In any case, before the weather got really icey (as opposed to just somewhat icey) here, I used to go down to the beach at the end of our block quite regularly with Ted. It was amazing to this warm-weather person to watch the snow and ice gradually expand to cover both the sand and sidewalks AND the water itself.
Photo taken in December
Yes, this is the beach that people were lounging on back in September, although in this case I could chuck snowballs at Ted while on it. About 2 minutes after I took this picture, too, I had my first experience with ice. I was just meandering across what I remembered as a vacant lot when suddenly I heard a crack and my right leg was up in water to mid-calf. Much to my surprise, I didn't lose my balance or get water in my boot, so I found the whole thing laughable rather than annoying. Ted just couldn't figure out why I was standing lopsided and laughing.
Here you can see the snow gradually taking over the harbor; by this time it's early January. (Yes, the walks I took when I had pneumonia!)
Of course, by early February it was solid. Since I hadn't been down there for a few weeks--nursing the pneumonia once I found out what it was--I was just flabbergasted by the ice and snow everywhere. And quite thick, too. I hear that by mid-February some folks were out on the bay skating, taking the dogs for walks, and ice fishing. Given that the ice was thinner this year than it had been in years (that's according to the Finnish news), I figured I'd give the whole thing a miss!
While I normally do this in dust or pollen, I can see why the Finns use their more natural element! :-)
And, yes, welcome to the Gulf of Finland at the end of February. I admit it, I'm just stunned. Then again, I find the whole idea of taking an ice-breaker to work, like one of the folks I've met here, just mind-blowing.