Baby It’s Cold Outside

When Frank Loesser wrote that song in 1944 and received an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1950, I don’t think he was referring to New England weather, but this past weekend it sure fit the bill.

Photo credit: Geoff Forester/Concord Monitor, NH

Photo credit: Geoff Forester/Concord Monitor, NH

Continuing a tradition from the late 1800’s, Squam Lake was the site of the annual ice harvest.

Utilizing a 100-year old circular saw, they produced more than 400,000 pounds of ice cut into 13-inch thick blocks weighing 120 pounds each.

Once cut, they were pulled toward a winch which hoisted them up onto a wooden ramp and into the back of a truck for transportation to two ice houses for storage where they can last until September 2015.

The majority of the ice is utilized for refrigerators at Rockywold Deephaven Camp, Squam Lake, in Holderness, NH. About 130-140 blocks are used by David C.C. White of Sandwich, NH, the homesteader pictured above, who lives off the grid and uses his for a year’s worth of refrigeration.

Why, you might ask? Tradition.

The ice fishermen are also out and about. Although I’ve never understood the desire to head out to the middle of a reservoir, set up camp, and light a fire while there is a ‘lot’ of running water beneath your feet, they do grab my attention every time. I admire their grit and determination.

The photos below were taken Sunday morning while a light freezing mist was falling. The circle on the left photo points out how far out this group was on the ice, and it also shows the water spilling over the falls.

Ice Fishing

Ice for refrigeration? No thank you, I’ll keep my side by side with filtered water and ice maker plugged in. Ice fishing? Again, no thanks, I’ll pick my fresh fish up at a local fish market.

Right now what I want is sun and temperatures in the double digits without a minus sign in front of them because baby it’s really cold outside. 🙂


About Judy@NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
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19 Responses to Baby It’s Cold Outside

  1. Just makes me shiver….I lived in Minneapolis for 2 years, and was amazed at the amount of “ice” activites that took place, including ice carnival. But, if you are dressed properly, I guess you can have fun. I haven’t been skiing in 8 years but do remember face masks etc. Now, looking at that fire on the ice makes me wonder about the rate of the melting beneath it. Beautiful photos. Stay warm my friend; sew, knit, crochet and cook sound like good winter activities to me. And a good book and a cozy chair too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Helen Johnstone says:

    Those are amazing images for someone in the UK to see. We moan about a few inches after about 24hours.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Joyce says:

    You’ve described some lifestyles that don’t appeal to me either, but I sure am fascinated by them! Those fishermen must feel the same way you and I would if we were let loose in a quilting store with an unlimited credit line!
    I love your new blog layout! Last month it felt “Christmas-y.” Now it feels :winter-y!”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Midwestern Plant Girl says:

    Ice harvesters? That sure is OLD – SCHOOL alright!


  5. Cheryl Robertson says:

    Hi Judy! We are in the sixties here in Northern California; heading to the seventies this weekend. This will be our fourth year of drought. Wishing for some snow.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ogee says:

    There was a reason I left upstate NY for California. Thanks for the reminder! Brrrrrrr……

    Liked by 1 person

  7. ice fishing! I have a good friend in Central Mass who lives and dies for that “sport.” Good grief, why??? Can’t even imagine!
    On weekends like you (and my son) just described, I would be sitting under blankets (yes plural) in front of the fire, with a hood pulled over my head because the 100+ year old windows were like sieves and the heating bill was sieving my wallet. I was always so tense in winter. oy!!!!


  8. So great to see this type of tradition carry on. We have some folks that cut ice close to us on Lake St George. Ice fishing? you betcha! One of our favorite winter time activities, we keep a shack out on the lake, gotta love ice fishing!


  9. So you have ice fishermen in New England also? I thought that was only an Upper Midwest thing (especially Wisconsin and Minnesota).


  10. Paige says:

    I’ve always wanted to see the ice harvest in person … guess I should be heading up to Squam Lake. I admire people who keep history alive! Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Annie says:

    How exciting to witness this New England tradition! Historic 18th and 19th century ice houses dot the countryside of wealthy landowner in my home state of Virginia and I’m sure much of the ice was shipped from New England.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. pbmgarden says:

    Fascinating tradition. I admire people who get out and “do” things.


  13. Grandma Kc says:

    I never understood ice fishing back when my Dad did it in Michigan. I was always afraid of falling in and furthermore it was COLD! Wish I could share some sunshine. It is only going to get to 71 today and it is very overcast. Yuk!


  14. I’d be a nervous wreck sitting out on the ice with a fire going…


  15. Ice harvesting and ice fishing? Goodness, you weren’t kidding about it being cold where you are! Our lakes freeze over right around…never. Our birds’ pools freeze occasionally during the coldest parts of the winter, but even that’s unusual. And I had no idea anyone harvested ice like that for freezers – fascinating!

    Liked by 1 person

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