Lake Musings Sunday, November 05, 2006
The lake entered a new phase as she drops down and exposes heretofore long covered rocks, dead trees and now, the shoreline and Island have new looks - I know it is all for the best as the dam must be rebuilt, but I look forward to its' return to normalcy. We hear that will not be until mid summer at the earliest so many of us will have to be satisfied with wading out and out and out in order to swim.
The beautiful reflections of the changing leaves are gone and the reflections are of the bare trees which have a beauty all their own. The peace of fall descended as the summer people closed up their cottages once again - another ritual has taken place. It seems as if this event is happening earlier and earlier. Years ago, schools started after Labor Day and, this once family Holiday, was celebrated at the lake. No longer. Schools are starting in August and families must pack up all too soon and miss some one of the loveliest times of the year. This is another plus for retirement - the freedom to go and come as we please.
For the first time, in 8 years of my counting, there was no baby born into the nest on the Island. The nest was built and settled into, but the Spring rains raised the water level and rinsed it away. Mother and Father may have grieved, but seemed to carry on, as in past years, only without their off spring. Hopefully, this spring the level will stay more uniform so that we may, once gain, see baby Loons down at that end of the lake.
A new strange lake inhabitant arrived this summer. It resembled a Loon in body but was brown. It resembled a Loon with its' winter plumage and traveled from shore to shore, dock to dock , shunned by the Loons, and forced to remain a loner. Kind of sad and mimics humanity a little too closely. I looked it up in the bird book and, it is some sort of duck, but any input would be greatly appreciated.
Lake Musings Fall 2003 thru April 2004
The Loons are still talking to each other and the babies are almost as big as the parents...even though the colors still distinguish them from each other.It won't be long before they are exercising their wings and practicing landings and take-offs. Donna Crane reports that the baby that "hangs-out" in front of their house , regularly visits their beach, takes care of nature's call and returns to the waiting parents! Anyone seen this behavior before? I will see what I can find out and report in the next chapter!
Seems a little quiet now... Summer residents have packed up and headed to wherever Summer people go...
October brought strong wind, rains and even a bit of snow and we lost the early color, but the Oaks are still in the running and the yellows are brilliant. The Lake is the highest ever according to dedicated Lake watchers and docks that have not been pulled are underwater... looking lonely.
The three Loon families on the big Lake are still hanging out together in their little groups of threes - the Island family, the Crane family and the Fry Cove families of Loons continue to eat together, exercise together and generally enjoy life together... Hmmm... something to be learned here. The Island baby is as big as the parents and still brownish in color. Hopefully, he/she will be strong enough to fly out of here before the Lake freezes as one unlucky Loon was not last year.
December 2003 ... Two Palliated Woodpeckers appeared in the back yard checking out each tree... swooping and landing and looking for just the right one on which to spend sometime and generally being very beautiful. I have never seen two together like this although I am not naive enough to think it never happens! It is just that I have never witnessed this dance. I think if I would sit and watch more often, I would have more experiences like this one... someday...
The Loons are gone... they were here last week(last week in November) then ice appeared around the edges of the coves... and as suddenly as they arrived in the Spring, they were just as suddenly gone. What an amazing sense of where they should be at what time... We had snow showers the last weekend in November and are expecting a huge snowstorm to hit south of here but it could bring up to a foot of snow to us - if we are lucky! Dec. 5th it was 5 degrees last night but clear and beautiful and hard to believe that we will be snow covered from now until who knows when?
We were driving home from up north last weekend and came upon a Moose ambling down the center of the road...hmmm... He showed no inclination of doing anything but what he was doing so we followed him at least a mile as he wandered back and forth from one lane to another... Follow the Leader, as it were. He was not afraid of us and seemed to think he was in charge of this brigade - which he was! As we came to a curve, a truck came around on the other side of the road. We moved off the road so he could avoid the Moose which he did, however, the Moose lost his footing and went down hard. But he got up and kept going down the road showing no interest in going into the woods. Passing him was not an option so we stayed in the game thereby creating a good story! After several miles, he cut across our bow and disappeared. I hope dinner was waiting for him at home.
After Christmas 2003 ... Rained hard all Christmas day washing out most of our snow ... Monday before New Year's Eve - beautiful Day nearly 50 degrees and the forecast is for more rain. The Lake is freezing and letting us know by its' "burping" sounds. The winter sounds are lovely but nothing compared to the Loons and the Peepers in the spring.
There was an ice shack on the little lake this past weekend. I thought the season didn't start until January 1st and besides, the ice is little more than 4 to 6 inches - I'll keep a close watch on this shack I fit still there after the rains and the warmer temperatures that are forecast. The shack was still standing Monday morning.
New Year's 2004 - January 2004... Two brutally cold weeks - 1st and 3rd - temperature dipped to well below 0!! Add the wind to this and we had dangerous wind chill factors. People stayed in their houses and the snowmobiles are just emerging to brave the tail end of this cold snap. The snow is not fit for skiing and we understand that only the lower part of Squaw (excuse me, Moose!!) Mountain is open - and not very good at that - Such a shame for all industries depending on good snow. The Trebor Inn in Guilford burned down on Saturday the 25th. When I heard that a B&B burned, I held my breath and hoped it was not the Guilford B&B and it was not. However, it is still a sad thing to lose old historic building.
