Monday, January 21, 2013

New Sights, New Sounds

Just when you think you are getting the hang of it--you find you don't know anything at all.  We always assumed that all you needed was a nice freeze to make the ice fit for travel--now we find that the wind has a major roll to play. 

We had some warm temperatures (as high as 54) a few days ago, and a few small patches of the ice gave way to water.  Then the winds moved in and the temperature plummeted to well below freezing.  Now--incredibly--we are typing this with 9 degrees outside and the lake mostly open!

The wind worked to create relentless waves against the ice edges--expanding the open water almost shore to shore.

A neat side bar:  The sound of an ice retreat is the sound of a thousand castanets at one hundred times the volume.  All of those countless ice cubes being created and jangled together before the wind.  The closest thing I'd heard before was the sound of tens of thousands of agates being bounced together as the surf hit the appropriately-named Agate Beach on the Olympic Peninsula (now in private hands, alas).

We had to haul the rowboat away from the iced in shore and relaunch at the boat ramp.  We were able to get our mainland chores done today--but it was a struggle.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Ice Abstract

Here we have the clouds reflected on the ultra smooth ice of Lake Manitou.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


This is the tricky time.  How much will hold the weight of a kayak?  I'm guessing a half inch will do the job (we push the kayak with screw drivers).  The tricky part--how thick is the ice away from the island?  We can measure it here--but by the time we get to the middle of the channel it is too late.

The birds are in the same quandry.  There is a solid line of geese between Big Island and Honeymoon Island.  I can't see from here whether they managed to keep open water there.  We also have two eagles having a feast on the ice closer to the north shore.  There is a big mass a few feet to the East of them.  It is either the body of the deer that drowned (see earlier post) or it may be a hapless group of mudhens frozen in--can't tell with my binoculars.

We'll stay here today and take the ice on tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Winter Island

For those of you who have visited in Summer.  We thought you might like to see what Treasure Island looks like in the Winter.  On this first day of the new year, we have the lake flirting with its first skim of ice.  It may become a done deal by morning if we hit the 9 degrees in the forecast.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!