Tom Hutton and Justin Martin were out training in one of the Aero-Commanders yesterday, so they were able to circle around a bit and Tom got shots of a lot of the area around Kenora.
You can click on these images to see a larger, full screen version.
Looking south west over the headwaters of the Winnipeg River. Palmerston Channel is barely visible as a dark line beyond the bridge, while Darlington Bay is easier to see beyond that.
From over Barsky’s Hill, this shot looks south. The Lake of the Woods District Hospital campus is dead center, and Coney Island stretches almost the full width of the picture.
Looking south west over Norman Bay at the west end of Coney Island, with Cameron Island and Mackies Island more distant on the right.
West down Rat Portage Bay, showing all the ice roads around Gun Club Island. Caragana Island and Dingwall Island are in the left foreground.
South west from over Treaty Island, with a chunk of Rogers Island in the lower left corner. Shragges Island is the large oval one in the center of the frame, and beyond that, Channel Island and the Tangle.
Looking south over Town Island at Copeland Island and Scotty Island.
This gives us a view south east down Bigstone Bay. Far beyond Lunny’s Island, you can see Heenan’s Point reaching out towards Needle Point on Hay Island.
Lastly, a look at the western half of the Barrier Islands chain. Allie Island is behind the windshield wiper, Mather Island and Shammis Island recede into the distance at the right of center.
When you look at this collection of photographs, you’d be quite justified to say, “But there’s ice everywhere! How can you say it’s all going to melt soon?” There are a couple of reasons why this is so.
First, Tom asked me what I would like pictures of, but I didn’t reply to his text until he was mostly done, so he just photographed everything. For the record, my answer was “Water.” At this time of year, I like to focus on those critical zones where the water is expanding, and dismiss the overall ice cover by saying “… and everything else is still frozen.” So Tom’s coverage is actually more impartial. This is what the lake really looks like.
Second, the lake doesn’t melt evenly. The thaw starts out gradually, with only a few key surface areas showing much change on a daily basis. But in the meantime, the ice is thinning and weakening: the signs are subtle, but the process is inexorable. By the time a quarter of the lake is open water, the end is just days away. Once the melt has gone that far, the tipping point has been reached, and the wind and current quickly tear the ice to shreds.
Or to put it another way, I like to start my observations when Spring just has her foot in the door. Because eager Summer is crowding her from behind, and is going to slam that door wide open.