April 2015

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April Fools'  
Happy April!!!!   (But now begins the work, sigh.......) Here are two short poems about the month of April that express very different opinions on the subject. They've been in the Chronicles before but I like them both so here they are again. One is by Edna St. Vincent Milay and the other is by Geoffrey Chaucer. Click on the authors' names to see the poems.
April 2nd   Aha(!), there's liquid water on the shoreline. Certainly not much, but some nonetheless. Click HERE.
Passover   As per North Carolina Laurie, the female falcon has returned!!!!! This is the same time as last year, perhaps even to the exact day. Thanks for the phone call Laurie. Click HERE.
April 4th   Two cabins have now been Spring cleaned (numbers 1 & 2). Thanks Tara and Cindy.
The Major League Baseball season starts today. Back in 1987 when both major leagues had only two divisions, my Tigers won the Eastern Division and the Twins won the Western Division. The League Champions would be the winner of a best of five series beginning on October 7th. After the Tigers lost the first game in the Metro-dome I sent this short note to my Dear Sister in Michigan in anticipation of the second game, also to be played in the Metro-dome (click HERE). The Tigers lost the second game also, which sent the series on to Detroit for the final three games. There they won the first game and then lost the next two, thus giving the American League Championship to the Twins and sending them on to the World Series. On the evening of that final loss (October 12th) I sent my Dear Sister another short note which is HERE.
April 6th   Click HERE.
April 7th   As you can see from "Today's Picture", the lake is still ice covered so Bev in Rochester and Charlie in Elsie, are the first two people to be eliminated. Better luck next year!
April 8th   The River is ice free, and has been so for several days. Click HERE. But not LBL. Click HERE too.
April 9th   Most years about this time I give you a list of changes to local businesses since you were here last summer. Well.......not much has happened that one could call "relevant" this time, but here's what I have:
  • A new auto parts store (Autozone) has opened across the street from Target.
  • Keith's Old River Pizza, which opened last summer, has closed its doors after less than a year in business.
  • Pizza hut, which closed a year ago, is showing an "Opening Soon" sign at a new location near Walmart.
  • Grand Rapids now has a Taco Bell near the Budget Host Inn on East Highway 2.
  • The Radio Shack in the Central Square Mall is gone.
  • The Cedar Creek Grill on Highway 38, which was not yet in business at this time last year, eventually opened in late July (seven months later than originally planned) and appears to be doing well.
  • Wendigo Golf Course, along with its bar and restaurant, is now history. It wasn't running last summer either, but I failed to mention it at the time.
  • And last but not least, every place in this town that sells groceries has made their annual rearrangement so that nothing is where it used to be!!! Sigh.......
April 10th   No comment.
April 11th   As you can see, there is some open water at the north end of LBL (click HERE) but not enough to keep Larry, my past neighbor to the south, from being eliminated. You were a tad too optimistic this year Larry, and there isn't much hope for your friend Joyce who chose tomorrow for her ice-out prediction. Better luck next year you guys!
April 12th   In addition to Joyce being eliminated from the ice-out contest (as mentioned yesterday) my Grandson Jake in Sartell is also OUT.
April 13th   Ice alert!!!!!

This morning it appeared that the ice was *GONE.......but to be sure, about noon I put a boat in the water, put an 8-horse motor on it, and went off in search of ice. I found a small sheet of it floating in a bay just across the lake from LBLR and a larger sheet floating in the northeast corner. Then just before sunset this evening I went out again. 'Lo and behold(!), they were both gone. Sooooo.......the ice is OFFICIALLY OUT!!!!!

Since nobody chose today as their ice-out date, the people who chose the dates closest to today are the winners. Those people are Joyce K in Grand Rapids and my Dear Grandson Jake in Sartell, both of whom chose yesterday as their ice-out date and both of whom were declared to be losers in yesterday's entry (sorry about that!). Also winning are Gary G in Nashville, Tennessee (who has never stayed at LBLR) and Ron D in Rochester who both chose tomorrow. I owe each of you a lunch at Florio's on the date of your choice.

