November 2006

Click here to see the other months in 2006:
January , February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

All Saints Day The stripped and shapely Maple grieves
The ghosts of her departed leaves.
The ground is hard, as hard as stone;
The year is old, the birds have flown.
And yet the world, in its distress,
Displays a certain loveliness.

-- John Updike (1965)
All Souls Day There are still tons and tons of Juncos at the feeder these days. Will they ever leave, do you suppose? There are still some Tree Sparrows and White Throated Sparrows around as well, though their numbers are dwindling. The one Cardinal is still here too, but the Fox Sparrows are gone.
November 3rd It hasn't been above freezing in awhile now. There's a fair amount of ice on the edges of Big Jay Gould Lake and a litte ice on the River in some locations. There's even a little ice on the edge of LBL......but very little. My records are a bit lacking in this respect, but I definitely remember LBL being frozen over before Thanksgiving on more than one occasion, and the latest freeze date (according to my sparse records) is December 6th, which occurred in 1999. Last year it froze on November 26th.
November 4th Sorry about this Ron, but I'm going to mention it. Ron and Dave used LBLR as a deer camp this year (Ron's 15th consecutive year at LBLR), and for only the second time in 15 years they were skunked. There were a number reasons for that but I'll only mention two of them: 1) It was a very small group this year (only the two of them) and, 2) they only hunted for 3/4 of a day, but I wont get into the reason for that. Don't worry about it you guys, you'll get 'em next year!
November 5th A mystery:
My birdfeeder has a wooden dowel on each side of it. This morning they were both broken off (nails still in the sides of the feeder); pieces of one were on the ground, the other is missing. There's a large gouge on the feeder near the opening (probably related) and there appear to be some fresh scratches on the post (though not obvious and probably not related). There are also a couple of 1 inch by 1 inch chips out of the window sill near the feeder. (Related? Who knows?)

What do you think? A raccoon? Could be, though I've never seen a raccoon near the feeder. But if one had climbed the post and tried to hang onto the dowels, it's likely that they would have broken. A bear? Could be that too, but the feeder wasn't emptied and a full grown bear could have done a lot more damage if he was serious about it. I very much doubt that the chips on the window sill were made by a raccoon.....a raccoon would have a hard time getting up there and I don't know why he would even try it. Those could have been done by a woodpecker, although that seems odd too. Who knows?!?!?!
November 6th The November full Moon (which was yesterday) was named the full Beaver Moon, because for both the colonists and the Algonquin tribes, this was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs.

Yesterday's "mystery" has been solved. It was a raccoon. I saw the little %$!@?# on the feeder last night, and I just might trap him and give him a new home over at Mick's place on the north end of Bass Lake. He doesn't have any bird feeders, and I can't believe the little %$!@?# would find his way back's over 8 miles. And besides, the little %$!@?# might like Bass Lake.
November 7th If you're interested in the freeze and thaw dates for LBL in the last 14 years, click HERE. You'll notice that, at times, the information is rather sparse, but it'll be complete from now on.
November 8th To be added shortly.......probably (well, maybe).
November 9th I had breakfast in Paradise this morning. Click HERE.
November 10th I'm back from Paradise.......but I came back too soon. And on a related topic, if you haven't already done so, read any of the Alex McKnight novels by Steve Hamilton. You'll love them! (Note: You wont know why it's related unless you follow that advice)
November_11th More than half of the lake is covered with ice this morning......but who knows how long it'll last?! The south end of Bass Lake is ice all the way across.

It appears that while I was in Paradise all the Juncos left.
November 12th Barrow, Alaska had less than 3 1/2 hours of sunlight today, and it's dropping at the rate of about 15 minutes per day. But the pace will be picking up drastically because they're only a week from total darkness.

All the ice is gone from LBL, but the south bay of Bass Lake is still ice covered.
November 13th The first good snowfall was last night. It was only about 3 inches but it sure looks good and feels good. Here's hoping it will last(!), but it doesn't look promising. Sigh!
November 14th "Wine makes daily living easier and less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance."

Benjamin Franklin (circa 1776)
November 15th When I moved here almost 15 years ago, Cohasset had a fine restaurant, a grocery store, a laundromat, a bar, a liquor store, a small engine repair shop, an antique store, a hardware, a gas station, and the Post Office. In early December when the hardware closes, we'll have a gas station and the Post Office. That seems like a downward spiral, does it not?
November 16th A retraction (of sorts):
The November 11th entry (above) indicates that the Juncos have left. That's mostly true. The bulk of them are gone but I still see one or two at the feeder occasionally.
November 17th For the record:

There is only a small amount of ice on Little Bass at the moment, and it's all at the south end. The south bay of Bass Lake (across the street) is covered with ice (as it has been for a week) and will probably stay that way till Spring. The middle section of Bass Lake is about half covered with ice and there is probably very little ice at the north end. It appears that Shoal Lake is ice covered. There is some ice, but not much, on the river. Virtually all of the little ponds north and south of here on highway 62 are frozen.

