Thursday, December 18, 2008

Three Days Until Winter

This picture of one of the channel markers at the end of the harbor was taken today – three days before the official start of winter. It is almost the identical view shown earlier, but that picture was taken in the fall. Today there is ice on the harbor and chunks in the lake. It seems too early for this. We have already had several inches of snow and more is on the way tonight, with predictions of 6-12 inches. At this rate, it’s going to be a very long winter.

Although I like winter, and had a great walk this afternoon along the lake, I wondered if winter is the right time to start a blog about lakes known for fishing, recreational boating, and beaches. Winter can be hard here in Wisconsin, and even harder in many of the Great Lakes communities, like in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where snow can average 100 to 300 inches a season. Certainly Western New York, the land of my birth, has a reputation for snow, wind and cold, much of it the result of lake effect snow.

But maybe winter is the right time to begin. I am inside more, have more time to read and research topics. Besides, there is activity around here in the winter. I am never outside, summer or winter, when someone else isn’t out there, too. Sometimes it’s only another dog-walker bundled up, but often there are people taking a brisk walk or taking a car ride around the lakefront to see the view. Soon there will be ice fisherman on the marinas. Fishermen line up all year long along the harbor walls. And January 1 there will be the crazy polar bear people jumping into the lake to celebrate the new year. It always makes for some good pictures – but trust me, I will only be an observer that day. I like winter, but not that much.

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