The lake is now filled with ice shacks and the fishermen brave the cold for the sport they love and the camaraderie it brings. Winter can isolate us and winter sports and activities bring us together. It is noticeably lighter at 4:30 PM now, which reminds us that we are on the upswing toward spring and the return of the summer residents who add life and activity to our town...
February 2004 - the Winter Festival is next weekend, the 14th, and hopefully, the temperatures will be on the rise and the winds will go in the opposite direction! This first weekend of February finds the temperatures in the single numbers and, combined with the winds gusting up to 40 MPH, the wind chill factor is below 0. The ice fishermen, never daunted, continue their favorite winter pastime. Four Deer ran across the Lake yesterday, paused, looked around and cut up through Camp Dexter...pretty sight. It is now 4:40PM and the sun is just setting - the days are noticeably longer!!! It is almost March and there were 10" of snow last weekend (2/21 and 22) - the weather is beautiful - sunny and in the 30's - so get out the snow shoes, skis, snowmobiles etc. for these last weeks of winter. Before we know it, the ice shacks will be put away, the Loons will have returned and the opening of the camps will not be far behind.
April 2004 - Yes, the ice shacks are gone, but there are remnants of their existence. The ice has taken on a greenish shade - symptomatic of the thaw - and there is open water around the island in the big lake. It has rained for 3 days now and all but the biggest mounds of snow are gone... the dirt roads are soft and muddy, the gray hues prevail, but there are buds on the trees and bulbs emerging. Can't happen soon enough for most of us!
Daylight Saving time starts Sunday the 4th, followed by Passover and Easter. Surely, things will warm up soon and we will see the signs at Toots' offering fishing supplies and Lobster, with ice cream underneath... . Not to be confused with Lobster ice Cream!! I guess we can start putting away the heaviest of wool sweaters and hope for the best.
April 1st and no fool this!! Senor Loon arrived on the little Lake as soon as there was enough open water for him - welcome back!!
April 4th - we were awakened by the sound of the first returning Loon off the island in the Big Lake, and the partner arrived a few days later... . Multitudinous Peepers, except for one night when we had a hard frost and they retreated to the safety of the mud until the thermometer rose once again, join their sounds. Friday the 30th, we hit 80 degrees and the same followed on Saturday. Each time I look at the garden, it seems as if the Peonies have doubled in size.
The kayakers are out in force and the first powerboat toured the lake today - Saturday -. Each day the grass is a bit greener and the air a bit softer. There certainly is a difference in the feeling of the spring air versus the fall air!!
Winter February 7, 2004
The snow was falling softly and the birds are feasting at the feeders.
Yes, I'm glad to see it snow! It is February and skiers, snowmobilers, people in a winter seasonal business, and everyone else who depend on such "weather" are happy!
Lake Musings ... in 2003
The Loons are beginning to gather from all sections of the Lake. Fall colors are beginning to show, docks are being pulled and it is time to put a sweater and socks on in the late afternoon -a sure sign that there is change in store. The days are shortening and the sun is lower in the sky.
Who said the colors would not be too good this year because of our dry and wonderfully warm summer? As it turns out, the colors are magnificent and seem most brilliant in the early morning when the lake is mirror- like and the reflection of the trees in the lake creates a double image that cannot be done justice by a photograph, but we try. There is certain sadness about this whole thing balanced by the extreme happiness that the first signs of warmth brought six months ago.
Fall is beautiful, but we know the next step -best to live in the moment. It has been a warm fall until late October when we had an unseasonable spell of cold weather that caught some of us off-guard.
The leaves were still on the trees as we were just past peak color and it snowed!!! The Loons are exercising their wings in preparation for practicing the take-off and landings. Their sounds are different now - quieter, more subdued.
First weekend in November and the temperature is in the 60's. On Monday the 4th, we hit 63 degrees. All thoughts of winter were put on hold for a moment until we realized that this was, most probably, the last chance to" button up". It's a good thing we did because Saturday the 16th and Sunday the 17th, the weather came in with a vengeance bringing cold air from Canada and wet weather from the coast.
It is now Sunday night and, after significant icing, it is snowing again. The Loons are still here. Hopefully, there will be another mini-thaw so the Oak leaves can be raked up and cleaned out of the gutters. They hang on until the very end showing that Mother Nature is indeed, the Boss.
What a strange winter! ! Brutally cold in February, in fact, there were few days that reached the freezing mark. Southern Maine had more snow than we did, but now that March is here, the snow has set in again in central Maine followed by more cold arctic air.
While watching the sun come up, something caught my eye on the deck. It was an Ermine weasel, which had come up from under the deck. What a beautiful animal -all white with a black tip on the tail.
The Bald Eagle circled a bit later -no mistaking either of these lovely creatures and I felt I should spend more time just looking out of the window as I wondered what I had been missing!
The wind is blowing and the forecast is for a very stormy weather pattern through the 15th of March -good for outdoors enthusiasts!
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