May 2009

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May Day "Like as herbs and trees bring forth fruit and flourish in May, likewise every lusty heart that is in any manner a lover, springeth and flourisheth in lusty deeds. For the lusty month of May giveth courage unto all lovers."
-- Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte d'Arthur (circa 1460)
May 2nd The pontoons are in the water!!!! Does this look like Summer or what? Click HERE.

Yesterday the first Tree Swallows of the season were flying above the lake catching bugs, and this afternoon there was an Eastern Bluebird near Randy's property at the South end of the lake. Incidentally, that's only the third Bluebird I've seen up here in 17 years.
May 3rd If there had been a pumpkin around here this morning, there would have been frost on it.
May 4th LBLR has not had a resident flock of Red-winged Blackbirds since the late 1990s, but of late there have been two young males hanging around. After all those years, it's kind of nice to again hear their high pitched squeeky voices all day. Will they stay, do you suppose? As yet I've seen no females, so one would doubt it.
May 5th Happy Cinco de Mayo to one and all! Incidentally, contrary to popular belief in the US, today is NOT the Mexican Independence Day; September 16th is the Mexican Independence Day. And like St. Patrick's Day, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in the US more than it is in its country of origin.
May 6th Laurie,
Is your Granddaughter still watching the falcon-cam? I don't know how long it takes for the little ones to hatch, but wouldn't one think that it's getting close? Is she getting discouraged with the waiting? We'll see the babies soon...........I hope.
May 7th Lake clarity at the moment is 9.0 feet, which is fairly typical for this time of the year. If the past is any indication, by mid or late July it'll get to somewhere between 15 and 18 feet. In general, the lake temperatures are slightly warmer than last year at this time and slighly colder than the year before. To put some numbers on it, it's about 49 degrees at the surface and about 40 degrees at 50 feet down. It should peak out at about 80 degrees on the surface around the end of July. (The "Information about the Lake" page has not yet been updated.)

Yesterday saw the appearance of the first LBLR Hummingbird. I haven't kept good a record of hummingbird arrivals, but this seems early.

Note added later:
  Laurie (in NC) just sent me a neat set of maps giving the dates of Hummingbird arrivals back as far as 1996. It shows that they're actually right on schedule for this neck of the woods. Click HERE.
May 8th 4th Street Station, as we know it, has not long to live. By this time next week it will have changed hands, and rumor has it that it'll be redone in the style of an 1800's steakhouse and named Clementine's. Since I like it the way it is now I'm sceptical, but the new approach sounds interesting.
May 9th Today is the fishing opener. The weather in Grand Rapids the last few days has been great........clear, calm, highs in the 60s or 70s. Since I'm in San Francisco at the moment, I have no first hand knowledge of what it's like there this morning, but as per the weather web-site it's typical for an opening day. This morning the temp was in the very low 30s with a prediction of (and I quote): "Cloudy. Scattered rain or snow showers in the morning......then scattered rain showers in the afternoon. Highs 45 to 50. Northwest winds 10 to 15 mph." How does this keep happening year after year??????
May 10th Still in San Fran.........but as I understand it, Opening Day on Little Bass was fairly successful in spite of the weather. Brian and Tiffany caught a 10 or 12 pound Northern that went back onto the water and some smallers ones that didn't, not to mention some Bass which had to go back in as well. And that was just in the morning. Good job you guys!

Happy Mothers' Day!!!!
May 11th If anyone has any doubts about my Daughter Tammy's difficulty with flying, I can personally attest to the fact that it's very real!
May 12th Home again!!!!!! Thanks Ter (and Jason), it was a great(!), but too short, visit, and it was nice to meet your friends Layla and Rubeun. If I miss you in Minnesota in the Summer I'll see you in Scotland in the Winter. Well, even if I don't miss you in Minnesota in the summer, I'll see you in Scotland in the winter anyway.........and I can't wait.
May 13th Click HERE.
May 14th Yesterday afternoon the people in the cabins had their windows open, and this morning the temp was 29 degrees with a little snow on the decks. Oh well.....

By the way Cindy, as you are probably aware, the same weather is predicted for your annual "girls weekend" which starts tomorrow. It's a good thing I have lots of firewood because you're gonna need it.
May 15th "To fish, or not to fish? That is a dumb question."
-- William Shakespeare (circa 1601)
May 16th Chickadees seem to think that they can have whatever they like. If they see something they want, (a Wren house, an Oriole feeder, whatever........) they just take it.

