An eagle-eye view of Lake Superior in mid-winter

Huron Bay--looking down the bay. See our house way down there on the right? lol!

Barry’s ice fishing buddy, Mike Roth, took these photos of Lake Superior last Wednesday.  I feel like he’s our Roving Correspondent in the Air as he shared these aerial photos last winter.

Point Abbaye, Huron Islands, Huron Mountains

Mike owns a small two-seater plane and likes to fly up above our Keweenaw and Huron Bays.   He likes to gauge where the ice ends.

Keweenaw Bay

I would like to report that these photos are the latest up-to-the-moment ice conditions in our area.  But that simply isn’t true.

Here’s what happened.  On Friday, wicked winds blew in at a clip of 40-60 miles per hour.  Wind is not friendly to the newly-formed ice.  It blew beneath the fragile ends and distributed it much further out in the lake. 

On Sunday, the wind rose again and blew 30 mph gusts.  The ice heaved and splintered and broke off some more.

One of Barry’s other ice fishing buddies, Nancy, declared the end of ice fishing on Keweenaw Bay on Sunday.  She was ready to quit.

However, last night Barry heard the distant humming and thumping of ice forming once again on Huron Bay.  I think it’s a little too early to pack up the augers and ice tents and sled.

(Although–this just in!–overnight the ice on Keweenaw Bay broke up all the way into L’Anse.  This isn’t lookin’ good, fisherfolk…  Many tents and shacks are now floating on icebergs…)

Keweenaw Bay again

I like to look at these photos and imagine the eagles flying above the bays.  To imagine their swoop downward toward the water. 

What a wide vista we see from above!  Suddenly our world seems much larger, much clearer, more expansive.  We see for miles and miles and miles.

Sometimes our little challenges and problems become less important as we contemplate the Larger View. 

Don’t you agree?

Baraga's "Shanty Town" (see all the ice shacks of the fisherfolk?)

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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27 Responses to An eagle-eye view of Lake Superior in mid-winter

  1. “Sometimes our little challenges and problems become less important as we contemplate the Larger View.” HOW TRUE!! Love the aerial shots! Some of the most breathtaking views I’ve ever seen have been from an airplane. On one of my last flights, it was during the sunrise – and to see the sun come up above the clouds is a sight I will never forget!!

    • Kathy says:

      I agree with you, Holly. I took photos out of an airplane in California last spring and am still palpitating every time I look at them. lol! A new perspective for us to consider…

  2. holessence says:

    Kathy – My brain doesn’t have the special wiring it requires to go out onto a frozen lake — on purpose — to fish. Or for that matter, for any other reason. Whatsoever. This is just one of the many differences between a Master Number 33 (Barry) and a Life Path 5 (me).

    • Kathy says:

      I am waiting for that Master Number 33 to get home so I can ask him if I have all the correct ice information! (I agree with you, Laurie. I so agree. Although I am coerced to go out there once a year…)

  3. Wow, those are some beautiful views!

  4. Gerry says:

    These are wonderful shots–way to go Mike the Fishing Buddy of Barry. The patterns of freeze and breakup and thaw and freeze again are fascinating. I think part of the appeal of ice fishing is that little edge of danger–the possibility that skill and judgment will fail you just when the ice is at its most treacherous. Great post.

    • Kathy says:

      Mike just emailed: he stopped by and looked at his photos and read everyone’s comments. That is an interesting observation about that little edge of danger. Glad you enjoyed the post.

  5. john says:

    AWESOME, absolultely awesome! These are great pictures. After all the people going through the ice last year I hope everyone is a little more careful this year. I feel terrible for those fishermen whose tents and gear are floating out somewhere beyond Copper Harbor right now. Better their tents than them. I am really praying that the weather holds for the Copper Country 150.

    • Kathy says:

      John, I always think that you will enjoy the photos of the bay. We haven’t heard of anyone going through the ice this year. Hope this continues to be the case. There are still a lot of fishermen sheltered behind Sand Point in Baraga–in Shanty Town.

