April 2005

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April_Fools' Day Besides the Geese, there have been some smaller waterfowl hanging around the edge of the ice on the Mississippi River the last few days. I suspected that they were Golden Eyes but didn't get a good look at them until this morning. Yes(!) they are indeed, Golden Eyes.......and that's a good sign.

On this day in the year 2000 the ice was gone from LBL, but this year we'll probably have ice for a tad more than 3 weeks yet.
April 2nd Arthur, the oldest son of King Henry VII, died on this day in 1502. His death made his younger brother Henry (the future Henry VIII) the heir apparent, and made his widow, Catherine of Aragon, available to become the first of Henry's 6 wives.
April 3rd The ice is 24 inches thick at the moment. On a little lake like this, that only amounts to a tad over 13 million cubic feet of ice. How long will it take that much ice melt? Will 3 weeks do it? If so, that's an average of a tad over 600,000 cubic feet of melting per day.
April 4th Geez, shore line problems stick with you forever. First it was long term erosion from the water.....which took a lot of effort and a lot of DNR assistance to get under control. Then a lovely willow on the shoreline (whose growth I had been proudly watching for years) was taken down by a beaver last year. And now a Pileated Woodpecker (I presume) has destroyed this shoreline tree whose life is definitely limited now. To look at HERE.

Incidentally, my Dear Daughter Tracie, my son-in-law Jeff, my granddaughters Em and Molly, along with my nephew Jason, his wife Holly, and my great-niece Gracie, spent the weekend here. Thanks to Jeff and Jason, the docks are now safely on shore.
April 5th Regrettably, good cooks, like good painters, can seldom tell you exactly how they did it.
            -- Albert Wooky (Well....actually Peg Bracken because she invented Albert Wooky)

That applies to good bartenders too. So Tracie, let me know how your first "all by yourself" Bloody Mary turns out. After you make a few, you'll get that recipe exactly the way you like it. But of course nothing can be as good as your Shrimp Cervini!
Deb's Birthday Happy Birthday would have been your 58th! To look at those shining eyes from many years ago, click HERE.
April 7th Don't you just hate days when you accidentally step on a loaf of bread?
April 8th 140 years ago today Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox, thus ending the Civil War. My Dear Grandfather told me that when he was small, a veteran of the Civil War who was not a relative, lived with them for a time. I wish I had dug into that a little more when I had the chance. Ya know, the Civil War wasn't all that long ago. It ended a mere 43 years before my Grandpa was born (and I'm a lot older than 43).
April 9th Uh-oh! Lee actually surrendered to Grant on April 9th (not April 8th as shown above), but I'm leaving it like it is.

I think two events which allowed us, as a nation, to be what we are today were: 1) Grant making his terms of surrender so lenient that Lee was astonished, and 2) Lee's insistence in the face of many Southerners, that the South would not wage a guerrilla war, but would again be part of the Union. Both of those became apparent on the day of the surrender.....140 years ago today. Without those two things, we might now be another Bosnia!
April 10th Damn! Click HERE.
April 11th The first part of my house was built in 1927 by Clyde Jellison. Shortly after that, there were two other houses on the lake; both of them are gone now. One of Clyde's daughters, Shirley, once told me that on the day she was born, the owner of one of them (across the lake from LBLR on what is now State Land) walked over here on the ice to help her Mom. Yesterday Lucy and I walked (in the rain mostly) through the woods in that area for an hour trying to find evidence of an old house. After I had given up and was walking out of the woods, I found it. It was further from the lake than I thought it would be, but it was a nice size house. It burned down quite some time ago....there are some 17-inch Poplars and an 11-inch White Pine growning inside the foundation. That's a nice piece of Little Bass History. Click HERE.

