Monday, February 16, 2009

Warm spell

A sunny February afternoon lured my wife Amy and I out onto the frozen surface of Pigeon Lake, near Omemee, Ontario (just across from Emily Provincial Park), last Saturday. Along for the stroll were Amy's sister and her husband, and their very tiny son, who is barely visible in his pouch in the picture below. The recent melt had reduced most of the surrounding snowdrifts to ragged, dirty mounds, but the shallow lake remained solid, and more than once the smooth ice surface conjured talk of breaking out the stick and puck.

At one point, Amy said, "it's hard to take a bad black-and-white picture." As one who has taken many a poor photo, in all conditions and light levels, I would have to agree, as simply switching on the camera's monochrome function has the effect of sweeping us all back to the twenties.

Many of the folks who live along Pigeon Lake pull their docks out for the winter, but some are permanently cemented to the bottom. Standing out on the ice and looking at their bare, weather-beaten frames, it's hard to believe they will ever see a boat again, let alone thirty-degree weather.

But soon enough, they will. And then, sweltering on the dock and reaching for the sunscreen, it will be hard to believe that sunny winter Saturday ever happened at all.

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