Despite what coffee cups and Canadian currency would have you believe, I think that fewer people actually skate outdoors anymore, and I'll give you some reasons why that may be. I've blogged about natural bodies of water, and why I contend that they are unreliable skating surfaces, and that may be part of the reason. Another reason could be that the backyard rink requires a huge amount of time and effort to achieve success, and you still have to depend on the weather. Also, people think that backyard rinks are a great idea...just don't ask them to go outside every night when it is minus 15 to flood it. Finally, of course, the modern kid is much more likely to play Wii Pond Hockey than skate on natural ice. (OK, I don't know if Wii Pond Hockey is an actual product, but you know what I mean.) Still, I believe that as long as there are cold temperatures and water, there will be some people who will skate outdoors.
Other than the blog you are currently reading, you can still find some articles about outdoor skating. Many of these are nostalgia-themed, and a few links to some great pond hockey articles are listed on the right side of this blog. TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger is a advocate of the backyard rink, and he is inviting other rink builders to send in pictures of their works-in-progress...see if you can find the truly World-Famous "Brook Garden" (...explanation) in TSN's gallery! Obviously, there are some other die-hards out there who are keeping the culture alive.