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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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