January 2008

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

The Octave Day of Christmas Ah yes.......the New Year! Yesterday (and last year) are History (which according to Mark Twain "doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes") and the new year is here. And with the New Year comes a new beginning, a chance to right old wrongs, a chance to make improvements for the future, and as Oprah once said, "another chance for us to get it right". Good luck with that!
January_2nd 22 below zero this morning. YES!!!!!! Winter is back.
January 3rd Wouldn't it be the pits to be mowing grass right now?
January 4th LBLR: The official resort of the National Football League.
January 5th There are no Blue Jays here this winter. Why is that, I'm wondering.
The Feast of the Epiphany It was very warm tonight (maybe 20 degrees) so I didn't even have to wear gloves. I had my iPod with me so Gordon Lightfoot BOOMED in my ears the whole time. There was no moon to speak of (the new moon is two days from now), but the stars were bright. My old hunting buddy, Orion, was shining brightly in the southwest, and Mars was looking down from halfway above the horizon in the southeast. I've always liked Mars. An Aries should like Mars. A third the way across the lake a fog came up. It blotted out the lights on the far side of the lake but it was near the ground so it didn't cover the stars. I don't know if it was stationary and I moved into it, or if it was moving south and it came into me, but a bit later it was gone. During that short foggy period I lost my bearings and wandered a tad toward the center of the lake. When I realized what had happened I veered back toward the west and came to the shoreline at the boundry with my southern neighbor. From there I followed the shore for a thousand feet, all the way to the north end of LBLR, crossed the shoreline onto the resort, and followed the snow covered driveway back to the house. The walk from Randy's place lasted 30 minutes, maybe even longer..........and it was delightful.
January 7th Today is Distaff Day, the day after the Epiphany and the day that the women of old England went back to work after the 12-day Christmas celebration. Traditionally, the men went back to work on Plow Monday which is the Monday after the Epiphany. This year they're both on the same day, but in most years the women had to go back to work a few days before the men did. That wasn't a bad deal.
January 8th Just a tad north of LBLR we saw a Coyote.
January 9th There's still a sufficient snow base on the trails for the skiing to be good if we'd just get another few inches on top of it. Keep that in mind because I'd be delighted to rent you a cabin for a skiing weekend.
January 10th Here's an update on the new bar at LMNO P-ZA:
The opening date is now set for January 15th (or thereabouts). Its proximity to LBLR, the addition of hamburgers to their menu, and fact that it has free wireless internet makes it an excellent place for lunch. I'm anxious for it to open. (Do you suppose there's any chance I could get them to serve at least one type of cheap red wine? It goes well with the burgers and pizza ya know.) To see pictures of the new bar area, click HERE. To see their web-site, click HERE.
January 11th Miracles are great things...........but they're so darned unpredictable!
January 12th Sometimes I get overly philosophical. This evening I've been sitting here listening to Strauss (whom I don't particularly like), comtemplating the sad state of affairs that the world is in these days, and how no one can really do anything about it. That was followed by a period of comtemplation of how good life is these days and the realization that to see it get even better, all one has to do is wait. I think I better forget about this philosophy stuff; it's gonna give me a headache.
January 13th The Farmers' Almanac describes a phenomenom they call "Baker's Snow". "In the deepest winter [...] each morning reveals a light fall of snow, even when the night has been clear. This snow wont even amount to an inch, and so dry and soft is it that its removal calls less for a shovel than a feather duster. The Lord of Winter is not a King, but a baker who, each night, sifts down over the fields, woods, and homesteads the finest, whitest, flour in his shop." This is true, and it has been my experience that a very cold, clear night is when it usually occurs. During a string of very cold nights it'll happen several days in a row. It's neat!
January 14th It's clear and 9 below zero this morning, and we awoke to a covering of Baker's Snow (see above) as per usual. Click HERE.
January 15th !?!?!?!?
January 16th Nice walk from Randy's place this evening.........clear sky, cold weather, nice moon.
January 17th On this day 3 years ago Lori and I took this picture slightly before the sun came up. Click HERE.
January 18th Redpoles are here in droves! 29 below zero this morning
January 19th 28 below zero this morning, and Lori arrived..........the first time since mid-October.
January 20th It's 10:30 AM, 22 below zero, and Lori and I are going for a walk on the lake.
January 21st It was 21 below zero at bedtime last night, and 11 below zero when I got up this morning. That almost sounds like the cold snap is over and warmer weather is moving in........but alas, such is not the case. As per the weatherman, it'll be cold for a few more days yet. Incidentally, this is one of the rare occasions when The Farmer's Almanac correctly predicted the weather. Amazing!!!!!

