Friday, February 22, 2013

Ice fishing shacks

Every winter, within view of our house, a small cluster of ice fishing shacks appears. They are typically made of scrap materials.

Some of them are on trailers, and others are assembled directly on the ice. The trailer seems like a good idea until the ice starts to soften, and then a speedy removal is key.

On the weekends, they attract a fleet of pick-up trucks and dozens of people in a festive mood. Just this past weekend our bay was the site of a six-hole snow golf course, a softball tournament, and para-skaters, with light aircraft cruising low overhead. All this in addition to the ice fishers, who always bring a large cohort more interested in the warmth of a wood stove and a case of cold beer.

But during the week, when the shacks are abandoned, they assume a different character altogether.

Clearly they have stories to tell, and yet they are silent, lonely, evocative and haunting.

More reminiscent of boathouses than urban landscapes, they may yet find themselves as subjects for my cityscapes.

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