Jake and Carolyn checking the ice. It looks like it's getting there. But be sure to check for yourself!


Carolyn Haggard 11-9-17

Big Lake looking north from Long Island. These were taken from the deck of Ben's neighbor, Jay Frawner.


Ben Kleinenberg 11-10-17

This chart is a general reference only. Weights of people and vehicles vary so this information is not guaranteed!  Check the ice for yourself and don't proceed if you are unsure!

I just cut this plug of ice under some unbroken snow, in the area that we usually keep plowed for our parking lot on Flat Lake. This area froze over the last week of October. In spite of lots of many subzero nights since then, there is only 5 3/4” of clear ice under 2” of white ice. A good illustration of the insulating properties of a blanket of snow.


Carolyn Haggard 12-1-17


It looks like thing are pretty sloppy on Big Lake. Here are some shots looking across the lake from Ben Kleinenberg.


Ben Kleinenberg 12-4-17

Thin Ice In Spots! These spots were found in a couple spots on the lake. Measure before you go! Carolyn Haggard 12-10-17

Everybody knows that you're supposed to do regular maintenance to your Toyostove. A check-up every other season or so. I've always known that, but it never seemed to make it to the front burner. Always something else to address or get to. It's also been easy to ignore because the Toyo is so reliable, that you just don't think much about it. You go over, adjust the temperature and walk away.

Turns out, that's a bad idea. The heat went out recently and things got real cold, real quick. I pulled off the front cover and it didn't take long to find the probable culprit. The igniter wires were brown and the connection was hanging on by a thread.

A special thanks to John Ohmann, The Toyo Doctor for meeting me in the  evening to sell me a replacement part. The fix took half an hour and the Toyo was back up and running.

A lesson learned. I will be paying more attention in the future.


Rob Nuss 2-20-18

Outstanding  fireworks and tons of great hockey at the 2018 Last Frontier Pond Hockey Classic!

Excellent show!


A group of west-enders breaking out and heading for the channel.

Carolyn Haggard 5-7-18

Beautiful sunset Sunday evening a little after 11:00.

Rob Nuss  7/15/18

Getting close!

Carolyn Haggard 5-9-17

Summer has arrived on Flat Lake!  Other than the remains of some snow berms that are still stuck to some north facing shorelines, the ice is gone from Flat Lake and Mud Lake.  Big Lake is still mostly covered in ice, but we're seeing some areas starting to open up, especially on the east end.


The first photo was taken on Monday.  Jake was out breaking ice in his skiff.  He wasn't alone; there were several "Westenders" out there, and we managed to make it all the way to the islands from the channel, but the ice was still pretty tough.


The aerial photo was taken by Craig Taylor on Wednesday morning.  Amazing how much open water developed in two days.


As you can see from the next mirror image pic, our cove was ice-free last night.


There was still a good sized area of floating ice visible this morning in the east end of Flat Lake, but it was all gone by later this afternoon.


The last two pics are of Big Lake, and were taken early this evening from South Big Lake Rd.  The first is the Starboard Cove area.  Big areas of open water were starting develop. The last photo is the area near Marshall Point.  Still pretty much solid, but with temperatures warming into the 60s, and the breezy weather, it won't take long now!

Carolyn Haggard


What a beautiful weekend! Lots of much deserved sunshine. But with a sign of things to come, my deck had a hint of frost on Sunday morning.

Fresh Ice and a Sunset Ride Carolyn and Shannon check the ice at the Big Lake channel. Carolyn Haggard 10-22-17

A nice sunset view of the forming ice from the top of the north ridge.


Bob Wigen 11-8-17

It's getting there, but there is still thin ice in spots and overflow off the plowed road. Be careful!

Photos by Carolyn Haggard 11-30-17

Beautiful shot across Flat Lake at the sun peeking over the trees. Thanks to Carolyn Haggard for the picture!


Looks like an early breakup this year! Things are starting to get a bit dicey on some of the roads and driveways. The landing is in good shape, but it doesn't take long to get to the slush. There are two holes all the way through the ice on the road to the northwest shore. Greg Gursey put a buoy in one of them and, last I heard, was trying to mark the other. Kind of a nasty surprise. Hopefully it will get colder and dry things up some.

 How Lake Ice Melts



A wonderful description of how lake ice melts away appeared on the web blog "Air Mass", hosted by the Star Tribune's Bill McAuliffe. Ed Swain, of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency describes the process of freezing and thawing lakes.



1) In the late fall, the lake loses heat to the atmosphere, and then on a day or night when the wind is not blowing, ice forms. The ice gets thicker as long as the lake can continue to lose heat.

 2) In most Januaries and Februaries, snow both reflects sunlight and insulates the lake. With a thick snow layer, the lake neither gains nor loses heat. The bottom sediment is actually heating the lake water slightly over the winter, from stored summer heat.

 3)  Around March, as the air warms and the sun gets more intense, the snow melts, allowing light to penetrate the ice. Because the ice acts like the glass in a greenhouse, the water beneath it begins to warm, and the ice begins to melt FROM THE BOTTOM.

 4) When the ice thickness erodes to between 4 and 12 inches, it transforms into long vertical crystals called "candles." These conduct light even better, so the ice starts to look black, because it is not reflecting much sunlight.

 5) Warming continues because the light energy is being transferred to the water below the ice. Meltwater fills in between the crystals, which begin breaking apart. The surface appears grayish as the ice reflects a bit more light than before.

 6) The wind comes up, and breaks the surface apart. The candles will often be blown to one side of the lake, making a tinkling sound as they knock against one another, and piling up on the shore. In hours, a sparkling blue lake, once again!


Thanks to Jaye Marshall and Carolyn Haggard. 4/26/18

Stacy Phillips, who has a cabin on Mud Lake with her husband Mike, took this pic on Flat Lake. It's a Surf Scoter. I've never seen one, but I'm told that they have been on the lake for several years.

Thanks to:

Stacy Phillips and Carolyn Haggard


Carolyn sent in a couple shots from over the weekend.

A beautiful night after a gorgeous day! I'm loving this summer!


Mixed weather on Labor Day weekend. Beautiful Saturday, dry Sunday, and absolutely soggy on Monday.

Pray for snow this year!!


Beautiful shot of the icicles hanging from the roof.

Bob Shem March 2017

The crack on the road to the north shore. I hope this heals soon....

Carolyn Haggard - March 2017


FlatLake.com 2017-18

More pictures on the Flat Lake Weather recent photos page.


Carolyn Haggard 11-3-17

Getting Colder! Photos by Carolyn Haggard 10-20-17

Ribbon Cutting

At The Landing

Come be a part of the final step!

Nice shots of the ice going out!

Tyler Ouelette


Images of Flat Lake and Red Shirt Lake.

Ed Ruebling


The latest shots of the ice conditions.

Carolyn Haggard  4-27-17

Cool shot of a bubble that froze before popping and landed on a snowy tree limb.

Carolyn Haggard - January 2017

IT'S STARTING! Carolyn 10-23-16

Beautiful sunrise. Thanks to

Scott Seely!


We had an interesting visitor Saturday evening. While we were in doing the dishes, this little guy got up on the table and decided to do a bit of wine tasting. It didn't get too far, but it was fun to watch.

The ice roads are starting to get a bit wet and slushy. There's still plenty of ice, at least for now.


Rob Nuss 4-2-17

This is what boiling water looks like when you fling it in sub-zero temps.

Carolyn Haggard - January 2017

© 2014 Rob Nuss    907 rob@gmail.com