I had heard that the Coast Guard was going to send a cutter up the Kennebec River this week to cut up the ice. When they do this, it prevents flooding by controlling the flow of ice and keeping it from piling up on the bridges as it moves downriver. I think it's more fun when the ice goes out on its own, but the first view of open water, no matter how it happens, is always exciting.
I was home all day yesterday... I noticed late in the afternoon that the river ice had been cut. How did I miss it?
Before sundown, I caught one of the passes of the cutters.
Two cutters woke me up at 7:00 this morning. No photos of that; just couldn't get my butt in gear fast enough. Several runs later (that I mostly missed!), I finally heard a cutter crunching through the ice from a distance.
First time ever: The cutter swung a u-turn in front of my house and immediately headed back downstream. The river is pretty open at this point; I guess they are focusing on keeping the ice from getting caught up on the bridge that's about five miles downriver from here.
It's officially spring now!