Fresh Ice

Last year near the end of November, I found myself walking along Lake Superior on Minnesota Point. I noticed that the lake already had frazil ice forming in it, and remember thinking that it seemed quite early in the season for ice to be forming in Superior’s water. The following morning I was on Brighton Beach for sunrise and while there wasn’t ice in the water, the rocks were thoroughly coated with ice. Little did I know how great last winter was going to be for ice on Lake Superior.


With an early snow that clung to the trees making the woods look like a sculpture made of snow. Though once the sun was high enough to reach the trees the snow quickly lost its hold on the trees, falling to the ground in a slushy rain.

This year I haven’t yet had the opportunity to see how the ice formation is progressing on Superior but Lake Ada sealed its earliest since 1996. The single digit temperatures with the fresh ice resulted in what from a distance looked like a snow-covered lake but was actually a lake covered with needles of frost. The lake sealed quickly once the wind calmed down. Over the course of one night Lake Ada was over 50% covered with ice, though that was reduced by breezes and sun during the day. Then the next night the lake fully sealed forcing the swans to take off from the ice they slept on, rather than the water they had landed in.

EAK, November 2014