Now for the technical details: Today is 9 days earlier than the median ice-out date and the lake was frozen for 143 days, which is 20 days less than last year but still 1 day longer than the average. To see the updated information and graph, click HERE. As far as the guesses go, 5 people were too early, nobody had the correct date, and 29 people were too late. Apparently the late ice-out dates of the last two years caused a lot of pessimism about this year.

PS:   If you're interested in the rest of the state, the DNR ice-out (and ice-in) web-site is HERE.
April 14th   The Spring raking is done!!!! It was completed yesterday.
April 15th   Cabin # 3 is now up and running, which leaves only cabin # 4 to go (possibly next week). A dock might even go in the water today.......but that remains to be seen.

Added later:   The dock by cabin 4 is in the water and the dock for the front porch is in the water and ready for the pontoon to be attached.......but that wont occur for awhile yet.

Added even later:   The Loons are back(!!!!) and their sound is absolutely delightful.
April 16th   All four docks are now in the water and Cabin 3 has been Spring cleaned.......moving right along.

Welcome back to Ron and Bev who are now in Cabin 2. This is their first trip up here in many months.
April 17th   There's an egg in the Falcon nest.......moving right along.
April 18th   This is prime time for Walleye egg collecting at the DNR's Cutfoot Sioux Spawning Site. They'll be stripping the Walleyes until Wednesday the 22nd, so if you're in the area, take a run up there and watch them in person. It's an interesting process and if I remember correctly, it will produce around 100 million fingerlings. Click HERE to see a picture from today (please ignore the back of Ron's head in the lower left), and click HERE to read about the operation.
April 19th   240 years ago last night Paul Revere made the ride that was immortalized in the famous poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Then, 240 years ago this very morning, the historic skirmishes at Lexington and Concord took place.
April 20th   To which Robert do you subscribe, Herrick or Browning?

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.

                          -- Robert Herrick (1648)

Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be;
The last of life, for which the first was made.

                                  -- Robert Browning (1864)
April 21st   By the way, the ice went out very gently this year (which is a rarity) so all of the dock posts were still nicely in place when it was all melted. To see what can happen when everything goes wrong, click HERE. It's from the spring of 2005.
April 22nd   It snowed off and on all day yesterday and at one point the resort was totally white.......but although it's just barely into the 30s today, it's mostly green again.
April 23rd   There have not been many responses; so far it's 4 Brownings and 2 Herricks (see the April 20th entry above). It's a straight forward question and the options are limited to two. What do you think? Any more opinions?
April 24th   Tomorrow is roofing day and I'm not looking forward to it. Sigh....... Click HERE

It's now 9 Brownings to 2 Herricks (see the April 20th entry above). As my old school buddy Charlie theorized, when we were in high school it seemed that Herrick was talking directly to us teenagers, so he and the "Tribe of Ben" were our heros. But then as we aged we moved more toward the Browning philosophy. The few people who regularly follow the Chronicles are not really all that young (shall we say) so the results of this little informal poll are not surprising.
April 25th   Deb is here for the first time since late last September.......YES!!!!!!!

Roofing day 1 (garage): It's not quite done yet but we'll finish it up on Monday morning. Thanks to Rick, Jim, Jake, Jeff, Janet, Bob, Lucas, Dave, and Deb.
April 26th   To see an interesting picture of the center of LBLR (with it's normal Springtime mess of course) click HERE. Where was it taken from? Thanks for the picture Jake.
April 27th   It's Monday night and the roof isn't finished yet. Sigh.......
April 28th   All of the cabins are now empty and they will remain so for a fortnight.
April 29th   The last nail went into the roof today. It's done.   HUZZAH!!!!!!!
April 30th   There's one more cabin Spring cleaned and ready for summer now. That's four down and two to go.

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