March 2012

Click here to see the other months in 2012:
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

March 1st March is a tomboy with tousled hair, a mischievous smile, mud on her shoes, and a laugh in her voice.
-- Hal Borland (circa 1960)

Hal has a poetic way of describing the upcoming month, and it certainly seems to fit. But if I may, I'd like to add "freckles" to his description. If March is a tomboy, she definitely has freckles. As we "slide" into March this year, the weather is unseasonably warm (as the whole winter has been) but due to the snow of the past few days, the scenery is more winterish than it has been this whole season. March has certainly come in like a Lion (relatively speaking)......will it go out like a Lamb, do you suppose? Click HERE.
March_2nd A little over 2 weeks from now Spring will arrive, about 5 weeks later the ice will be gone, and only 3 weeks after that is the fishing opener.

Here are more details:
  • In 9 days Daylight Saving Time will start.
  • In a tad over 2 weeks Spring will be here.
  • In about 3 weeks I'll walk across the lake for the last time.
  • In about 3 weeks also, my neighbor Larry will be back in Minnesota.
  • In about 4 weeks the Juncos will start passing through on their way up north.
  • In about 5 weeks the chipmonks will begin to come out.
  • In about 6 weeks the Merlin will arrive and begin harrassing the local water foul.
  • In about 6 weeks also, we'll be heavy into Spring Cabin Cleaning.
  • In about 7 weeks the ice will be gone and on that day the Loons will arrive on LBL.
  • In about 8 weeks the baby Painted Turtles from last year's eggs will leave their underground nests and wander into the lake.
  • In about 8 weeks also, Brian, Larry, and I will put our pontoons in the water.
  • In about 10 weeks Northern and Walleye fishing will begin.
  • In about 10 weeks also, Jeff and Christine will arrive for their annual Spring trip to LBLR.
  • In about 14 weeks the mother Painted Turtles will wander onto the resort to lay their eggs for next year's babies.
  • March 3rd This is my Dear Granddaugther Molly (and her Mom). She was Gertie in Oklahoma! today. Great job Molly!!!!!! Click HERE.
    March 4th Today is turning out to be an excellent day for dunderheads. Sometimes you can go for weeks and never see one........but not today.

    [Aside -- I'm not anywhere near the Northland as I say that. -- End of Aside]
    March 5th The male Paragrine Falcon could return any day now. If you'd like to keep track of what's happening this year, the FalconCam is HERE.
    March 6th As everyone knows, this has been a very warm winter.......certainly warmer than last year. What effect will that have on the ice, do you suppose? I have no idea, but:
    • To set a new record for the shortest time frozen (115 days) the ice will have be out by March 25th.   Nah, that wont happen. The earliest it has ever went out is April Fools' day (2000).
    • To set a new record for the longest time frozen (156 days) the ice will have to stick around until May 5th.   Most likely that wont happen either, although the ice has lasted into May on two occasions (May 7th in 1996, and May 3rd in 2008).
    • To stay frozen for the same length of time as last year (142 days) the ice will have to last until April 21st.   That's just about right on the average for both the "ice out" date and number of days frozen.
    • My feeling, by the way, is that the weather in the Spring around the time that the ice is melting, has more to do with how soon it goes out than does the fact that we've had a mild winter........but I don't know that for sure.
    If you'd like to take a guess at what day this year the last of the ice will melt, let me know.
    March 7th The graph for the number of days of ice cover has been updated and a "trend" line (using the polynomial extrapolation method) has been added to it. You will notice that the trend over the past 20 years was down just a tad and is now on its way back up. That downturn was mostly driven by two winters which were ten years apart (1999/2000 and 2009/2010) in which the ice cover lasted only 116 and 117 days respectively. Other than those two winters, the duration of the ice cover has been between 133 days and 155 days. Obviously one cannot draw any real conclusions from only 12 years of data over a time span as short as 20 years, but it's interesting nonetheless (e.g., there's not much global warming going on around here, is there?). To see all the history that I have, click HERE.
    March 8th White Swans sitting on white snow are cute. I'll try to get a picture.
    March 9th The Falcon is back!!!! He arrived yesterday about 6:00 PM. Click HERE.
    March 10th Whew(!), what a wind. Look what it did to Lucas's fish house. Click HERE.
    March 11th The MSU Spartans won the Big Ten Basketball Tournament this afternoon........YES!!!!!!! Now on to the NCAA tournament.
    March 12th Three years ago on this date we woke up to a temperature of 29 degrees below zero. This morning it's 40 degrees above zero and raining.
    March 13th Hey Colleen & Kevin, no doubt you are having a great time! Have a few Red Stripes for those of us who are back here in Minnesota, would you?
    March 14th First, click HERE.   Okay, now I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that the ice sheet has broken up already, and all that's left is a bunch of slushy ice floating in the water. But that's not true! What you're looking at is frozen slush on top of the ice, sparkling in the early morning sun. And remember, that ice is still nearly two feet thick.
    The Ides The cabin 4 dock is off of the ice. That's a down and two to go.

