"first lake ice"

Lake Ice Starting

Global warming or not, the ice is trying hard to get a foothold in our cottage lake. Hi friends, we’re just back from spending a great 5 days at the camp, ringing in the New Year in style, with long johns, electric blankets, good friends and plenty of firewood.

The weather cooperated wonderfully, giving us great weather for the entire time, albeit a little cool on a couple of occasions, and particularly overnight when the therometer mercury dipped down below freezing. But not too far below freezing, just enough to let you know that it ain’t summer anymore and that we live in Canada.

Now that I am retired and spending more time on the lake year round, it’s great to be able to watch the changing seasons and see first hand how things happen. One of those things that I am watching is how the ice gets started in the lake. We’re on a pretty good sized body of freshwater, on a lake that gets lots of wave action on most days, and usually calming down overnight. That of course, is when the water freezes and the winter ice tries to get a foothold on the lake.

This year, as of this writing, the lake is free and clear of ice, except in some of the more sheltered coves, like the one beside our camp. In fact there were a couple of boats on the lake as folks took advantage of the open waters to spend some holiday time at cottages with boat access.

When we arrived at the camp last week we were welcomed by the almost musical, light tinkling sound of ice forming and moving in the cove like windchimes on a breezy summer day. The cove had obviously frozen over and then the ice broken up, leaving hundreds of small pieces of ice floating around, tiny flat icebergs about a foot or so in diameter bobbing into one another and against the shoreline. Every morning those little pieces were joined together by a thin skim of ice, which eventually broke up as the wind came up and the lake water started to move again.

The first day the ice took quite a beating and most of it was gone by suppertime, but the next night it formed up again, and this time it stayed, and it’s still there now.

The temperatures hovered around the freezing mark all week, either slightly below or slightly above, so for the entire 5 days we were there, things pretty much held their own. Here is what it looked like in the cove.
"first lake ice"
It will be interesting to keep watch on the ice and see when the lake freezes over completely. If things keep going like they are, it might be quite awhile before that happens.
On the other hand, a few days of good cold below freezing temperatures, and we’ll have ice. Not walking on it yet though….and you shouldn’t either…read back a few posts to my previous post about when the ice is safe.
first ice december 2010
In the meantime, I think I still have time to get my ice skates sharpened…..

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