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Singing ice at Islet Lake

Cold early winter evening at Islet Lake

Cold early winter evening at Islet Lake

Last week I took my camera (and my daughter) out to the Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Natural Area, about 30 min east of Edmonton, for an afternoon walk while the weather was still relatively mild. There has been just a dusting of snow so far this year, so the ice on the lake was bare and exposed to the quickly cooling air. As the sun moved lower in the sky and the temperature dropped the ice began to make terrific heaving, groaning and booming sounds. The frequency increased until there was nearly constant, resounding, echoing sound coming from the ice. Everything else was perfectly still, and the singing of the ice was the perfect background music while I took this quick photograph–just as the last sunlight made the bare aspen on the far shore glow a warm orange-red, in contrast to the cool blue of the shadowed lake ice in the foreground.

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