We usually start the annual “ice-out” guessing game every year in late March, or perhaps early April. Our failure to mention it this year is not entirely due to dereliction of duty. It’s tough to muster enthusiasm for the annual rites of spring when it’s still the dead of winter on May 1. In the history of the human race, there probably has never been a group of people more eager than we are for the arrival of spring. Instead, this is what shows up:
We do not find this amusing. Winter needs to end. Now.
On Easter Sunday our employee Alex drilled a hole in the ice on East Bearskin in hopes of offering an encouraging ice-out prediction to family members who were planning an early canoe trip. Instead, he found that we still had 25 inches of ice. The canoe trip will (wisely) be postponed.
Here is the webcam picture from April 30. Really inspires you to get out on that water in a fishing boat or canoe, doesn’t it? 🙂
So yes, it’s time to start the ice-out guessing game. But realistically, you’ve got a few days to think about it. Click here for a link to a blog providing background information on previous ice-out dates. Hard to say if any of that info is relevant to this very special winter-spring. Last year’s delayed ice-out happened between May 15-17 (actual date seems to be open to some argument, but suffice it to say, it was absurdly late.)
You can post your guess on the Bearskin Facebook page, as a comment on this blog, or in an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Give us your best guess for an ice-out date; it helps if you include a time as a tie-breaker. Winner gets a Bearskin t-shirt and worldwide recognition for their prowess as an East Bearskin Lake ice-out prognosticator.
Bearskin has a fabulous new webcam that should offer an amazing view of our transition to spring, assuming spring eventually does begin. In past years the most reliable indicator of an imminent ice-out has been the sudden death of our webcam. Every spring, without fail, something terrible happens to the webcam just as the ice begins to change. Usually an animal chews up the cord, but more recent failures have been due to inexplicable tech troubles. Bearskin made a significant investment in this new camera installation. We’re optimistic that if the ice ever begins to go out on East Bearskin Lake, you’ll actually be able to watch it happen this year on our webcam!