2017-18 Ice Fishing Retrospective: Winter Skies

Fanned and Feathered, Mille Lacs Lake, January 2018


There probably is not a more ordinary thing than the sky. It is like time, gravity, and the sun: ever-present, predictable, and seldom noticed or pondered. It changes slowly, yet takes innumerable configurations. In our hearts, we know “blue” is not a good enough descriptor; even its blueness ranges from anemic to sonorous. There is not a more pale blue than that which follows the sunset, nor is there a more lavish one than that which hovers above the snow on a crisp, cloudless January afternoon. When we’re lucky, they will both happen just hours apart. Sometimes our sky stands in contrast with the earth below it; sometimes it melds seamlessly with the horizon. Every once in a while it will, despite its independence from the earth, prove inexplicably complementary in hue, texture, or form. In winter, the azure heavens seem best paired with a fresh blanket of snow. The clouds, for their part, usually determine our impression of the sky’s personality at any given moment, and slight changes can make the difference between serene and restless, passive and threatening. Children are most skilled at determining the character of the clouds and sky; their imaginations are not yet tainted by years of living on the ground. And by the time we become adults- and can finally grasp all the words to describe it- the sky has gone back to being “blue.”


Cotton Ball Clouds, Itasca County, March 2018


Angular, BWCA, April 2018


Race, Hennepin County, February 2018


Clouds Mirror, Cook County, February 2018


Illuminati, Mille Lacs Lake, January 2018


Over Gunflint, Cook County, February 2018


Backlit, Washington County, January 2018


Puffs, BWCA, April 2018


Sunrise, BWCA, February 2018


Vertebrae 1, BWCA, April 2018


Sunset With Jet Trail, Mille Lacs Lake, January 2018


Vertebrae 2, BWCA, April 2018


Exodus, Hennepin County, February 2018


Packing Out, Cook County, February 2018



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All content copyright NAGC and Roy Heilman, 2018