Bill Leutz offers his impressions of an Eagle Point winter.

BL winter west 2016 01-22It is time for lunch on Friday, and you all know that means Crab Bisque at the Beach Bar. Sitting here looking out at the lake with a good Michigan craft beer and a bowl of great soup seemed like a good time to give those that don’t spend the entire year here a chance to catch up.

True winter has finally arrived at Clark Lake. In some ways, it is too bad that all the snow birders and weekenders, who make the lake so lively in the summer, miss this season, as it can be as beautiful as any summer or fall day. Granted, it is quieter without all the boats, rafts and summer revels, but in that quiet it becomes a very peaceful place to live; with a slower pace that provides time for retrospection, and is every bit as enjoyable.

This winter has been milder than the last few, and thus the usually winter pleasures have been delayed. We have had enough grey, rainy days to make me remember times on the Pacific Northwest, or the Norwegian coast. But those have been interspersed with snows, occasionally heavy, and beautiful blue skies.

BL Point winter 2016 01-22The weekend before Thanksgiving, we received 9 ½ inches of heavy wet snow, resulting in the photograph that, after post-processing, lies at the heart of the view looking south on Eagle Point Road. But by the next morning, as usual, the storm had moved on, giving this bright view of the Lake from my porch.

Now, in the last weeks of January, we have finally had enough cold weather to completely freeze the Lake. Even the odd, open patch between Mud Point and the Township Park has finally succumbed to cold nights and snow cover. Ice fishing shanties are beginning to sprout from the lake on weekend mornings like so many mushrooms. Here and there, skating rinks are being shoveled off for pleasure skating and for pick-up hockey matches, Mike McCarthy has his ice-boat flying over the lake and those of us that like more relaxed exercise are beginning to get the cross-country skis out of summer storage. This year’s Polar Plunge will be held at the Point on Saturday, January 30th.

This week, The Exponent reported that the lack of ice has resulted in the movement of the January 31st Midwest Open Ice-Fishing Tournament from Devil’s Lake to Wampler’s Lake, showing the variability of this year’s weather. And finally, with an eye to next summer, The Crab Races Committee had it’s first planning meeting today. It is always good to be reminded that our Lake continues on regardless of the season.

BL sunset 2016 01-19

Sunset January 19, 2016 Photo: Bill Leutz