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.

Juvie Bald Eagle

We’re getting into the single digits here on Long Lake. And I headed into last summer’s photos to bump up the lake and tone down the knitting for this post.

This summer we saw this juvenile bald eagle a number of times and Steve got some great shots.

We are confident it’s a young bald eagle, but please let me know if you think our ID is off. Here’s another view of his (or her) not-so-national-symbol-looking self.

Bald Eagles take a long time to put their majestic on full display. Between the ages of one and four years they look so little like their parents that they’re sometimes mistaken for Golden Eagles. Their flight feathers and tail feathers are longer than their parents’ and that can make them look even larger than mom or pop.

Juveniles, also called subadults, typically have dark feathers, a dark to dirty yellow bill, with gray to slightly yellow eyes. When a bird is sexually mature, its distinctive bright yellow bill, white head, and yellow eyes appear.

We hope that this young one will make a permanent home on Long Lake.

Finally, the first ice forms

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Here’s Long Lake earlier this first week of December. A bit of snow and not one bit of ice. Not one bit. We could have been out kayaking to Ghost Bay if we wanted to take cold-weather precautions. The latest in the year we’ve been on the water was one Thanksgiving.

But this morning, December 9th, the ice is finally starting to form on the lake’s edges. It’s good to see.

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Long Lake in late fall

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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.

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Life here is good.