Winter has yet to officially begin, (Dec. 21), and already the Berkshires have seen single digit temperatures. Along with high energy bills, dry, cracked lips and skin, comes winter sports!

Driving around the other day, it was cool to see Bousquet Ski area making snow again, and Pontoosuc Lake already frozen. Now, I wouldn't consider ice fishing to be a "sport", but around here, it sure is a popular winter activity.

All winter long, I see, like huge trucks, on the frozen lakes and often wondered how and when this was safe. More importantly, when is it safe to even walk, or perhaps play hockey on a frozen lake?

A little earlier, I stumbled upon some useful safety tips in an article written on iberkshires.com.

These tips will help you to determine how safe the ice is, what to do if you see another person or pet fall through the ice, or if you happen to fall in, what to do.