The clouds finally lifted enough for me to get a few shots. There’s still miles and miles of ice out there, but little patches of water have started to appear. It has begun.
You can click on any of these pictures to see a full-size, zoomable version.
This is Longbow Lake. It’s near the airport, so it’s convenient for me to photograph. As you can see, it’s frozen from shore to shore. That thing that looks like a blurry hockey rink at the bottom of the picture is not on the lake, it’s on the windshield. But the slush patches are real.
Lake of the Woods is still 99% frozen.
Looking north west from near Town Island, with Keewatin Channel in the distance, you can see that the ice roads cross vast stretches of ice. I was out of town today, but I hear it has been announced that the ice roads will be officially closed at noon tomorrow (Friday the 11th). This makes sense, given the forecast for very warm temperatures this weekend: up to 7°C for Friday, and 9°C for Saturday.
Let’s take a closer look at Keewatin Channel and Channel Island.
This is looking north west again with Channel Island dead center and Shragge’s Island at the right edge. There’s a good amount of open water here, but it doesn’t connect to anything yet.
Swinging north towards Keewatin takes us to Safety Bay.
Yacht Club Island, visible at the lower left of this north-facing view, is still ice-bound. Safety Bay is starting to open up, though, and for me that marks the beginning of the thaw.
This is almost the same shot as above, but emphasizing the water more and showing less of the surrounding ice. Sometimes when I focus on the water, it gives the impression that the ice is in full retreat when the battle has just begun.
One last shot for the river-dwellers.
Most of the Winnipeg River is still frozen solid. But not all.
With Safety Bay beginning to open, I say the 2016 thaw has commenced. Usually, I would start my six-week timer now. This year, I’m not sure. I think it will be less. How much less? Too soon to say.