May 12, 2022: Lost & Found

I don’t plan a full post today, but there are some minor things that I should mention.

John Dahl reports that the ice is gone from Laurenson’s Lake. In his words:

Today, May 11th, our lake was completely ice free. Second latest date we have over the past 30 or so years. Latest was in 1996 when it was ice free May 13th by our records.

From the comments form, Susan reports that there is still solid ice on Clearwater Bay, and says there’s lots of dock damage due to recent wind, high water and ice.

Which brings us to why this post is called Lost & Found.

When I’m hiking the trails on Tunnel Island, I usually pick up any lost items I come across and take them to the trail map at the parking lot. Mittens, mostly.

However, yesterday I spotted this on the Winnipeg River, and it was too big for that.

 

It’s a dock, and it still has rocks on it that were intended to weigh it down. So if you have a place on the river, not far below the Norman Dam, maybe check to see if something is missing from your waterfront.

The owner of the dock has been located. He has already secured it and will retrieve it soon.

Apologies to everyone who hoped that this might be theirs. It seems a number of people are missing docks from a range of places.

 

 

 

May 6, 2022: Fresh Aerials

Justin Martin, my former Chief Pilot, was flying again today and had time to snap a few quick shots.

So here’s the speed tour. You can click on these pictures to see them enlarged.

Looking west over Laurenson’s Lake.

Note that Laurenson’s Lake is still frozen. There is actually a little water at the east end, off the bottom of the picture.

Devil’s Gap and Treaty Island.

Ice is yielding at both the inlet (left) and outlet (right) sides of Devil’s gap now. Open water is spreading into Rat Portage Bay, although Gun Club Island, as usual, is staying iced in a bit longer.

The plane swung left a little to show the Manitou better.

Town Island and the Manitou.

Following Keewatin Channel out to the Manitou is one of the main ways to reach open water from Kenora, and it opens earlier than Devil’s Gap. I think next week Scotty Island will be reachable by boat.

Big Narrows and Wiley Point.

Open water continues to expand all around Big Narrows. Looks like Wiley Point is getting its toes wet now.

The Barrier Islands, seen from the south side.

Justin took several pictures of the Barrier Islands area around the Elbow. I like this one best because you can see how the water is reaching north towards Middle Island and (eventually) town. The big patch of water at the left is the Elbow, and if you zoom in you can see that things are improving at French Narrows on the right.

Now that the ice is turning grey, the pressure ridges really stand out.

Thanks Justin!

Another sunny day, another MODIS shot. I think Aqua got better light quality than Terra today.

MODIS image of Lake of the Woods from Aqua satellite, May 6, 2022, in false colour.

Open water continues to expand, and ice is softening all over the lake. It looks as if shorelines may be letting go, especially in the south half of the lake.

Signs of Spring:

On Kenora Bay, the ice is completely candled now. It will be gone very soon.

Motorcycles. I saw three today, and just heard another. Remember, riders need to avoid both potholes and patches of loose sand. Give them room in case they have to brake or evade.

Ticks. Found my first tick today, on my belly after walking Ebony. Yay.

Ebony gets refreshed after overheating.

No ticks on her, though, we checked. This is important because of Lyme Disease, which took the life of Piper, our previous dog. There’s a now a new option in tick preventative pills. Ask your vet.

April 24, 2019: Fresh Photos

I got some new photographs this morning. Lake ice continues to weaken all over.

Tech note: For the last few years, I have taken pictures with my trusty smartphone, a Samsung Galaxy 5 Neo. This winter, some dust got inside the lens, and there have been black specks on the pictures ever since. It was often possible to crop them out on the Ice Patrol photos, but I have been wanting to address the issue.

Starting tomorrow, photographs will be taken using a new phone, a Samsung Galaxy S10e.

As usual, you can click on these pictures to see a full-screen version that can be zoomed to full resolution.

First up, a familiar shot: Rat Portage Bay and Safety Bay. If we take off on Runway 26, this is what we see soon after departure.

This time, I’ve included Laurenson’s Lake. All three of Kenora’s suburban lakes—Rabbit Lake, Round Lake and Laurenson’s Lake—are darkening fast. Over on Rat Portage Bay and Safety Bay, water is eating away at the weakening ice.

Here’s a look at Devil’s Gap and Treaty Island.

Although the ice roads are still visible as relatively strong lines, the ice appears to be rotting over wide areas now.

As Devil’s Gap went behind the wing, we were able to photograph more of the area around Town Island.

This looks west over Matheson Bay, and clearly shows Rogers Island, just in front of the wingtip, then Galt Island, Gordon Island and Town Island.

Now a shot from further away that includes a bit more territory.

This picture includes not only Matheson Bay in the centre foreground, but also Bare Point and part of Bald Indian Bay to the left. Beyond Bare Point is Lunny Island, and beyond that Middle Island and Scotty Island are in the middle distance.

As we turned east, we caught this view of Northern Harbour and Longbow Lake.

Pine Portage Bay is half hidden behind the nose of the aircraft, but it’s all frozen, as is Longbow Lake. With the sun shining on the ice, it wasn’t as easy to judge the colour or condition of the ice here.

April 12, 2017: Not Much Change

We’ve had sunny skies, but nighttime temperatures have been below freezing. That doesn’t stop the currents from eating away at the ice, but it slows things down enough that there hasn’t been a lot of change over the last couple of days.

Today’s satellite photo from the MODIS camera on the Terra satellite shows that Lake of the Woods is still close to 90% ice-covered. The biggest change seems to be between Big Narrows and the North West Angle.

Still, I was in the air today, and sunlight gives the best contrast for aerial photography, so here’s what we got.

Hay Island, Middle Island, Scotty Island.

I’ve tried to show the same areas that I photographed early this week, so that you can see what progress there is. The top photo shows slight enlargement of the open water encroaching on Hay Island and the Hades, and that patch of water at the far end of Scotty Island is new.

Don’t forget to click on these pictures to see a larger image that you can zoom in on to better see what’s going on in the distance. We didn’t have time to fly down for a closer look, but I think there’s a lot more open water down by Big Narrows. That’s near the upper edge of this photograph, above the center.

On to Keewatin Channel.

Town Island, Keewatin Channel, Devil’s Gap.

If you’re in crossing the Keewatin Bridge and heading through Norman, it looks like the whole lake must be open. But no. You could reach some parts of Town Island by boat now, for instance, but most of Town Island’s shores are still locked in ice. Over at Devils’ Gap, Roger’s Island is seeing more water along the shoreline, but only a little. In the middle distance at the right of this picture, you can see that Rat Portage Bay is slowly opening up on the town side of Devil’s Gap, but Gun Club Island is still surrounded by ice.

I’ll finish with a look at some of the little lakes in town.

Laurenson’s Lake, Round Lake, Rabbit Lake.

Laurenson’s Lake is starting to open up. The shoreline of Round Lake is letting go, and the remaining ice looks very weak. Rabbit Lake, which I was sure would be wide open early this week, has some open water at the west end, but ice is still holding on most of the lake.