April 2016

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April Fools'  
Proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim,
Hath put a spirit of youth in everything.

          -- William Shakespeare, Sonnet 98 (circa 1609)

It appears that Spring is coming early this year, but this is the Northland and it's only April Fools' Day. So let's keep our fingers crossed that it stays like this, and that we don't have a serious relapse into winter, which is not uncommon in these parts.

Note to Dave in Arkansas, Makenna in North Carolina, and Tracie in Rochester:   You are all OUT!
April 2nd   YES!!!! Yesterday Tara and Cindy did the first Spring cleaning job of the year.......cabin 6. We're off and running.

Colleen (in Apple Valley) and Sean (in Chicago), you both got way too optimistic when the weather turned warm in mid-march, so you're both OUT.
April 3rd   Last fall the 2016 Old Farmer's Almanac predicted that the winter in this neck of the woods (including November and December of last year) would be much colder than normal with more than normal snowfall. (See the Chronicles entry for September 12th of last year.) As usual, they were way off base; it was very warm and we had little snow. They also predicted that this summer will be hotter and dryer than normal. Now the question is: "do we believe them"?
April 4th   The Mississippi River in this neck of the woods is totally liquid. LBL is still totally ice covered.
April 5th   It still looks rock solid but I'm sure not going to walk on it anymore. Click HERE. And speaking of ice, Lilli in North Carolina, Gary in Tennessee, and Tammy in Sartell are OUT.
April 6th   Cabin # 4 is now up and running for the 25th time in the Modern Era. It came up nicely except for one problem; squirrels had chewed a braided flexible PVC water line in half, but it was easily repaired. So it's now ready for Spring cleaning.......Tara and Cindy, at your convenience please!

Jim in Sartell, too bad but there's a lot of ice on the lake yet, so you are OUT.
April 7th   There is a crack in the ice sheet running from the point by the duplex, where the camera is, all the way across the lake to Jim and Patti's house. Click HERE. Almost every year there's a major crack in that area. In April of 2007, for example, a 4 inch wide crack opened up along that same line (click HERE), and in April of 2014 when the ice sheet started to move, it split into two pieces right in that same place (click HERE). I wonder why that is!?!?!?!?
April 8th   As per Jim, my neighbor across the lake, Wood Ducks have now been seen along with the Golden Eyes (see the March 30th entry) in the opening by his place. And speaking of ice, I'm sorry to tell you this Jim, but as of today you are officially OUT.
April 9th   In spite of the snow and the cold (11 degrees this morning) and the fact that the leaves weren't raked last fall, there are green plants pushing up through the soil in some places. Click HERE.

Note to Em in Sartell and Larry in Grand rapids:   There's still ice on the lake so you are both OUT.
April 10th   There are three eggs in the Falcon nest. Click HERE; ours is the Boswell Cam.

There's still ice on the lake so Joyce in Grand Rapids is OUT. By the way Joyce, I still owe you a lunch from last year.......let's go out and get that off the books. Pick a date, okay?
April 11th   On this day in 1970 (46 years ago), four of us young, recently hired, IBM engineers in Boca Raton, Florida, ventured north to Cape Canaveral (known at the time as Cape Kennedy) to witness the launch of the ill-fated Apollo 13. Click HERE to see yours truly and two of the others sitting across the bay from the launch site waiting for the blast-off. If you're not sure which one is me, I'm the youngest one in the group (and the one holding the can of Budweiser).

Since there is still ice on the lake, Dennis W (in Edina) is OUT. By the way, Dennis is the 17th person to be out this year; two years go on this date Gary G (in Nashville) was the first person to be out. A little warm weather in early March turned us all into super optimists.
April 12th   I believe that this picture is self HERE. So I'm very sorry Kailey, but like your Sister and your Grandma, you are OUT. (Thanks for the pictures Dennis!)
April 13th   Happy 71st Birthday to Wayne B in Arkansas!!!! (He's even older than me.) Oh, and by the way Wayne, there's still ice on the lake so you are OUT, but since I owe you a lunch at Sammie's Pizza you'll get a free one anyway. Have a good birthday and I'll see you in a little over six weeks when you arrive for your spring fishing trip.
April 14th   Any day now; maybe even today!!! Click HERE. Do you see those two sets of dock posts floating near the edge of the ice? Sigh....... At least some of them are still where they belong, which is not to say that they'll stay there; it all depends on the wind direction. The weatherman (such as he is) is predicting that it'll be out of the south, which is good!

