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Friday, March 29, 2013

Melting March Madness

Greetings from Cook County where spring is arriving in her own north woods fashion! We've declared a new season and have officially "turned off" the "falling snow effects" from our blog... and we hope that won't lead to bad luck and another huge winter storm!

End of March, 2013, has left us up on the Bluff with rapidly diminishing snow... But still enough that it was a tough slog to shovel a path to our wood shed when we arrived last weekend.

Here's the path... those little walls above the path are about 18-20 inches high, and this photo was taken after 4-5 days of melting...
 Aren't you impressed by how precisely we shoveled to make room for our wood toboggan? 
 The toboggan was a little hard to keep in control as it slid down the wet snow "trough" ...
 Forecast has been calling for clouds but we've had lots of sunshine and that means melting...
 This stalagmite (yes, I looked up the difference between stalagmite and stalagtite to be sure) of ice forms every spring under the outflow vent from our boiler in the utility room... This one is over six feet tall! 
 Next task is to dig a path to the sauna... 

Here's a view off the deck looking out over our "front lawn"... 

Rosie knows it is spring and she insisted on her first walks outdoors... starting with the nice sunny deck...
 Yours truly taking a picture and forgetting to get my shadow out of the way... 
 The deck still has a coating of snow, for now...
 Then Princess Rosie decided the road was very tempting... 
 "Oh yeah! I remember this... where are all my grasshoppers?"
 This is the exact place where Rosie's favorite path into the woods takes off... Do you think she remembered it or is she just a krazy kittie? 
Whatever else she was thinking, she got her paws good and cold and was not happy about that one bit. She high-tailed it from that snowbank back to the door and yelled for us to let her inside, NOW! 


March Melting Madness has also meant maximum weirdness out on the Big Lake -- even though it is already 40 degrees up here, it is also completely still, and overnight Gitchi Gammi froze over! That white expanse that fades off into the distance is Lake Superior, holding her breath, no doubt, for storms yet to come. 

Be back soon with reports from more southern climes, with a posting about our recent trip to Guatemala... 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Fleeting Frosts of February

Hi folks and followers! We are back in the big city, about to leave for Guatemala very early tomorrow morning... so of course as a last minute task I thought I'd post a few pix! 

February 2013 was really spectacular, scenery-wise. The number of mornings with gorgeous frost surpassed any year I can remember. 
The Mountain looked extra mysterious all dressed up in silvery stuff...
 We had lots of fluffy white stuff...
 The sauna seemed extra snug under that big blanket of snow...
 ...and several mornings were just spectacular.... 
 Not to mention the clear bright afternoons, once the frost had vanished... 
 These red twigs are new growth of serviceberry bushes... hopefully I'll catch their ethereal white blooms later this spring...
 I think aspens look magnificent against that brilliant blue, don't you agree?
 Tramping about in the deep snow, I caught some shots of the house from a few different angles... from below the perennial rock garden...
 ...and from behind the clump of cedars we call The Twisted Sisters...

... and those sisters are all bundled up in moss and lichens...
 I can't get too far with a camera without the obligatory shot of Superior from afar...

Val had some light reading... the operations' manual for the "charge controller" for our photoelectric-battery system... our device did a bit of a dance on us last month... Val fixed it with a bold maneuver but we still don't know exactly what happened... Let us know if you find out, darlin'...
 Back to the frost... another morning dawned with fog and filmy white...



 The early morning pinks and golds were just awesome on top of the white etching...

 Mmmm... perfect....
 Ahhh! Have you ever seen anything quite so lovely? 

I didn't think so! 
We'll be back in a few weeks... just in time for Mud Season!