Well, most of it was, anyway. We could tell there was still some open water even before we arrived on shore, from the cacophony of honking geese arrayed around an open area out in the middle of the lake. We could hear their racket even before we could see the lake. (But why are they up on the ice, and not in the water? Hmmm. Good question!)
There was definitely ice near the shore, ice that had frozen clear as glass. We could see the minnows darting away from out footfalls as we approached.
When we rounded the shore into the cove, however, we found the ice was much thicker. Back here in the sheltered cove, the surface had been frozen for nearly a week, allowing us to venture safely out at least a few feet from shore.
And here the fun began! Here, the lake bottom is mucky, rather than sandy, with the muck releasing lots of methane bubbles as it decays. Those bubbles freeze in descending layers as the water freezes over time, creating displays of icy beauty. In this photo, the topmost bubbles were encrusted with crystals of hoarfrost.
The bubbles come in many sizes. The big ones here were between two and three inches across, the smallest ones no bigger than the head of a pin.
Some of the bubbles look like stacks of silvery coins. And see the threadlike streams of tiny bubbles, too.
Whoa! These streams of tiny bubbles look as if they were exploding! It sure remains a mystery to me how this configuration could occur.
Or this one, that looks like a furry snake!
Of course, we found many fallen leaves embedded in the ice.
But what happened to the leaf that once was embedded here? Did it somehow sink to the bottom? Or was it merely resting on top of the ice and eventually blew away? Lots of puzzles, most of which we will never know the answers to.
Did I mention before, that we are easily amused? Just turn me loose in a winter cattail patch and see how happy that makes me! (Sue took this video.)