With the ice about a foot thick in some places, there is more activity on the ice, including snowmobiles.  Over the weekend, Ann Swain spotted the first ice shanty of the season.


Those who prefer watching activity from a chair by the fireplace might ask what’s the attraction?  Why would someone hang out in an ice shanty in brutal cold weather with the wind howling?  Ann Swain weighs in “inside an ice shanty you can be toasty warm–a propane heater is your own private sun.”  And the experience is “worth the effort,” she says.  “My husband, Jim, use to cut a hole in the ice 1 foot by 2 and that created an aquarium view of the lake below.”  There is more activity down there than you think. “It really can be fascinating.” There are other interesting moments. “When someone drives a car or truck on the ice nearby, your shanty shakes and the water is stirred.”

At one time your could position your shanty on the ice for the season.  Today’s rules require you to take it down each day “which is why you see portable pop-ups on the lake nowadays,” says Ann.  “Shanties would go through the ice creating a hazard, and that’s why you can’t leave them in place.”  

At Clark Lake this morning, the temperature was 0 or below.  In spite of the frigid air, or perhaps because of it, the lake offered an engaging view at sunrise.


Photo: Ann Swain