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April 18, 2019 - 7:43 a.m.

I’m a little late this morning as I slept in but what a marvellous sleep it was.  I had quite the busy day yesterday.  I zipped into town for errands and a badly needed hair cut.  On the way, I was once again disturbed by the amount of garbage on the side of the road so when I stopped at L’Ami’s for some deer feed, asked if I could have a few bags.  I ended up stopping at the corner of Tillicum and Hwy 654 on my way home and picking up all the garbage that had collected at the corner as it was pretty disgusting.  A young boy was in his front yard where I suspect a lot of the garbage had initially come from (recyclables blowing around when left for pickup during the course of the winter) and he was about to hand me an empty pop can he picked up from his yard.  I just looked at him and said “How about you clean up your own yard.  It’s good for the environment.”  Bad Lynn.  Lol.  I continued on down Tillicum and Birchgrove picking things up but I didn’t have the right footgear to get into the wet ditches so could only grab what was on the side of the road.  There had been a bad full of something sitting on Birchgrove for some time so finally picked it up.  It was full of used kitty litter.  Seriously?  Who does that?  Anyhow, it looks like our neighbourhood clean up on Saturday is going to be a bust due to the rain but I’m still planning on doing my part when the weather improves.  I know of several people who walk daily so will give them some wildflower seeds to spread regardless.  Last night our herd returned to Greening Bay and I counted 11 deer so most of the herd is intact.  They do look pretty skinny but better days are coming.  Lake Nipissing turned more opaque overnight with all the rain and we lost quite a bit more snow.  It’s still raining this morning as it likely will for the next couple of days and they are calling for it to change to snow as the temperatures dip overnight, then back to rain tomorrow.  Yesterday the forecast had no below zero temperatures at all but that’s changed.  Figures.  When I was at L’Ami’s yesterday, I bought 3 pansy pots for the early pollinators which look like a breath of fresh year on my deck.  I realize they like the cool weather but looks like I may have to pull them inside for a few more nights.  For anyone out there with kids or grandkids visiting this Easter weekend...the highway shoulders from Wasi Corners (Hwy 654) through to Lakeshore in North Bay is covered in litter.  Instead of an Easter hunt for candy, wouldn’t it be a nice lesson for children to help the environment if the kids hunted for garbage instead?  The reward would be much better.  Just saying ;)

April 17, 2019 - 7:09 a.m.

What a beautiful day yesterday!  I worked in the office for most of it but managed to get my books finished and then went for a walk.  Moose Creek is finally flowing and with the rain in the forecast for the upcoming 4-5 days it should be pumping lots of water into Lake Nipissing.  Unfortunately today will be the last sunny day and this weekend doesn’t promise a lot of outdoor activity.  I planned a “clean up the hood” day on Saturday for neighbours and friends to pick up all the accumulated garbage from the winter.  I also am handing out wildflower seeds for everyone to spread on their journey but am now thinking it could be a wash (literally).  Calling for really heavy rain tomorrow and Friday but rain and/or snow on Saturday.  I guess we’ll see have to wait and see.  I certainly don’t want all the seed getting washed away as that certainly won’t help the pollinators.  Today is going to be bright and sunny and I am zipping into town for a hair appointment later this morning and to do a few errands.  Dan was in town yesterday speaking to an adjuster regarding the snow damage done to our shop.  Hopefully the insurance company won’t give us a difficult time but can just imagine.  It’s too easy buying a policy, a little more difficult when filing a legitimate claim.  We typically repair damage ourselves but the damage is substantial and Dan can’t do any easy fix this time around.  Wish us luck!

April 16, 2019 - 6:51 a.m.

It was a little chilly when I got up this morning but I think it’s going to warm up quickly.  It went down to -5 overnight and going to +10 this afternoon.  One more night of below freezing tonight and then the forecast should stay above zero for the next 4-5 days.  It was a beautiful sunny day once the clouds blew away yesterday, as it is today.  There is a lot of rain coming our way later in the week though so hopefully that will get rid of the last of our snow, or at least a good deal of it.  All the new accumulation we received Sunday has thankfully disappeared.  All the birds have started building nests but it really needs to warm up before the eggs come.  There were a few yearling deer up last night and this is the time of year their mamas start having their babies.  I don’t have a clue where they are going to have them since there certainly isn’t any long grass to hide them in.  Sad state of affairs for nature right now but hopefully things will turn around quickly.  We are actually having a spring this year which is something we haven’t seen for quite some time so it makes it seem like winter just won’t go away.  I think we should be thankful we are having a slow melt or flooding would be imminent.  I did some office work yesterday, as I am today and Dan and Nick replaced our snow guards on the cottages roofs since they were so badly damaged this winter.  It was mostly Nick since a ladder was needed and I won’t let Dan get up on one anymore since his last tumble.  Lol.  Funny, not funny.  

April 15, 2019 - 7:12 a.m.

Winter has temporarily returned.  We received some snow and it is still snowing this morning.  Just enough to cover everything back up but the good news is some much warmer weather is returning tomorrow.  Hopefully it will stick around for the rest of the week as forecasted.  Moose Creek has finally opened up and is flowing into the bay.  There is enough open water now that a small swath is allowing for water fowl to collect so we now have ducks, geese and gulls out front now.  The deer returned to the property yesterday although just a handful.  They don’t look too bad this year so must have found a decent place to winter.  They looked much worse last year when they returned as some had mange which is likely why we lost Red.  She was an old girl though and am glad she didn’t have to suffer through this winter.  I did put some corn out for the few we had yesterday and there was a yearling eating this morning but I’m not feeding them for long.  Once the park opens and there is plenty to eat, I’m done.  I love the deer but after hauling feed bags for 20 years, it’s somebody else’s turn.  I’m heading back to the office today once I get motivated.  Not sure what the big guy (aka Dan) is up to now that the weather has put a damper on the day but I’m sure he’ll be solving the world’s problems somewhere ;)

April 14, 2019 - 7:23 a.m.

