Sure 'nough, I'd say it's spring!

So we were on our way home tonight from church in town, with Robert at the wheel of the car. Greg suddenly says, "Stop the car!" to which Robert immediately responds. I didn't know what to think, as there were no moose or deer in the road, no fox running by, and no strange objects on the pavement. Quickly Greg rolled down his window, and then we knew---Spring Peepers!! It was awesome. That sound is so incredible, and at times it can be quite deafening. Tonight it wasn't quite like that, but it was still magical. Just the other day, our friend Elizabeth was asking me if we had heard the peepers yet, and I said that it usually isn't until sometime in May that we do. Here it is barely the middle of April, and the peepers were singing their little hearts out. That tells me what a very early spring we are experiencing.

Addie and I got home on Sunday night, and it was quite noticeable that the snow had been disappearing in our absence. Greg said that although it had been sunny all week, the temperatures hadn't warmed up much. It seems that was all he needed to say, because the very next day, it got up to sixty or so, and boy, did that do a number on the snowpiles. We have been working at Cedar Point every day, and I have been walking the path along the beach to get there. I have been, quite literally, watching the snow melt. On Monday, it was still two to three inches in many places, not to mention the huge piles and drifts in the shaded areas. Today, I realized that the stuff on the ground is pretty much gone, and what remains are the piles in the ditches and in the deep shaded areas. The lake is looking very dark---grey and black, mainly--as the ice deteriorates and rots away. Near shore, it is melted back a foot or so. I put my guess on ice out at April 28th this year, but that prediction was made two weeks ago. The North and South Brule Rivers on the trail went out this week, and I've heard tell that it is usually about two weeks later that the lakes go. It is always fun to watch and see how closely these old sayings play themselves out. I'll keep you posted.
Greg woke me up at five the other morning, as he heard one lone wolf howl. Unfortunately, he didn't howl again, and that may be it for us for the wolves this year. As I mentioned a month or so ago, I will really miss hearing them and seeing them on occasion. It has been an incredible year of sightings.
We've seen eagles and seagulls, and today our neighbor Tim said that he heard a duck. The duck didn't sound too happy, though, likely a bit alarmed that there is not a lot of open water for him to settle on to. The birds have been quite vocal, including the lovely winter wren. This little bird has a most beautiful melody that it belts out repeatedly when we are out walking or working. It makes me smile when I hear it. Our owl is still calling through the night, and sometimes into the day as well. I certainly hope that someone comes along to answer his call soon----we can never have too many owls out there, and new owlets are most welcome.
Work is progressing nicely at Cedar Point cabin. We put a new coat of varnish on the logs and walls and ceilings of the living room and kitchen today. The whole time that I was scrubbing in preparation for the varnishing, I was looking forward to seeing the wood with the new finish. I was not disappointed. It has a beautiful golden glow to it now, and it makes me understand the word "patina" better. Though it is a lot of work to keep up the older cabins, it is rewarding, too. I was thinking that Cedar Point must be close to sixty years old by now, and with this new work, it should keep on going for at least another sixty. I'll post some pictures soon of the latest changes.
It was nice to go away last week, but it is always great to return to the Northwoods. I feel so fortunate to be able to live and work up here. Thanks to everyone who reads what I write here in this blog. It feels like a privilege to be able to share it with you.