Spring Rain

The spring rains have finally arrived, which pleases many of us. After the snow melted and the ice went out, it was feeling very dry in these parts of the woods. Until the leaves are fully out, also known as spring green-up, the forest is drier and more vulnerable to fires. That is why there is a spring burning ban and we are not allowed to burn brush.
It started on Sunday, but was only a gentle rainfall. The good thing with that is that most of it was soaking right into the ground. On Monday, we had several hours of grey clouds, but no moisture. Now that is just plain frustrating to me, as I want to see productivity if it's not going to be sunny! It did finally start raining, and at that, it was a harder rain than the previous day. Tuesday we had more, and it has been raining on and off today already. I also know that it rained in the night, as I can hear it on the metal porch roof, right outside my window. The only bad thing is that my rain guage still isn't out there, to measure this. Each year I have to put it in a spot that Moses, the donkey, won't find it. He likes to knock things over, just to be a troublemaker. The measuring tube of my guage is glass, and is not easy to replace. So for now, I am content to just know that the rains have started, though I can't say how much we have received.
The rain has been assisting green-up nicely, as the leaves are really popping now. The aspens are sporting the chartreuse green I am so fond of this time of the year. I can see swaths of it on the Canadian shore, and it looks wonderful. It does feel like we are about two weeks ahead in our spring happenings.
I got organized and put lettuce seeds in the ground recently. Thanks to the rain, these are starting to sprout. Usually any garden around here has to survive without me......Unlike my children, the plants don't remind me that it is time to be fed! I had better improve on that this year, though, as Greg has built the first of two raised beds. Where the chicken run used to be, a new cedar raised bed garden now stands. Imagine the good soil we had to put in there. I have more lettuce seeds and some kale started in there, with plans to try some other vegetables as soon as we are past the frost season. In Duluth, my grandmother always said to wait until Memorial Day, which at that time was May 31. It isn't easy to wait, when the weather is as beautiful as it has been this past April.
As Paul wrote, we had a wonderful picnic at the End of the Trail campground recently. Something that he didn't mention is that while play Boules, I lost my ball. If you are up in that area, and happen to come across a chrome ball about the size of a baseball, somewhere around campsite one and the landing, I'd love to have it back.....I'll even trade it for a loaf of ciabatta from the bread oven!
Speaking of the bread oven, this past weekend, we hosted the annual retreat for the Northwoods Fiber Guild out of Grand Marais. On Saturday, we fired up the oven for our dinner. After baking and feasting on ciabatta, we pulled out the pizza ingredients. Imagine the colorful---and tasty---creations that these ladies came up with! It truly was a feast for the senses. With the warm weather, it is pizza season once again, and we are certainly glad of it.
One last important note: We have yet to go for a boat ride, but our friend Harvey did recently. He told us that the beaver dam in Little Gunflint is pretty much gone at this time. That is very good news for anyone wishing to travel by boat into that lake, and beyond. Those busy beavers often work hard enough to shut down the channel into Little Gunflint, so that even in a canoe you might have to climb partway out to pull your craft over the dam. In those times, it is impossible for a boat to get through. It's a good start to the season to be able to motor right on through.