Mark it on the calendar, folks. April 4, 2011, is the date the ice officially went out on Lake Okabena.
Well, I didn’t drive around the lake to make sure the ice was all broken up, but the view from Chautauqua Park certainly make it appear as if there were no large ice chunks left — just broken shards piling up on the southeast shore.
I was a bit off in my pick for this year’s ice-out date. A Facebook friend who lives on the other side of the week had solicited people’s picks for the date the ice would leave the lake. Counting on an earlier warm-up and a blustery March — and just being the eternal optimist — I picked March 24. But the temps didn’t warm up as much as I hoped, and the wind, if it did blow, came from the wrong direction. I was only 11 days off.
Someone else picked June 2 and expressed the hope that the lake would be free of ice by the time of the Windsurfing Regatta, which is the second week of June. That pessimistic view was easy to take considering the winter we just survived.
I’m just grateful to look out my window and see waves on the lake — albeit huge white-capped waves — instead of gray ice. I much prefer the warm-weather view of our body of water to the cold-weather one.