PS: We saw a pair of Hooded Mergansers in a few square feet of open water at the south end of the lake during our walk, and I heard a Loon flying over this morning, although the only place that I know of with enough open water for them to land is the Mississippi.
April 12th This morning there was a pair of Common Mergansers in just a few feet of open water.
Later......It's 5:00 PM and a lot of ice went out today. The lake appears to be about half open already.
April 13th The Loons are back!
April 14th The ice is *GONE(!) and geez, did it ever go out in a hurry once it started. It was six days earlier than last year; twelve days ago it was still 2 feet thick. Who woulda ever thunk it!?
April 15th The Loons first showed up when most of the ice on the lake was gone......but the day before it was completely gone. They were in the lake within a matter of hours after there was enough water for them to land and take off. Assuming that these Loons are the same pair that nested here last year, where were they just before they showed up on Little Bass? They couldn't have just breezed into town on that day because the day the water is ready for them can vary by a month. Yet they show up almost exactly when they have enough water. Apparently they're somewhere near-by and they must do regular "fly-overs" looking for it to be ready. They must do that at least daily......but where do they stay while they're watching and waiting? How far away is their "Motel Lake" do you suppose? And wherever it is, why don't they just stay there instead of waiting for Little Bass to open up? Interesting!!!
April 16th That discussion about the Civil War has me thinking. Consider this:

I was alive when Henry Ford was alive. And Henry was 2 years old when Abraham Lincoln died. So if circumstances had been right, Henry could have touched both me and Abraham Lincoln. The Civil War wasn't all that long ago.

When Samuel F. B. Morse (the inventor of the telegraph) died, Henry Ford was 4 years old, and Samuel and George Washington were alive together for 8 years. So the link between me and George Washington is just two fairly long lifetimes. In fact, my Dear Grandpa only missed George Washington by less than 95 years. Our country isn't that old. Amazing, isn't it!?
April 17th "This is my birthday, and a funny thing about your birthday is, no matter where you are on it or what you're doing, you feel somehow impelled to tell someone."
-- Peg Bracken (1976)

Although Peg and I see eye to eye on most things, I disagree with her on this. I don't really think the desire to tell someone that it's your birthday is that widespread. I, in fact, have never done it.......until now that is; and this time only to emphasize that I disagree with her. But, like her, I'm sending my greetings to everyone else who is celebrating a birthday today, and I sincerely "hope that they have found it all, so far, worth the trouble".
April 18th Two docks went into the water yesterday, thanks to the help of my friend Bob P. And this morning the Merlin is back.......much to the chagrin of the local waterfowl, I would presume.
April 19th The Bluegills are starting to move in to the shoreline already.

Here's a picture from my friend Bob P, who was up here last weekend. As he put it: "This makes one envision winter releasing his icy grip and making way for spring. The ravages of the ice on the dock are visible evidence of winter's heavy hand, but the tranquil waters and the budding trees remind us why it is all worth it." Click HERE.
April 20th Thanks to the Grand Rapids High School Key Club, THE RAKING IS DONE!!!!!!
April 21st "Do you love me?", she asked.
"Yes.", he replied.
"Do you really love me?", she asked.
"Yes.", he replied.
"Do you really really love me?", she asked.
"No.", he replied.
"Do you love me?", she asked.
"Yes.", he replied.
She asked no more.

-- Charles Schulz
April 21st Happy Earth day! If you're interested in its history, click HERE
April 22nd On this date in 1564, William Shakespeare was born.
On this date in 1616, William Shakespeare died.

"Good Friend, for Jesus sake forbeare
To digg the dust encloased heare;
Bles'e be ye man yt spares thes stones,
And curst be he yt moves my bones."
April 23rd Only three more weeks till the fishing opener!
April 24th More later......
April 25th Here are three things to remember about fishing (all are complements of Pat McManus):

1) Never sniff a gift fish.
2) A cast that reaches a fish is never too short.
3) A man who fishes in sneakers never gets in over the top of his waders.
April 26th 38 degrees for a high temperature, windy, and snowing (quite hard at times) nearly all day.
April 27th To see what's going on in Grand Rapids when you're here on HERE
April 28th Happy Birthday to my Dear Second Youngest Grandchild, Kaylee: Click HERE
April 29th The fishing opener is two weeks from tomorrow and I'm ready. These poles all have new line and are rigged for Northerns. Click HERE
April 30th Tonight is Walpurgisnacht, so stay inside this evening.......especially if you have German Ancestors.

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

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