Thursday, March 30, 2017

Strange Winter.........March 30, 2017

I have been busy lately ~ enjoying Mother Nature's craziness.   I sometimes don't know what to think, from one day to the next, about this weather.  One day, I need long johns.  The next day I don't.  The lake is almost always rough.  I just decided to go with what ever the day brings and really enjoy it.  On this particular morning ~ I was enjoying a sunrise from "my" ice cave I discovered on the shore of Lake Superior.   I had been trying to get in there for this type of experience ever since the warming trend and the bigger icicles melted out of the hole.  I could now get in here ~ if......and that's a big if........the lake would settle down.   I had tried to get into it a few mornings earlier when some promise of color ~ which failed to materialize ~ looked promising.  
Here I am, part way in the hole, on a morning of a slight pink color up in a narrow band on the horizon.  It lasted a few minutes ~ but, not much.  Enough waves I couldn't get all the way in the hole, as you can see.  A few days later, most of the nice icicles had been all melted off and just a few stubby ones remained.  It was after sunrise, but I was going to have a try at it anyway.   I got drenched.  A bigger waves came in right over the top of me.  Luckily, I was in full rain gear and blew dry in the wind in just a few minutes.  Things like this don't happen all the time ~ so, I was really hoping Mother Nature would cooperate.  :)
Here's a view of the icicles before the storms broke them all off.  The heavy outside ones had melted off, finally, so I could see out thru them.   I barely had any room inside either.   So, with some melting came the ability to get in there.  However, I still needed the lake to settle down so I and my camera didn't get drenched.
Here's a photo taken from outside of it on the day I got drenched.  See the more stubby, short icicles.   I hadn't stood here watching long enough to know how big the waves were in this little cove that day. Needless to say ~ I got a surprise.  It was a good northeast wind and the waves weren't as big as I have seen them here.  However, I guess I hadn't been here with that wind direction before.  So ~ I was caught totally by surprise.   Anyway ~ it's all fun!
The warm spell has put an end to my traveling all over heck in the woods to a stop too.  That extreme warm spell and rain, followed by quite cold weather, made the snow hard as rock out there.  Boy, Betsy and I were up the hills and over the swamps and really made tracks ~ because we could.   One spot on the east shady end of a tall hill, in a gap where a creek ran thru, didn't get the message.  It was soft in there and I was in up to my butt in the snow.  Had to crawl on my hands and knees a short ways to a deer trail to get going again.  Mind you, I was in my running shoes.  It's always a blast while it lasts.
Anyway ~ I've been busy having too much fun.   Hope you are too!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

It's a Strange Winter! March 5, 2017

It's been a strange winter ~ I need to say that.  I can't recall, ever in my lifetime, a winter with so many warm spells and rain.   It is really hard to get acclimated to our winter this year as one day it is 40 degrees and the next 0 or below.  A 30 degree switch hasn't been uncommon.  That does nothing for those trying to make and maintain ski trails for skiing either.  It gets warm, ices up the trail, we get a bit more snow, track it again with the HOK skis to pack it ~ and it's warm again.  I haven't hardly been on my "real" cross country skis this winter.  Strange.  The snow is so hard now after rain ~ and plenty of it ~ and then back to sub zero temps ~ I have been walking around the woods ~ not on trails always ~ in my running shoes!   The deer can even walk around ~ out in the open ~ on top.  Some of the deep balsam and spruce woods can be a bit more tricky!
Yesterday, Betsy and I hiked up the hill behind our house, to the Superior Hiking Trail.  Yes, in running shoes ~ not waterproof ones either!   Here we are a ways east of the valley on one of the overlooks on the trail.   Quite a view.  Most of the going was really great.  The only place I had a few issues was when I went off the east side of this big hill.   Creek bottom, shady most of the day, big spruce and balsam ~ and, you guessed it.  Not completely hard snow there.  I went in crotch deep and had to crawl about 30 yards on my hands and knees to get to a spot that would support me again.  Hit a deer trail and I was in fine shape.   But ~ yes.  Back to strange.   It was fun tho and we sure got our exercise.  If I did that every day all winter ~ boy, would I be in fine shape.  I usually rely on cross country skiing to keep pounds off in the winter time.  Hasn't been easy this winter!
On the other hand ~ it has been a great winter for new ice formations.  On shore ones ~ caused by a rough Lake Superior.  It is rough more often than not.  So, between the warm spells melting off the nice details like you see here ~ there's another storm and cold to make more.   It's always a joy to behold this kind of beauty.  I never tire of hitting the shore and finding these treasures.  I do miss not having ice on the lake tho.  That is always a favorite of mine.

I will leave you with a beauty I found a few days ago.  All the colors in this spot were amazing.  I regularly find turquoises a bit into winter.  Sometimes the ambers or golds.  This has them all.  It was just too beautiful for words.  
I do hope you are all enjoying your winter tho ~ even if I am muttering about all the warm spells and rains.   I probably should have posted photos of all that too.  But, time to get out and have a hike with Betsy.  It is, after all, above 30 already this morning and supposed to rain ~ again ~ sigh...............