What a fun day yesterday!  Annie served the girls a fantastic lunch including some of the best homemade French onion soup I’ve ever had.  We also played a game afterwards which provided some laughs and discussion.  The boys left us alone long enough to enjoy ourselves (sorry boys) but they did end up joining us a little later on.  We nearly hit a deer on the way into town so they’ve reached Callander but I still haven’t seen any on our property.  It’s a calm morning with the temperature just above zero but they are calling for 10-15 cm of snow tonight.  Seriously?  Hopefully the forecast changes because we’ve all had enough.

April 13, 2019 - 9:17 a.m.

I’m late this morning due to another restless night.  Guess my internal clock is screwed up again.  Was still up at 3:00 this morning even though I shut my reading light off just before midnight.  Geesh.  Dan went to town yesterday and did some running around while I cleaned the house and made some wonton soup for supper.  It was delicious and I actually had two bowls.  Mike and John dropped down briefly just before supper so I gave them a bowl as well.  Today we are heading to town for the afternoon.  Annie is having a small girl’s lunch so some of the boys are going to play pool this afternoon which Dan is looking forward to.  We reached a high of 14 degrees here yesterday and the sun only came out briefly here and there as the clouds floated quickly by.  Moose Creek has finally started carving a path into the bay so if the mild temperatures stick around, won’t be long before the bay starts to fill.  Please be careful on the rural roads right now as the deer are on the move.  They are starting the long arduous return to the area and are currently in the Powassan and Nipissing areas from what I hearing.  Still haven’t seen any here yet :(

April 12, 2019 - 8:18 a.m.

It was rather a nice day yesterday.  The sun shone for a great deal of it but then the cloud cover moved in.  We received snow, freezing rain and rain through the overnight hours but right now, it’s pretty calm and overcast with the temperature at +2.  I ran all over the place in the Bay yesterday but managed to get all my errands completed.  I was going to continue on with my books today but I’m a little fuzzy headed due to lack of sleep.  Thanks Dan.  He was suspiciously absent yesterday when I got home later in the afternoon.  Turns out Dan ran into a couple of neighbours and they all ran into a whiskey bottle.  Lol.  Needless to say, Dan was in a fine mood last night and had me up half the night.  I don’t begrudge him, he had fun and has worked hard all winter so deserves a break once in awhile.  Not sure what’s on my agenda today but I’m definitely making some wonton soup as I bought the ingredients yesterday.  Whatever I do this morning, I’m going to be banging around like Dan was while I was trying to sleep last night.  Payback.  Lol.  

April 11, 2019 - 7:20 a.m.

We have been getting a nice slow thaw the past few days and some green patches of grass have started to pop up here and there but the ground needs to absorb quite a bit of water as the big snow dunes and drifts begin the melt.  I’m going to need to dig out my rubber boots pretty soon.  I think much more of this snow would have melted more quickly if it wasn’t more solid ice than snow but it is what it is.  We had a beautiful sunny mild day yesterday but I was in the office for most of it.  I’m working on getting my first quarter books done and the game plan was to carry on with it today but they are now calling for snow, freezing rain and rain to begin this afternoon continuing throughout the evening hours into tomorrow.  I really need to get to town but was hoping to do that tomorrow so haven’t yet decided if I should actually go today.  Why drive in nasty weather if it can be avoided?  Some seagulls have returned to our area the past few days and the waterfowl have been hanging around.  A couple of chipmunks were out and about yesterday as well.  Still no deer :(

April 9, 2019 - 7:28 a.m.

It is currently raining pretty good this morning with the possibility of it changing to snow.  Sigh.  It started raining last night and the rain is doing it’s job but I think for some reason, we have way more snow left on the property than other areas.  Dan and Mike went on ice yesterday to collect some more blocking and since Dan took the auger with him, they measured.  There is still nearly 4 feet of ice left out there.  Most of it is black ice with the top layer being white.  Never have we seen so much ice this time of year.  Moose Creek is just starting to open up along the shorelines and seems to be trying to break up the remaining ice.  The creek is higher than normal for this time of year also.  I was speaking with my neighbour Marg yesterday and mentioned I haven’t seen any deer yet.  She indicated a friend of hers went into the bush in the Restoule/Commanda area and they found several dead deer.  Five were all huddled together under a tree, curled up but sadly deceased.  They weren’t the only ones they found either.  I don’t believe they have the feeding stations for the deer in Restoule anymore but I could be wrong.  Seems to me I read something about them stopping the practice a few years ago.  Either way, starvation or cold would have been the culprit and unfortunately, I think there has been a lot of winter kill in the area this year.  Breaks my heart as this winter has been tough on everyone but the poor animals have really suffered.

April 8, 2019 - 8:24 a.m.

The drab weather has returned.  It was overcast and rainy all day yesterday and rained most of the night.  It is overcast this morning as well and the rain seems to have stopped.  We had quite a bit of snow melt now and it looks like Moose Creek is starting to form but it’s a long way from actually being an actual creek just yet.  Gato didn’t come up until 1:00 this morning as he doesn’t like the rain and we had a break from it around that time.  The only reason I knew he was there is Grady was doing his “run all over the house including jumping on the bed” bit like he usually does to let me know.  Our neighbour Mike was out on the ice yesterday trying to get the last of his blocking and said the ice hasn’t even started to melt yet.  I’m assuming it’s melting from the bottom up as the water has to be flowing by now but there still is snowmobile traffic.  This really has been a tirelessly long winter.

April 7, 2019 - 8:17 a.m.

We had a fantastic day yesterday.  It was quite mild out but the sun only made a brief appearance or it would have been perfect.  Annie and Craig came over for a visit in the afternoon and I cooked up some chicken thighs, pot stickers and dumplings which we all pigged out on.  We did get some rain overnight so that started to melt some snow and we are in for more today.  The chipmunks and squirrels were all out foraging and although we didn’t see any, could hear the geese.  People were out on the ice yesterday afternoon as well both walking and sledding.  Now that some melting has started, we are able to see where the water level in Lake Nipissing is and it’s way down at the moment.  Half of Greening Bay is empty but I’m sure once the melt is done, it will reach the shore.  Moose Creek is starting to thaw also but it isn’t flowing just yet however I suspect it will start over the next few days.  Come on spring...

April 6, 2019 - 7:39 a.m.

