The sky north of Grand Rapids looked blue, so I spent the late morning and noon hours wandering around Pickerel Lake. If you haven’t been, I recommend it highly. Pickerel Lake Park and Fred Meijer Nature Preserve is near the Cannonsburg Ski Area in the northeast part of Kent County.
I arrived at the park around 10:00; mine was the only car in the lot, and as far as I could tell, the first visitor of the day. There was some cloud cover, but it was thin, with the occasional shaft of light wandering across the lake. Everything was bright and shiny, but not blindingly so. And it was quiet. Barely any wind, and few cars to disturb the calm.
From the boardwalk the ice was so bright against the trees on the north shore that the pines looked black.
The only color to be had was that of the berries frozen to their branches and protected from the animals.
Many of the branches had ice coats so thick that the actual wood parts looked like imperfections in otherwise flawless crystal sculpture.
The lake itself was perfectly smooth; the only details the remnants of dead trees and places where the wind had swept the ice clean of snow.
About halfway around the lake the sun came out and turned the entire south shore to diamond.
In among the trees the sun began melting and cracking the ice in the trees, and it sounded like wind chimes and electricity.
Instead of darkening the sky, the ice contrast made it the most brilliant blue imaginable.
See the entire set here on Flickr.