As each new winter arrives I find myself with less tolerance for the cold. Most likely it is linked to my declining muscle mass, increased arthritis and other corporeal delights of aging. But on a completely different trajectory, am discovering more visual and aural joys of winter every year.
Last year (my first on the lake) I was shocked to learn that the freezing lake plays a unique soundtrack throughout the winter. As the water first begins to harden along the shoreline it is often knocked loose, breaking into fragile shards that clink melodically as the waves toss them around. These tones, reminiscent of wind chimes, dance off the shore and soothe with their harmony. Other unexpected sounds I have observed range from deep burp-like noises and ominous groans as the massive plates of ice jockey for position. All in all, it is quite entertaining and I only wish I could keep my windows open to continue my observations for longer periods of time.
The image above was taken a few days ago as we skated on our newly minted ice rink. With much less effort than I would have predicted we shoveled off a rough rectangle of pristine ice in less than an hour. Within a few minutes I became intrigued by the designs my skates were carving into the surface. Although this photo is a color image it depicts the honest tones of winter... black and white. All that is left behind when the color is drained out by this bleak January day is a sharp, clear study of form. And that is beautiful.