Ice Hunting

My friend Lisa invited me out this afternoon with one of her friends, so I brought Petey and we all went ice hunting.

We met up at The Dockside – a boating restaurant perched where Clam Lake flows into Torch Lake.

still Torch Lake

The lake was about as still as I’ve ever seen it, and we found our first hunt success on Torch’s shores.
ice on Torch

But we didn’t linger long – Lisa had a new favorite place to share with us. After a quick stop-off in Bellaire (where she surprised me with a Christmas gift, thoughtful gal that she is), we landed on the eastern edge of Lake Bellaire.

Click to embiggen
icy Lake Bellaire panorama

A clear sheet of ice covered the full expanse of the lake. Well, except where someone broke through at the boat launch.

The very edges of the lake were frozen solid enough to walk on. I didn’t venture out far – it’s unnerving standing atop icy water, and more so when you can see just how deep that water is. So I didn’t go far, but I did venture out.

On my belly…which might sound crazy, but I know a thing or two about the relationship between pressure and area. It’s odd being face to face with ice on the lake, but I was far more likely to stay on the lake rather than ending up in the lake this way.

spoon ice

Petey’s not much better than me. As you can see, I had to call him back from the edge a few times, and he insisted on climbing out on this tree. Not that he saw me do it first or anything. Mmhmm.

Petey didn’t just spend his time testing the ice and climbing trees. He was a real help, too.

After shooting every molecule of ice on Lake Bellaire’s edges, we opted to return to Torch Lake for the sunset.
Torch Lake sunset

The skies promised a show, but the sunset got trapped in the ice. And then, the color faded from the day.
sunset trapped in ice

Happy with our afternoon’s captures, we packed in our gear and headed home. I think we bagged our limit for the day – but no worries, it’s a long ice hunting season ;)

White Friday

While other folks went on crazed shopping adventures (Today is known as “Black Friday,” if you live in a country that doesn’t immediately follow a day its national day of thanks with rampant consumerism), Tony and I began our 2013/14 ski season. Get it? (Snow) white Friday? I thought so ;) Our first couple of runs felt a little stiff and shaky, but our muscles soon remembered their jobs. Slightly scary quickly turned into brisk fun. We didn’t stay long – there were only a few runs open, and we had a long walk planned for the afternoon – but man did it feel good to be back on the snow!

By the time we left the ski resort, the skies were beginning to cloud over, but Alden was still sunny on our way through, so we pulled off at a public access spot on Torch Lake.

visit to Torch Lake

The frosted islet called for closer inspection.

visit to Torch Lake-3

We walked to the very edge (sorry, Mom – we definitely got close to the edge!), and then turned back. We hadn’t brought our bathing suits, and didn’t feel like wading.

visit to Torch Lake-2

Some places practically beg you to slow down, and admire deeply. This was one. Tony and I both just stared, taking in the serenity of the whole, big icy picture.

And then we looked closer.
The individual blades of grass are worth clicking for the larger version

myriad icicles

After an hour poking around – so much for a quick stop – we finally dragged ourselves back to our car, and then home.

The past two days have been pretty terrific, and there are still two more days in the weekend. I wonder what they hold. Got any inspiration to pass along? :)

Winter Marches On

Tony and I took a bit of a long lunch today, opting for the twenty-minute trip over to Shanty Creek instead of to a restaurant. We didn’t have the slopes to ourselves, but we enjoyed an hour and half of uninterrupted runs – mostly over the rolling hills built into the terrain park.
March skiing Continue reading

Spring Has Sprung

Just not here. Somewhere though, it is spring – full of birdsong and pleasantly crisp air. Here in northern Michigan, we will have to content ourselves with a bit more winter. Since the sun is spending increasing amounts of her time with us, it no longer feels so dreary, and so even though it was only in the twenties today, this weekend somehow managed to feel like spring. Continue reading

In which I run, and ski, and photograph the in betweens

Just when I had resigned myself to staying inside for the remainder of my blue-sky Friday, the snowplow went by, clearing the way for an afternoon walk. I suited up appropriately and then left the house. Less than a half mile through the four-mile trek, I decided to try running half of it. I wasn’t dressed great for a run – too warm in my down coat among other added layers – but I was eager to try the Yak Trax for the first time, and if you’re a runner (or a previous runner), then you know how strong the pull is once the idea has crept into your brain. However, it’s been…well I don’t know how long it’s been. Suffice it to say it’s been a while since I’ve run because even though we have a treadmill, the only thing it gets used for is cool-downs from other workouts. And because I don’t like to run miles through melty, squishy snow, or in snow drifts. So, I settled for two miles so that I wouldn’t get overheated, and because we had planned to ski Saturday morning (I didn’t want to overdo it). Continue reading