Thursday, January 31, 2013

January 27, 2013

Our visit to Lake Shabbona started out fine, but after arriving the weather continued to grow worse.  A cold raw wind blew heavily from the south with freezing rain.  Venturing out onto the ice demanded careful footing as the ice beneath scattered drifts of snow was slick and could bring a quick slip and fall.  As we drilled fishing holes we could see the ice was about 9 inches thick, a very safe thickness. 

Changing temperatures brought stress to the lake causing something often referred to as ice singing.  As we gathered together near our fishing holes, the sound of the wind was rattling our coats and hoods.  From time to time the lake would let out eerie sounds of moans and groans, like something from another world, or like the sounds made by a whale. 

The other sounds coming from the ice was cracking.  The sound of cracking was coming from various parts of the lake.  It's not unusual for ice to crack on a lake.  As temperatures change it can affect the ice expanding or contracting.  An ice crack came very close to us.  You could hear the sound of the cracking speeding toward us and a crack emerged just a few feet away.  It was like the lake was talking to us.  The boys decided we had caught enough fish at that moment (which was zero) and it was time to go.  

The freezing rain and wind was bad enough to affirm their choice, so we collected everything together and made our uncomfortable journey back to shore.  Ice covered coats, wet and cold everywhere, wind in our faces, we were relieved to say goodby to ice fishing for the day.

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