New Beginnings Once Again

While I am not quite ready to say that we are done with snow, I do believe that it is time to start a Spring Watch for 2019.  Greg dropped the plow off of his truck yesterday, so perhaps he is feeling more optimistic.  Of course, he still has another truck fully suited in Boss Plow armor, and maybe that is a talisman of sorts against any more winter events.  I just returned from some new adventures in Alaska, and I am ready to look for all the signs of new life, and to have you join me.

 

Gunflint Lake 4.16.19

Gunflint Lake 4.16.19

The number one question each spring is When Will the Ice Go Out?  There is no good way to predict this (we are always proven wrong if we try that), but one of the factors I watch is the color of the ice.  This was my first glimpse of the lake when I was returning.  That it is not a pure white is a good sign.  The ice goes from white to grey to black, and that represents various stages of decay.  To see the beginnings of grey tells me that we are moving in the right direction, but not too quickly.  On a side note, can one Ever grow tired of this iconic view??

The bay

The bay

Closer to home, I looked at the ice in the bay, and I marveled that just a few short months ago, people were ice skating on it.  In a few weeks, we will see docks and watercraft in this scene.  It repeats every year, but it is always enjoyable to see the transformation happening.  

Another sign of the change of season is the presence of the crows.  They do not spend the winter with us.  Each year, around the middle of March, they return in noisy flocks, descending to the ground to poke about.  If I dare to walk by the window or try to take their photo, they fly up in a flash, no matter how sneaky I am.  They don’t stay around all summer, either, for which I am glad.  We really enjoy the ravens, who tend to be a little bit quieter as neighbors go. 

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Little bits of green are poking up, in this case the Blue Flag plants.  The rhubarb is showing red nubs, right on schedule, too.  We do still have some piles of snow, particularly where it had drifted over the winter.  With temps in the fifties due here for the rest of the week, those will start to decrease even more.  The bears did not find my can full of sunflower seeds out on the porch, but it can’t be long before they emerge hungry from their dens.  Those seeds are now in the building.  I don’t like being awakened in the night to the banging of the metal can on the side porch.  We’ve been down that road before! 

I never did hear an official snowfall total for this past winter.  In general, it seemed to be a good one, closer to what I would call normal for my thirty-some years here.  We are anticipating good lake levels once the ice does go.  

Keep an eye here for occasional posts, and on my Instagram account, for the latest peeks into the emergence of this new season.  Thank you for joining me!