Another Canadian Moment

(* photos by Friar’s Mom and/or Friar)

While driving from the airport to the ski hill yesterday, we found the following scene:

A frozen lake, with kids playing hockey, and old guys ice fishing.

How much more Canadian can this be?

The answer is NONE.

NONE much more Canadian!




That’s me, below, in the black and red jacket on the left, trying not to break a leg.


But (contrary to what you see in movies or comic strips), it’s actually relatively rare to find ice like this on a lake.  You might only get this a few weeks (or days) out of the whole year.

Yes, our lakes freeze.  But they’re quickly covered with snow, and  the only way to get across them is by snowmobile,  ski, or snowshoe.    You don’t often see huge expanses of mirror-smooth glassy ice like this, where you can just put on your skates and start a pick-up game of hockey.   It has to be the right combination of calm water, and sudden deep freeze, and no snow. 

Friar’s Mom found a single aspen leaf trapped in the ice, hundred of yards a way from any tree.    How it got there, we don’t know, but she managed to capture a good photo of it.


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27 Comments on “Another Canadian Moment”

  1. Eyeteaguy Says:

    Take off you hoser. Pass me a brew eh?

    Nothing more Canadian.

    That is what I am talking aboot.

    Cheers Friar!

  2. Brett Legree Says:

    And that’s the way kids hockey should be, and always should be.

    I’m sure many of my countrymen will shoot me for saying it – but the moment kids hockey moved inside, and became organized, with expensive gear (really, does a 8-year old need much more than a helmet and gloves – okay, maybe a cup), tournaments in cities 3 and 4 hours away – well, you know – that just started sounding like a money-making scheme to me.

    (Sorry, I’m ranting but) can’t anyone just play sports for FUN anymore? Just like these kids – they get it.

  3. lol – certainly a Canadian moment!

    Cool how they didn’t have to scrape it first!


  4. Okay, like, dude, WHERE IS YOUR FREAKIN’ SNOW??! I can see GROUND in these pictures! Holy FREAK, where do you LIVE?!

    Oh, wait. I know.


    On a side note, this weekend we were driving my niece around and she pointed and said, “What’s THAT?!”


    “THAT! All those little shacks!”

    “What?… Oh, an ice fishing village.”

    “Yeah, but there are STREETS…and CARS… on a RIVER?”

    Yup. A whole village complete with streets that are named and cars that drive about from one end to another. Skating rink, horse-drawn sled, kites and even a small plane tossing out parachuters.

    Some days, I friggin’ love where I live.

    Now about that snow…

  5. Karen Swim Says:

    Friar and Friar’s mom, these are really cool pictures which made me laugh! Since moving to Michigan I’ve often had moments when I have felt like I was among those of another land and time. Good to know that “different” does not only apply to Michigan. 🙂

  6. Friar Says:


    There was also burnt wood on the lake, from old campfires. Guess the ice fishing guys wanted to keep warm and/or party and drink beer at night. How Canadian is THAT?

    Yeah….that whole hockey thing has become so complicated. Families devoting all their spare time to drive kids to practices and out-of-town tournaments. It’s become a cottage industry…but like you said, how often to they play for FUN?

    You’re rigth. These kids get it. There were Dads and Moms out skating with the kids, shooting a puck around (and the dog you see here running from one group to another, trying to retrieve it). That’s the way it SHOULD be.

    Where I live, you might see a small patch of cleared ice for the kids to skate. But you almost NEVER see kilometer-wide stretches like this. Wish I had my skates that day!

    There was this guy zooming along the ice with a sled attached to a para-sail. That looked AWESOME.

    I didnt’ mention. I’m on vacation, this is in Interior BC, far far from where I live in Ontario. It’s milder in the Okanagan Valley. (But they DO have tons of snow…up in the mountains).

    I like those ice fishing huts villages. I drove by North Bay last week and I saw the fishing huts on Lake Nipissing. There were HUNDREDS, literally. (And when I used to live in Montreal, I’d see them on the Lake of Two Mountains).

    Yeah…Michigan isn’t really THAT difference from Canada. (You even have Tim Horton’s, don’t you?) 😉

  7. Karen JL Says:

    Weee! The Friar is in B.C.!

    Yup, most of the snow is in the mountains now. When we went to Harrison Hot Springs last week, there was nada anywhere. Hope you’re having a good time here buddy. 🙂

  8. Kelly Says:



    When I was a wee Kelly, we lived outside of Chicago. There was a pond there that was more like a small lake, and we skated there every year. This brings back such nice memories.

    ‘Course nobody ice-fished or anything. Those pix are so beautiful.

    *section about having your mom get a picture of you coming*at* the camera (nearly) edited out*




  9. Friar Says:

    Well, to answer your questions about where the snow is…we just got a 23 dump last night….so this icy smooth lake is NO MORE. 😦

    Yup. I LOVE B.C. YAYYYYYY. 🙂

    Yeah, I’m “relatively” close to you now….but it would still be quite the drive. At least we’re in the same province.

    I haven’t been to Harrison Hot Springs,but I’ve been to Radium. And (see my comment to James), yes…there’s TONS of snow in the moutains.

    Wonder WHY nobody would ice fish there? Chicago isn’t that far south…and they do it all the time in Minnesota.