We had a long day yesterday but was very happy that the only bad weather we ran into was on the trip home.  The further south we went, the less snow we saw.   It was clear sailing all the way to Orillia and as foretold, we were able to park right outside the door of Costco.  What a difference between that store and Sudbury’s.  Nice, clean and not overly busy.  I was able to get my potstickers and wontons so I was happy.  I also picked up a little meat and cheese that was on sale and of course our business supplies.  It had just started to rain when we were finished and carried on to Barrie.  While I was in my appointment (yes, yet another doctor who tested the functionality of my nerves with electrodes which wasn’t much fun) Dan went to his beloved Princess Auto where he was able to purchase the post driver he wanted.  Doesn’t take much to make him a happy man.  The way home started as rain.  By the time we hit Huntsville it was starting to turn to a mix between snow and rain and once we reached Burke Falls it was heavy snow but the roads remained good during the entire journey.  Highway driving has never bothered me but with all the transport truck accidents of late, I boot it when passing and try not to follow behind any.  Call me paranoid.  Dan drove down, I drove home.  I stopped just before gasoline alley to fill as gas was about 10 cents cheaper through that corridor but the further north we came, the more expensive gas became.  Really?  Fifty km with a full tanker makes that much difference?  Gimme a break!  Not sure what’s on our agenda today.  It is suppose to be quite mild with a high towards +10 with hopefully a little sun this afternoon.  It’s currently overcast so we’ll see.

April 5, 2019 - 6:55 a.m.

It turned out to be quite a nice day yesterday although it could have been warmer.  At least the sun was shining so that helped with some melting.  I still can’t believe Moose Creek which is always flowing by this time of year, hasn’t even started yet.  Wasi Falls hasn’t started running either.  Mating season is in full swing though.  At least I think it is because Gato showed up all beat up last night.  Either he scrapped with another Tom cat or something else tangled with him.  He has a huge bald spot below his right ear and next to his eye as well as a chunk of skin missing from around his ear that had been bleeding but thankfully was scabbing over.  If I had some cat antibiotics I would have put it in his food but I’m sure the vet wouldn’t give me anything without being able to see Gato.  I can’t touch him let alone catch him.  He was up early again last night and was there first thing this morning so something may have him sticking by the house for protection.  Either way, he was scathed but is one tough cat so my bet is on him.  Dan and I are heading to Barrie today as I have an appointment.  We are going to stop at Costco on the way.  We’ve never been to the one in Orillia but hear it’s much better than Barrie’s.  I just hope the weather cooperates as they are calling for mixed precipitation.  Snow and rain for sure but possibly freezing rain.  We also aren’t familiar with Barrie too much so finding the building where my appointment is should be fun.  It’s not on gps yet so we are having to trust google.

April 4, 2019 - 7:25 a.m.

Another day, another battle with Mother Nature.  Although it was quite nice and fairly balmy in the morning, we ended up with another bout of winter yesterday.  They issued a high wind warning late in the morning which wasn’t previously forecasted.  Where the wind came from I don’t know but it blew through here with gusts of up to 80 km/hr and some horizontal snow.  Things were starting to melt nicely beforehand.  Today is another day and the sun is shining.  It’s suppose to go above zero but dip down to -10 overnight, as it did last night.  Things are on the upswing tomorrow for a few days though.  Looks like Saturday is going to be beautiful with sun and a possibility of double digits so might be a great campfire day.  A lot can change between now and then so not getting my hopes up.  Gato spent the night sleeping outside beside our backdoor.  He came up around nine last night and was there when I got up at 6:00.  Did his little stretch and yawn thing, ate some more food and sauntered off.  In all these years, I’ve never been able to touch him even to just give him a little pet but that mistrust is likely what’s kept him alive so long.  I’ve an appointment this morning and have a few errands to run so not sure what’s on my agenda after that.  Dan also has to go to town as he has a recall on his truck to look after.  Good day to be out and about.

April 3, 2019 - 8:23 a.m.

We finally received some rain yesterday and although it wasn’t much, it did melt a little snow.  Long ways to go yet but hopefully things will move along quickly now.  There is more rain in the forecast this week but today the winds are high, the clouds are moving quickly and the sun is trying to come out.  The geese and ducks that have returned still do not have a water source in the area so have been spending their time sitting on the ice.  Going to be some time before they can start searching for nesting material.  Still no deer and they are usually back by mid March which means we are at least 2-3 weeks behind and counting.  Our park is usually greening up nicely by now (thus the robins) but so far, we’ve still a good foot of snow cover so I’m guessing it’s going to be a late opener this year.  One never knows though.  The weather can change drastically from day to day.  I think perhaps this is Mother Nature’s way of balancing things after the long hot dry summer last year.  

April 2, 2019 - 7:12 a.m.

Sigh.  Another day, another round of snow.  It’s actually just light flurries but still.  We need rain to help with the melting process but the radar signifies snow.  At least for the morning.  Gato didn’t show up last night but he was here this morning and being quite vocal about getting himself fed.  I went to town yesterday and while I was at L’Ami’s getting some birdfeed, the owner told me a very emancipated fox showed up at his back door.  He felt so sorry for it he gave him some ham and whatever else he could find in his fridge.  He said he has never seen such a thin animal before.   Sadly, I think there have been quite a few animals that weren’t able to survive this winter due to lack of food.  Foxes generally burrough for moles and mice but the snow is so very hard, I’m sure this poor little one was having a hard time getting through it.  I actually bought some blueberries and raspberries for the robins yesterday.  They like the fruit so I cut a few of them up and put them out near the feeders yesterday.  They were out eating them first thing this morning.  Yep, we need this snow gone quickly.  

April 1, 2019 - 7:29 a.m.

Wow!  It hit +20 here yesterday!  April Fool’s Day!  Lol.  I wish.  It was a beautiful day though, the sun was shining but honestly, the temperature needs to start creeping up.  I’m getting quite tired of living in a frozen tundra.  There were pictures on social media yesterday of grassy spots being exposed in the area but they are few and far between, at least around the lake.  All the snow piles are going to take weeks to melt by the looks of things.  I cut up some apples into tiny bits yesterday and today for the robins as they were eating the apples that have been rotting all winter.  I hope they weren’t harmed eating them and due to fermentation, I’m sure they likely got a buzz on.  Not funny. I also cut up some grapes but honestly, robins are more about worms and bugs and I saw them eating some stale cat food I tossed.  Amazing what gets eaten when critters are hungry enough.  I have plenty of suet so am going to break some of it up and put on the ground for them.  If the robins don’t eat it, something will.  I had planned on doing bookwork this week and then took a look at my schedule.  I have several appointments this week I clearly forgot about so not only I but Dan as well have some running around to do.  Get things taken care of before we get busy again.  What a great week to do it.

