April 2008

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The Calends of April Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;

-- Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, Prologue (circa 1380)

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April 2nd This is the time of the year when, down-state, the snow really starts to melt. Ten years ago this was also the time of the year that the phones started to ring in the resorts, as the down-staters began planning their vacations. In this day and age however, the phones don't ring anymore. Instead, this is the time of the year that the e-mails start to flow in. The times, they are a-changin'.

A bit of history:
On this very day in the year 1880 (128 years ago), my Great Great Grandfather on my mother's side was a happy man, and we have written evidence to prove it. At least.........we think it was him.
April 3rd There's been a Cardinal or two at the south end of the lake these days, and as Mike Shannon, a Saint Louis Cardinals announcer, said in 1989: "Now there's a rarity that you don't see very often".

There were a couple of Canada Geese sitting on the ice near cabin # 1 this morning, but there's no open water there yet.
April 4th I saw my first Goldeneye yesterday. It was in the channel between Jay Gould and Little Jay Gould. A friend of mine who lives near there saw one a week ago.

Hey Gerald Roy........send me an e-mail, wouldja?
April 5th Tonight was probably the last walk across the lake to Randy's place. Walking was somewhat difficult because of a heavy covering of slush, and during the trip two interesting things occurred. The first was on way over there. It was still daylight (6-ish) and I saw a lot of spiders in the middle of the lake on top of the slush. During the walk I saw at least 8 of them, and they were all alive. They must be the "snow spiders" that I read about on the internet. (Thanks for the info Dotz.) The second was on the way back. It was shortly before 10 PM, very cloudy, very dark, and snowing. I was just walking out of Peterson Bay when the whole sky suddenly lit up from a lightning flash. During a lightning storm, the middle of the lake is not a good place to be whether one is in a boat or walking on the ice. Needless to say, that caused me to quicken my pace considerably.
April 6th 8:00 AM: We got a nice blast of winter last night. Click HERE.
10:00 AM: Look at this; white out conditions. We gotta have a foot out there by now. Click HERE.

Later........ Here's a picture that my Granddaughter, Em (in Rochester), drew and e-mailed to me this afternoon. Notice the person (Em presumedly) in the upper right-hand corner saying "na-na" because she has the nice Spring weather and Grand Rapids has all the icky snow. She can be a little smarty-pants sometime. Click HERE

11:00 PM: I believe we got another foot of snow since those morning pictures.
April 7th The snow is done!!!!! Here's a picnic table and bench near the firepit. Click HERE, and then compare that to the one of the same area yesterday, which was after about a foot of snow.

As per Mr. Kardock, the female Peregrine Falcon returned to Cohasset a week ago (her husband arrived almost 3 weeks ago). This morning she was busy trying to remove a snow drift from her living room floor. The FalcomCam is HERE.
April 8th The official Cohasset snowfall from this last storm was 23.5 inches. Not too bad, but it would have been nicer in early January.
April 9th It would be good if no one wants to get into LBLR's south entrance for a bit yet, because it's not going to be clear anytime soon. Click HERE.
April 10th 8:00 AM: 8 to 12 more inches of snow coming tonight!

7:15 PM: Yesterday they predicted this snow to start at 7:00 PM tonight..........and it actually did!!!! It started within 5 minutes of 7:00 PM. Amazing!!!!

The fishing opener is one month from today!
April_11th Yes, that 3rd foot of snow did arrive and this place is a mess!
April 12th What will happen to the ice on the lake this year, do you suppose? It was very solid but covered with slush last weekend........then we got 3 feet of snow. How will that affect it, do you suppose? During the last snow fall the wind was 20 to 30 miles per hour which probably blew a lot of the snow off of it. How will that affect it, do you supposed? This weekend is predicted to be about 10 degrees colder than normal with fairly normal temperatures all of next week. The average "ice-out" date since I've been here is April 20th, eight days hence. Will the ice be gone by the 20th, do you suppose? I don't even know which way to guess.
The Ides of April There's a sign on the wall in a little restaurant in Moose Lake that says "Next to natural childbirth, the hardest thing in life is owning your own business". That could be true.
April 14th I cannot meet the Spring unmoved --
        -- Emily Dickinson (circa 1865)

