to cut fresh holes when ice is thick. It was one thing to slam through 18 inches of ice when I was 18 years old, but busting ice with an iron chisel headed bar in recent years has been difficult and slow. This is not a complaint. I got through that way, but when means become affordable it's natural to buy them.
My wife always said I'll never use the auger, that ice fishing is all over, but climate change does not happen overnight, and I don't really believe it will be ever be so severe that we don't have some ice in New Jersey during winters in the foreseeable future.
The way the world feels out here, face to face with nature, climate change doesn't seem to be a problem. Here's the world right now and all is fine. In other words the problem, as always, is with us. It's how change affects our systems of all kinds that has already become problematic. And like any problem, it's an opportunity to grow and become something new. That may strike you as a very naive statement but the fact is: the change is here. And if it proves to be severe enough, civilization will not be the same. Can we take the opportunity to create something better?