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March 22, 2018 - 6:49 a.m.

We had another bright beautiful day yesterday.  Didn’t go above zero but it’s coming.  May get there today.  I had to zip into Callander yesterday for my massage therapy and then came home and made some cucumber soup and a few other receipes that are time consuming.  Dan had a relaxing day as there really isn’t much he can do right now until it warms up and the snow melts.  I’m going to be in the office for a bit today but would like to take a walk on the lake this afternoon while I still can.  This time of year is pretty quiet and relaxing for us and truth be told we should be sitting in the sand on an exotic island somewhere.  Gato has taken a wife by the looks of things. Oh oh, spring kittens.  He came up with the stray last night and shared his food with her.  We can’t catch either one of them (to spay, neuter and find homes)  but don’t think they would make good pets anyhow.  They’ve been in the wild too long.  Nature will take it’s course and once there is a food supply readily available, we won’t see much of either of them.  They’ll help keep the rodent population down as long as they survive the return of their nature predators.  Gato has already lived longer then most feral cats.

March 21, 2018 - 6:30 a.m.

We have certainly been getting some sun of late.  Considering all the drab days we’ve had to endure this winter, it’s wonderful.  Warm up coming starting Sunday so looking forward to a lot of the snow disappearing.  There isn’t a whole lot left in town other than ugly dirt brown snowbanks but still a fair amount out here.  What a day yesterday.  Dan and I went to town for errands and we didn’t get home until 3:30.  Lots of running around.  It was a big cash grab for the government, that’s for sure.  We renewed our passports for 10 years since it was a less expensive option.  Ended up costing us $365 for the two of us and then another $75 for a plate for our trailer.  At least the plate is a one time expense.  At Service Canada, Dan and I sat in a stadium sized room occupied by two government employees with only 4 customers to wait on and it still took us over an hour to be looked after.  Can you say “enormous waste”?  Glad I could oblige.  Geesh, don’t get me started.  When we were finished dealing with the government issues we went to the lumber yard as Dan needed 2x4’s (instead of regular strapping) for the new steel roof on one of our outbuildings.  It’s the last roof we have to do and hoping it can be done next week once it warms up a bit.  Gato came up last night with his buddy in tow.  I’d really like to find a home for it as it’s young enough to make a pet and as I’ve said before, likely a drop off.  Any takers?

March 20, 2018 - 7:22 a.m.

Spring arrives at 12:15 today.  Glad to see they’ve narrowed it down, lol.  It has t arrive here just yet but it’s coming.  It was -16 when I got up this morning and was rather cold yesterday but at least the sun has been shining.  We aren’t due to see a really hard good warm up unail the weekend.  There are no longer any huts at all in our line of sight as they’ve all been removed but due to the current weather, I’m sure there will still be huts on Lake Nipissing until at least this Sunday.  Frost will be in the ground for some time so may need to hold back doing any planting this spring.  Guess it will all depend on how much heat we get in the coming days.  The summer birds are slowly returning but still no sign of any deer in the neighbourhood.  I did hear there have been sightings so not sure where they are residing now that the coyotes and wolves have taken up residence in the area.  Nature will take its course, whatever that may be.

March 19, 2018 - 6:52 a.m.

Yesterday materialized into a beautiful day once the cloud cover disappeared.  The sun shone and the temperature hovered around zero.  It dropped to -16 overnight and tonight is suppose to be the last real cold evening for March as they are forecasting -20.  Later in the week temps will be above zero for daytime highs so bring it.  I didn’t do much yesterday as I had a case of the lazies but Dan stained the flooring of our new trailer as the manufacturer didn’t use pressure treated wood.  He’ll likely do a second coat today.  Or not.  Not sure what I’m doing today.  Always something.  The sun is just starting to come up and I’m still half asleep but thinking I may start the spring cleaning.  I know my fridge and freezers certainly need some attention.  Dan and I need to get to town this week to renew our passports, register the trailer and pick up some paint so may even opt for a town run.  See what the old guy says when he gets up.  Moose Creek was running pretty good but with the cold temperatures we’ve been experiencing of late, it refroze.  We have never seen that happen in all the time we’ve lived here and think this may delay the pike spawn as they are usually in the creek by now.  The weather certainly has been unpredictable this winter, not to mention the cold clinging on.  I hope this means a nice hot dry summer.

