The day started out as usual until we ice skated on the clear, green ice of Foys Lake.
It was a cloudy and fairly warm day by Montana standards, with no new snowfall expected. David and I decided to hike the Foys Overlook Trail to get out of the house and get some exercise.
As we ascended the trail, we passed a gal jogging with effortless ease. As she ran down the hill, we speculated as to her apparent confidence on the slippery slope, and wondered if she wore ice grips or a special shoe for traction.
The trail was icy and became increasingly difficult to maneuver. To be prudent, we stopped, sat on a tree stump, and put on our ice cleats. Even after we put them on, we sometimes had to walk off trail.
I began observing the little things along the trail as I wanted to capture a creative shot for my 365project.
I took the classic winter photos of dried flowers,
and white berries.
Deciding that mundane and unoriginal, I looked for something more artistic; a subject that had flair. A disemboweled mammal caught my eye.
A flash of pity crossed my mind for the poor little guy, but was replaced with the thought of his significance in the cycle of poo.
A dirty band-aid didn’t strike me as litter so much as it gave me evidence of a hiker’s long walk, sore feet, and subsequent blister.
With it being close to the overlook and near the picnic table, I paused to imagine someone resting and removing their boot.
I took a number of pictures and decided on this composition as it gave color to an otherwise gray day.
The hike was fine and when it was over we began the drive home around scenic Foys Lake. As we rounded the curve, my eyes fell upon its smooth, emerald surface. It was free of snow and we were beckoned to ice skate.
We went home and got the girls.
It was kind of creepy as we walked onto the transparent ice to lace up our skates. We could see the bottom and weren’t sure how thick the ice was near the shore.
We examined the cracks in the ice and determined it to be approximately 4 inches thick.
We were off – the lake was wide and beautiful, and skating on it was like gliding on a sheet of emerald green glass.
The quality and surface of the ice was extraordinary,
and I skated better than ever before. It was exhilarating, yet unnerving at times when we heard the whoomfing noises coming up from the belly of the lake.
It was so clear that we were fascinated by the rocky bottom, and a soda can suspended in the ice.
It was a day to remember. We had never seen Foys without snow in winter and may never again.
The warm weather and lack of snow has made for a somewhat disappointing winter, but has otherwise afforded unexpected rewards as in this adventure on Foys Lake.
Simply put, the ice on the lake was an example of nature’s pure perfection.