Ode to Frozen Lakes & Ponds
There’s nothing like a winter walk or skate on one of the Berkshires’ many beautiful lakes & ponds. Our family has always loved going for winter walks on the Stockbridge Bowl (a/k/a Lake Makheenac). The lake is dreamlike when it’s frozen and you’re sure to see people of all ages ice fishing & skating.
If you’ve never observed ice fishing, it’s actually really cool to watch (Note to self: I must actually ice fish this winter… though that would mean less skiing…). It’s especially fun to check out each group’s fishing setup. Old schoolers sit outside on turned over buckets while others huddle indoors, in heated huts, with food spreads that rival the best NFL Sunday tailgate. I’m talking propane fired grill, sausages, adult beverages – the works! Click here to watch a creative, fun Berkshires ice fishing video created by my talented friends at Outpost Productions, based right here in West Stockbridge.
I often tell the story of one of our family winter vacation walks on the Stockbridge Bowl, before we made the Berkshires our permanent home. Upon hearing an ice fisherman lament that he’d been out for hours & hadn’t caught anything, I commented to my then 7 year old daughter how I couldn’t imagine sitting out for hours, in the cold, only to go home empty handed. To which my daughter abruptly responded: “Dad, you just don’t get it. It’s not about catching fish. It’s about hanging out with your friends & having a good time!” Yes… she was, & still is wiser than her years.
Another one of our favorite winter pastimes here is skating & playing pickup hockey on one of our nearby frozen ponds. Sometimes it just feels like we’ve jumped onto the canvas of a Norman Rockwell painting.
Then we pinch ourselves & realize that yes, we really are doing this, right in our own backyard.