#35 A (Cold) Sunday Stroll

Sunday, January 9, 2011

He loves the hip boots (aka hip waders) that I got him for Christmas from Cabelas. The end of October I started asking Hugh what he wanted for Christmas. Initially his response was that he did not know. The next time I asked him he said that he wanted a pair of hip boots, early. I started researching hip boots. I thought it would be fairly easy and only a matter of finding a decent price.

The more I researched, the more I found that there were numerous options. Along with steel toed or not, some were insulated. Materials included rubberized cotton canvas, polypropylene, and rubber. Some had straps that clipped on a belt to help hold them up, others folded down easily to below the knee. Hugh preferred reinforced knees, but also ones that were easy to bend at the knee. Almost all that I found were either easy to bend or reinforced, but not both. Then came color: black, dark green or camouflage. Of course the higher the quality, the more expensive they were. I was not going to buy something shoddy, but I was not willing to spend upwards of $300 to get the “ideal.”

I wanted them to be a surprise, at least the type and style that I would get him. After two weeks of research, considering there were so many options and decisions, I gave up the surprise.

“Hugh, here’s the three best hip boots that I can find. Which ones do you want?”

I showed him the different features of each and let him choose.

He had said he wanted them early, as in the sooner the better. He wanted to use them when he had to do something in the water, like something with a boat, which were in the process of being pulled out of the lake and winterized. Christmas arrived early, at least part of it for him, the end of November.

And he was happy!

Hugh Chopping Ice at Our Lake Pump

Sunday, after a late pancake breakfast Hugh and I went for a long walk. My walk Friday was so beautiful I wanted to go for another one on Sunday. Hugh did not hesitate. We began after he chopped open the ice where our hose is for the lake pump.
“Thanks for my hip boots, honey!” he said while standing in the lake with ax in hand and a big grin on his face.

Long Crystals

Calm waters and clear skies belied the subfreezing temperature. I felt as if I could be outside all day marveling at the amazing ice formations. I found some needle-like ice crystals encircling some rocks with a clear covering of ice.

Bouquet of Ice Crystals

Along the edge of the east bay there were bouquets of ice leaves. The geometric patterns, formed by their growth, were incredible. I was awed at how nature could be so beautiful without adding food-coloring or dye.

Round Ice in Square ? Hole

As we walked along I kept seeing delightful shapes, like a round pancake ice in a almost square or diamond-shaped hole.

Hugh was having his own fun as I snapped away with my camera – he was walking in the lake!

“Aren’t your feet cold?” I had gotten uninsulated hip boots for him, as he wanted to be able to wear them year-round.

“Actually they are beginning to sweat.” I was not surprised. White cotton athletic socks seem to be the only type of socks I find in the laundry. I, on the other hand, should have automatic stock options in SmartWool socks since I have so many of them.
The little kid in me was intrigued with the little cave full of stalactites and stalagmites. Part of the icicles were clear and part was opaque. Emerging from the top were tiny crystals. And to my delight the bottom of the cave had moving water, gently rising and falling with the motion of the lake’s waves. (I could not decide which of these three pictures I liked best.)

Crystal Cave #1

Crystal Cave #2

Crystal Cave #3

Ice Mimics Rock

Field of Frozen Dragon Snouts

I have always loved photographing patterns in nature. This winter has been my first opportunity to do any winter photography. The ice was not disappointing me. The icy edge I was walking on was round, mimicking the shape of the rocks below in the open water.

White Winged Scoters

The west bay was still a field of frozen dragon snouts, smaller though as the lake level had dropped and froze further out.

And there they were, brave white winged scoters bobbing along in the water. I know they spend most of their time in Canada and this is balmy to them. However the thought of getting my fanny wet, or even my toes, in water that is 31.8 degree (give or take a tenth of a degree) is very unappealing.


About juliemckaycovert

I am a therapist, teacher, photographer and published author. I am a lover of life and nature. My husband, Hugh, and I live off the grid on a remote 40 acre island, Shelter Island, just off of Drummond Island in the far eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan. This blog is about my life, a life I thought I'd never be able to live. This blog is about dreams and ideals being manifested. It is about daily events with a backwoods twist. It is about the simple pleasures and wonders being brought forth. I invite you to be inspired and even, as some friends have, live vicariously through my words.
This entry was posted in Ice, Michigan, Nature, Photography, Shelter Island, Water, Winter and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to #35 A (Cold) Sunday Stroll

  1. Pingback: Two walks in the snow | notes from africa

  2. Wow, the photos are fabulous. Found out about you from my friend Lisa’s blog (Notes from Africa). I’m curious to read more about your off-the-grid lifestyle. Just finished reading a book about it called, of all things, “Off theGrid” by Nick Rosen.
    Wishing you well from Haiti,

    • juliemckay says:

      Kathryn, thanks for checking me out. I’ve been here in Michigan since mid-April 2010 and loving every moment! To get the best read of my life here, start with the first posting. I’ve put up a page “Chapters” that lists with links the postings in order of occurrence. And don’t forget to subscribe to see more walks in the frozen north and my off the grid adventures.

  3. As expected, great shots. I’m a huge fan of photoblogs (photography in general) and you are providing another good one for me. Have you gone ice fishing?

    • juliemckay says:

      Hi GeekyBlackGirl,
      Glad you enjoy the photos. Have more to post when I find the time. That round ‘tuit’ has gone missing again.
      No, haven’t gone ice fishing – my legs would get itchy to go walking and look at all the neat cracks and hoar frost to photograph. Also where I live, on the edge of Lake Huron, the water is too exposed and doesn’t get thick enough to allow a person to walk on it. Falling through is simply “Not good!” Also the fish, of any size, around the island have moved out into the deeper open areas of the lake, so I’d be sitting watching a hole in the ice doing nothing.
      Have you gone ice fishing?

  4. Hi Julie, I have never been ice fishing or near that much ice. I don’t think I could handle all that cold.

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