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Announcing Journey North's 5th Annual
Internet Ice-Out Contest
for Walden Pond

When do you think the ice will melt on Walden Pond this spring? Famous naturalist Henry David Thoreau kept ice-out records in the mid-1800's and recorded them in his celebrated book, Walden.

How to Enter the Ice-Out Contest
You're invited to place your guess. The deadline is the Ides of March, March 15.

1. Look at the ice-out records Thoreau kept for Walden Pond in the mid-1800's below.

2. Calculate the average date the ice melted over the years he kept records.

3. Next, read the latest news from Walden. And pay attention to the temperatures in Massachusetts over the next few weeks.

4. Finally, place your guess by Responding to Journey North Spring Challenge Question # 3:

Challenge Question # 3
"When do you predict ice-out will occur this year on Thoreau's Walden Pond?" (Please give an exact date, rather than a range of dates.)

To respond to this question, please follow the instructions at the end of
this report. Remember: The deadline is March 15th, the Ides of March!

Walden Pond Update
Here's the latest news from naturalist Michelle Dumas at Walden Pond State Reserve. We hope it will help you predict the 1999 ice-out date for the Pond:

The average high temp for this area in February is 34 F and the average low is 19 F. We have been well above that with an average in the 40's...we reached 50 F on Feb. 3rd. Average snow fall is 11.7" for the far we have had one light snow of 2".

Currently the pond is still completely covered with ice 6" thick. This time of year we usually have 10-12" of ice.

We recently had an animal tracking program which revealed some winter animal activity. We found coyote tracks and scat, deer tracks, otter scat and owl pellets. There were also mouse tracks spotted and a pair of cardinals in the trees.

Ice-Out Records for Walden Pond
These are the dates the ice went out at Walden Pond as collected in the 1800's by Henry David Thoreau:
  • 1845 April 1
  • 1846 March 25
  • 1847 April 8
  • 1851 March 28
  • 1853 March 23
  • 1854 April 7

..... and collected in the 1900's by Journey North students

  • 1995 March 18
  • 1996 March 23
  • 1997 February 22
  • 1998 February 26

How to Respond to Today's Challenge Question
1.Address an e-mail message to:
2. In the Subject Line of your message write: Challenge Question # 3
3. In the body of your message, answer the question.

The Next Signs of Spring Update Will be Posted on March 1, 1999

Copyright 1999 Journey North. All Rights Reserved. Please send all questions, comments, and suggestions to our feedback form

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