April 3, 2017, just before ice out

This photo was taken on April 3rd. It had been warm. It had been cold. It had snowed only a few days before. It had rained. Near the shore, the first few feet of water was clear of ice. The ice finally stopped its vocalizing. Everywhere else on the lake that we can see, except close to shore, was still covered with ice.

The ice in the shallow water was frothy. Almost snowy looking. And the ice over deeper water was already showing the color of the water underneath.

A few days later. No ice.

Soon Jeff will be out fishing. The kids will be tubing. And we’ll be checking on Ghost Bay and the Narrows keeping our fingers crossed that the beavers didn’t munch too many birch trees this winter.

St. Patrick’s Day and almost ice out!

The unseasonably warm weather is hurrying up ice out this year. The big thaw is being hastened by temperatures in the mid-seventies! This “river” cuts a swath near shore in the first bay, if you are coming out of the Narrows, on the east side of the big part of Long Lake. My theory is that a late season snowmobiler headed out on the lake, and then thought better of it. As the lake melts, the ice peels like an onion skin, showing evidence of winter’s activities.  You can see where snowmobiles moved about–and there weren’t many this year. You can see where the ATVs headed to ice fishing holes.

Speaking of holes, check this one out. The sun has heated the cinder block, sitting in about two feet of water, where we attach our aluminum paddle boat in the summer. This is the result:

The camera could not quite capture the many shades of green and blue showing through the ice.  But here’s a sample:

 

Ice Out

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I was born and raised in Michigan, so it’s not like I know the day-to-day details of weather anywhere else.  But to my taste, it doesn’t get any better than experiencing the changing of the seasons in my home state.  These sunset photos were taken on April 2, 2010, about 30 minutes apart, just a week and a half after ice out, on a day when the temperatures soared to 82 degrees.

A Pileated Woodpecker visited our suet feeder.  The loons are already back on the lake.  The Canada Geese are paired up and cranky.  The lake is alive with loon wails, geese honks, and Merganser quacks. The visiting Buffleheads are doing their goofy water skimming dances.  This weekend we saw a good sized pike, probably getting his appetite worked up for a gosling or two, swimming over the big weed pile at the west end of Ghost Bay.  Small mouth bass are moving through the shallows and circling Belly Button Island.  We sat in our kayaks, taking it all in.  Delicious!

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