  6. quietpaths says:

    These are spectacular photos. Look at all that ice! It really makes me appreciate the vast water of the great lakes. Thank you for sharing these Kathy.

  7. Karma says:

    Those are some amazing views. Leave it to my brain to wonder, does ice fishing buddy Mike have a photographer buddy with him while he flies the plane? Or do little two seater planes have auto-pilot that allows one’s hands free for taking pictures? Funny things I wonder about. Maybe that’s why I like blogging. 😉

    • Kathy says:

      Karma, ice fishing buddy Mike read these comments and replied via email: You can tell those that ask my plane does not have an autopilot and I took those photos myself while flying the plane. Normally I shoot with one hand while flying with the other. Sometimes I use both hands on the camera and fly the plane with my feet on the rudder pedals. When a wing starts to drop you pick it up by stepping on the opposite rudder pedal.

  8. P.j. grath says:

    That is a very big body of water–not all iced over, I note–to venture out on in winter! Everything looks quite different from the air, too. Beautiful but in a very different way. I noticed a row of iceboats lined up on the western shore of north Lake Leelanau today. David thought they’d better get in their sailing fast. The number of shanties is daily shrinking.

    • Kathy says:

      You are very astute, Pamela–it does not look remotely possible that Lake Superior will freeze all the way across this year. I have not seen any ice boats in our area. Do they only operate when the ice is smooth and not covered with a lot of snow?

  9. barb says:

    Hi Kathy, Don’t tell Barry this, but I would feel a little creepy out there on the ice with all that expanse of ice/water to the horizon. Also, what is this “distant humming and thumping of ice forming” Barry speaks of – could it be the ice whispering that it’s going to crack and float away instead. Who speaks this ice language? Mike’s photos are awesome – I can almost see the round outline of the Earth at the Horizon. I often feel small in this immense world.

    • Kathy says:

      Barb, I have been out there on the ice a few times and it’s strange how quickly the body adjusts and recognizes what is safe and what is not. Of course, we never know, as we are not proficient in Ice Language. Yet, we have learned over the years that booming means that ice is forming–and cracking has a different sound. I wonder if we know more ice language we think. And perhaps you know more mountain language–that we lake dwellers–could hardly decifer. (I feel small, too, and seem to know less every year…)

  10. Barbara Rodgers says:

    Uh oh, are the many tents and shacks floating away on icebergs likely to be recovered? Perspective shifts perception, doesn’t it? These are amazing birds-eye views…

    • Kathy says:

      I am wondering, Barbara, how “many” ice shacks were actually floating away? Five? Ten? Less? More? If the ice re-freezes, the owners will be able to recover their shacks, although they may have to dig them out of the ice. If the ice never re-freezes…I am afraid they may have to purchase a new one for next winter. I was really glad that Mike shared his photos!

  11. It’s all about perspective. We all get so involved in our own little “worlds” we forget about the larger world, the Earth, which is always there for us to see when we take the time. I always enjoy your posts from Mike’s view from his little plane.

    I hope there wasn’t a fisherman out there when the winds broke up the ice!

    • Kathy says:

      I think it’s so important that we remember the larger world, Scott. Otherwise, think how much we miss–and the Earth misses because of our myopia! We haven’t heard about any stray fisherfolk needing rescue this year. (And there are still fishermen closer in to shore, near the head of the bay where the ice is protected.) Thank you.

  12. Dawn says:

    Wonderful photos! I sometimes dream I’m a bird, and this is what it looks like when I fly…unless I’m flying through a tree, then it’s all about avoiding branches! 🙂 I don’t think I’m as large as an eagle though…more like a robin which I supposed doesn’t fly that high in the sky. Regardless, great photos! Maybe I’ll dream of flying again tonight!

    • Kathy says:

      The bird-dreams must be wonderful, Dawn. You HAVE been a bird, you even remember about avoiding branches! I am envious of your dreams…sometimes, I dream that I am flying. But never as a bird. Hopefully you dreamed of flying last night…or will again, soon.

  13. Pingback: Circle of Life (includes fish for all) « Lake Superior Spirit

  14. Colleen says:

    Yes, yes, yes…I agree 🙂

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