|The Calends of March||
March is a month of considerable frustration -- it is so near spring and yet [here in Minnesota the weather can still be] so violent and changeable that outdoor activity in our yards seems light years away.
-- Thalassa Cruso
How right she is!!!!   (By the way, did anyone notice that she used a unit of distance when she meant a unit of time?)
|March 2nd||Ya know, within a month Cindy and Barb might start doing the spring cleaning in the Cabins. Resort prep time is nearly upon us.|
Hummingbirds have been seen in northern Florida and in the southern end of Mississippi and Alabama already this year. One can, of course, follow their migration via the internet if one likes, but it would be nice to hear directly from people as they notice their arrival. So when any of you guys south of here see your first hummingbird of the year (that's a hint to Mary, Laurie, Gary, Connie, and Dotz, by the way), it would be neat if you'd let me know and I'll post it here. I'd love to hear from anyone south (or even north) of Grand Rapids. So put your feeders out (not you yet Dotz) and start watching.
By the way, if you'd like to follow their migration as it progresses this year, click HERE. And if you're interested, that site also contains links to previous years' migration data.
|March 4th||Sage advice:   Remember, we're in Minnesota and this is March. No matter how spring-like the weather may be at the moment, do not get fooled into thinking that winter is over.|
|March 5th||To see a daytime view of the route across to the lake to Randy's place, click HERE. His cabin is the little building just to the left of where the path appears to be heading.|
|March 6th||The ice should be gone in about six weeks, plus or minus a few days.........maybe. Click HERE and HERE|
|The Nones of March||Almost eleven and a half hours of daylight already. Wow! Where has this winter gone?|
|March 8th||Rain!!! Winter is rapidly turning into spring. The seasons march on at an ever increasing pace. Why does this keep happening?|
|March 9th||So long Dotz.......thanks for coming; I enjoyed it. And tell Beverly that I missed her hugs! Oh well, the next time will be fine; I can wait.|
|March 10th||It looks like there's a lot of water on the ice........and there is. But be aware that there's about two feet of ice under those puddles. Click HERE.|
|March_11th||Some places around here look like Spring is coming, (click HERE); other places don't (click HERE).|
Last year on this date we woke up to a temperature of 29 degrees below zero. This morning it's 40 degrees ABOVE zero.
As of today my Dear Daughter Teri has been a Scot for exactly six months. (Six months ago today she went to jail for the first time in her life as well.)
|March 13th||OH NO!!!!!!! Minnesota beat Michigan State in the Big Ten Basketball Tournament last night. Click HERE.|
|March 14th||The docks are now on the shore. That job didn't get done until April 4th last year, but by the look of the ice this year it might be all gone by then. Lori was here this weekend (but she didn't help with the docks).|
|The Ides of March||
Since I've been at LBLR, on average the lake has been frozen 143 days during the winter. The minimum was 116 days (1999/2000) and the maximum was 155 days (2007/2008). The ice would have to go out on March 31st this year to tie the record low, which would be three weeks earlier than the average thaw date. But if this warm weather continues, who knows!?!?!
Click HERE and HERE.
The walk across the ice from Randy's place tonight was, quite likely, the last one of the winter.
For the past two weeks the weather has been nothing but mild. The snow is virtually gone, the ice is already turning gray, and the ground is even getting dry. But see the entry for March 4th (above). And incidentally, during the time we have been enjoying this warm spell, the Farmer's Almanac predicted a couple of snow storms with a cold spell in between them. Not even close!
At least one of the Falcons is back and if it is, indeed, only one of them, then it's the male preparing the nest for his dear wife while she lolls around in warmer climes for a bit yet. We should be about a month away from seeing the first egg. Thanks for the information Laurie. Click HERE.
|St. Patrick's Day||
A good friend and old working buddy from IBM in Rochester was buried today, and being the proud Irishman that he was, I'd bet that if he had been given a choice of when to go, he would have chosen St. Patrick's Day. His name is Bob Dunagan. He was such a High School Wrestling "aficionado" for so many years that the Stewartville Minnesota Wrestling Boosters' Club has renamed its annual Early Bird Wrestling Tournament. From now on it will be known as the "Bob Dunagan Youth Classic". Here's to you Bob! We've laughed at your humorous stories for many years, we laughed at a few of them today even in your absence, and we'll continue to laugh at them for a long time to come. You were a good man and a good friend........and you will be sorely missed.   [Aside -- I'll try to get a better picture shortly, but to see the best picture I have at the moment, click HERE. And by the way, the Bob that was mentioned in the Chronicles entries for January 16th and 17th of 2007 was this very same Bob. To re-read it, click HERE. -- End of Aside]
Happy Birthday to my wayward daughter who is living in Scotland at the moment. I'll see you in a few days Ter!
|March 18th||There was a fair number of unidentified water fowl on the Mississippi today. I suspect they were Mallards and Goldeneyes, but maybe tomorrow I'll get closer so that we'll know for sure.|
|March 19th||Aye! They were, indeed, Mallards and Goldeneyes!|
Springtime is upon us.