I believe that the Loons are back!!!!! I haven't seen them yet, but I can hear some that sound like they're on LBL. There's certainly enough open water for them now.
April 15th   As of this evening there is still significant ice in Peterson Bay at the south end of the lake, so Jim T in Fridley, you are OUT. And there are now four eggs in the Falcon nest.
April 16th   Today's subject, as always for this time of the year, is again ICE. There is still ice in the south end. But now the question is: Will it still be there at midnight. We'll see! It's getting close.
April 17th   There was ice on LBL this morning but it's *GONE now hence, Erin H in Saint Louis Park is the winner. Congrats Erin, we'll do lunch when you get up here in August, okay? The Ice Out statistics will be updated tomorrow.
April 18th   To net it out, here's the deal on the ice this winter. It went out yesterday which was 4 days earlier than the median thaw date, but since the lake froze so late (December 19th, which was a new record if you remember) it was frozen for only 120 days. That's 3 whole weeks less than the average, but not a record. Click HERE to see the details.
April 19th   1) The Loons are definitely back; I heard them early on the 14th (see above) and I finally saw them later that evening.
2) The raking is done.
April 20th   Another Spring at the resort is just beginning. I have a LOT of resort Springs under my belt, this is number 25. Who would have thought that I'd see this many of them?
April 21st   Cabins 1 & 2 are now up and running which leaves only Cabin 3 to go. The plan is for Cabin 1 to be spring cleaned tomorrow and Cabin 2 sometime next week. We're moving right along.
April 22nd   It isn't the first dock on LBL this year, but it's the first boat. Click HERE.
April 23rd   Area business changes since last summer:
  • After many many years of doing business in Grand Rapids Reed Drug has closed.
  • Embers/Bridgeman's restaurant and ice cream shop has closed, also after many years of doing business in Grand Rapids.
  • The Dollar Store in the Town Square Mall has closed. There's not much left in the Mall anymore.
  • The Country House, a bar/restaurant south of Zorba's on 169, has closed.
  • The Pizza Hut that was "Opening Soon" all of last summer eventually opened. It's located in the Walmart parking area and it has a full bar.
  • The Fuji Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar has opened in the building that used to be occupied by Rivers Wine Bar and Bistro, which closed a few years ago.
  • Mad Dog's (also known as Madden's) Bar and Restaurant has done some remodeling (both inside and outside).
  • A new car wash has opened in the south end of town near the Holiday Station.
  • There's some remodeling going on in the old Savoy Pizza building (across the bridge from Zorba's) so I suspect a new business is going in there. I can't tell what it is but it's probably going to be another sports bar.
  • There have been rumors that an Aldi's will open up in the old UBC building, but I don't believe those rumors until I see some building or remodeling going on. I've heard many of them in the past 25 years and most of them never happen.
April 24th   Do you realize that it's less than three weeks to the fishing opener? With a morning like this (40 degrees and raining) a person could almost think it was today.
April 25th   There's nuthun' wrong with livin' life in the slow lane.
April 26th   The removal of those five little Birch trees makes it look kind of bare, doesn't it? Click HERE.
April 27th   Much to the chagrin of the local songbirds and waterfowl, our usual springtime Merlin has returned. Actually there are two of them this year (male and female?) which is a rarity. They're on their way to Canada or Alaska so they wont be here long.
April 28th   The word for the day is CALMNESS.   CALM-NESS.
April 29th   Welcome back to Kelly, Janet, and Jen, who are using LBLR for a weekend "girls only" birthday celebration. This is a nice quiet time of the year to do it, so have fun. Happy Birthday Kelly!
April 30th   This was "Today's Picture" yesterday, but I think it's a nice picture so I'm putting it here so that it doesn't "go away". Thanks for the suggestion Erin. Click HERE.

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