A Continuation of the 20+ Years of
April 2020

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April Fools'  
April lift your dreary head and cease your tears of rain.
The cold winds of winter are gone, and left the birds refrain.
Part the clouds up in the sky, and let the sunshine through.
Flowers budding in the sun, the sky is lapis blue.
Across the fields and through the trees, the world is born again.
Oh it's good to see you April! Welcome my good friend.
                                                                                -- Rhonda Baker

All I really know about Rhonda is that she doesn't live in the Northland. If she lived in the Northland, she wouldn't have described the coming of April with phrases like "The cold winds are gone" and "Flowers budding in the sun". She certainly could be anticipating those things, but to infer that the coming of April brings them, is the mark of a Southerner.

PS:   I can only find information about two Rhonda Bakers. One is a politician currently serving in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, and the other is a Floridian named Rhonda Baker-Stansberry who is the author of at least one book. It doesn't seem like either one of them would have penned those lovely words, but if I were to bet, I'd put my money on the Oklahoman, merely because I think an Oklahoman would be more likely to write about the coming of April with such warm feelings, than would a Floridian, even if the Floridian is an author. But who knows?!?!
April 2nd   This is a from the old LBLR days but it was never in the Chronicles, it is now. A friend of mine in Grand Rapids, known as Ace, put his pontoon in the water one spring, and then took it out on the lake for a spin. In the process, he "dinged up" his prop. Well, maybe "dinged up his prop" is a bit of an HERE. Good one Ace!!!!
April 3rd   Last year at this time, the Mississippi Pub (one of my favorites) and a pub just down the river from it, were forced to close for a few weeks due to flooding on the Mississippi River (click HERE). But on a positive note, flooding won't hurt their business this year because they, along with every other pub in the state, are closed anyway due to the Coronavirus. call that a "positive note" is stretching it a bit, isn't it?
April 4th   Ah yes, the good ol' days before social distancing......back when family and friends would meet face-to-face rather than meeting in a video conference. It already seems like a long time ago. Remember those days? Click HERE. There's no social distancing in that picture!

PS:   That picture is a family gathering at LBLR during the 2015 Memorial Day Weekend, and it was much better than the family gathering we had a few nights ago via a video conference (although that was nice too). Everyone is holding up a deep fried smelt that we had for lunch that day, thanks to the "smelting" ability of my nephew Jason (third from right), and the cooking ability of my son-in-law Jim (second from right).

PPS:   Why is it called "social distancing"? We're not trying to "keep our distance" socially; we're trying to "keep our distance" physically, and still be close socially. Shouldn't it be called "physical distancing"?
April 5th   Click HERE.
April 6th   The year 1987 contained four different digits (1, 7, 8, and 9), and the next time that occurred was in the year 2013. That means that there was a streak of 26 years with at least one set of duplicate digits in the year number. I haven't given it lot of thought, but I think that the next time a streak of 26 years occurs will be between the years 2199 and 2225. However, that particular streak won't end at 26. It'll last to the year 2300, making the year 2301 the first one in 102 years with 4 different digits, thus breaking the 2013 record by a huge margin. But even 102 years, when it occurs, won't be the biggest margin; there were 103 between the years 1099 and 1202 with at least one set of repeating digits.

Yes, I have too much time on my hands. But if this was boring, you can always click HERE.
April 6th   Hello Frosty!!!!! Thanks for the text yesterday; I was wondering how you're doing these days.
April 7th   Have you been paying much attention to the DNR Eagle Cam recently? Those little guys are really growing. It's HERE.
April 8th   Compared to the Eagle Cam (see yesterday's entry), there's not much to watch on the Peregrine Falcon Cams in either Cohasset (Boswell) or Duluth (Hibbard). They're HERE.
April 9th   Click HERE to see Little Bass Lake on this day in 2013. Compare that picture to this picture of Deb and I biking without jackets yesterday (click HERE). Obviously the weather is different from year to year, but I'm also 170 miles further south than I was seven years ago when I took the first picture. How much affect would that 170 miles have? Well, in 1951, the American Naturalist and writer, Edwin Way Teale, wrote a book titled "North With The Spring: A Naturalist's Record of a 17,000 Mile Journey [by car] with the North American Spring", and in that book he noted that: Spring advances up the United States at the average rate of about fifteen miles a day. Therefore, the "spring environment" (whatever that means) should have arrived here a mere 12 days before it arrived (or will arrive) at LBLR. So get your bikes ready Cohasset residents, it's getting close!

