Taking Pictures on a Brisk Day

On Sunday, the weather was fine but very brisk, even by Maine standards. There was a wind—not a gentle one—and with the windchill it felt even colder, below zero.

Nevertheless, faithful blogging friend that I am, I headed to Marancook Lake in hopes of seeing some ice fishing shacks to photograph. I know that blogging friends who live in warmer climates are fascinated by the notion of ice fishing, which is a yearly event in Maine.

But Sunday’s cold snap aside, this winter has been warmer than average, and the lakes have been slow to freeze. Last week when I went to Lake Marancook, there were no ice fishing shacks. Taken from our local paper, here are the guidelines that prudent folks follow: “The state recommends keeping off any ice that is not at least 4 inches thick. It’s recommended that snowmobiles need at least 5 to 6 inches, and cars and small trucks need 8 to 12.”

Had the week been cold enough for the ice to freeze 4 inches thick? Would there be ice fishing shacks?

Just barely. I found two shacks rather than the lively village that is usually on the lake this time of year. In the photo below, you can just barely see them in the distance.

Here’s a closer view.

And closer still.

Those who have taken pictures in cold weather know that it is really hard to do so wearing gloves. (Perhaps there are special gloves for cold-weather photographers?) Therefore with bare stinging hands, I took these pictures, and I did not dawdle to admire the views. Snap, snap, snap, and I was back in the relative warmth of the car.

I drove home the long way around, going by the Narrows Ponds, where there were more ice fishing shacks. But there were too many cars in the small off-road parking area, and if the weather allows, I will take a walk sometime this week to see if I can get some more pictures of ice shacks.

Here’s a final picture from Sunday’s Maranacook Lake series. Just in case in anyone needs a reminder.

Stay warm all you hardy souls who live in the frozen north!


74 thoughts on “Taking Pictures on a Brisk Day”

  1. Ice fishing shacks?? Oh my, it’s a brand new world up there, isn’t it, Laurie?! I remember as a child ice skating on one of our local lakes — and seeing frozen fish beneath the ice and thinking how cool that was! I’m not sure I’d want to erect a tent on the ice and stay there awhile though!

  2. Looking at your thermometer I had to smile for we endured a 40 degree Celsius day on Saturday. Noting could be further from your icy conditions and a swim in our pool to cool down was a necessity!

  3. Oh my goodness it looks cold out there, thanks for venturing out. When Paul and I were in New York, a waiter at our hotel told us his Dad loved ice fishing, and had an ice fishing shack with a TV. We thought he MUST be kidding!
    Just looking at your temperature gauge, yesterday here in Canberra it was 38 degrees (C) about 100 degrees (F)…..what contrast!

  4. Great minds think alike. πŸ™‚ We had the exact same weather, and it’s still cold today, but the sun has been a gift. Yesterday, we drove to two local spots to check for ice fishing shacks. We saw one ice fisherman out on the ice at one spot and no one at the other. Glad you included the inches of ice needed for various activities because that’s always interesting to folks not familiar with it. Stay warm. I’m sitting on the porch right now with the sun in my face. Nice. πŸ™‚

  5. Great post, Laurie. So interesting to see the differences in our climates. It’s been cold here by our standards (32 degrees for a high). We’ve had worse, for sure. But this is enough to start us complaining.

  6. It has been a bit brisk lately! We saw two fishing shacks today while we were passing through Brattleboro VT – hardy souls. I couldn’t sit in the cold, I need to keep moving!

  7. Hi, Laurie – Awesome pictures! I agree about the difficulty of taking cold-weather pictures and trying to work around mitts and gloves. I recently just learned that my S10+ Samsung phone has a (free) voice-activated feature where I simply say “cheese” and my phone snaps a pic. Seriously, I wish that I had known this long before (I’ve had this same phone for almost 2 years now). It seriously would have helped in cold weather, as well as with selfies! πŸ˜€

  8. I have often enjoyed seeing the colorful ice shanties but I have never tried to take pictures of them. I am unsure of being out on the ice. Maybe if I ever get a longer lens and can stay on the shore…I do take pictures with my gloves, they are just ‘liner’ gloves from LLBean, not heavy so workable. Wouldn’t be warm enough in very cold weather though.

  9. Love your last pic, Laurie! The weather just NE of you has had even less snow and less true cold. I’ve haven’t seen a winter this mild since we moved here in 1970. An ice shack went through the ice on a lake near hear last week. Just not thick enough. Astounding.

  10. You need a pair of fingerless gloves, either with or without a mitten flap. I used rock climbing gloves from Patagonia for years at work. Then, they discontinued the ones I liked, and I haven’t replaced them yet. Since the advent of touch screens, there are a lot more selections around than there used to be.

    Have you ever heard Garrison Keillor’s story about the fishing shacks on Lake Wobegon? Here it is, compliments of YouTube!

    1. I will borrow my husband’s “half-gloves” next time the weather is bitter. (A mere 30 degrees does not faze me.) I had never heard Garrison Keillor’s story. Fun! Thanks for sharing the link.

  11. And I thought it was cold here! You brave soul taking photos in that temperature

  12. The RI family went to the ocean on Sunday, where even the salt water had started to freeze! You can imagine how cold that was. The little ones like to whack ice with a stick.

  13. The high here yesterday was 75F, perfectly clear and sunny with a slight breeze. Not too shabby. The low this morning was 33F. THIS is why people live in the Texas Hill Country! (I grew up in Northern Ohio; I DO know cold!)

  14. Love the Lifeguard sign shot. I’ve always thought of ice fishing as being the exciting end of the sport, not only might you catch a fish but you have the additional charms of possibly freezing to death or drowning. For some reason my fishing daydreams centre on Marlin fishing off Florida…

  15. Love the photos.
    Rain here today.
    I wear mittens with the tips of my fingers free of material for taking photos in the cold – I sometimes wear other Bernie Sanders mittens over these in really cold weather – but we don’t get it as cold as you do. πŸ™‚

  16. Loved the wonderful photos, especially the last shot! It looks and feels like winter this week and the lakes finally have been busy over the last week with ice fishing and hockey.πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks, Jane. As for who measures the ice…individuals who want to fish, skate, and be on the ice do. There is no state department of measuring ice. πŸ˜‰ Ice is measured by making a hole in the ice with an auger or a chisel and then by using a yard stick or some other measuring device.

  17. I remember watching a film where three friends used to go off ice fishing in shacks. I was fascinated by the way they made a hole in the ice and then dangled their line through it.
    I love the snow.

  18. Wonderful images. No ice fishing here.

    Due to wind chill factor, our temperature for today is feels like -16 C 😭 and I am not sure if I will go out. Yesterday it was around -9 and was extremely cold.

  19. How do people know how thick the ice is? That’s one calculation you wouldn’t want to get wrong, especially if you were planning to drive on it.

    1. And I meant to say I sympathise about having to take the gloves off to take pictures. My iPhone got so cold a few weeks ago that it pretended its battery was flat and stopped working.

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