Maine winters are not wasted, natives are still outdoors like the other three Vacationland seasons.
Not in t-shirts and wearing warm layers on their bodies. Mittens or gloves, hats, boots and neck warmers. But not trapped indoors waiting for spring.
No sir. The fresh winter air, cobalt blue cloudless sky and sunshine brightness clears your head.
Gives you clarity and greater awareness.
It is quiet on a Maine lake in winter.
The two legged snow birds have flown the coop.
Don't do snow shovels anymore or never did.
As you replenish the feeder for the winged ones that stuck around, you hear something.
The buzz of the Maine state game warden's snow sled.
Making the rounds.
Checking the ice traps, fishing licenses. Eyeballing the catch.
Just doing his job outdoor description.
Letting this lake's Maine sportsmen know how the other waterbodies are producing. What's being pulled out. Fishing results happening on other Maine lakes and ponds.
Ice shacks usually in the deepest area of the lake in Maine. But sometimes not all clustered, and spread around. Lone wolf ice shacks instead of the customary three, four or more. So the ice shack owners kids have other playmates.
The pets come too and play in the snow around the ice shack shanty. Kids ride snowmobiles, four wheelers on the plowed lanes where vehicles give door to door service. The small kids on towed behind sleds, flying saucers to stay entertained too.
Because ice fishing in Maine is not an edge of your camp stool, stressful sport.
The approach to tending the five ice fishing traps after the Jiffy auger "can openers" the Maine lake.
It is pretty layed back easy.
You have time for card games, friendly conversations.
Someone next door baked a lasagna to share.
Here, have a handful of baked this morning home made cookies.
A spirited cribbage game is underway over in the dark green ice shack.
Heck, the winter olympics are tuned in on the dish tacked on to the side of the red one.
Sometimes a Honda power generator whines.
Mostly gas lights. Always you find a wood stove doing more than heating the small space. Used for cooking food, the delicacies of the day. Ice fishermen and women are quite the talented, social cooks.
The day on the Maine lake can be pretty much one big munching, grazing, put on the feed bag operation.
You are outdoors, get hungry around the fishing holes. Baiting, resetting traps. Burning some calories in the Maine winter air.
Out in the open on a Maine lake where gusts of wind can be stiff at times.
Just like when in a boat, kayak, canoe during the summer season.
So snacks of all types shared with the group angling around you at your home away from home.
The Maine lake ice fishing shack.
Plus the Maine snow sleds, cross country skiiers or snow shoers that happen along. That get invited along side to sample the finger food too.
Or get a heaping, steaming bowl of Maine stew, chowder.
Scooped out of the big commercial size pot brewing on the wood heater. The recipe just improving with age. In taste the longer the natural ingredients socialize, mingle. Like the company that meanders by your Maine lake ice shack on a weekend afternoon.
Solitude happens on a Maine lake in the winter. Some folks read. Do cross word puzzles. Listen to music. Or the sound heard of the wind in the pine needles along the shore line if there is a breeze.
And depending on temperatures last night, the snow can be crusty enough to walk on over the lake ice without sinking.
With out bear paw snow shoes. The kind that can reallly move up and over the snow drifts. Like they had four wheel drive, studded tires. And you practically float over the sugar coated Maine terrain.
We can help you find a spot on or near a Maine lake so you can ice fish.
Get off that couch and fill your lungs with healthy Maine fresh air.
Feel the sun gain it's overhead strength. Her longer shadows on your face, hands when removing gloves. As you check that line over there that just activated.
Or take a Maine snow sled ride, spin. While someone is left to tend those ice fishing traps with a license, an eagle eye.
The orange flag went up like your lever on the side of the rural mailbox to tell the postal carrier there is something needing to be picked up inside the road side container.
Maybe something on that forty pound test nylon line that you signal your partner, we may be having white or yellow perch, lake trout, landlock salmon or something else fresh and flopping around on the ice.
When fished out and you see what you snagged, pulled up on your line with that minnow. Knowing it takes a little fish to catch a big fish. Just like what usually happens in the business world.