Real Ice

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The temperature this morning was 4.3 degrees above zero.  The wind was down.  Could the lake finally have frozen?  As soon as the morning light came up, I walked to the landing to see.

The sunrise at this time of the year often sheds a wonderful pinky/orange glow to the sky and the lake.  In this case, it did not disappoint me.  A screen of slight, broken clouds cast the light in all the right shades.  As far as I could see, it looks as though yes, we do have ice.  A lingering bit of ice fog was visible on the Canadian shore, but it seems to have cleared.  That incredible stillness has fallen, save for the sounds of the birds, busy feeding as they greet the day.

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I often think of the ice as my winter playground.  We don't have many landscapes as flat as this one, here in the hilly and rocky Northwoods.  When the wind and weather permit, the lake is a great place to hike, snowshoe, ski, or even ride a bike.  And once in a great while, it is also fit for skating.  It's too soon to say if this will be one of those years, because we need some deep cold weather, with no snowfall.  If snow comes before the cold, it insulates the ice.  We'll be keeping an eye on both the lake and the thermometer over the next several days.  If we see wolves on the ice, that will tell us something.  We'll watch for other signs, too.

In the meantime, I'll content myself with looking for opportune moments to take the next "perfect" photograph.  And maybe I'll find other ways to play from the safety of the shoreline.