A Continuation of the 20+ Years of
October 2020

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October 1st   The sweet calm sunshine of October, now
Warms the low spot; upon its grassy mold
The purple oak-leaf falls; the birchen bough
Drops its bright spoil like arrow-heads of gold.

                                -- William Cullen Bryant (circa 1850)

We are slowly tumbling into shorter days, and though this trend will continue for another 2 1/2 months, the rate of that tumble will become slower and slower as we near the Solstice. At the moment, we are losing daylight at the rate of nearly 4 minutes per day, but by mid-December the periods of daylight will be getting smaller by less than a minute per day. Even though the progression will be slowing down considerably, we'll still lose another 3 1/4 hours of precious daylight by the time it bottoms out. And by the way, we've already lost nearly 4 1/2 hours since Summer began less than 15 weeks ago.

Note:   Those numbers are for LBLR, but they're probably not much different where you are.
October 2nd   From the early 2000s until a year or two ago, Highbush Cranberries were plentiful along the LBLR shoreline at this time of the year (click HERE and HERE). They looked nice, they grew well in that environment, and a few times they were even harvested to make jelly. They were planted in 1999, and over the next 15 or 20 years they grew to a size that blocked too much of the lake view, and they weren't as nice looking as they once were. So alas.......they are no more; they've been removed. However minor that is, it's still the end of another LBLR era.

PS:   Those things are so bitter that it takes tons and tons of sugar to make them into jelly. In spite of what Euell Gibbons said in this 1970s TV commercial, no one could ever use them on their breakfast cereal as he claims to have done (click HERE).
October 3rd   The first Junco appeared at the feeder yesterday; one single solitary Junco. Up North they seemed to appear in droves anytime between very late September and mid-October, as they migrated down south to their winter territory. We'll soon see what the future holds for this neck of the woods.......Junco-wise, that is.

This just in:   Juncos have arrived en masse in the LBLR area in recent days, but there has been no frost yet.
October 4th  
    and 5th  
Each Autumn morning at the lake has it's own pleasures, no matter what the weather is. To see what the morning looked like on these two days 14 years ago, click HERE. As you can see, they are quite different, yet equally lovely! And ya know, the same is true about mornings in other seasons and in other places.......with the right attitude, they're all great!
October 6th   The September 15th entry of these Chronicles contained this winter weather's forecast for our area as per the Farmer's Almanac. Now, in a nutshell, here's the comparison of that, to the forecast from the National Weather Service (NOAA) for the same time frame. The Almanac predicts above normal temperatures, while the NOAA predicts that they'll be below normal, so they're at odds on their temperature forecasts. As for precipitation, both organizations predict above normal snow fall (if we assume that Grand Rapids is slightly into the western portion of the Almanac's Upper Mid-west region). Over the next 4 months we'll see what actually happens.
October 7th   Will we ever get back to what, last year, we called normal? Virtually everyone says we won't. But remember, back in the weeks and months after 911 we heard newcasters say over and over, "life will never be the same as it was before". How much has life really changed as a result of 911, other than having to follow new procedures at the airport to make traveling by air safer than it was before? As with every year, this one has its challenges, and they've been tough, but like all challenges, this too shall pass.
October 8th   Life is a lot like a fajita.
October 9th   In view of the COVID 19 restrictions, the Mississippi Pub in Inver Grove Heights, one of my favorites, has decided to shut down for the winter. Darn!!! They always shut down for a few weeks in the spring when the river rises and blocks their parking lot, so their plan is to close beginning on November 1st when the temps are too cold to use the patio, and reopen again after the river recedes next spring. Darn(!) again.
October 10th   Here's a neat thing about the Northland, and I suspect that it's the same in many sections of country. If a buddy invites you over to his place to drink a few beers, there's a pretty good chance that you'll end up in his garage. Click here to see an example. Isn't that a great place for a couple of guys and a dog to "drink a few beers" and chat? Do you agree with that Gary G? Is it the same down there where you are?
October 11th   Okay! Okay! I take it back. Life is NOT like a fajita. I didn't mean to start a big discussion about it. (See the October 8th entry, above.)
October 12th   Get your Secret Squadron Decoder Badge out and set it to A12. Here's today's secret message:
5 26 13 16 26 3 25 26 5 5 26 13 16 5 19 12 5 20 3 5 19 16 2 6 16 4 5 20 26 25.
15 19 16 13 16 4 5 23 12 20 15 4 14 19 16 24 16 4 26 24 20 24 16 12 25 24 16 25 18 12 25 18 12 17 15 12 18 23 16 10.
When you have it decoded contact me immediately.
-- Secret Squadron Member SQ217951 (FC)
October 13th   Do you remember these pictures? They're from October, five years ago. The white "wisps" in front of the dark clouds are streaks of falling rain, and the bright shoreline across the lake is quite a contrast to the dark clouds and the dark foreground . What a neat effect. Click HERE and HERE.

