I checked out the trails to the falls in the afternoon because Jeanne was wondering if they would be clear enough for us to walk the next day. The trails were slushy, there were obvious icy spots, but the slush was not slippery. That was what covered most of the trails. The falls were frozen but water was running. The temperature was 40 degrees. There was a mist hanging in the air from the evaporating water, also from the come and go light showers. Since the temperatures were to remain the same or rise on Saturday, I felt a walk would be easily doable.
As I walked through the woods to Octagon Prairie, I saw this little snowman. It is about 2 feet tall. (61 cm) You can see the snow cover on the trail in front of it. There was more snow than slush in the woods.
On Saturday morning when Jeanne, her dogs and I headed into the park, I was surprised to see that the entrance to the woods was completely clear. All the ice was gone. That was partly because we had had a hard rain during the night and also because the temperature had already risen to 45F (7.22C)
The trail inside the woods was a different story. The trail looked fairly clear though there were standing pools of water. It was what was under the pools that was dangerous. Over the gravel which was clearly visible beneath the water puddles were thin clear coatings of ice which were not visible..
We elected to walk along the sides of the trail which were snow and slush covered but not icy. As we neared the falls, the trail cleared. The maintenance staff had deiced that area and spread gravel. The falls was awesome. It roared as though it was twice as big as it actually is. The water was falling with such force that it was landing in the pond beyond the foot of the falls, not on the rocks below the falls where it normally lands.
The trail through the woods to Octagon Prairie was completely clear of all snow, slush and ice. Even the little snowman had melted away.
But winter is not over. Though we are expected to have a high of 48 degrees today, the temperatures will be in the twenties ( - 6.66C and a bit higher) all day on Tuesday. There is snow in the forecast, too. That's winter weather around here.