We recently had our first real ice of the season. I went to the lake to take photos and found much of it was covered in a thin layer of ice. It wasn't thick enough to support any serious weight, but it was enough to support the waterfowl and give them fits. In the photos, you can see the ripples of the open water versus the smooth surface of the frozen water. As I walked around the lake, I could hear the ice moving in the wind. It wasn't the loud cracking sound of heavy ice, but rather a high pitched noise. It sounded like a big flock of small birds all chirping at the same time. It was different to see the ducks and geese standing on the middle of the lake rather than swimming in it.
Most of the stumps, dead trees, and much of the shoreline were covered in thicker ice. The shallow parts of the lake were completely frozen over. I saw a few ducks as they attempted to land and they would hit ice instead of open water. Based on their reaction, I'm pretty sure they were surprised. I also watched in amusement as a coot, in one of the photos below, was "testing the waters" trying to figure out where the ice ended and the water began.
Now for the "or under it" part of the post. I came upon this dead fish in a shallow part of the lake that was completely iced over. I took the first photo and continued on. A while later, I came back and looked at the fish again and saw it was actually moving, hence not dead, after all. It wasn't moving much, but it was clearly still alive. I went on about my business and returned later to see three crows pecking at the ice where the fish was. One of the crows flew off, but the other two stayed until I got too close and then they flew off. In the last photo, you can see a hole in the ice above the fish where the crows had tried to get at their meal.