Icy adventures on Bass Lake

Posted on February 7, 2012

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I was in Elk Rapids this morning, and something caught my eye.  Could it be . . . yes.  There was an ice fishing shanty out on Bass Lake. 

Ice shanty on Bass Lake - February 7 2012

Must investigate. As I got closer, more wonders appeared.

Iceboats on Bass Lake - February 7 2012

I had not expected to see ice boats today, but there they were, all lined up for racing. 

We look out at what we know best and make certain assumptions.  At the moment, almost all the ice is gone from Torch Lake, and there’s just shore ice along the Bay.  Therefore, there is not enough ice for ice fishing and ice boating, right?

Ha.  There is plenty of ice on Bass Lake.  Thick ice.  That is because Bass Lake is tiny. When it freezes, it becomes a big round ice blob that reaches almost all the way down to its sandy bottom.  It stays frozen a good long while.  Torch, on the other hand, is very deep and very long.  Water is moving through it all the time, a slow but steady river even in deepest winter.  The ice cover never reaches into its depths.  It never gets as warm as Bass Lake, and it never gets as cold as Bass Lake.

I had not exactly forgotten all that, but I hadn’t been thinking it, either, until I saw that fishing shanty. I was still thinking about it when I got home and looked up at the blue skies over the Writing Studio and Bait Shop. That particular sight always makes my heart sing.

All except for the part where that branch is dangling, just waiting for me to forget about it and walk under it when the wind’s blowing. It isn’t a very big branch, but it’s big enough. If it lands on my unwary head, I will be sorry. It pays to look at the whole picture, and to remember that there’s a lot more going on than whatever I see in front of my own nose.

Now I’m going to go see what I can do about that branch.

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