    I was ALMOST going to show a photo of Friar’s Mom. Her walking on the ice from a distance. But she’s shy. She was worried that that someone might zoom up the photo and figure out who she is.

  10. Neil Says:

    Great shot of the leaf! You’ve really captured a true Canadian moment, I wish I lived where you’re at. Lake Ontario doesn’t freeze that well. However, there is a small pond near my place and the kids shovel it off and play pond hockey.

  11. XUP Says:

    I was gonna say, where’s this lake with smooth glass-like ice, a nice sheltering mountain and brilliant sunshine. I hope you got a million photos that you can sell to Tourism Canada now that the government is trying to pump up tourism since we have no other way to make money anymore.

  12. Friar Says:

    Unfortunately, I don’t live here. I’m just here in BC visiting on Vacation.

    Back home in Ontario, I often see frozen ponds turned to hockey rinks like you mentionned, but only small sections that are shovelled off.

    You get nice weather like this in the Okanagan Valley. It was a warm minus 2C that day…felt like spring. Never really gets that cold (they get upset if it hits minus 20C). Winters are ideal here….hardly any snow, except up in the moutains where you want it. It’s not uncommon for people to golf and ski the same day, in March.

    Friar’s Mom is considering submitting these to the local paper. I think she should.

  13. veredd Says:

    That leaf is beautiful.

    I’ve never seen a frozen lake in real life. I only ever ice skated in ice-skating arenas.

  14. Friar Says:


    I guess I take it for granted that everyone has seen a frozen lake….we have bajillions of them where I live. I figured even the people in California would see the, up in the mountains in the winter.

    But like I said, it’s very rare to see the actual clear ice like this. Usually, the lake just look like big areas of white snow.

    I think the leaf photo of great. I can’t take credit for that…my Mom took it. I think it should be made into a Christmas Card or something.

  15. Okay, I just don’t get the concept of overturning a plastic pail in the middle of an expanse of ice, with the frigid wind blowing, plunking your bunk down, and just sitting there, hoping beyond hope that some stupid fish is going to come along and nibble on some plastic worm. Seriously, what is with that?

  16. Brrr, I am shivering…. really. Have to go put on another sweater just to look at these….
    Okay better. It’s going from the fifties back down to 30 here tonight. I know , I know.

    They are gorgeous. Ice villages and kids playing hockey. That leaf in the ice. The pace, the rhythm….it’s just lovely. And clear ice on a lake. I haven’t seen that in a huge long while. I learned to ice skate on outdoor ice.

    That photo Friar’s mom took of the leaf would make a lovely card. Yes. That would be gorgeous to get in the mail.

    Beautiful Friar.

  17. Friar Says:

    Awww….it’s not as bad is it sounds.

    If it was minus 20C, yes, ice fishing would suck (been there, done that!) But that day was sunny and warm, spring-like weather. It was a delight to be outside.

    You could sit down with your buddy drinking a pint of beer around the house. Or doing the same, being outside in the sun. People coming by and chatting. The stupid dog running around, visiting everyone. And occasionally catching a fish. (One guy had a fresh Kokanee salmon!). That would definitely make the day worthwhile.

    Hahahah! And that was a MILD day…It was delightfully warm spring-like weather, just below freezing.

    Actually, most of the credit for the photos goes to my Mom. I know I took at least one of them, But she took the rest.

  18. I love them.

    But I am making hot chocolate now. 😉

    We had ice covering everything last week but it was just piddly compared to this.

  19. Kelly Says:


    Figure out who she is?

    What is she, an international spy?

    *mumbles something about congenital sillyness in Friar’s family*



  20. hannah78 Says:

    Wow! These pics could be on a postcard! You’ve captured the ‘great white north’ well my fellow Canadian! 🙂

  21. Friar Says:

    Well, I’ll have to report back to you, after my Mom figures out a witty comeback! 😉


    Thanks. Friar’ Mom took most of these, I can’t take credit for all of them. She’s considering submitting them to the local paper.

  22. Friar's Mom Says:

    @ Kelly

    I’d rather stay out of the picture.

    I’m protecting his secret identity.

    Mother’s are like that.

  23. Kelly Says:

    Friar’s Mom,

    That must be an awful place your boy works at, if they’re so desperate to discover him that they’re looking at pictures of bloggers’ mothers to find him.

    Better convince him to stay in B.C. 😉

    Until later,


  24. Friar's Mom Says:

    I didn’t mean it that way. It has nothing to do with his work.

    He’s his own person. If he prefers to remain secretive, so be it. I’m not in the picture, except for the occasional comment or guest blog.

    He’d love to live in B.C. Unfortunately, the economy is taking its toll across the entire country.

  25. Patricia Says:

    Reminds me of my childhood visits to family and I loved the leaf picture…just grand – and we do need snow in the mountains for sure…Thank you for sharing this beautiful moment

  26. Friar Says:


    Glad I can brighten your day!

  27. Cool! The dog is my favorite. The leaf image is beautiful.

    Certainly not seeing that in California. Though my car has been covered in ice recently in Northern California, which I am not prepared to deal with here. Puddles freeze in the concrete over night. Could maybe fish out a cigarette butt from that, or maybe a bottle cap.

    I love James C’s ice village story.

    Reading everyone’s comments, a lot of you are way up there. Interesting.

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