March 31, 2019 - 7:40 a.m.

Winter returned yesterday and it basically snowed all day.  Enough to cover everything once again but I’m hoping the majority will all melt over the next few days.  Wishful thinking as there is plenty of snow and rain in the forecast for the coming week.  At least the daytime temperatures should be above zero but really.  Longest winter on record for years.  I feel empathy for all the wildlife that has returned.  Mallards showed up on Friday and are hanging around and there have already been geese.  Tad early my friends.  Still no deer that I’ve seen but there are some in the area so think they are starting to make their way back.  Not much on our agenda today but I may organize my books so I can begin the data entry this week.  I need to get my first quarter books done so may just as well do so while still in the throes of winter since nothing can be done outside.  Going to be a long while before any flowers pop their heads up.  My lilac and maple trees next to the house did start to bud last week in the sunshine but I believe this snow has them wishing they would have waited.  Lol.

March 29, 2019 - 8:11 a.m.

It’s quite clear the wildlife in the area hasn’t seen the long term forecast.  We had a small flock of robins show up this morning and unfortunately, there isn’t a whole lot for them to eat as the ground is all covered in snow.  The good thing is there are a few open patches of ground here and there and very little frost in the ground so hopefully they’ll be able to find some tasty bugs.  They were all under my birdfeeders this morning and I’ve never seen a robin eating birdfeed before.  A flock of blackbirds also returned and when Dan was on ice yesterday, seagulls were out and about eating the dead minnows which the crows and ravens usually get.  I saw a chipmunk yesterday as well and the squirrels have been forging more than usual.  We haven’t had any deer yet, who are usually back by now and don’t know that we will.  This winter has been especially long and harsh for them so I’m sure the mortality rate is about as high as it can get.  I did see some lone tracks back by the shop but until this snow melts, they’re better off wherever they’ve been hunkered down this past season.  All the rain that was in the long term forecast has been switched to snow or rain/snow mix.  Not cool Mother Nature.  We need the rain.  Dan said there is still a good 3 feet of ice out there and the shorelines in our neck of the woods hasn’t even begun to break up.  Waaayyy behind this year.  Poor critters.

March 27, 2019 - 7:34 a.m.

Another gorgeous day in the neighbourhood yesterday.  It did take a while for it to warm up but this morning is a little nicer and the sun is out again.  I think Dan is going on ice sometime today to see if he can get the last of our blocking that was buried deep in the ice.  There isn’t much left but we don’t like to leave any footprint at all.  It’s been a tough winter and we are still encased in snow and ice but we do what we can.  I think I’m going to clean and defrost my freezers and fridges today as they’ve been sadly neglected.  Might just as well get started on the big spring clean since we certainly aren’t able to get to any outdoor work.  Unfortunately, I think we will be way behind in the property clean up this year.  It’s going to hurt a few businesses, I’m sure.  Namely nurseries and garden centres but really not too much we can do about it.  I saw on the news yesterday that Greenland’s ice cap has grown 130 feet in the past two years.  Good (or contradictory depending on how you look at it) news considering the carbon tax is coming in next week.  I’m going to town tomorrow and filling my vehicle with the most inexpensive fuel I can find.  Another summer, another few months of soaring fuel prices.  Sigh.

March 26, 2019 - 7:54 a.m.

Bbbrrrr, she’s a chilly one this morning.  The temperature here is -15, -18 in the Bay and we had a heavy frost last night.  Don’t know where that came from as it was sunny and quite balmy yesterday.  I think we have a predator around the house although I haven’t seen what exactly it is.  Twice now I’ve found blood on our deck close to the backdoor so something is finding a tasty snack, likely of the mole or squirrel variety but not sure if the culprit is winged or not.  I was thinking perhaps a hawk but the fact I believe the victims are living under the snow tells me it is likely a 4-legged predator.  I don’t think it’s Gato as he always comes up at night and the blood is appearing after sunrise so could be another stray cat, lynx or fox as that’s all I’ve seen lately.  I have seen a seagull and a goose but only once and not lately.  Going to be a while before the ice even begins to break up.  The latest “ice off” date for Lake Nipissing was May 19, 1926.  I hope that isn’t the case this year or no one will be fishing opening weekend.  Well I shouldn’t say no one.  There’s always that one crazy friend!

March 25, 2019 - 7:42 a.m.

Well we certainly have had a nice relaxing weekend along with some social niceties.  The weather was beautiful on Saturday so we visited outside with Mitch and Donna.  After the long winter it was quite nice to sit in the sun even if we still have a foot of snow piled everywhere.  It was actually nice enough for a while for me to remove my coat.  Gotta love it when the weather allows us to shed the bulky clothing.  Winter returned for a bit yesterday though as we had some snow squalls, mostly in the morning but the sun did return late in the day.  Dan went over to Ginny and Craig’s to help Mitch and Travis get their hut on a trailer as Travis has taken ownership of it.  Craig doesn’t need it anymore since he will be spending his winters in a warmer climes now that he has retired.  Just before the sun fully set last night, we watched a fox cross the bay and come off the ice in front of our house.  He’ll be snacking on moles in no time.  It’s sunny this morning and we are in for some nice weather the next few days.  Temperatures are suppose to be above zero all week but nighttime dipping below so a nice slow melt should get things moving nicely.

March 22, 2019 - 7:32 a.m.

