Only without the dogs and sleds….
Sunday morning dawned bright, clear and sunny with a little nip in the air, about -8C if I’m not mistaken, but by the time we had breakfasted, got ourselves organised and drove out to the park where we planned to have a lovely walk, it was only about -3C and very sunny. We spend a lot of time at this park over the course of a year, I’ve mentioned it here before in a number of posts as it’s our favourite local spot for kayaking, riding our bikes, cross country skiing, meeting up with friends who have a boat and generally just relaxing. As well as the bike/hike trails, Kent Lake, the HUGE open lake for kayaking, fishing, leisure use (15mph speed limit), the cross country ski trails, the sledding hill, the working farm with petting area, the golf course, the shelters to be hired for gatherings, the free bar-b-ques dotted around, the summer fireworks displays over the lake and the free summer concert series with The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, they also have a great nature center and about 8 miles of nature trails through a variety of habitats where foot travel is the only form of travel allowed. It was this nature area that was our destination and we’d decided that we’d walk around Wildwing Lake, a smaller lake completely within the nature center area for wildlife only. A few years ago on this lake they built a large shelter on stilts and started an Osprey breeding program at the park and have now successfully introduced this beautiful bird back to SE Michigan, the lake now has it’s own breeding pair and we’ve been lucky enough to observe them on the main lake from our kayaks in the summer.
But, there was a problem on Sunday. The trail was completely covered in a layer of ice about 1 1/2″ thick from the rain we’d had on the previous Monday which had melted the snow a little and then froze solid all week. It was lethal, you could hardly stand up, so we wandered to the foot of the lake and thought about what to do. Suddenly we remembered all the ice fishermen out on the main lake, if it was thick enough for ice fishing, then the ice on this smaller, shallower lake must be even thicker. We stamped about a bit, jumped up and down, cleared away the 1/2″ of snow and peered into the murky depths of the completely frozen lake! It was a bit of a Narnia moment really! We quickly decided that we could have our walk after all, only it wouldn’t be around the lake it would be on it!
[The intrepid explorer sets forth]
[The brownish pile on the left is an old swans nest]
Having never walked on a frozen lake before I was a bit nervy to begin with but we kept within about 10ft of the edge for the majority of the time and ignored the the creaks and groans of the sun on the top surface of the ice!! It was definitely a whole new prospective on life, walking on water as it were, albeit frozen water!!
[Where we should have been walking]
[The view down the lake]
We got some great shots I think, our favourite of which are these pristine footprints of either a goose or a swan. I think they’re destined for a card at some point.
On the way back to the car (back on the icy trail again), A spotted these beauties, looks like the seed heads of Milkweed to me. Aren’t they pretty?
And as for Scott, well, I don’t think I’ll be quite ready for any expeditions just yet!!