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15 mind-boggling photos of frozen lakes

Going to the lake is an essential summer activity, but most of us tend to stay away once temperatures drop below zero.

But if these photographs are any indication, that’s a mistake. Lakes become something entirely different when they freeze over, and the transformed landscapes they create often look like they’re on another planet. In the right circumstances, a frozen lake is a photographer’s—and a nature-lover’s—dream.

If you want to spend time in scenery like this, we suggest you take up ice fishing, or skating, or photography. Or simply standing and staring. Safety can be a concern if you’re not certain that a lake has frozen over entirely, but standing at the shore often gives you the best vantage point anyway.

So here’s to winter lakes: the crystal-clear ones; the crackling, shattered ones; the geometrically inspiring ones. The next time you jump off a dock in the summer, take a moment to consider the same scene in February, and the serene, silent life your favourite lake lives in the winter.