I slept in yesterday morning so didn’t update the blog.  It wasn’t intentional but I think the full moon did a number on me again by interfering with my sleep.  Dan and I and our neighbour Mike ended up going for supper last night at the new restaurant at Terrace Suites in Callander (Lookout Point).  It was absolutely stupendous.  Jann and Gerry have hired two new chefs and they certainly know their way around a kitchen.  Great portions and reasonably priced, I’m pretty sure this restaurant will be a hit.  I had fillet mignon with bernaise sauce, fresh veg and garlic mashed potatoes.  Dan had a rather large portion of fresh gnocchi with a rich Alfredo sauce after indulging in fried calamari.  Mike wanted shrimp with a salad which they made to order and the portion was very generous.  Great food so we now have a new “go to” place to dine out.  I believe there are plans to have weekend entertainment as well as serving breakfast and lunch but as it is just newly open they are still getting organized.  The sun is shining this morning and the temperature is suppose to go above zero today so I’m planning on getting my butt outside for a bit.  Dan and Mike are going out this morning and hopefully getting the last of our blocking off the ice. Been chipping at it during the warm spells but some of it is in there pretty good.  We try to leave the ice as we found it but sometimes it’s not possible to recover all the blocking as the ice conditions get dangerous as the season progresses.  I remember one year, the winds were blowing just right and we ended up with all kinds of debris on our beach and along the shoreline of our bay.  It took me 3 days and many wheelbarrow trips to pick it all up but I collected enough blocking for the following year and we had firewood for the business for the season.  

March 21, 2019 - 7:11 a.m.

I spoke too soon yesterday.  When I was in town, I saw one lone Canada Goose fly over Callander along the shoreline.  I actually heard it first.  It was likely a scout but it’s going to be a while before any waterfowl should return.  Way too much snow and ice, they’ll starve to death.  This is the time of year they start to build their nests but they need open water and grasslands which even in this welcomed current thaw isn’t going to be available.  I also saw a chipmunk cross our road in front of me as I was just about to our house.  Spring is definitely on the way but we will still have pretty cold nights this week so it’s looking like a slow melt which is a good thing.  Dan only has 5 treeline markers left on the ice and they are the closest ones to shore.  Mainly because they are in the sand vs the ice but he should be able to pull them this week.  Not sure what’s on our agenda today as we both have a case of the lazies.  There is lots I could be doing but I’m just not that ambitious right now.  We are definitely enjoying the peace and quiet but I’m thinking it’s time for me to get busy again.  I’m getting bored.  Lol.

March 20, 2019 - 6:18 a.m.

First day of spring!  Yes!!  We’ve had a few great days with above zero temps with plenty of sunshine.  We are experiencing a slow melt, if you can call it that.  Basically things are just softening up.  It has been a brutal winter, the most snowload we’ve seen in 20 years and from what’s being reported, lots of roof cave ins around the area this winter and now reports of flooding.  I am certainly not surprised and pity anyone with a basement this year.  All that snow needs to go somewhere as it melts and if the ground can’t absorb it fast enough, oh boy.  As cold as it was this winter , I don’t believe the frost line went very deep just due to the snowload insulating the ground which could very well be a saving grace for many.  I’m willing to bet though, the insects that typically hibernate in the soil  are going to be bad once the warm weather arrives.  Not looking forward to fly biting season this year.  I haven’t seen the chipmunk since last week but am seeing the squirrels out and about.  I saw one blackbird who arrived early but nothing else just yet.  I’m figuring everything will be a few weeks behind when they do opt to return.  Going to be a while before the ice starts to break up but the police are cautioning people about venturing onto Lake Nipissing right now.  Due to the enormous snow load, the slush is forming and is very deep and lots of vehicles are getting stuck.  Use common sense so you don’t end up stranded.

March 18, 2019 - 7:24 a.m.

Looks like it is going to shape up to be a lovely week ahead.  Not much precipitation in the long term with plenty of sun and just above zero temperatures.  This should hopefully melt some snow which is still ridiculously piled high.  Slow melt is preferred.  Going to be a bit before we can start the spring property clean up but it’s coming.  I have lots of “to do” things on my list, including some painting, spring cleaning and purging but all in good time.  Today I have some office work to get done but life is going to be pretty boring for a bit.  Hope everyone had a chance to drink some green beer and get their Irish on the weekend.  Dan and I didn’t do much.  We had a visit with a few neighbours on Saturday night and just vegged yesterday.  I think Dan is still recouping from the long winter season and taking it easy is on his agenda for the rest of the week.  Don’t blame him.

March 16, 2019 - 7:31 a.m.

It started out being a mild day yesterday and ended with winter returning with a vengeance.  We lost a lot of snow off our roofs as it was continuously sliding off yesterday.  Sure makes a racket when you’re not expecting it and scared me a few times.  I saw the first chipmunk of the season running around.  My guess is the poor thing’s home was flooded.  I only saw it briefly and am sure it’s found digs elsewhere because it certainly won’t be out and about today.  The wind and snow started late in the day and dropped the temperature to -8 this morning but the windchill factor is quite evident as it’s still blowing pretty good.  It’s currently just windy and overcast but the snow is due to end this morning and it’s suppose to be sunny with -1 tomorrow.  So tired of this, bring on spring!  There was still one lonely ice hut being used last night as we saw the lights out towards Lonely Island.  I wouldn’t have wanted to be out there all alone on the lake last night.  Fishing is now officially closed for the season so my guess is they’ll be pulling today now that everything has firmed back up on Lake Nipissing.  I cleaned all day yesterday.  Washed the floors, some windows, washed all the bedding, did a good job but it’s not my traditional spring clean just yet.  Soon, when I can open the house up during the day time.  That’s when I go room by room, cleaning, purging, organizing for another season.  There was a lot of flooding locally yesterday.  Lots of water in basements and some streets flooded.  Moose Creek finally started flowing but think it was more snow and ice melt than actual run off.  First time this year we saw Moose Creek actually resemble a creek vs just a snowcovered pathway.  Patience people, it’s coming.  Few more weeks and winter will be a distant memory.

March 15, 2019 - 8:12 a.m.

