After a few bitter cold and still winter nights in Michigan, lakes freeze fast and clear. Clear enough to see the fish swim below. Elijah Allen saw the magic unfolding, strapped on his skates, and took off across the polished surface of Lake Leelanau with his drone following his joyful moves.
From the earliest of human history, communities have been defined by the waters upon which they thrive. Before European colonizers set foot in Northwest Michigan, Indigenous communities referred to Leelanau as “ke-ski-bi-ag,” which means “narrow body of water.”
Ice fisherman — and skaters like Allen — cherish these moments of bliss when, for a few weeks or months literally walk on water.
We’d love to share your stories of water bliss like Elijah’s in The Stream. Send your pictures, art, and video to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lake Leelanau covers more than 8,600 acres on the Leelanau Peninsula, flowing northward into the Leland River and finally into Lake Michigan.
Ice cover on the Great Lakes has been lower than normal over the last two years, according to NOAA.
Jane is a Communications Associate for Circle of Blue. She writes The Stream and has covered domestic and international water issues for Circle of Blue. She is a recent graduate of Grand Valley State University, where she studied Multimedia Journalism and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. During her time at Grand Valley, she was the host of the Community Service Learning Center podcast Be the Change. Currently based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Jane enjoys listening to music, reading and spending time outdoors.