April 16th? Snow Central (Ave)

This Dark-Eyed Junco looks as if he’s dipped in snow. That’s actually the color of his belly feathers. He’s sitting atop a snow mound on our deck table.

We’d just started to see some grass, once the 10-12 inches of snow that fell a week earlier melted away. Then, this. It’s hard to tell, because the drifts are so high, but we estimate we’ve got about 15 inches of new snow. And the drifts, the drifts are thigh-high on my 5 foot three inch self.

Here’s a look at the deck table without the Junco.

And I’m jumping the gun a bit on this post because predictions are for another 3-5 inches today. It’s been snowing all morning.

This has to go down as one-to-remember. “Up north” Michigan is thinking more about wrestling with snow than tax forms today. Snowmobiles are reporting they’re getting stuck. Some of this snow is the gooey, water-laden kind that sticks to shovels, snowblowers, and snowmobiles.

That’s Steve with a big two-stage snowblower, trying to tame the first wave. We ended up hauling out the little guy for me to work on the cement pad during the third effort to get this under control.

You might be wondering how our snow-fencing effort fared. Good news!  This year it didn’t fall over. It stood there all winter, deep into this difficult early spring. But it hasn’t really done anything to significantly keep the snow off the parking pad. It does add a nice splash of orange though, don’t you think?

We aren’t even thinking about ice-out yet. Last year the last bits of ice were sent packing on April 25th into the 26th. So we have about ten days to go. I don’t think we’ll make it. At this rate we’ll still have snow on Memorial Day!

That’s the lake on the morning of April 16th. It’s been windy enough that the sunflower seeds that are whipping the finch flock into a feeding frenzy at our feeders have scattered around. Those finches who can’t command a perch at the feeders are picking at the snow crust searching for food. Every once in awhile the flock spooks and vanishes for half a minute or so, giving the chickadees, nuthatches, juncos, woodpeckers, and tufted titmice time to feed.

We’re worried about the trees on the property. We’ve been losing branches from some of the tall pines. So far, nothing has landed on the house. And nothing so major has fallen that we think the trees won’t pull through. But spring cleanup is going to be a major event. That’s assuming spring is eventually going to put in an appearance.

Here’s me, in my snow-covered Central Ave hat by Aimee Alexander. “Cheese.” We’d gone out for a second time to knock snow off the low-lying pine branches. Such a great hat. Knit in Swans Island Merino Worsted in the bittersweet colorway, it even matches the snow fence. I strive to be color-coordinated at all times.

Happy holidays

Our Long Lake neighbors worked harder than Santa’s elves to pull off this masterpiece. It’s another Christmaspalooza this year.

We have all the enjoyment without undertaking the zillions of hours of work that goes into creating all this seasonal glow. Thank you, neighbors. Congratulations on another year’s successful display!

Happy holidays to all!

April 3, 2017, just before ice out

This photo was taken on April 3rd. It had been warm. It had been cold. It had snowed only a few days before. It had rained. Near the shore, the first few feet of water was clear of ice. The ice finally stopped its vocalizing. Everywhere else on the lake that we can see, except close to shore, was still covered with ice.

The ice in the shallow water was frothy. Almost snowy looking. And the ice over deeper water was already showing the color of the water underneath.

A few days later. No ice.

Soon Jeff will be out fishing. The kids will be tubing. And we’ll be checking on Ghost Bay and the Narrows keeping our fingers crossed that the beavers didn’t munch too many birch trees this winter.

Bird’s eye view

Actually, this is a drone’s eye view. This is the first bay north of Long Lake’s narrows. The drone is at 400 feet, which is as high as a drone can legally go without an FAA waiver.

The drone is over the ice, looking east, with County Road 459 curving out of view. Obviously, this is a wide-angle lens. Those are mostly ice fishermen tracks. The drone operator is standing next to the middle house’s dock. And the middle house? That’s my favorite spot on the planet. Our place on Long Lake.

An interesting view. But so stark.

Long Lake in late fall

dawn_rainbow_lowres

It was just after dawn. A light mist of rain was falling. A very rare sunrise rainbow appeared. Instead of the familiar red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, this rainbow was just red. Just red. I had no idea rainbows could be just red.

Wikipedia says that the light at sunrise or sunset can scatter the shorter blue and green wavelengths. If it is also raining, the rain can scatter the shorter wavelengths also. The result is this stunning monochrome red rainbow. If you look very closely on the upper left, you will even see a faint secondary rainbow. Here’s a more scientific explanation.

This beauty was on my bucket list and I didn’t even know it.

There has been some very mild weather this fall. Here’s a Ghost Bay paddle, likely my last of the season, on November 5th.

nov5_paddle_lowres

Life here is good.