Thursday, March 1, 2012

Ice People!

Trust not one night's ice.
          George Herbert

 I make my way down to the frozen pond they call Rice Lake. It is absolutely beautiful. It is surrounded by little villages named Bewdley, Harwood, Gores Landing, and Hastings, among others. I have always loved this lake south of Peterborough Ontario. When I come here in the summers I sit on a dock and look over the blue/green waters with the weeds below. It was a lake abundant in Wild Rice fields but progress has changed that. 

 This winter day I am looking across the glistening snow covered surface.The sun is bouncing off this snowy ice, when it decides to make an appearance from behind the looming dark clouds. The extremely cold wind blowing across this surface making me wonder why I did not wear a hat.

I arrive at the public boat dock just in time to see two well-equipped snowmobilers with their very expensive snow machines exit the lake. When I say well-equipped I see no life jacket just fancy suits of yellow and black, and helmets. I admire their bravery, let me rephrase that; I wonder what they are thinking? I cannot focus on anything but the open water, and the patches of thin ice. The trail their fancy machines have left behind covered with water; my mind is swimming with childhood memories of looking up to an open hole as I tried to swim from under the ice, and my body starts to shake. I will never forget that skating expedition.
I see a fishing hut about a mile off the shore with the open water behind. I can hardly take my eyes off the threatening view of the open water to focus on the hut, it scares me that much. It looks like a very long way to swim in the freezing water if your hut sunk.

I notice hockey sticks standing half submerged in the ice where others have had a hockey rink set up. Shivers run down my spine. I can see the goal posts are gone and wonder if they are at the bottom of this weedy, beautiful, scary lake. I came to the conclusion ice people are very brave or just a tad, dare I say, crazy. I stare at the ice hut and wonder if someone is sitting in it fishing away, oblivious to this girl standing here reliving an incident she would truly love to forget. Wondering, if they are in the hut, or in the hole?

As I make my way past a very lovely ice hut I admire the modern solar panels, the gas tank and the sheer beauty of this Cadillac Shack. I am thinking I could spend hours in this hut relaxing. The thing that really sold me on this particular ice hut was definitely the safe location.  I guess I am never going to be an ice person. I look forward to coming back in the Spring.

Please be safe Ice People.



  1. What a terrible, scary thing for you to have gone through! I think people are crazy that play on ice with open water around.

  2. I hear ya B. I always hated it when I was a kid and my Dad would go ice fishing. I would worry. And when we were kids, our neighborhood had a pond and us kids would all go ice skating. It was quite a walk to get there. My brother didn't fall all the way in, but his leg went in and I carried him all the way home, piggyback, as he cried. Horrible. It scares me to think... Now, my husband and I have a pond, and I love it. We've had people ask us to ice skate on it. NO. Too many springs in that pond, it does not freeze solid. And I found out that a guy that I used to work with rode one of those snowmobiles on a lake in Michigan, and he drowned. Can you tell, I AM WITH YOU ON THIS ONE! Stay off the ice people. Just wait until summer!

    Cindy Bee

  3. I just don't get ice fishing, but in this hut it would be a vacation!

  4. You must have been terrified to go through that! No, I am not an adventurous person, especially when it comes to ice...I prefer to have my feet on solid ground.

  5. I like to keep my feet on the ground!

  6. i can't blame you. i'd never be able to get over something like that. too traumatic...

  7. Now thats an ice shack..........really roughing it....sounds perfect to me....that and stopping at Capt.Morrills fish shack on the way home......

  8. Not brave, crazy. Ice people seem to have a warped idea of fun--in my humble opinion. I'm living in a family of them. My ice fishermen don't even bother with an ice shanty. They just sit out there in the frozen wind and hope for fish. Fish that swim in that cold, cold water taste wonderful.

  9. I don't think the ice is really solid anywhere in S.Ontario this year.
    My Da was born and raised on those very shores. I have childhood memories of watching some native people from Hiawatha harvesting some rice.
    I think the Man and I will have to go that way on our vacation this year.

  10. I get shivers walking on any ice. I've tried ice fishing. Once.
    I like the picture of the lone ice hut though:)

  11. You made me smile, Buttons... when you said '...let me rephrase that...' you were kinder than my thoughts... I was heading are you a moron... sometimes people just don't think, or they think it's always going to happen to the next guy...

  12. my parent were very avid snowmobilers when i was young, and they would fly their machines across open water! crazy fools. made for some good stories though.


The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

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