Spring has finally arrived, here in New Iceland! It’s been a long cold winter. Lots of snow. Lots of icy roads and drifting snow. Now we just need enough rain for the farmers to prosper. It’s not a sure thing after last year’s drought.
One rainy day this past week, I set off to explore some spots along Lake Winnipeg. The lake was still covered with ice, although it had melted along the edges. The southern basin is almost clear in the south, but quite a bit of ice remains up our way, near Hecla Island. A few more warm days and the ice will break up to float around the lake in enormous ice floes. Too dangerous yet for boats. But still inviting enough for the flocks of Canada geese descending on the Hecla marshes.
I began my photo journey at the Gimli Beach. So different from high summer with the crowds of beach goers and people fishing from the dock in the summer heat. More like cold and blustery today!
Continuing north up the lake side, I came to Spruce Bay, one of my favourite photo spots. Spruce Bay is a little community of cottages, mobile homes and a few permanent residents about 20 minutes north of Gimli.
Last, I came to Magnusville at Breiðivíc – “Broad Bay” in Icelandic – jus north of Hnausa. There are still a few houses here, but the ice house and fishing station were torn down in 1999. So many of these old ice houses are disappearing from the landscape around here.
The spot was originally settled by Magnus and Ingibjorg Magnusson in 1895. The ice house and fishing station was an important resource for the fisherman in this area. Men used to cut large blocks of ice from the lake and fill the ice house with them. Fish from the fishing industry would be stored there and the ice could last most of the year. With modern refrigeration, ice houses are no longer necessary and many of them have been lost. The Magnusville ice house and fishing station has been commemorated by a small park on the lake shore.
Magnusville at Breiðuvíc
How Magnusville Was Founded
Memorial Park at Magnusville