March 18, 2018 - 8:54 a.m.

We had a marvellous time yesterday.  Ended up with 13 of us at Anglers Pub & Grill.  Bob Wills and Waxxie put on a great show last night.  Such talented artists.  I ordered the fish chowder which is excellent.  Dan was a little disappointed he couldn’t get corned beef and cabbage but enjoyed the calamari.  Great little get together.  Today is pretty drab, overcast and currently -9.  I’d probably still be in bed but the cats were pretty insistent I get up and feed them.  Nothing much on our agenda today but it’ll be business as usual tomorrow.

March 17, 2018 - 8:11 a.m.

Happy St. paddy’s Day everyone.  Let the shenanigans begin!!  It looks to be another beautiful sunny day.  It didn’t get as cold as forecasted overnight as it was -11 when we got up this morning.  Was a little chilly most of the day yesterday although by mid-afternoon quite nice out.  Dan and I went for a drive which I really think we should do more often.  Lots to explore.  Today we have a little work to do and then this evening are going to a local venue and meeting half the neighbourhood there for some good Irish music and more likely than not, green beer.  Being of Irish blood, this is one holiday I can get behind.  Have my “Kiss me I’m Irish” pin ready to rock.  Lol.  I have been seeing more and more wild life but still no evidence at all of deer.  They are usually back by now and generally just turn up one day so I’m still hoping.  Still quite a bit of snow around so could be delaying their return.

March 16, 2018 - 7:31 a.m.

Bbbrrrrr, she was a cold one last night.  Dropped to -12 here but wind chill is also a factor.  We have a few more cold nights in our forecast before we get back to seasonal temps.  Enough already!  Ice Fishing is officially over even though I’m still getting calls from people who don’t realize Lake Nipissing is now closed for the season.  Quite a few huts came off the ice this week and I assume most of those remaining will come off this weekend.  The OPP and/or MNR actually documented all the huts this year noting their locations and registration numbers which is something they have never done in the past.  There have been incidences where people haven’t removed their huts in time to prevent them from sinking and stripped the numbers so they aren’t traceable and therefore won’t be fined.  Pretty irresponsible if you ask me.  Dan got home around 4:00 yesterday and is very happy with the new trailer.  He has his work cut out for him when he unloads the reupholstered boat seats.  Totally off topic but I’d like to put something out there.  Due to Marble being sick and Halo starting to have a bit of a respiratory issue, I was prompted to do a little research on line.  Turns out the relatively newly introduced “lightweight” kitty litter may cause upper respiratory issues in cats due to high dust content and other ingredients not found in regular litter. I haven’t been using the lightweight for long and had just bought some more so Donna and I took a trip to Walmart yesterday to exchange it.  Some lightweight litters had been recalled this past September in the States so wouldn’t be surprised if it ended up on Canadian shelves.  At any rate, I spoke with a manager at our store and lodged a complaint.  Hopefully they’ll ensure the products being sold are pet friendly in the future.  As much as I don't relish hauling the heavy stuff once again, it’s for the health of my cats.  If you are using lightweight litter, make sure it is in a well ventilated area and keep an eye on your pet’s breathing.  Gotta wonder how well manufacturers test their products these days.

March 15, 2018 - 7:19 a.m.

I had a wonderful girls day yesterday and the weather actually cooperated for once.  Was above zero, sunny and just a gorgeous day.  Did a few errands and then went to Average Joe’s for lunch which was just average.  Can’t complain about the scenery though.  Overlooking Trout Lake was beautiful yesterday and there were still sleds out and about but there was open water along the shoreline with some ducks taking advantage.  It’s a run off spot so pretty much open all the time though.  Had a quick browse through the Green Store and then back to Donna’s for an afternoon of dominoes.  I didn’t get home until 8:30 but was a really great day.  Some steel roofing is being dropped off this morning for a new project so need to be here but thinking I may take a walk afterwards.  Dan will be home sometime this afternoon and it’ll be business as usual.  I spoke too soon about the blackbirds as they appeared again yesterday and Donna had hundreds of finches at her place so the summer birds are returning.  According to the weather gurus it may be a few more weeks before spring weather appears but my money is on nature and think once this never ending north wind shifts, we’ll see a big thaw.  One can hope.

