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Like Snow in June?

May 28, 2013
Ice pans in the mouth of the Saskatchewan River, Grand Rapids, Manitoba

Ice pans in the mouth of the Saskatchewan River, Grand Rapids, Manitoba

Ice is commonly seen on the big Manitoba lakes well into May. Nevertheless, when we arrived in Grand Rapids on the afternoon of May 25th I was surprised to see a mass of ice pans stretching from near shore out toward the eastern horizon. I had heard that the ice was hanging on late this year in Lake Winnipeg’s north basin, but this still seemed extreme. At this rate, there might still be scattered drift hanging on well into June!

The bridge at Grand Rapids

The bridge at Grand Rapids

Through the night a west wind blew, driving the ice out toward the middle of the lake. The morning dawned a soft grey-pink, and when I walked down to the shore  I was surprised that the ice had largely dissipated. Still, the light was perfect and there were birds everywhere. In the near-Arctic chill emanating from the water, I snapped these photos before heading for breakfast. I had to be quick; bannock toast and pan-fried potatoes wait for no man!

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Even with the ice, there were birds everywhere. In this photo there are ducks and a shorebird in the foreground, gulls in the middle distance, and dense flocks of pelicans on the shore behind.

Even with the ice, there were birds everywhere. In this view there are ducks and a shorebird in the foreground, gulls in the middle distance, and dense flocks of pelicans and cormorants on the shore behind. I tried to get a better photograph of the ducks, but they were distinctly uncooperative.

A flotilla of white pelicans, "assisting" a fisherman with his morning  net-hauling

A flotilla of white pelicans, “assisting” a fisherman with his morning net-hauling

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© Graham Young, 2013

2 Comments leave one →
  1. David Greenwood permalink
    May 30, 2013 7:58 pm

    Nice pics as always.

    When my wife and I were married in June some years back …, near Prince Albert Saskatchewan, I joked to the US and Australian members of the wedding group that ‘You’re in the Canadian Prairies. It might be June, but be prepared for either 26C and sunshine, or snow.’ They laughed.

    Morning of our wedding there was a light snow fall. By 4PM it was 26C.

    • Graham permalink*
      May 31, 2013 12:37 am

      Thanks, Dave. Exactly!

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