Somebody called around lunch time today to ask, “Did I just see the ice go out on on the webcam?”
Yes, indeed, that is exactly what he saw. Just like last year, it was as if the ice suddenly decided to march eastward down the lake. A little before noon, the ice began rapidly moving past the the lodge, carrying with it remnants of this winter’s history — a broken tipi pole, bits of dog bedding straw, a mysterious log that had been lodged in the ice, an escaped broomball stick. By early afternoon, as far as we could see into the distance on East Bearskin Lake it was totally clear of ice.
No doubt there are still some piles of ice on the BWCA end of the lake; the wind could change and send ice charging back to this end of the lake. Last year an ice flow made a return visit shortly after Bob and Andy had secured the main dock in its correct position, crashing into the dock and causing aggravating problems.
Tonight Bob and I sat outside on the lodge deck eating ice cream, watching the mist rise from a totally calm lake and listening to the frogs chirp all around us. Last night, we heard only the sounds of rain falling on crackling ice. Tonight, we are surrounded by the definitive songs of spring.
There’s the scent of a new season outside. For me, winter doesn’t trigger many aromatic connections — maybe I identify the odor of a wood-burning fire or of a balsam tree with winter, but overall my winter memories are devoid of olfactory associations. You don’t “catch a whiff” of winter. But spring is an aromatic extravaganza, a sudden reminder that that yes, we do have a sense called “smell.” This afternoon Bearskin had the fragrance of “just rained” mixed with the scents of pine needles and moss and moist earth. It felt restorative to smell the outside again.
Spring has finally arrived at Bearskin Lodge. It’s about time.