    As mentioned before, every walk across the lake is better than the previous one, and tonight was no exception. The weather was magnificent and the sky was even better!!!!!!! It was dominated by the brilliance of Jupiter and Venus in close proximity, but also remarkable were the constellations Orion, Canis Major, Gemini, and Tarus, not to mention the ones typical in the northern section of the sky. What a lovely evening stroll........
    March 16th Click HERE.   This small snail shell (and many more like it) were scattered on the ice between cabins 1 and 3, and between 30 and 60 feet off shore. The snow has been gone for two days now and, judging from the fact that the shells have sunk into the ice as a result of the sun's warmth, they have been there for at least two days as well. So, were they under the snow all winter or did they arrive after the snow melted? How did they get there, and why only in that one area? Any ideas?

    By the way, the remaining docks are now off of the ice. (Note to Sarge and Mike:   I may not have been in the army, but occasionally I try to display a little 1st Cav enthusiasm anyway.)   (And another note to Sarge:   Happy Birthday!!!!!)

    Happy Anniversary to Jeff and Christine! We'll see you in about two months, right?
    March 17th As always on this day:   Happy Birthday Ter.......and Éire go Brách!!!!!
    March 18th From the LBLR side of the lake these looked sort of like swans laying on the ice. This picture was taken with a zoom lens from the public landing (the other side of the lake) which was closer to them. What do they look like to you? Click HERE.
    March 19th Today is the last day for you creative, artistic, adaptable, idealistic, and popular Pisceans, for tomorrow begins the time of Aries.

    In California, Spring starts today.......but we have to wait until tomorrow.
    The Vernal Equinox The green and gallant Spring is finally here, but as nice as it feels, don't forget the words of George Santayana (circa 1920):   To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.
    March 21st Now Nature hangs her mantle green
    On every blooming tree,
    And spreads her sheets o' daisies white
    Out o'er the grassy lea;
                                  -- Robert Burns (1791)

    That's from "Lament Of Mary, Queen Of Scots, On The Approach Of Spring". Though these few lines are pleasant, it's a sad sad song.
    March 22nd This is from earlier this afternoon; unfortunately the final score was Baltimore 11, Twins 1. Click HERE.
    March 23rd On October 29, 2008 (at 3:00 in the morning, I might add) I saw a Barred Owl, which was a new bird for me. Until now, that was the last one. But in the last three days I've seen four new birds, a Boat-tailed Grackle, a Black Vulture, a Black-necked Stilt, and a White Ibis. It's amazing what a trip can do.
    March 24th Ha! A Little Blue Heron, a Snowy Egret, a Snowy Plover, Ruddy Turnstone, and a Semipalmated Plover. Beautiful!!!!!!!
    March 25th A possible Semipalmated Sandpiper......but it'll take another look tomorrow to be sure.
    March 26th Although I'm not there at the moment, rumor has it that the ice on Little Bass Lake is gone, which beats the previous "earliest" ice-out date by six days. Wow! The closest guess to the exact date was made by Gary G in Tennesee (who has never been at LBLR, I might add) and Colleen (one of the firebug Carlsons) in Apple Valley, who both guessed March 27th. To see the updated statistics and graph, click HERE.
    March 27th Okay, here's an update to the LBL ice situation. The statement that it went out yesterday was a rumor and it was premature; the last dregs finally melted this afternoon. The two winners are still the winners, but now their guesses were "right on". Sorry about that. To see the updated statistics and graph, click HERE.
    March 28th One more ice thing:   You will notice that even though the ice went out five days earlier than the previous earliest date, there were still two years which had less days of ice than this year. See above to get the details.
    March 29th Home again(!) and back to work. You're not the only one Lori. Sigh.......
    March 30th Erin O arrived today and she hasn't been here since at least 2000. Her and I and Brian and Ann got together and relived old times, and it was great!
    March 31st Isn't it amazing what a mere month can do? Click HERE.

    (PS:   I went across the lake by boat tonight.......the first time ever in March.)

    Click here to see the other months in 2012:
    January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

    Click HERE to see the Chronicles for other years.

    Click HERE to go to the LBLR Home Page.

    If you have any questions or if you'd like something mentioned here, send me an e-mail and let me know.