Winter is still with us. The sun poked out in the late afternoon providing this shot of cabin 18 with blowing snow and backlit ice-laden branches of birch. We have had a taste of spring however, and the slow melt-down has been much appreciated.
Whenever I see this I am amazed that snow can be elastic. Sometimes its elasticity is amazing. The woods are beautiful right now, but cold. Snowshoes are a must as snow depth is over the knees in most places.
We found these tracks in the snow on a recent snowshoe hike in the woods with my brother. Any guesses on what happened here? ….. I am quite sure these are grouse tracks, as we often flush these birds out of this area. What I am not sure about is whether the grouse was taking off or landing. Note the two wing beats and the one foot that touched down between the feather “tracks”. The deep pocket would lead me to guess the bird was landing. What do you think?
Many of our guests that walk and ride “out on the road” will appreciate this winter shot. Mary and I were headed up to Bemidji yesterday to finish our Christmas shopping when we noticed this view. These pines line the road about a quarter mile north of our driveway, about half way to the public access. When I stop to think that these trees were seedlings when we bought the resort 17 years ago, it helps put time in perspective. As time marches on, we very much appreciate living and raising our family here.
We are digging out today after our first major snow storm, about 12 inches on the level so far. Mary is excited to get a good snow cover on her dormant perennial plants, but the kids are disappointed with what this will do to their skating rink: the heavy snow on the early ice will cause the water to push up through the inevitable cracks. The resulting frozen slush ruins the rink beyond our capacity to repair it with our homemade rink rake (a nifty contraption designed to spread a thin layer of water on the ice).
Last night the lake froze; at least our end of the lake. I was able to get out for a few minutes this morning for some photos. In a couple shots you can see large frost crystals. The cold temps in the forecast will probably seal the deal. It is fairly smooth, so the kids are hoping for “no snow” for a while, so we can skate around the edge of the lake.
In our neck of the woods, the tamarack trees are the last to change color and drop their leaves (needles!). Interesting that this “evergreen” will drop all of its needles like a deciduous tree. The small tree is on the lake shore in front of the lodge, and the large, beautifully shaped one is by the campfire. These photos were taken about 20 days ago, so by now, all the needles are down, and the lake is just starting to freeze around the edges.
This moonrise coincided with a warm August evening and a cool-down swim. There is something about crawling into bed on a warm summer evening after cooling down your core with a swim in the lake.
Last weekend we noticed some of the first color of fall, small areas of red or yellow shouting for attention in a sea of summer green. I grabbed my camera with the late afternoon sun still yielding a bit of warmth on our first cool, fall day. Here are the more interesting results of my hour’s hike around the trail and through the resort; a Red Oak clump, Virginia Creeper vine, and a small berry tree that I didn’t recognize.