February 2008

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February 1st To February:
For all practical purposes nature is at a standstill. There is a wonderful joy in leaving behind the noisy city streets and starting out along the white roads that lead to the cabin. With each breath of sharp, reviving air one seems to inhale new life. A peace as evident as the snow on the pine trees takes possession of one's inner being. The trivial cares which fretted like a swarm of mosquitoes are driven away by the first sweep of cold wind that comes in over the lake. The stars shining in the deep blackness of the sky and the purple shadows cast by the moon are a feast for the eyes, while the intense silence that broods over the snow-bound lake is a feast for the ears.

-- Frances Theodora Parsons (but with modifications.......sorry Frances)
Ground Hog's Day Supposedly Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow today in Pennsyvania (as he usually does), but any Ground Hog here in Minnesota who poked his head up certainly did NOT see his shadow. Does Punxsutawney Phil take precedence even in our neck of the woods? What's the official ruling on that?
February 3rd Last night was perhaps the best lake walk ever. The temperature was only 18 degrees so a winter coat wasn't needed. Even with heavy clouds and no moon the snow was bright enough so a flashlight wasn't required either. And there are enough snowmobile tracks out there now so if one doesn't mind walking a zig-zag course one doesn't even have to walk in deep snow. It was great!
February 4rd To LBLR Guests:
If you're coming to LBLR by taking I35 to Moose Lake then going north to Floodwood on County Road 73 and if you get hungry or thirsty, here's what to do. Just north of Moose Lake on 73 is the little town of Kettle River, which is home to "The Tower Tap and Restaurant", owned and operated by Trey (short for Chester III). It has a nice restaurant, a nice bar, and good food. Stop in and try it (that is, if you can't wait till you get to Grand Rapids). Tell him I sent you!
Shrove Tuesday There has only been one permanent ice fishing house on the lake this year (which belongs to Lucas and his Dad), but there have been a couple portable ones out there occasionally. This is quite different from the days when, at times, there used to be 8 or 10. As I understand it, the fishing hasn't been very good this year so far.
Ash Wednesday "Remember, man, for thou art dust and unto dust shalt thou return."

Geez that's negative, isn't it?
February 7th I believe I said this once before, but circumstances require that it be repeated.
It's the First Law of Resorting (and it applies to winter as well as to summer):
You can have some of your stuff working all of the time;
and you can have all of your stuff working some of the time;
but you can't have all of your stuff working all of the time.
February 8th There is one form of life to which I unconditionally surrender.
That is the feminine gender.

-- Ogden Nash

And I strongly agree........Sigh!
February 9th and 10th Click HERE.
February 11th This morning is perhaps the coldest morning of the winter in Grand Rapids, and here I am in St. Paul. It's nice to be here..........but darn, I missed the coldest morning.
February 12th Euripides (in his play "Hippolytus") observed that "Trouble nourishes mankind". He wrote those words almost 2,500 years ago, and he was probably right. But don't you think we've had enough nourishment by now?
February 13th This is getting serious. Click HERE.
Valentine's Day Speaking of love, Euripides, in the play Hippolytus, said:
Upon the yielding spirit she comes gently, but to the proud and fanatic heart she is a torturer with a brand of shame.
(Old Euripides, in his several plays, had a lot to say on the subject.)

By the way, the first recorded association of Valentine's Day with romantic love is in "Parliament of Foules" (1382) by Geoffrey Chaucer. The reference was:
For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery byrd comyth ther to chese [choose] his make [mate].
February 15th 30 below zero this morning.......that's about what they predicted.
February 16th Steve, a friend of mine who is from Kinver, England is spending his first winter in Grand Rapids. Prior to this winter the coldest temperature he ever experienced was 19 or 20 degrees ABOVE zero. It was a tad colder than that this winter, but he seems to have become an avid ice fisherman. Click HERE.
February 17th From way over in Peterson Bay (far south end of the lake) if you look at the tree line, LBLR stands out because of its lovely stand of White Pines and Norway Pines. Click HERE.
February 18th As per Mr. Kardock, the male Peregrine Falcon who nests on one of the MP&L smoke stacks should be returning in 2 to 3 weeks to begin preparing the nest for his mate. Keep me up on that, wouldja Joe?
February 19th 32 below zero this morning. I didn't blow snow yesterday because it was too is it too cold? I'm contemplating that as I drink my coffee and listen to the phenology show on KAXE.

Ya know, it seems that this has been a fairly cold winter. Although the coldest I've seen this winter has only been about like it is this morning (nothing in the minus 40s) it sure seems to have been like this often.

I still haven't seen a single Blue Jay since last fall. If our summertime Blue Jays went south for the winter, it would appear that the ones from Canada didn't show up this year. Why is that, I'm wondering.
February 20th What do you suppose made these tracks going into (or out of) the hole in the ice? It's in Bass Brook just a short way south of LBLR. Click HERE.

It's just about 30 below zero again this morning, and very calm.......just like yesterday.

Don't forget to watch the total eclipse of the moon tonight. Totality is at a convenient time (9:01 to 9:51 CST) and the skies are predicted to be clear in most of Minnesota.
February 21st Does this remind you of "Grumpy Old Men"? It's on Bass Lake about a half mile north of LBLR. Click HERE.
February_22nd In spite of the cold weather this year, we have only 16 inches of ice on the lake at the moment, which compares to about 2 feet of ice at this time the last few years. I suspect that has something to do with the fact that the lake has been snow-covered since it first froze this year.
February 23rd Jim (my son-in-law) and two of his friends (Jim and Kevin) spent many hours the last two days ice fishing. Yesterday they fished Little Bass Lake, and today they went to Bass Lake. In that whole time they didn't even get one bite. Sorry about that you guys, but it looked like you were having fun in spite of the bad fishing. I know this is a classic resorter line, but I have to say it because this time it's really true: You should have been here last week; they were really biting then.
February 24th Geez, I love mornings like this. It was clear when I got up this morning but now you can't see across the lake. The first 3 pictures were taken from out on the lake as the fog came in; the fourth one is obviously from the shore after the fog reached the ground. Click HERE.

My friend Steve just called (see the February 16th entry). While fishing for Crappies in Little Bass Lake this afternoon he caught (and released) an eight pound Northern. Nice one Steve!
February 25th If you're thinking about coming up here to ice fish for Northerns or Walleyes anytime're too late! Yesterday was the last day. The season is over! Steve caught the last one.
February 26th Greg, a trapper friend of mine, after looking at the picture from February 20th (it's HERE) concluded that the tracks are those of a Mink that hopped across the snow and dove into the hole in the ice. Upon closer inspection at the site, each of what appears to be single prints are, indeed, a set of double prints. Amazing! Do you buy that Dotz?
February 27th During this week last year we got a couple nice tastes of winter. It would be nice to get at least one more winter blast before all the snow and ice starts to melt. One can dream, can't one?
February 28th If you're planning to go fishing, remember that your 2007 fishing license expires tomorrow.
February 29th All fishing houses south of highway 2 have to be off the ice by tonight. Us northern people still have 2 weeks yet.

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January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

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