Love Winter

     I love winter. Some people complain that winter lasts too long but for those of us who love winter it isn’t long enough. This year we have good snow cover and we’ll be able to enjoy our winter activities a little bit longer than we have the last couple of years.  We’ll be able to cross-country ski on the trails and snowshoe probably for the entire month of March, we might even get another snowmobile ride or two in.  We’re lucky we live where we still get a good three months of winter but I wouldn’t mind it being longer or colder.

     I’m not alone in wishing winter was colder. Ski resorts and other tourism businesses that rely on winter conditions also want more winter.  Winter sports generate alot of money especially when you include snowmobiling and all of the accessories that go along with it.  Businesses located on a snowmobile trail depend on the steady income to make it through the winter and without good snow they can’t make it.

     In an article I recently read it talked about the implications of warmer winters on Lake Superior.  It’s been awhile since the lake has frozen entirely or since it has had substantial ice on it.  When there isn’t ice on the lake the water can evaporate and when the ice is thin it does a poorer job reflecting sunlight so the lake heats up easier and earlier in the year.  The lake stratification also happens earlier and the surface water becomes more vulnerable to evaporation and warming.  We experienced this last year and I’ve never seen so many people swimming in Lake Superior in Grand Marais.

     I guess we’re lucky we don’t depend on ice cover on Lake Superior.  Some people rely on ice roads to get out to their homes on Madeline Island. The Apostle Islands depend on good ice to allow visitors to see the ice caves on Lake Superior.  The lack of ice has detrimental effects felt all over and lower water levels will affect shipping and other industries.

     I’ll continue to love winter and hope for cold weather each year. If you like the Great Lakes and the fishing opportunities they provide then I suggest you like winter too. And if you can’t get yourself to like it then at least tolerate it for those of us who love it.