March 20, 2017: First day of Spring

Temperatures have been up and down lately, and it’s been less than a week since my last look, so I didn’t expect to see big changes when I flew over Lake of the Woods today. I got a surprise.

Looking east over Keewatin Channel and along Coney Island, with Safety Bay at the left. Keewatin is at the left, and downtown Kenora is in the distance, near the center.

I began with a look at the two stretches of open water that I saw last week: Keewatin Channel and Safety Bay. Both have grown, and they’re close to joining up.

Moving further south, I found lots of new cracks and patches of water out beyond Town Island. Those weren’t there last week.

Looking north from over Scotty Island. That’s Nantons Island in front of the wing, and Town Island just beyond the wingtip. Downtown Kenora is at the right edge.

Click on these pictures to see a larger version that fills your screen, and click on that larger image if you want to see it at full resolution.

I saw more stretches of open water as we ran south west towards Crow Rock and Big Narrows.

Overview of the area around Big Narrows, looking west, with Shoal Lake in the distance.

All the passages through the Barrier Islands are starting to tear open. The most dramatic change was at The Elbow.

The Devil’s Elbow, between Allie Island (at the bottom) and Mather Island (top center).

Last, a view of the Winnipeg River, because there are big changes there, too.

Winnipeg River, looking south east towards the Lake of the Woods headwaters.

I’m excited to see such significant progress. I expect I’ll be out again later this week, and if the weather’s okay, I’ll have new pictures then.

One of the satellites got a good shot of the lake today, too. There’s a permanent link called Recent Satellite Photo under Lake of the Woods Links on the right sidebar (scroll down if you’re using the mobile version.)

6 thoughts on “March 20, 2017: First day of Spring

    • Not really, Tom. I don’t have my flying schedule beyond the next couple of days. I don’t have enough flying time available to cover places like Clearwater until they start to thaw, and that will be a while yet.

  1. Thanks for today’s photo of Wpg River re the bridge and Sunnyside and he hydro cut for the poles and lines just showing on the left edge. Our family cottage is just around the bend towards Power Puff
    on the famly 2 acre isle very close to the red buoy where the fishers gather, just before Locke Bay.
    Last year, after seeing your photo that included the Powder Puff area, my wife and i went out April 13
    to try to get across to the isle from the mainland-.. We had to break ice from the canoe with a shovel
    for some distance. We would paddle hard onto the ice and my wife at the bow would gingerly put her foot out and walk ahead – pulling the canoe and me further onto the ice. Since she did not go through
    I figured it was safe for me to get out!
    This year we are playing it safe and not risk-taking! We will wait to the ice is out at the mainland point
    and drag the canoes and gear there for entry with our new boots.
    Thanks again for all your updates…
    John and Marlene Oldham, Winnipeg, River Rats as different from LOW folk

  2. I can’t help but think without the snow cover even with cooler temps the ice is going to weaken faster than people might normally expect. Being here on Longbow I don’t see them as soon but are there any seagulls back yet?

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