16th May- Ice-slush-puddles

It is only a matter of time before Svalbard moves into full summer mode and the snow cover receeds. The ‘big melt’ is coming, in fact it might have started today with temperatures edging over the zero degree mark, (though I am holding out for more snow and re-freeze next week :)). Today we saw glimpses of what is to come as the normally treacherous ice patches we were becoming used to negoiating have melted to slush over the course of the day. Puddles are appearing, and the dagger-like icicles which were here at the start of the week are dripping away very rapidly.  The value of snow and ice in and to Svalbard (as a place, to people and other species here) is one thing that I’m hoping to learn and think more about while I’m here…

Emphemeral ice stalactites, here yesterday, gone today…

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