Where did the ice go?
It happens so quickly, one day, the lake is covered in ice and all of a sudden you notice subtle shifts in colour. The white blanket that lay there all winter starts to change. First to come are the pale blues, then deeper ones, spiderweb-like cracks start to form and then finally it starts to turn dark.
It is a sign that Winter has lost its grasp on this part of the world and we can hope for some warmer temperatures, and hopefully an end to ice and snow storms! There is still the cleanup from the ice storm and after that, we’ve had a few Westerly howls that brought down some branches that the ice storm simply wounded. Walking the road and tossing the branches aside that have fallen. Filling potholes and gaping crevices where the heavy rain, after the ice storm, washed away the gravel. It’s all still there, the gravel, just at the bottom of the hills, not the tops and middles! Ha! Our neighbours have been wonderful in helping to fill some of the really damaged spots with machinery! A big thanks to them! Too much for the little plastic wheelbarrow!
Then there was the Little Red Canoe to contend with…it was in need of a spa day. The red gel coat was fading to pink, the wooden trusses’ varnish was peeling, and there were dings and dents to be filled…poor canoe. She had to be in tip-top shape, she’s a canoe influencer, didn’t you know? All the canoes want to be like her!
She has fans! So, I went to work. Researched how to clean up that gel coat and put a sparkle on her sides! My power buffer didn’t seem to help much and holding it was harder than cleaning the girl by hand. Found a good 3M product (although one article I read just suggested coating her in boiled linseed oil…kinky! Ha!) it was a cut polish as well as a wax, and she was starting to look pretty fine! Old-fashioned elbow grease the older generation would say…it works the best! Some filler for a few dings when she was being used at the rental in Otty Lake (no one takes care of things as owners do!) and let’s see, to cover the filler in those dings, a bottle of red nail polish from the dollar store worked like a charm! As if she had her nails done as well!
The goal was to get back to that red, red, but not quite, I can still make out her manufactures mark so we have faded a bit but she is now shiny! After all the cleaning, the wooden trusses were sanded, stained, and varnished, ready for the comfy seats that attach to them! She’s sitting in the water now, next to her little dock, waiting for the maiden 2023 voyage…soon! Working on the energy levels! Still, so much to cut up and clear away from the broken limbs and trees…little by little!
Some mornings after the cats have had their outing it is nice to sit and watch what appears. Usually, the chipmunks say thank you for putting those ratbags in lady! We have a group of regulars, all regulated by the grackles, followed by the red-winged blackbirds, their followers;) The smaller birds toe the line with the exception of the woodpeckers, White Breasted Nuthatches, and bug-collecting birds who have no time for their tomfoolery!
It is always a wonder to see the return of the bug-eating birds. How do those robins and flycatchers survive those cold days? I heard the Yellow Bellied Sapsucker well before I saw him! Back to his maple tree, sadly missing one giant branch but the sap was running out and he looked quite happy, a maple syrup fountain! I heard and saw a lone Red-Bellied Woodpecker calling from the treetops. I hope he finds a mate! I missed their brilliant colour last year as the pair we had moved on or were killed. The one thing everyone reacts to by scattering into the branches, turkey vultures included, is the arrival of the bald eagles! As soon as the ice was gone, they were here. They had scouted it last week briefly and flown away.
And the loons, the sound of the loons echoing down the length of the lake…magical! An adult eagle brought a juvenile by early one morning. The adult sat in a tree at the end of the lake and watched the youngster. He/she dive-bombed the Loons much to their dismay, they just dove and resurfaced a few moments later. He seemed to be practicing under the watchful eye of a parent! The Loons went about their business, shaking their heads as they surfaced and looked around for the irritating youngster. The Ospreys come and go, you see them soaring over, scouting, sometimes they get lucky, sometimes they don’t! Life coming back after the ice is gone.
Along with the Loons, the ducks and the geese are back! Hooded Mergansers and wood ducks and I think Golden eyes across the far side of the bay. If you sit and watch it is amazing what appears some days! Just being quiet and still. We need to do more of that, observers, not participants. That will come soon enough with the boats and noisy jet skis, for now, I will enjoy the magic that is the sounds of nature. I’ll go hang out with the chipmunks but we won’t be singing any Christmas songs…promise;) Stay tuned folks, we might be seeing some wildflowers appearing soon!