[Aside -- In addition to that journey, Mr Teale spent 50 years (1930 - 1980) and over 60,000 additional miles by car, observing and documenting the environmental conditions across North America, and he wrote over 30 books about his observations. He obviously did a lot of research before he came to that 15 miles per day conclusion. -- End of Aside]
April 10th   In case you're interested, the monument behind Deb and I in yesterday's picture marks the spot where a B-52 Bomber on a training flight from Maine, crashed on a farm in Inver Grove Heights in September, 1958. You can read about the monument and some of the details of the crash HERE. It's an interesting story. You can also find newspaper articles and comments from the survivors by searching for "B-52 Crash Site in Inver Grove Heights" with Google (or the search engine of your choice).
April 11th   HERE are some Little Bass Lake geese in the early Spring, and HERE are some Inver Grove Heights geese in the early Spring. Lake Geese vs City Geese; their choice of landing spots are somewhat different, wouldn't you say?
Easter Sunday   And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.
-- Mark 16:5-7
April 13th   On Easter Sunday, some years you hunt for Easter Eggs in the back yard; other years you make Snow Bunnies in the back yard. This was a year for Snow Bunnies. Click HERE.
April 14th   It sifts from Leaden sieves --
It powders all the Wood.
It fills with Alabaster Wool
The Wrinkles of the Road.

              -- Sweet Emily (1862)

Yes Emily, you are quite correct. Snow does those things, as well as the other things you enumerated in the rest of your lovely poem. But allow me to do a little gentle complaining, if you don't mind: This is mid-April, for goodness sake. A mere few days ago we had Spring weather; we went out for a ride on our bikes; we enjoyed a drink on the patio. Now we have this on the patio (click HERE). I ask you, is that nice? Well is it? No, of course it isn't! But on the plus could have been a lot worse. We got seven inches of snow yesterday, but back in mid-April of 2008 we got three feet of snow over a period of only five days (but of course that was Up North). To see what it looked like just "before" we got the third foot, click HERE, and then imagine another foot of snow on top of that. Oh well, this too shall soon as we get some warmer weather, that is. And I, for one, am ready for it.
April 15th   Hummingbirds have been sighted in Central Iowa and Northern Illinois in the last few days, but still none here in Minnesota (click HERE). The first sightings in Minnesota are usually recorded sometime in mid to late April, but on occasion it has been as late as early May.

PS:   If you looked at the migration map, you noticed that it's not the same one that you've seen here in past years. After the 2018 version, a change to Google caused the old one to no longer be possible. However, you can still see the details of the migrations for the years between 1996 and 2018 in the old format, by clicking HERE.
April 16th   Trivia Question:
A phrase that we hear a lot these days is "We're all in this together" referring to our problems with COVID-19. We hear it several times a day on radio and TV. Here's a question for you: There's a 1/2 hour comedy show that was produced between 1991 and 2006, and every week, one of it's "segments" ended with the words "Remember, I'm pulling for you. We're all in this together". Which show is it from, and who says it? Gary? Sean? Anyone? Let me know.
April 17th   Cindy (the head of my old cleaning crew) said that Little Bass is still totally covered with ice. At her next opportunity she'll take a picture of it, and when she does I'll put it in here.

By the way, only two people gave me an answer for yesterday's trivia question; one was right and one was wrong. (Sorry Gary, but take another stab at it if you like; I'm reasonably certain that you know the show.)
April 18th   The name for the shape of Pringles is a "Hyperbolic Paraboloid" (but don't confuse it with a Hyperboloid because that's an entirely different shape). Or click HERE.
April 19th   Here’s an odd thing that I find interesting. When one goes into a grocery store (for instance) many people are wearing masks and almost everyone “tries” to stick to the 6 foot minimum recommendation. But as hard as we try, at times it’s impossible, and we end up closer than six feet for a brief moment. When that occurs, most people seem to avoid eye contact, almost like avoiding eye contact will save them from contamination. I find myself doing it too! It’s weird!
April 20th   The TV show referred to in the April 16th entry (see above) is "The Red Green Show"; more specifically, the segment named "North of Forty". In that segment, Red gives out sage advice from behind his fly tying workbench, usually talking to "us" older men about married life or coping with the changing society. He always ended the segment with the words "Remember, I'm pulling for you. We're all in this together".
April 21st entry today.
April 22nd   I've always liked this picture. It's from this day in 2007 (13 years ago), which was also the day the ice went out that year. Click HERE.
April 23rd   I was informed by a person who did a "drive-by" of Little Bass Lake this morning, that it's wide open. Of course, a drive-by doesn't give you a look at the whole lake, so there may be a lot of ice in some of the remote bays; but if it really is open, then it's about on schedule because the median thaw date was only three days ago (click HERE).   PS: I'm trying find someone who lives there, to interface with the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and to keep track of the freeze/thaw dates like I used to when I lived there. Any takers? Mike H, how about you?
April 24th   Sigh.......
April 25th   During a nice little stroll around the neighborhood today (in beautiful weather), we saw this laying in the grass on the edge of the sidewalk. It's a nice little message for passersby, and it took some time and talent to make it. I hope no one swipes it. To whoever is responsible for it: THANK YOU! Click HERE (the key is near it to indicate its size).
April 26th   Sigh (again).......
April 27th   There are deer in some of the back yards in Inver Grove Heights. Here's Deb's. Click HERE.
April 28th   Hummingbirds were sighted in St. Paul and Pipestone yesterday, the first two in the reported HERE.
April 29th   On this, the penultimate day of April.......I have nothing to say.
April 30th   Come on May!!!! In spite of the "lock down", you're gonna be Great!

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