Frozen lake lark

View of birches from the frozen lake.

It's that time of year when we get to ski and snowshoe on the lake in which we swim in the summer. It never ceases to impress me that Canadian seasons can make all this possible. So here we are, I'm on snowshoes and my husband on skis. I keep marvelling at the fact we are standing on the lake.  He's heard this a few times before. But I'm not Canadian and I'll never get used to walking on water.

Dogs and Brits love frozen lakes

Snowshoeing with a friend's dog is always fun. Dogs are like Brits, they can't get over it, leaping up at you while you attempt a jog in your snowshoes. Just one little problem. When we arrived, our friends described the lake conditions as "soggy". Of all the words I could imagine, soggy is not the one I particularly wanted to hear. Soggy as in not frozen? But no, they laugh at my nervousness, it's still frozen underneath and just a bit melted on the top.

Usually we canoe here. Today I walked it.
 Walking over the lake in daytime is one thing but by moonlight it's a whole other world. Snowy walks at full moon is actually a thing in Canada. Lots of parks have guided walks at night-time with hot chocolate thrown in (not literally). We crunched our way across and watched the moon rise and the lake become bathed in light.
Moonlit frozen walk
Yesterday I ventured on snowshoes up to the little cottage where we hang out in summer.  I cannot describe how magical it is to see the cottage in the woods transformed in winter. My journey was the exact reverse of the one I make every morning in summer. Instead of leaving the cottage and walking down to the lake for a swim, I emerge from the water (I had walked over the lake from a friend's house in which they live year-round) and walk up the hill to the cottage.  Hare and deer tracks ran everywhere (but thankfully not into the cottage.)
Our woodpile
 All summer I make this journey in swimsuit. Today I was in snowshoes and full winter gear. All sorts of everyday features are transformed. The bird table is now an art installation and the woodpile is looking very festive, ready for the cold Spring when we move back in.

The birdfeeder as art
I check the porcupine has not been living under the cottage and look at our allotment covered in snow. The sun comes out and I'm knocked out by the beauty of the place. I always think winter is the most natural setting for this place. Completely snowed in, it looks at peace. Asleep until the Spring.
Me snowshoes, him skis.
We make the trek back across the water and I jog to keep up with my skiing husband. I take one look back and cannot help but imagine this place in Spring and the excitement of being back in the woods as the snow melts away and the lake once more appears from beneath the ice.

Excited Brit walks on water. Get over yourself.
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