The DNR lake level measuring device was removed from LBL today; it was put in on June 9th. Since that time the lake level hit a minimum on August 11th when it was down 6 inches, and ended the year with today's reading by being down a little less than an inch compared to the June 9th reading. It'll be interesting to see where it starts out next spring. The lake clarity readings began the year in early June at 10.5 feet, reached a maximum of 14 feet in mid-July, and ended the year with the last reading (November 3rd) being 10 feet. The lowest reading was 8 feet on October 15th. If you have Microsoft Excel on your system and would like to see the clarity and lake level details, click HERE.
November 18th This afternoon at 12:33 the sun rose in Barrow, Alaska. One hour and eighteen minutes later (1:51 PM) it went below the horizen, and the people of Barrow will be in darkness until it rises again on January 23rd, 2007.
November 19th It appears that the lake is ice covered this morning except for a small area where the front porch would be. There were a couple of Megansers feeding in that area this morning until an otter came over and chased them away. Maybe all that activity is why that area is still open. Now that they're gone it might freeze shortly and I'll be able to declare the lake "frozen".

A few hours later:
The otter finally quit playing around the front porch dock, and it finally froze. So today is the day the lake froze in 2006 unless some of it thaws which case, we start over. The highs will be in the 40s for most of the coming week, but the nights will be in the teens or twenties, so it's only a guess as to what will happen. Also, look at the December 1, 2006 entry. Click HERE.
November 20th As per the Old Farmer's Almanac, Indian Summer can occur anytime between November 11th and November 20th, which is today. If we don't have a spell of fine weather during that time, then there is no Indian Summer in that year.
November 21st The ice hung in there today in spite of the 50+ degree temperature. The next few days are supposed to be the same, so will the mid-20s temperatures at night add enough ice to keep it frozen during the day? I hope so(!), but only time will tell.
November 22nd Geez, it's nice to have my old hunter friend, Orion, back in the night sky again. He's a good companion for a nighttime walk.......especially across the lake, which is, unfortunately, still some weeks away.
Thanksgiving Day "If you say, 'I would be very satisfied if I had a little more', you are mistaken. If you are not content with what you have now, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled."

-- Charles Haddon Spurgeon [with a slight modification].
November 24th The lake is continuing to hang in there; at least that's the way it appears. There might be a little open water in the center, but it's difficult to tell. Since we're more than halfway through the predicted warming trend and it's still all ice, if it gets through today we might have it made.
November 25th I believe we're over the hump, so unless something drastically changes we'll say that the lake froze on November 19th this year.

A few days ago Pine Siskins (tons and tons of them) showed up at feeder.
November 26th There are 2 inches of ice on the lake. That has be enough to last for the duration of this warm weather, doesn't it?
November 27th Today we have only 8 hours and 52 minutes of daylight and the day will get shorter for nearly a month yet. AND, we have less light today than Rochester will get on its shortest day of the year. In addition, sunset here today is before 4:30 for the first time this fall.
November 28th The rain, which fell for a good portion of the day, opened up a hole in the ice between Landing Bay and Beaver Bay.
November 29th My friend Dick Thompson, who lives on Deer Lake, sent me this picture. What do you think? It sure looks likes a Bohemian Waxwing, doesn't it? The book says they're very rare in this neck of the woods, but he had a large flock of them on his property. Click HERE.
November 30th Today is the Feast of Saint Andrew. According to John Steinbeck in his book "Tortilla Flat", on the night of the Feast of Saint Andrew the ground above buried treasure glows with a luminous green tonight is the night to go treasure hunting. (PS: That was near Salinas, California; I wonder if it works in the snow.)

It's 2 below zero as I type, and I can't believe that darned hole in the ice is still there. This morning there was some sort of vertical rainbow-like phenomenom caused by the rising sun and the vapor coming from the open water. On the other hand, it may have just been a sundog and had nothing to do with the rising mist. Because of the darkness it's a bit difficult to see that most of the lake is ice, but you can tell that it is by the melted snow along the crack near the shore. Click HERE.

Click here to see the other months in 2006:
January , February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

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