I love to take pictures, especially when I have such a palette to choose from living on Beech Mountain. It doesn't matter what season it is, I am always awestruck with the beauty that God has provided to the lucky few who live here year round and those who visit this blessed place.
However, I am also shocked at the lack of knowledge that some people have when visiting us that causes them to do some dangerous things. For instance, there have been so many reports in the news this year of people who, for one reason or another, have chosen to walk on the frozen lakes and rivers. If you research this topic, you will find that most experts say ice is not safe to walk on unless the ice is at least 4" thick. Personally, I don't know how you can tell how thick it is unless you breach the ice to do so and I'm not volunteering! Recently, a local man was walking his dogs off-leash with his 10 yr. old son and the dogs took off across a lake. The man took off after them, fell through the ice and died. Luckily, the son went for help and did not follow the man. The dogs never went through the ice but accounts of animals who have fallen through the ice in the past report that most get themselves out without assistance. Those that do need assistance need it from professionals...call the authorities...do not attempt to do a rescue yourself!
I live in the area of Lake Coffey and was astounded about two weeks ago to see a snowman, which had been built in the middle of the lake. I don't know who built it but it sent shivers down my spine to envision a couple of kids out there risking their lives to have fun building that snowman. It is most probably the result of lack of information. We have so very many people that visit our area from warmer climates and do not know what the hazards are when walking on frozen surfaces.
A vast database of knowledge is available on the Internet for virtually anything you need. Check out unfamiliar topics before risking your life in unknown situations. I did a simple Google search on 'safe walking on ice' and was immediately drawn to this site: http://www.wikihow.com/Know-When-Ice-is-Safe. Check it out, do your own search, educate yourself in this matter and others to safeguard yourself and your loved ones...especially children and animals. They are counting on you to protect them. Don't let them down just because you did not check out the dangers first. We want our visitors to have nothing but happy memories of their stay on Beech Mountain and we do not want to lose any of our neighbors to senseless tragedies.
Now go and enjoy your winter on Beech Mountain but....Please, Be Safe! :)