November was a pretty quiet month with very little snow to speak of. The lake did its usual ice dance. Cold nights would leave a skim of ice around the outer edges and back in the shallower bays. After the weak winter sun rose and the wind picked up, the ice would break up into great tinkling chunks and float across the lake, piling up like pancakes with each surge of water. The waves would lap along the shore and coat every surface in a glaze of ice.
Round Lake finally froze over on November 19th. The ice boomed and popped in the quiet as the ice grew. Without snow to mix with the growing ice making it opaque, the black lake surface was smooth. Great fissures could be seen along the surface as the lake tried to break free of winter’s cold grasp.
December arrived with winter’s full furry. A three day blizzard dropped a thick, soft blanket of snow all along the Arrowhead. Those closer to Lake Superior saw multiple feet of snow. Round Lake received 8 – 10 inches which is still a healthy bit for one storm. The first day of snow was sticky and fell without much wind, flocking the evergreens with holiday cheer. Then the snow just kept falling, and falling, and falling.
When the snow stopped, the wind and cold took it’s place. The lake was scoured of snow by the biting wind. It almost looked like the lake was open and had white caps! The temperature rarely rose above zero last week. That this the price we pay in December for clear blue skies and starry nights!
Once the wind chill is back to being reasonable and the temperatures hover above 0, there will be lots of snow to play in. Some of the cross country ski trails in the area are already being groomed ( http://www.gunflint-trail.com/things-to-do/winter/trail-conditions/#xcski) Until then, we stay inside with a mug of cocoa and watch the weather change.