Everybody has their own idea of when winter is over and spring really begins. For some, it’s when the Red Sox and all those other guys start tossing baseballs around down in Florida. For others, its when the first crocuses poke their heads above the snow cover. Or when the loons return to our local ponds and lakes from their winter grounds.

Here at Lopstick, we have an entirely practical view of when the seasons officially change: It’s when the ice finally melts out on First Connecticut Lake.

We’ve got records going back as far as 1920 showing the date of the Ice Out. The earliest Ice Out date recorded came in 1921 and 2010 (April 9th) and the latest occurred in 1972, when the ice on First Conn Lake finally melted on May 19th.  The average Ice Out Day in all those years, as calculated by our Excel program, is May 3.

So just for fun and the chance to win something, we’re inviting you to guess this year’s Melt Out Day on First Conn Lake.

Here’s how our little contest works: Send us an email ( with your name and the day you think the ice will melt. (Please, one guess per email!) There’s an official Old Geezer (identity kept secret so he can’t be bribed) up here in Pittsburg who will decide the date when the lake is Iced Out. His (or her) decision is final.

We will notify the lucky guesser (or guessers) who selects the Official Ice Out Day that they’ve won a $50 gift certificate good for their next stay with us at Lopstick.

Good luck to one and all!