A FINAL WORD, IF YOU PLEASE:
I recall as a very young child being taken up Newboro Lake with my dad, Elswood, and his brother, Art Pritchard to cut the ice into blocks for the ice house. In those days, the horse pulled the sleigh and it was a labour-intensive activity. My brother and I always enjoyed expeditions with those two men. I know that I was a late comer to the betting scene but through observation of the ice break up over the years, I remembered that it was generally mid-April that the ice went out and so I placed my bet. I am humbled and honoured to be this year’s recipient of second-guessing Mother Nature. I look forward to next year’s competition and will keep my crystal ball polished for the occasion.
Thanks so much for including me in this year’s activity.
And finally a conclusion to the contest. A check of yesterday’s band of ice on McCaskill Island revealed nothing at 6:30 p.m. today but greenery and water. I believe I am justified in declaring that the ice is now out of Newboro Lake for the 2012-2013 season.
No one has selected April 16th as the ice-out date, so the rules indicate that I must look back to the previous day.* Louise Pritchard of Newboro selected April 15th early in the contest. Honourable mention must go to Kathy Mussell for her selection of April 17th. Perhaps her personal ice floe would have held up longer had Peter not flounced around on it, weakening its structure while hooking ropes to that fallen pine tree.
Congratulations, Louise, and enjoy your bragging rights until this time next year. And thanks to all of you for adding life to the dying winter through your participation in this friendly contest.
Have a great spring and summer.
*Should no one pick the correct ice-out date, at my discretion (subject to appeal to George Kitching) I shall designate the winner as that person who has selected the nearest date to ice out on that lake, with a preference for the date already passed, in the case of a tie.
2:50 p.m., 15 April, 2013
Sorry, Louise Pritchard, there’s still quite a bit of ice out there in the sheltered bays. I ran across from the launch to check a band of white on the north face of McCaskill Island. It’s wider than it looks. As well, Peter Frey’s tree-rescue account was on the level, from the evidence I found in the little bay near Grass Point.
At least now that I’m no longer judging from a couch this provides space for an utterly gratuitous shot of my fishing boat.
8:25 PM (16 minutes ago)
Just to let you know I was walking on the ice on my bay today between our point (Grass Point) and Beckett’s Point (log cabin). Had a white pine come down in the storm the other day and had to clear it off the ice. The size of the ice sheet in the bay would be appox. 300 ft by 200 ft and was thick enough to hold me and the tree (40 ft) while I hooked the ropes onto it to pull it off the ice ( with my Rhino).
p s only fell in the water once
Looks as though Louise Pritchard (April 15) is back in the running. I’ll put my boat in tomorrow and check things out properly. In the meantime: if the sea gull is walking, don’t drive your boat there.
TENTATIVE WINNERS OF THE ANNUAL BRAGGING-RIGHTS-FOR-YOUR-LAKE ICE-OUT CONTEST:
Subject to compelling evidence to the contrary, I do hereby name Chip Strangfeld of Camp Island the 2013 Newboro Lake winner with his pick of April 13 as the ice-out date. Rush Cahall of Fingerboard Island picked April 14th, and Louise Pritchard of Newboro has the 15th, but I need to make a judgement somewhere, and my 100 sq. ft. floating ice rule is not as clear as I would have hoped.
If someone can point out to me a piece of floating ice on Newboro Lake in excess of 100 sq. feet, though, I will cheerfully revise statement above.
I look forward to hearing from Cliff Udall, Scott Smith, and Jackalyn Brady for their claims to bragging rights on the two Rideaus and the Westport Pond, respectively.
Further ice observations would be welcomed.
Well, Ladies and Gentlemen, I believe it’s time to begin the annual ice-out pool. Last year the competition was genteel, though intense, pitting as it did the youthful enthusiasm of new cottage owners against the wisdom and experience of the old hands on Newboro Lake.
So again, here are the rules.
Ice-out: the absence of any piece of floating ice larger in area than ten feet by ten feet
To be eligible to win bragging rights for your lake, all you have to do is send a comment to this page identifying your lake, your name, and the date you pick for ice-out on it. I shall attempt post comments in the order they drift in. At the point of the posting of the candidate’s name and selected date, that slot on the 2013 calendar will no longer be available to other competitors naming that lake. Each candidate may lay claim to one calendar slot only.
While so far most entries have concerned the Rideau Lakes or the complex of lakes lying between Newboro and Chaffey’s Locks (which for convenience we shall call Newboro Lake), there is no reason estimates for other lake systems in Eastern Ontario may not be entered, as the goal of the contest is to win bragging rights for your lake.
In cases of more than one comment selecting a particular date, I shall assign the later comment the subsequent slot on the calendar, if such a slot is available. If it is not, I shall attempt to assign the slot previous to the desired slot. Should neither of these alternatives remain open to me, I shall bounce the comment back to its sender and request an alternate date.
In cases of any dispute I shall refer the particulars to defending champion George Kitching for arbitration.
UPDATE: Should no one pick the correct ice-out date, at my discretion (subject to appeal to George Kitching) I shall designate the winner as that person who has selected the nearest date to ice out on that lake, with a preference for the date already passed, in the case of a tie.