The birds celebrate her return with festive song,
Thunderstorms, those heralds of Spring, roar, casting their dark mantle over heaven,
Then they die away to silence, and the birds take up their charming songs once more.
Click HERE.   (It might take 15 or 20 seconds to load, but wait it out.)
Those two works of art, the poetry and the music, are both part of a work titled "Spring", both are part of a larger work titled "The Four Seasons", both are timely, and both were composed by Antonio Vivaldi in 1723.
Cindy and Barb did the spring cleaning in the top of the duplex yesterday, thereby beating the old record for the earliest start by 8 days.
The lake is sure snapping and booming on these cold mornings. Neato!!!!!
The first chipmonk appeared about this time last year, but not single one has been seen at LBLR yet this spring even though the weather has been very warm and the snow has been virtually gone for a few days already.
It's 3:00 PM, we're in Minneapolis, and it's almost boarding time.
It's 10:30 AM in Edinburgh.   --   We just arrived (and it's about time)
Laurie (in North Carolina) tells me that the female falcon has apparently returned.
Single digit temps in Grand Rapids tomorrow, Eh? Winter is still there.
Today's UK picture is Lori in Teri's walled-in private back yard (or garden, as the Brits would call it). Click HERE.
Robert the Bruce became King of Scotland on this day in 1306 hence, this could be an appropriate day to visit Edinburgh Castle. Although it was in the hands of the English at the time Robert assumed the throne, he did manage to retake the Castle eight years later.
Today's UK picture is Carrubber's Close, which is where Teri's apartment is. It's very quaint. Click HERE.
|March 26th||A haar (look that up in your Funk and Wagnalls (as Dan Rown and Dick Martin used to say) or click HERE instead) rolled in from the North Sea yesterday in the late morning, and was it ever thick. It arrived during our tour of the Endinburgh Castle. Click HERE.|
Yesterday's high point was probably an hour and a half tour of Her Majesty's yacht, the HMY Britania, which was decomissioned in 1997 and is now on display in the Edinburgh ocean harbor on the Firth of Forth. And a plush vessel she is too!
Oops! If you read this earlier today, it was in error. We didn't explore the Scotish Highlands as the entry said we were going to, we took a train to Newcastle Upon Tyne and, among other things, we looked at the University that Teri "almost" attended. And the sky was CLEAR.........our first view of the sun in two days. The plan for tomorrow is to explore the Scotish Highlands.
Today's UK pictures are 1) Teri on the train to Newcastle (click HERE), and 2) Newcastle University (or as Teri put it, her not-university (click HERE).
|March 28th||Teri and Lori and I spent the whole day in the Scottish Highlands including, of course, a visit to Loch Ness. It was, indeed, an enjoyable day.
By the way, the price of gasoline in this neck of the woods is in the neighborhood of $6.70 per gallon which, as I understand it, is fairly inexpensive compared to only a short while ago.
Today's UK picture is Lori and I in the Highlands, and though I'm not certain, I believe that the peak in back of us is Ben Nevis, the highest point in the UK. (Note added later:   My daughter has informed me via e-mail that today's picture is definitely NOT Ben Nevis.) Click HERE.
As I type this entry, Lori and I are enjoying a very comfortable train ride from Waverly Station in Edinburgh to King's Cross Station in London. This is, indeed, a civilized way to travel.
Today's picture is Lori standing in front of Buckingam Palace which is a mere three blocks from our hotel. The flag flying above it indicates that Her Majesty, the Queen, is in residence. Click HERE.
By the way, Randy told me that the ice around the edge of Little Bass Lake is still rock solid.
|March 30th||After an all day tour of London we've narrow it down to one picture........a black and white version of Lori at the Tower Bridge near the Tower of London. Click HERE.|
|March 31th||Today we're renting a car and heading for the English countryside........more later.|