I know, I know..........I'm always complaining. But why can't we get more snow like the guys down-state are getting?
January 22nd Yesterday Lori and I sat in the local coffee shop for an hour or two reading, working crossword puzzles, and doing stuff on our laptops. I'm always a tad uncomfortable in coffee shops because I never know how to order. When we went into this one I asked the young lady at the counter: "How do I order a plain ol' cup of coffee?". She replied "You say 'Could I please have a plain ol' cup of coffee'", so I repeated "Could I please have a plain ol' cup of coffee?". She then said "Do you want Moroccan or Guatemalan?". See........I knew it wouldn't be that easy.
January 23rd Cold, cold, winter nights are best when the moon is full. It's unbelievable how bright the night is on a snow covered lake when the sky is clear and the moon is full.
January 24th Happy birthday Beth!
31 below zero this morning........the coldest yet this winter.
January 25th I'm sorry about being so lax with "Today's Picture" (at the top of this page) for the last several weeks. Ya see, I've been doing that for over a year now, which is over 350 pictures. It seemed like a good idea last year, but in the wintertime there are only so many things one can photograph around here, and as you know, snowscapes, sunrises, and moon pictures can get pretty boring after a while.
January 26th There's a chance (albeit a slim one) that Bill Clinton will be the first male First Lady in the history of our country. If that does happen in this election, the Brits will have beaten us to it by almost 30 years. (Ya know, I've always thought of Margaret as the British version of Ronald Reagan.)
January 27th Here's the deal on the new bar at LMNO P-ZA which opened last Friday:
It's a great addition to Cohasset, perhaps the best one since I arrived here 16 years ago. I think it's gonna work out fine. It's in a good location, the facility is nice, and the owners/waitresses/bartenders, etc. are friendly. (No offense you guys, but personally I prefer female bartenders.) The only food I've had so far has been pizza but if that's any indication, the rest will be excellent as well. They do deliveries which, as it stands now is only in the afternoon.........but with a little summertime coordination, I'd bet LBLR might could be successful at requesting an occasional evening delivery as well, but that remains to be seen. In summary, it's a neat place and I'm delighted that it's here. But go there and see for yourself! Once again, their web-site is HERE.
January 28th I finally took some lake temperature readings........the first ones since the lake froze in late November. As I suspected would be the case, the coldest water is now at the top and warmest water is at the bottom, the opposite of what it was all summer. I predicted that all levels would be the same temperature at about 34 degrees; as it turned out they hit the same temperature in the mid 40s. To see the graph, click HERE.

And here's another interesting thing. Almost all summer the deeper you went the colder the water was, BUT there was one exception. The water on the bottom (40 feet deep) in the area straight out from my house was always slightly colder than the water at 50 feet deep in the center of the lake. It was like that until the upper levels started cooling significantly and dropped to mix with the lower levels, causing them to warm up suddenly (as you can see on the graph link above). When the water at 40 feet suddenly warmed up (the last week of October) that changed, and the 40 foot level near my house became warmer than the 50 foot level in the center. That "late in the year" trend has continued. The water 40 feet deep straight out from my house is now warmer (by a very small amount) than 50 feet deep in the center of the lake, the opposite of what it was all summer long till late October. Possibly both phenomena can be explained by the presence of a spring in that area putting water around 40 degrees into the lake. Who knows? To see the graph, click HERE.

Here's one other thing. I dropped a secchi disk into a hole in the ice and shielded it from the sun so I could look down the hole better. I had 25 feet of string attached to the disk, and when it was all the way down I could still see it plainly.
January 29th I'm going to bore you with one more lake temperature graph. It's the normal graph but with the top 3 levels removed and the scale on the y-axis changed. It makes the sudden, mid-Autumn, rise in temperature of the lower levels show up better. The temperature rise doesn't seem all that impressive until you notice how late in the year it was, how quickly it occurred compared to the slow rise all summer, and take into consideration how cold the weather was at the time this quick rise in temperature was occurring. At that time the upper levels were doing just the opposite........they were cooling off fairly rapidly. I didn't expect it to happen like that. Click HERE.
January 30th It's only mid-winter, but here's a little looking ahead:

* -- In only 5 and a half weeks we'll set our clocks ahead for the Summertime.
* -- In about 7 weeks Spring will be here.
* -- In about 8 weeks I'll walk across the lake for the last time.
* -- In about 9 weeks the Juncos will start passing through here on their way up north.
* -- In about 9 weeks also, the chipmonks will be out in force.
* -- In about 10 weeks there will Canada Geese, Mallards, Goldeneyes, and Merganzers on the river.
* -- In about 10 weeks also, the Merlin will arrive and begin harrassing the local water fowl.
* -- In about 12 weeks, Cindy and Barb will start doing the Spring cleaning in the cabins.
* -- In about 12 weeks, also, the ice will be gone and on that day the Loons will arrive.
* -- In about 13 weeks the Painted Turtles from last year's eggs will leave their underground nests and wander into the lake.
* -- In about 13 weeks also, Brian & Ann will be here and we'll put the pontoons in the water.
* -- In about 14 weeks we'll be cruising on the lake in the pontoon while enjoying a glass of fine Claret.
* -- In 14 weeks and 3 days Northern and Walleye fishing will begin.
* -- In about 15 weeks Jeff K will arrive for his annual Spring trip to LBLR.
* -- In about 18 weeks the mother Painted Turtles will wander onto the resort to lay their eggs for next year's babies.

Those things seem like a long way off, but if the last 16 years are any indication they'll be here faster than we could ever imagine.
January 31st Yet another January has come to an end! As compared to the last few Januarys (or Januaries) this one was pretty good...........winterwise. The ground has been snow covered all month (though mostly from December storms) and the temperature has been cold (which it should be during January in the Northland). But alas, as good as it was, even this must end if Spring is to arrive.

I just received an e-mail from a friend of mine who referred to this past month as "that godforsaken January". It's funny how opinions differ on some things, isn't it?

Click here to see the other months in 2008:
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Click HERE to see the Chronicles for past years.

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