I was waiting to update my blog until I heard from friends in the Bay this morning (thanks Liz).  We received a pot full of rain yesterday but it didn’t really begin raining until after supper.  Once it started, it went on and on and on.  Even had quite the nice little light show for a prolonged period when the thunderstorms went through beginning around 9:00 last night.  It was still lightning when I went to bed close to midnight.  And rain.  Holy cannoli.  Got up this morning and Lake Nipissing is opaque in a lot of places.  Lots of standing water and Liz said some of the backroads in the Bay are water covered, especially parts of Main Street so careful driving out there today peeps.  I went to town yesterday and just due to melting (temp reached +3 - +6 depending), some area roads were already water covered along the shoulders from the snowbank melts.  I got sucked in a few times when I had to keep to the right due to oncoming traffic.  Slush everywhere.  I haven’t been down Greening Bay Road yet today but I’m sure it’s a great big slush pot.  The colder temps are due to return but all that’s going to do is turn everything into a skating rink.  Hopefully a lot of the remaining huts are taken off ice today and tomorrow while the getting is good.  It is currently +3 degrees but suppose to cool down this afternoon with the possibility of snow.  The property looks so messy (as it always does this time of year) and especially around the cedar trees by our house where I’ve been tossing birdseed all winter.  Nice little mess to clean up this spring.

March 14, 2019 - 7:52 a.m.

Apparently we’re not keeping ice fishing hours anymore where we are in bed by 9 or 10 and up by 5.  Lol.  I’ve been doing a lot of catch up on my reading and finished another book around 12:30 last night (or I should say this morning).  We did a little catch up yesterday around the property but we certainly aren’t busting a gut on anything.  All the ice fishing equipment has been put to bed for the season and we thank everyone for their business.  Was a great season with excellent conditions and the fishing was pretty good and steady.  All the minnow pails have been cleaned and stored, the minnow tank bleached, all huts and peoplemovers in their designated spots for storage so now we wait for the treeline to loosen so it can be removed.  That may take a few weeks but it’ll happen.  With nearly 3 feet of ice, it won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.  Dan spent some time plowing and moving snow yesterday in anticipation of the rain expected today.  I did as much shovelling as I could.  Due to the weight of the snow, I didn’t do as much as I wanted.  The snow is 77% saturated, meaning extremely high water content and once we receive the 15-25 mm of rain over the next 24 hours, there are going to be major issues.  Dan even called Jim Andrews yesterday, our go-to road maintenance guy and asked him to punch holes in the banking along our road so the water run-off will make it to the ditches.  I suspect we will see ditches flowing by tomorrow afternoon and possibly overflowing.  The temperatures have been above zero since yesterday and suppose to be around 7-8 degrees today into tonight.  I shutter to think what all the ice roads are going to look like on Lake Nipissing as I’m sure no one thought to trim down the banking.  There’ll be a good 6” of standing water which won’t make it easy for removing huts and there are still lots out there.  I hope everyone has jacked their shacks a good foot and tied down vs using banking as it’s staying very mild through Sunday with plenty of sun coming for the weekend.  We aren’t suppose to get any bad winds for the foreseeable future so suspect a lot of people will be wrestling with the conditions scrambling to get their equipment removed this weekend.  Glad ours is all safely tucked away until next year.

March 13, 2019 - 8:05 a.m.

We are getting some serious snow this morning.  Thick accumulation flakes but it’s suppose to change to rain later this morning as the temperature rises and lots more rain on the way for tomorrow.  The temperature is nearly above zero already so we will get some major thawing today.  Going to be a slushy sloppy mess.  Could very well see some standing water throughout the region when all is said and done.  I still can’t believe Moose Creek hasn’t started to flow yet.  Likely won’t see any sunshine until later in the weekend but yesterday was beautiful.  Love the mild temperatures, for sure.  I’m heading back to the shop shortly to do a few things and I’d really like to do some painting in the house but with an asthmatic cat, not sure that’s a good idea.  I may need to wait until I can open the house right up.  Speaking of....probably a good idea to do my spring clean before painting as the winter has sure taken a toll.  

March 12, 2019 - 7:52 a.m.

I woke up at 5:30 this morning and went back to bed.  Didn’t wake up again until 7:30ish and still didn’t want to get up but here I am.  The sky was a beautiful brilliant red and they are calling for flurries this morning.  We actually got some snow last night which they weren’t really forecasting so need to do some shovelling possibly.  The weather forecast isn’t looking too great at all this week.  Warm front is coming in overnight and suppose to bring a mixed bag consisting mostly of rain for most of it.  Going to reach a high of +8 by Thursday so we’ll definitely see some thawing this week.  I’m glad all our equipment is off the ice as hauling huts off in rain soaked snow will be tough going.  Still many huts and bungalows out by Lonely and quite a few left on Callander Bay as well.  I didn’t end of making soup yesterday but I did make a new roasted chicken receipt that I won’t repeat as I wasn’t very fond of it.  Gato got the leftovers which he promptly inhaled late last night.  

March 11, 2019 - 7:16 a.m.

The storm was late arriving but it did arrive.  As a matter of fact, it’s making it’s presence felt as I update my blog this morning.  We did receive some freezing rain with a little rain and snow but we kept waiting for the shoe to drop yesterday.  Around 5:00 yesterday afternoon the wind began to pick up and we had a small bout of snow go through but that was it.  Things took a turn for the worse around 2:00 this morning (yes, I was up of course) and the wind changed direction to WNW and has been howling ever since.  We are getting some snow but I think it’s blowing harder than it’s falling.  Hard to tell just looking out the backdoor but doesn’t look like we received a huge dumping just yet.  Dan and I are both fighting a cold.  Make it through the entire winter and then start feeling under the weather once we become idle for a few days.  Think I might make some chicken soup since the day pretty much calls for it’s warmth and healing qualities.  There are cat tracks outside the door this morning so I’m assuming Gato was creeping around at some point.  Sorry I missed him but he shouldn’t be out in this weather anyways.  Now that the time change is in effect, he still wasn’t up by 11:00 last night.  He’s going to need to adopt our schedule now as I’m not getting up at 5:00 anymore.  At least not until it’s brighter much earlier in the mornings.  The long term weather forecast is up, down and sideways which is par for the course this time of year but I’m truly thinking winter is going to continue rearing it’s ugly head into April.  This is about the time of year Moose Creek starts to flow, water fowl returns and the hibernating animals start to reappear.  Not so this year.

March 10, 2019 - 6:24 a.m.