Of course we can't meet the Spring unmoved........we can't even imagine what Spring is like when the yard still looks like this. Click HERE.
April 15th The sun still sets on you down-staters (Rochester) before 8:00 PM, but here in Cohasset the sun has been staying up past 8:00 since late last week. In fact, you guys have to wait till Sunday to have an 8:00 sunset. You Cities people will have your first 8:00 sunset tonight. There are only 67 days till Summer, by the way
April 16th I haven't been on the ice since I last walked to and from Randy's place on April 5th. The docks are still out there. I hope the ice will still be solid enough on Saturday for my Grandson, Josh, and I to get them onto the shore. I think it will be. It was 41 degrees this morning and rain is expected this afternoon. The snow depth is decreasing rapidly though there isn't much bare ground to speak of yet.
April 17th There's one egg in the nest this morning. The FalconCam is HERE.

There was an Osprey sitting on a nest just off of highway 2 this afternoon, but I think there have been some around here for awhile already.
April 18th Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere.
On the eighteenth of April, in seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.
        -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1860)

My Grandson, Josh, arrived here tonight, and while we still had light we got cabin 4 up and running so that it can be Spring cleaned tomorrow morning, and we got the southern-most dock boards up onto the shoreline. Now we wait to see how many of the posts will be pulled out by the ice as it breaks up. Click HERE.
April 19th Cabins 1 & 2 are now up and running, and all the docks are on the shoreline. There's only one more to go now........cabin # 3. I might never have to crawl under a cabin ever again. Thanks Josh!!!!!

Cindy and Barb found this picture in cabin # 4 this morning. Does anyone have any idea what it is or who left it there? It's not a picture of Little Bass Lake. Click HERE.
April 20th Today is the date that, on average, all of the ice is gone from Little Bass Lake, but we're still several days from that happening. Some fishermen were out in the middle of the lake yesterday so it's apparently still pretty solid, but I'm sure not going out there anymore.
April 21st One year ago tomorrow the ice was completely gone from Little Bass Lake. To see how it looks now, click HERE.

The Merlin has still not arrived. The latest he has ever returned that I'm aware of was April 18th in 2005, so maybe he's not coming back this year. I hope that's not the case; Spring would not be the same without him......but I'm sure the local waterfowl would be pleased if he didn't return.
April 22nd There are two eggs in the Peregrine Falcon's nest now.
April 23rd For years and years several Red-winged Blackbirds nested in the cattails on the edge of the lake near the fire pit. One Spring a half dozen years ago, they failed to return from their winter home down south, and there have been none there ever since.......until recently, that is. A male Red-wing Blackbird has been hanging around the bird feeder of late, and maybe if he can find a mate he'll decide to raise a family here, just like in the old days.
April 24th Tons and tons of Sparrows have been arriving.......among them are Song Sparrows, Fox Sparrows, Chipping Sparrows, and White-thoated Sparrows.
April 25th Oh no! Another 11 to 15 inches of snow by tomorrow morning. I guess I had better stock up on food, drink, and firewood again this morning. This is 3rd time this has happened in two weeks. Will Spring never arrive?!?!?!?

Amazing!!!! Look at this picture. That's the north end of the lake and those are Loons. I heard them in there last night. They've never landed here in so little open water before and I doubt that they have enough water to take off again. Click HERE.
April 26th Whew! The snow was not nearly what they predicted. This is at 6:45 AM. Click HERE.
April 27th Except for 1996 today is the latest the ice has ever been on the lake as long as I've been here, and it's not ready to go out yet. Does this look like May is nearly here? Click HERE.

LBL bird number 81: Red-tailed Hawk. Click HERE.
April 28th I have nothing to say this morning!
April 29th What a mess!!!!!! The fire pit is under there somewhere. Click HERE.
April 30th Tomorrow is May Day, and look at the lake. Sigh! Click HERE.

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