It seems a little odd to be posting this story at this time of year, when the lake shown in it is currently completely free of ice. We had yet another record-warm February this year, and March is following suit. But it’s true kids: in the distant past of 2011, Michigan winters lasted all the way into March!

One of the things I like about living in the Great Lakes region is the way the landscape changes with the seasons. It’s no Ice Road Truckers around here, but I like being able to play Jesus and walk across the local lake as a shortcut to get from one place to another. But it’s important to keep an eye on conditions, because they can change at unexpected times, and this story is an example of that.

I recently rented the movie Hardcore starring George C. Scott. My favorite part was the opening credits, which were filmed here in Grand Rapids, and showed a typical 1970s December here. This was how I remembered winter from my childhood: the same foot or two of snow, the same sledding hills, and so on. We still get snow in December, but not like that… at least not lately. So don’t tell me that climate change isn’t happening: it’s documented right there.

I went ice-fishing once, when I was probably 8 years old, with my father. We didn’t have a little shelter like this, and I was just old and miserable the whole time, and hated it so much that Dad didn’t even suggest doing it again. It didn’t help that I didn’t like fish very much (except battered fish sticks of course), so that the thought of catching a fish didn’t even appeal to me. And I didn’t.

Probably used the wrong bait.