It’s back to waking up in the darkness thanks to daylight saving time.  Bummer.  Was liking getting up with the sun shining.  Although it won’t be shining today, it was absolutely beautiful yesterday and even went above zero.  Dan had a few hours work in the afternoon as he wanted to get the last of our equipment off the ice.  Just has to wait for a thaw to get the treeline out now but think it will be a while as the ice is so thick this year.  At least the markers are dark and attract heat so he’s usually able to collect them all after a few days of warm temperatures.  They are calling for a storm today.  We’ve already received some snow and freezing rain which is suppose to change to rain but the winds are going to pick up today.  Dan was worried about our last few huts being out there so as much as he didn’t want to, got everything to shore without much of a problem.  I went for a walk yesterday afternoon and that was about it for me.  We had Donna and Mitch over Friday night after fishing in the afternoon.  I caught one perch and that was all that came out of the hut.  Fishing is over at our hole for the year as we think everything is on the move now, heading to the spawning grounds.  Hard to know for sure but makes sense.

March 8, 2019 - 7:04 a.m.

I was finally able to get to town yesterday and was home by 2:00.  Dan and I went fishing around 4:00 but didn’t do very well.  The fish were biting so light, I could feel they sucking or nibbling but just couldn’t set the hook.  I’d get them on but they’d release it as soon as the least little amount of pressure was applied.  I did catch one little perch but that was work getting it but it promptly went back down the hole after I released it.  I don’t know where all the perch are this year.  Our hole usually produces constant perch but there hasn’t been that many this year.  We’re going to try again today with Donna and Mitch but not counting on having a fry tonight.  Dan thinks with the lack of oxygen in Lake Nipissing due to no thaws this winter, the fish just aren’t actively feeding right now.  Might be better next week if tributaries start to flow due to the warm up coming but the season is nearly over now.  Could be they’ve just started moving into the spawning grounds now also.  At any rate, the fishing isn’t even starting until late in the afternoon now that the days are longer and the sun sets so late.  We stayed out until around 7:00 and it wasn’t even full on dark yet.  Makes for a long day if you’re an operator as the guys want to be on ice by 6:00 and not off the ice until at least 7:00.

March 7, 2019 - 7:10 a.m.

Another extremely cold day yesterday.  It’s just so deceptive when it looks so beautiful outside with the sun shining.  I was going to go to town yesterday but then I got watching the testimony of Gerald Butts and that was that.  I won’t get political but suffice it to say, I don’t believe this scandal is over.  Just more questions to be answered now.  Dan had himself all in a tizzy yesterday when someone took an excerpt from my blog and posted it on a fishing board.  It was regarding Dan putting salt around some frozen in skis on the lake to help get them out.  This person said “it didn’t sit well” with him.  Seriously?  A bag of salt would be so diluted by the time three feet of ice melts it would be comparative to a grain of salt, if that.  I responded, which I normally don’t to ludicrous comments but seriously?  What about all the salt on our roadways that eventually ends up in our waterways.  Salted minnows?  Garbage down ice hut holes.  Human waste?  I think this lake (and many others) have much bigger problems.  I just can’t believe how angry and disrespectful social forums have made people become.  I know I’m guilty of being caught up in the moment when in discussions on Facebook but I am usually cognizant of other people’s opinions and I certainly do my research.  People need to settle down.  Lol.

March 6, 2019 - 7:42 a.m.

I’m late this morning.  I stayed up late last night reading and the book was good enough I finished it.  It’s a bright sunny day in the neighbourhood but cold.  Brrr, wind chill -35.  Hopefully the warm up trend begins today because I’m ready for some nice spring weather.  Of course, a quick thaw would not be a good thing right now but warmer temperatures are needed.  Looks like that is going to happen slowly over the next week with temperatures in the minus single digits for the day time highs this weekend.  Lots of snow to get rid of before the wildlife starts to return.  I read an article this morning that North Bay has started snow removal in the city ahead of spring weather to help ease flooding but they can’t remove it all as there could be freeze ups of the drains if the temperatures plummet again.  Frankly, I don’t know where they are removing it to, there’s just no room.  We had the window installer come yesterday and unfortunately, they broke one of the windows.  It cracked during installation, likely due to the cold but it is temporarily installed until the replacement is available in a couple of weeks.  Should be warmer by then so hopefully no repeats.  I did office work yesterday and am heading to town today.  Not sure what is on Dan’s agenda.  He certainly doesn’t need to go on the ice if he doesn’t want to, which he probably doesn’t in this cold.  He should be heading to warmer climes about now.  It just looks so deceptive outside.

March 5, 2019 - 6:11 a.m.

Dan and I had an easy day yesterday.  Did a few things and I was hoping to fish in the afternoon but Dan was napping.  I didn’t dare wake him up.  He needs a few days off.  Today I’ve got office work and Dan is heading on ice.  Our neighbour Mike called yesterday to see if Dan can pull his hut off after this weekend as he broke his foot.  Mike still wants to fish one last weekend so hopefully the weather next week won’t make the hut too difficult to pull.  Have a warm up starting Friday and it’s much easier pulling when the path is hard packed snow.  We have new windows coming for some of the cottages this afternoon.  I would rather they come in the morning so I can fish this afternoon but it is what it is.  Lori is coming in this morning to clean and I have office work to do.  I have my year end books done but need to get them to our accountant.  My computer is acting up once again so need to figure that out as well.  Still things to do before the season ends but there are lots of huts coming off the ice now.  Operators have had a great season this year with the ice being so thick.  Dan told me yesterday it’s 36” so yep, it’ll be around for a while this year.

March 4, 2019 - 6:35 a.m.

Dan and I had a day off yesterday.  The first in a long time.  I did the cottage laundry but that was about as ambitious as I wanted to get.  Friday and Saturday were both extremely busy days for Dan.  He winterized the cottages we aren’t using anymore on Friday and then he and Mitch pulled off the huts we aren’t using anymore on Saturday.  We were going to fish ourselves yesterday but Dan needed rest as he has been running on empty.  His stress levels have gone down but don’t think he’ll truly relax until the end of the season when everything is off the ice.  Soon.  The weather was nice and mild yesterday but we are still getting cold night time temperatures in the minus double digits.  March came in like a lamb so am pretty sure we’re in for a few more blasts before winter comes to an end.  I certainly hope all the water fowl don’t make an early appearance this year because with the amount of snow and ice on Lake Nipissing, I don’t think the ice will be off until at least May.  They are already warning about flooding this year which I’ve said as much.  I read an article yesterday we have 175% of our usual precipitation so high water this year for sure.  Moose Creek should be nicely dredged once the flowing starts but it could be a while.

