While it may seem frozen and silent on land, much life goes on below the ice, with many fishes and the larvae of dragonflies, midges, blackflies, deer flies and craneflies swimming or wriggling about, albeit sluggishly in some cases. Later in summer, if you’re lucky, you can watch dragonfly larvae haul themselves out from the mucky deep onto sun-warmed rock faces. There they will dry out, shed their old skins, sprout wings and fly away in a thrilling metamorphosis.
A balmy break often occurring late in the month is known as the January thaw. On such mild, sunny, midwinter days, tiny snowfleas often cover the surface of the snow like soot. But if you look carefully, you’ll see them spring across the snow like fleas. March break is another good time to look for them.