Sunday, February 15, 2015


What's missing from this wintry scene on Carnegie Lake, just as a weekend snow began covering the ice?

A lacrosse stick, of course, which come to think of it looks like it might work as an emergency snowshoe. During this extended freeze, we'd already skated with hockey sticks, so why not try a bit of lacrosse?

Always keeping an eye out for interesting patterns in the ice, I noticed a shape I hadn't seen before. And then another exactly the same. Interesting. Finally figured out that it's the shape a lacrosse ball leaves behind when it hits the ice. The ball's impact squashes the snow in the middle while blowing a perimeter of snow out some distance from the point of impact, in the shape of white flecks. Looks like a frozen fried egg, sunny side up.

The ball kept eluding our sticks, which for someone who didn't grow up playing the sport are just way too small. If we got tired of chasing the ball down as it rolled off across the ice, we could always watch dogs pull their masters up and down the lake.

A few skaters, usually solitary middle-aged men, would skate by with their hands held behind their backs. Taking the arms out of the equation makes for a purer feeling of stride, and tilts the torso forward nicely. It reminds me of an earlier era, my father's generation and before, when men might walk with their hands behind their backs. Daniel Day-Lewis does it briefly in the movie "Lincoln". It may seem too modest and self-effacing for our era, because the gesture has otherwise disappeared, surviving only in speed skating, where one hand is held behind the back.

A pin oak, with its weepy lower branches extending down and into the ice, made a good seat.

On the way back to our boots, by now covered with fresh fallen snow, we felt at one with the snowflakes floating along with us as we glided across the ice.
If a camera could paint a scene, it might look like this. Maybe today's winds will have cleared the ice of snow, bringing still more days of winter fantasia.

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