March 2, 2019 - 6:34 a.m.

Dan is getting ready is head out in a few minutes.  Our guests said they didn’t do well yesterday but there could be a number of reasons for that.  The winds are straight out of the east this morning and the pressure was high and rising yesterday.  I asked Dan to see what kind of jigs they are using this morning and to make sure they are fishing a foot off the bottom.  Hope they do better today.  Dan was a busy boy yesterday.  He winterized the cottages we aren’t needing anymore and then spent a couple of hours on ice yesterday afternoon finally getting our supply hut dug out of the ice.  That last thaw wreaked havoc on a lot of huts as they all sank, water came up and then we had a flash freeze when the blizzard came through.  In the 20 years we’ve been here, Dan has never had a hut freeze in.  Guess there’s a first time for everything.  He had even performed due diligence and jacked and raised everything so I imagine there are a lot of huts stuck on Nipissing.  I did some cleaning and laundry.  It was a nice day and felt a lot like spring when the sun started to shine.  Just beautiful out there yesterday.

March 1, 2019 - 6:36 a.m.

I can’t believe it is already March.  I’m not going to ask where the winter went because it’s been long, snowy and cold and is still thriving.  It does however, look like it may just come in like a lamb.  They are calling for a possibility of flurries this morning but clearing early afternoon and the temperature fairly mild.  We are currently at -12 which beats the heck out of the -25 temperatures we’ve had this week.  We have check outs and ins this morning but Dan doesn’t have to run until late morning so can have somewhat of a leisurely morning.  Well, at least a few extra hours.  The poor man is exhausted both mentally and physically.  He’s certainly been a trooper this winter, never stopping or complaining and I’d say he needs a well deserved break.  It’s coming.  The ice is so thick, I’m guessing it won’t be going anywhere in the near future but they are calling for spring to appear rather abruptly this year.  Straight from the freezer into the oven so to speak but pretty sure we’ll get a few more blasts beforehand.  I stayed up watching the emergency meeting in the House of Commons last night but couldn’t keep my eyes open past 11:00.  Everyone just kept rehashing the same chain of events over and over but there were a few good arguments and I was impressed by a couple of MP’s.  Both sides.

February 28, 2019 - 7:01 a.m.

This cold weather can disappear anytime.  Another morning waking up to -25 and bitter cold.  Poor Dan.  He’s headed out with our guests who did exceptionally well fishing yesterday.  I took Halo to the vet in the morning and turns out she has asthma bordering on pneumonia.  She was given antibiotics and steroids and the vet is calling me today with instructions on management which involves an inhaler.  Marble, who died last spring and is the same family of Halo, had the same issues.  The vet told me as they are feral cats, the asthma likely runs in the family and is exacerbated by the house being closed and dry all winter.  I steeped some water on the stove yesterday and couldn’t believe what putting a little moisture in the air did.  Guess I should have been doing this all winter as the house was a lot warmer for it.  I have two “decorative” little humidifiers I have been using during the long months but obviously they just weren’t cutting it.  Halo is resting much more comfortable today and seems to be bouncing back.  Due to me missing a window left open in the bathroom of one of our cottages by our guests, we had the bathroom freeze up.  Karen while cleaning found the issue so Dan and I spent an hour getting that sorted.  It didn’t take long and thankfully no broken pipes but Lynn received the full wrath of Dan over that faux pas.  Can’t get these cottages winterized soon enough.  From 3:00 on, I was glue to the tv yesterday watching the North American leaders imbroiled in scandals.  I guess greasing palms is a criteria in our political system.  Sad day for Canada and the USA but maybe this will help change the level of corruption in our governments now, though I doubt it.

February 27, 2019 - 6:24 a.m.

Bbbrrrr!  It’s cold this morning as it was all day yesterday.  The wind was bitterly cold yesterday and poor Dan and Mitch were working on ice for most of it.  They managed to get the one hut freed that was concerning Dan so that was a relief for him.  The supply hut and one of the on ice washrooms are stuck in the ice so Dan had to go to town yesterday for salt.  He dumped a ton of it around the base of them and covered the salt with snow to leave overnight.  That’s the problem when we have the big thaws and flash freezes.  Even though everything was jacked, everything still sinks into the ice.  Hopefully he can get them both out with little problem today so the poor man can rest easy.  I told our guests yesterday morning that the fishing likely wouldn’t be very good yesterday due to the storm but they seemed happy enough.  They caught lots so good to know the fish were still feeding.  Hydro, or rather a sub contractor, showed up yesterday to replace the new hydro pole they just installed a few years ago.  The pileated woodpeckers got at it and even nested in it last summer.  They hear the humming of the electricity and think it’s bugs.  Hydro is going to replace the wooden pole with a fibreglass one this time around.  I’m going to ask them to leave the wooden one where it is so the woodpeckers will hopefully nest in it again this year.  They are an endangered species and I know they had at least one baby survive last year so that’s worth keeping a good nesting pole intact.  All they did yesterday was drill a huge hole into our bedrock (which is now covered) but it made a mess.  I hope they don’t take too long to bring the new pole as last time is was a good two months after drilling before the pole showed up and having a big hole like that open is dangerous.  Gato was up last night meowing for food but Halo, our indoor fur baby is sick and has been for a good week now.  It seems to be the same thing that Marble had last year so this could be something generically inherited.  Being that they were both feral, we don’t know their history.  I’m hoping to get Halo to the vet today but she really doesn’t travel well and I’m terrified she won’t make the trip as she stresses and hyperventilates.  

February 26, 2019 -6:31 a.m.

Well we survived the storm intact.  The wind was nasty all day even after the sun came out.  I went outside to feed the birds and that was enough for me.  I ended up doing some house cleaning and washing the floors.  Dan was biting at the bit just itching to check on the huts as it was so windy, we couldn’t see them from shore.  The wind finally eased enough around noon for him to venture out.  I lost sight of him once he was about a half mile off shore as it was still blowing snow on the main body of the lake.  He said there were eight foot drifts around some of the huts and most were sitting in water.  The thaw before the storm melted all the banking