Entry for October 14, 2009 (11 years ago today):
As of this morning all 3 pontoons, 3 fishing boats, both kayaks, both paddle boats, the canoe, and the swimming raft have been taken out of the lake and are on dry land. The water toys and most of the lawn furniture have been put into storage, and cabin #3 has been shut down for the winter. That leaves a tad more lawn furniture (which I can't put away until the last guests have gone), two boats with motors that are still in the water (one of which, will remain there until just before the lake freezes), and 3 more cabins to shut down (which can't be done until after deer season). There are still the leaves to rake of course, but since most of them are still on the trees I can't do that yet. In addition, there are several other miscellaneous things do to (fireplace wood to move, snowblower to get ready, tractor to drive over to the storage place, etc) but those aren't all that major. At any rate, it's getting close to done!

Note added today:   Ah yes, reminiscing about jobs of the of retirement's finest pleasures. Hey Tim and Monica, are you guys keeping busy up there this fall? Are you having fun yet?
October 15th   Note from yesterday:
We woke up this morning at LBLR. It feels darned good to be here in spite of the fact that the weather at the moment isn’t exactly what I’d call ideal vacation weather. It's dark, cold, windy, and rainy, which makes me glad that we did our grocery shopping last night. But I'm not complaining; it’s warm and cozy here in the cabin, and the rest of the long weekend will be sunny.......cold but sunny......which is good.
October 16th   The frost is on the pumpkin........and the lawns, and the roofs, and the car windows, etc, etc, etc. I don't believe there has been any of that down in the Cities yet. And by the way, they're predicting snow, 3 to 5 inches of it, by about noon tomorrow. Sigh.......
October 17th   It's not as much as predicted, but it's the first of the season, and tradition demands that it be shown here. Since it came fairly early in the season, it had some of us old-timers reminiscing about the "Great Halloween Snow Storm" of 1991. Click HERE.
October 18th   Today ends a great MEA weekend at LBLR.......and it was just like the old days. The old days, in this case, being the years between 1997 and 2017, when the tradition of the Carlson's spending MEA weekend at LBLR was going strong. Many thanks to the Carlsons (who are actually the Turners), which includes Colleen, Erin, Allie, and Tim, along with their spouses, kids, grandkids, and friends, who made it the great weekend that it was. Thanks again you guys! Same time, same place, next year, right? I'll make the reservations.

By the way, one morning during the weekend, the ashes of their parents, Jim (who died in August of last year) and Alice (who died this past June) were spread in a circle around the LBLR fire pit. During those 20 years, Jim & Alice spent many enjoyable hours around that fire pit. To see a picture of the group at the little ceremony, click HERE. That's Amy, daughter of Colleen and Kevin, in the foreground taking the picture.
October 19th   For many years in the past, usually in March, I would show a picture of the dock sections by cabin 4 stacked on the shore, as an indication that I had finally taken them off the ice. Tim and Monica now remove the docks before the lake freezes, and since I was present when they did it this week, I thought it would be appropriate to show a similar picture again this year. The only difference is the condition of the lake. Click HERE.
October 20th   One final entry about last weekend at the lake; it's the sunrise on the day we left. Click HERE.
October 21st   Here's the final number for last night's snowfall, which is a new record here in the Cities for this early, and a darn lot of snow for pre-Halloween. Click HERE.

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