On ice

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When I lived in Minneapolis, I became aware of terms henceforth unknown to me, a Midwesterner who’d lived her entire life with snow. One term was “Ice-Out date.” This is the day the surface of any lake is completely free of ice: in icy Minnesota, it is a date of note. In Minneapolis, it was something I paid attention to: I had a sailboat, therefore, I gave a damn. No matter that the lake would be far too cold to…well, to sail: April 3rd was a date to watch on Lk. Calhoun. But, of course, the city wouldn’t dare put the docks in until the first of May: it’s hard to land a boat without a dock.

This year, it seems March 13th is the Ice-Out date on our humble frog pond! We lost a few of its citizens (about 4 goldfish) which, actually, is a bit of a relief (too many in there for its small size). With luck, we’ll see some frogs out on it this weekend, and, well, maybe hear some peepers in the trees. A date of note! Woot!

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4 responses to “On ice

  1. My favorite MN-ism (I lived in or around the Cities for 10 years) was the term for “doing donuts” in a snowy parking lot (or on a properly iced-over lake) … wait for it….

    … whipping shitties.

  2. Whipping Shitties! Snort! I had so forgotten.

  3. El, what do you use for a pond pump? It looks like you have water moving in there. Just curious as I try to reduce the electricity draw of our wildlife pond.

  4. Danielle, I will have to ask my husband where he got it. We don’t plug it in, though, until around mid-April when the thing really greens up with algae, and even then we have it on a timer going for 4 hours a day. We have tried, really hard, to balance the flora with the…pesca in this pond: there are a LOT of plants in there and more than enough fish. After three years of experimentation, my dreams of a natural, pump-free pond are quite dead. We’ve tried a solar bubbler (worthless, luckily we got a refund) and I believe this is our second pump, and I know it is oversized for the pond…but it works.

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