It was utterly amazing to watch the ice form on the lake.
I’d never seen it before — it was fascinating.
Now that we’re winterized, we went out to the lake post-Thanksgiving for the first time this past weekend. It was snowing Saturday, but temperatures had been hovering around freezing, not really a deep cold yet.
There were several thin sheets of ice on our bay if the lake, separated by open water. One several football fields in size had formed in the middle of the bay, going almost shoreline to shoreline.
Come Sunday morning, the ice sheets had grown, the main one with a dusting of snow. People have told us that once the ice sets in, it takes only a couple of days to cover the entire lake.
And then up came a wind of 60-70-k/h, coming in from the northwest as it does most of the summer, making whitecaps out on the main body of the lake, and driving pounding waves in to the docks and the beach. Within 15 minutes, all that ice was crashed up on shore, the waves battering it, the entire idyllic bay thundering with crunching ice shards hammered by waves.
You could see the pile of ice undulating as the waves swept into and beneath the ice.
And slowly, it looked as though the ice was growing out from the shore. Imagination, most likely, but as I sat in front of the fire with my Louise Penny novel, having had our lengthy walk in the woods, I began measuring the ice against the main dock.
And it was growing out into the lake, inexorably. By the time the sun went down, the ice had reached the end of the dock, and the undulations underneath the ice were ending further and further from the beach.
When we left Monday morning, the ice was still growing outward, the waves’ undulations less than halfway to shore.
I’m not suggesting you do a science fair project on it, or rush out on a field trip to watch a lake or river freeze over for hours, but, teachers, this was really, really neat, and it’s happening all over Manitoba as it’s happened since the dawn of time, and it’s something I’ve never been privileged to see in the city, just as I’d never seen loons and beavers and bald eagles and the Northern Lights in the city.
And as we drove home, a wolf ran across Highway 44 and into the bush.