It’s taken awhile for the lake ice to be “good.” Between freezing, thawing, large snowfalls, and more thawing it has been sloppy, to say the least, on top of the lake. But recently we’ve had some of the best conditions, and the lovers of winter sports have been outside – skiers, sledders, snowshoers, snowmobile riders, and anglers.
The fish house had been set up earlier in the day to capture some of the sun’s warmth and to protect us from the winds. It was cozy inside and even the fish were cooperating too – sunfish, crappies, bass and Northern pike. Slowly the sun dipped further into the western horizon, with a cloud bank on it’s southern flank and a lovely halo to the north where the light refracted through ice crystals in the atmosphere. It was a beautiful ending to a winter’s day.
The past week was all about winter here in the Twin Cities. It was the St. Paul Winter Carnival with its ice and snow sculptures along with all the outdoor activities associated with the event. I was fortunate to have a dear friend from the Seattle area here visiting (yes, people really do come to Minnesota for vacations!). I wanted to show her something that’s unique to our area in the winter time besides all the piles of snow that are gracing our urban landscape. So we headed north to the second largest lake in the state, Mille Lacs. We got our road pass for the day and drove four plus miles out into the lake on the ice road. How bizarre to look at my GPS and see the car symbol surrounded by blue water! Just a reminder that there really is a lake underneath this layer of ice. The lake is filled with fish houses now, as far as the eye can see. Some are sitting out all by themselves, and others are close together forming their own little villages. Although we didn’t see any large piles of fish sitting nearby, I’m sure the fishing must have been good on this blue-sky day.