Living at the lake year round is something I have enjoyed for the past five or so years. Each season is fun in its own way and winter happens to be a great time to be up here. As the weather gets cooler each year I put away all the summer gear and board shorts and dust off my snowboard, crampons, snowshoes, and heavy clothing. This winter we have not had the huge amounts of snow that we received in previous years but there have been ample opportunities for fun in/on the frozen water (snow/ice).
The above picture was the ice a week and a half ago before a series of large snow storms. As you walk along the lake the ice is constantly "talking". Sometimes it sounds like a whale call as the water under the thick ice circulates and the ice mass shifts. Other times you hear explosions and shattering ice which, I am told, is the sound of the ice expanding and getting stronger, not the other, intuitive explanation that the entire surface you are walking on is about to implode and send you in to the freezing water.
As I continued to explore the ice that day I found countless areas with cool and complex designs frozen under the surface of the ice. I stopped at many of them to get down and inspect closely. The picture to the left shows thousands of mini air bubbles frozen in time until the ice thaws in a couple of months. Below, I found one large frozen anomaly in the ice with thousands of little offshoots. It could almost be a picture from outer space with the dark background the blackness of space and the little bubbles the passing stars.
Soon after my day on the ice we got some much needed snow. It blanketed every road, tree, house, and frozen lake in NH and I was all too willing to toss my snowboard in the car and hit the slopes.
As the fresh snow got packed down and skiied off at the mountain ski resorts in New England I searched for fresh, untracked snow in less trafficked spots. Luckily behind my house on the lake is Mt. Molly, a small peak with a number of trails over a few hundred acres. I trekked up to the peak where, at my favorite rock outcropping, I took the above picture of the snow and the mountains in the distance. Panning to the left reveals Merrymeeting Lake, still frozen but covered now in some deep, fluffy snow.
The winter is far from over and I am looking forward to lots more snowy fun. We at Water Monkey hope that everyone is out enjoying their winter months as much as we are.