Just how it is possible to sense freeze-up has occurred from inside the house, in the black morning darkness while still lying in bed, I do not know. Maybe it's a different quiet than usual, the quiet of something large utterly halted and stilled.
When it's grey enough to see I go outside: ice. Before, the lake had an aquatic kind of upward mobility - leaping waves, spray droplets, steaming fog, the sound waves of water waves slapping and lapping -, merging with space. Now the emptiness of sky presses down on it with all its silence, down on the flat scab of ice.
It's merely an ice floe, though, stretching as far as I can see from here. But in the distance grey ice fog persists over still open water. While everything outside feels grave and epic (freeze-up always is), I continue my murderous spree among the blossoming shrew population in the cabin. I had a similar invasion a few years ago, and now they are back. My somewhat reluctant tally stands at eight velvety corpses to date. They are fascinating little critters with their echolocation and toxic saliva, but not the kind of roommates I enjoy. Hopefully I'll stem their flow into the cabin even before winter closes up the rest of the lake.