To see a picture from Cindy's annual "girls' weekend", click HERE.
May 17th The first Grackles of the Spring arrived today.

Blowing bubbles at the fire: Click HERE.
May 18th The rain falls on the just and the unjust. It's a good system.
May 19th By this coming Friday all of the cabins will be occupied. Here we go again.......
May_20th What a difference a few years can make. It's difficult to see the little tree in the foreground (circled) was planted nine years after the one in back of it. Click HERE.

This morning the DNR was here to determine the "gauge zero" number for the Little Bass Lake depth gauge, so we now have a feel for what the lake did over the winter. When the ice melted late last month the water was 3 1/4 inches higher than when it froze last fall, which is less of a winter increase than in the previous few years. Since then it has dropped about 3/4 of an inch, and right now (at 1282.62 feet above sea level) it's a tad over 3 inches lower than it was on this date last year.

The Bluegills still have not come into the shallow water to spawn. One would think that they have to show up any day now.
May 21st Still no Bluegills near the docks but Jeff caught a half dozen nice Crappies in shallow water yesterday. That's a good sign. And this morning there were about a dozen morels growing in the yard by cabin 4, so Jeff will have some Little Bass Lake morels to go with his Little Bass Lake Crappies when Christine arrives tonight.
May 22nd On this day in 1991, I was forced to concede a chess match to my friend Bob who lives in Arizona. The game, which was played by mail, lasted almost three years and the saddest thing about it was.........he isn't all that good. It was disheartening.
May 23rd I have been informed by my grandson that the sunfish are finally in the shallows en masse. Jakie and Kaylee even caught a few of them off the front porch this morning.

Lori and I did a 31 mile bike ride today (Grand Rapids to Taconite and back) and during the trip we spent nearly two hours at Annabella's Antique Mall & Coffee Shop in Bovey. It's a neat place (in a neat little town) with some interesting lunches; their sarmas are my favorite and they're available everyday now, not just as a special. And you can drive over there if you would's not necessary to bike to it. To see their web-site click HERE.
May 24th Click HERE.

Another bike ride.........26 miles this time. I keep saying that I'm too old for this, but she wont listen.
Memorial Day Click HERE.

Too cold and windy to ride bikes. Ha!
May 26th Occasionally it seems like all the mechanical equipment in the whole resort breaks down at the same time. This is one of those times. Sigh. (PS: See the entry for June 16, 2005. It's HERE.)
May 27th Two eggs in the falcon nest hatched today, three more to go. Thanks to Makenna and her Grandma (Laurie) for that information.
May 28th Here are three bird-related items:
  • The first set of ducklings (Mallards) appeared on the lake today, a Mom and about 8 little ones. I didn't have my camera handy.
  • It appears that the Redwing Blackbirds ARE going to hang around all summer, but they're not nesting in the old spot near the firepit.
  • Where in the world did this guy come from??? An escapee from a magician maybe? Or a run-away from a wedding? Click HERE.
May 29th While Brian was fishing last weekend he saw a couple of bears in the woods near the edge of the lake. That's not unheard of near Little Bass, but it's unusual.
May 30th Some lines I've always wanted to use, but an appropriate situation has never arisen:
  • If you didn't want to go to Chicago, why did you get on the train?
  • I'd like for you to kiss me. I really would.
  • Tonight, decadence will be our co-pilot.
  • Out beyond the ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing, there is a field. I'll meet you there.
  • I would love to kiss you, but the price of kissing you is my life. Right now my loving is running toward my life shouting "What a bargain; let's buy it."
May 31st And so ends the lusty Month of May. What a difference a month can make, eh?

LBL bird number 85: Bohemian Waxwing. . . . . .there were several of them in the Highbush Cranberry bushes this morning. Maybe they were eating the remains of last year's berries but one would think they could find something better than that, wouldn't one? Click HERE.

A few people have suggested that the Dove should be on the LBL Bird List (see bullet #3 in the entry for May 28th). Since that dove is not actually wild and since it didn't get into this general area of its own accord, it wont be on the LBL Bird List anymore than a chicken would be on it if someone were to bring one up here. At least that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it (for now anyway). And besides that, there are no Doves like that in my bird book.

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

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