Nice to be here when the seasons change. The past few days have taken the lake from unfrozen to mostly frozen, from snow free to snowy. The Polar Vortex is, of course, to blame. Actually, when it weakens, it allows cold arctic air to escape the arctic. Enter freezing weather.
On December 8th, the Point of Pines beach was free of ice and snow. Cold, yes, but not bitter. The lake didn’t have ice on it except, perhaps, in north facing coves and very shallow areas. By the 10th, a cold front had come through with temperatures in the teens with a strong wind. On the shore were ice cubes and slush that was forming in lines. By the 11th, there were areas where the lake was frozen near shore and, because it had been calm, it was nice, smooth ice. The slush mounds of the previous day were now hard as rock. The picture below shows the line of frozen slush and ice on the lake.
Nice to get pictures of these formation before the snow covered them that night. 5 inches of snow fell with no wind so that it didn’t drift. It made it easy to see where there was and wasn’t ice because it either was bright white or slushy on top. On the weak ice, the weight of the snow breaks the ice and water then seeps up through the cracks and makes the snow soggy, hence the slush.
This picture shows the same beach as at the top of this article on the 12th. The beach is snow covered as well as the frozen slush formations along the edge with the “dark” areas near shore the slush formed from the newly fallen snow. Looking out across the lake, there are large sections that are still not frozen but it makes nice contrast with the snow covered parts!
In case you are wondering, this is the time of the year that it is hard to get on or off an island. The ice isn’t thick enough to hold your weight but it is too thick to get through easily in a boat.