Posted by: csdailyblog | February 21, 2011

Record-Breaking Warm Weather for Conserve School

Brendan is smiling even though that's slush he's fallen into while playing games on the lake ice.

The past week brought strangely balmy weather to the Northwoods and, sadly, a rapid depletion in our snow levels. It’s only February, though, and spring is a long ways off, so we’re already back to below-freezing weather. More snow is predicted soon, just in time for the famous Berkie (or Birkebeiner) ski race, which will bring top skiers from all over the world to Hayward, Wisconsin, this coming weekend. (A few of our staff members and students will be skiing in the race, and many Conserve School students will be staffing Camp Berkie: a weekend day camp program for younger children that keeps them safe and entertained while their parents are participating in the Berkie. Watch for photos next week.)

Upsides to the warm temperatures last week included wet snow that was perfect for snowman-building, picturesque mist and ice formations caused by fluctuating and contrasting temperatures, and warm sunshine that made outdoor play irresistable.

Jennings reads some of his work to his history classmates.

In most of the shots below, you see one of the sections of Michael Salat’s History Class taking some time to play games on the ice, just like Shackleton’s men did when their ship, the  Endurance, became locked in the Antarctic ice. (Read more about this activity and Shackleton’s adventure on Michael’s most recent website entry.) You can also see some of the snowmen built on campus in the last few days, after Head of School Stefan Anderson challenged students to a snowman-building contest and promised jars of Nutella to the creators of the winning entries. Dean of Students and Spanish Teacher Kathleen O’Connor can be seen next to one of the more popular artistic contributions: she’s “swimming” away from a snow-shark that has already brutalized a few unlucky snowpeople in front of Mandel House residence hall. (Fans of Calvin and Hobbes may recognize the scene.)

Even though the unseasonably warm air made the top layer of lake ice slushy, the ice is still thick and safe. My husband and son went ice fishing today and reported that the ice was about a foot and a half thick — and, after a few days of colder temperatures, no longer so slushy on top.

Mary Anna

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