March 14, 2018 - 7:16 a.m.

Dan and Mitch headed south around 8:00 yesterday morning and I’m assuming they arrived safely as I didn’t get a phone call stating otherwise.  I had somewhat of a busy day.  Since Dan is absent, I cleaned out his man cave and did a quick little house clean before heading to the office.  Still having a problem but am trying a couple of more things before I give up.  Just not today.  Computers and I don’t get along so I’ll give it a day or two before trying again.  I also went for a walk and ended up wiping out again.  I’ll be so glad when all the ice under the snow is gone and I can walk with some semblance of normalcy.  I’m not sure what happened to the black birds but they certainly didn’t stick around long.  Haven’t seen them again since the initial sighting so am guessing they’ve moved to warmer climes for a bit.  Looking at the long term, this north wind isn’t going to release its grip anytime soon and will be keeping temps below or just around zero for the next week at least.  It did go above the freezing mark yesterday though just barely.  I missed a delivery for Dan yesterday while I was either in the office or out walking (of course) so now I am going to the post office today.  I have a few more quick little errands as well and then going for lunch with Donna and Annie.  We were going to take a drive to Marten River and eat at Lumpy’s but they are closed for the March break.  Welcome to the North where commerce stops when it wants to.  Lol.

March 13, 2018 - 6:33 a.m.

Sorry I missed the blog yesterday.  I was bit by a wine bottle on Sunday and it kept me in bed until 9:00 yesterday morning.  Tee hee.  We actually went fishing with Donna and Mitch on Sunday and had a lovely afternoon.  The sun didn’t come out until just before we were ready to leave so stayed out a bit longer just to feel the heat on our faces.  By the time we got back to shore, prepared dinner and ate, it was rather late.  Still getting use to the time change.  I, of course, had a lazy day yesterday with no apologies considering we just finished a very busy season.  Dan went over to a neighbour’s to help Mitch with a slight freeze up problem that has been ongoing and think they were able to sort things out.  Today I’ve a few things on my agenda including trying to sort my computer out.  Not able to retrieve my accounting files after taking my computer in to the shop so may need to get creative.  Dan and Mitch are taking a trip to Chatham with a quick stop in Ingersoll to pick up a new trailer we bought which will be loaded up with our pontoon boat furniture.  We had it all recovered in Erieau since it was half the price we were quoted up here. I suggested Dan go for a week or so but he has things he wants to do around here when he gets home.  I couldn’t believe my ears when I went to feed the birds on Sunday.  Heard the chirps and then saw that a few black birds (red winged) have started to return.  They nest along Moose Creek every spring so it’s coming. 

March 11, 2018 - 8:06 a.m.

I forgot to move the clocks ahead before I went to bed last night.  Not that I needed to but it was a little surprising to wake up an hour later than usual this morning.  It’s quite alright too as we’ve nothing but time right now.  Dan and I did diddly squat yesterday.  We had (or I did) lots of plans but nothing panned out and we just had a nice relaxing day.  I’m happy to report that Marble seems to be on the mend.  The laboured breathing and muscle spasms stopped yesterday and she was up and about antagonizing everyone last night as usual.  Yep, I’d say she should be back to being the annoying little cat fur baby she always was and I’m happy.  I believe we are fishing with Donna and Mitch today but that’s not a given just a game plan.  Be nice if the evasive sun would come out for us.  Quite a few people out walking on the lake yesterday and saw a few huts being removed.  Still a lot of huts out by Lonely Island and lots of bungalows all along the enormous pressure crack.  I’m sure the majority of them will all be on shore by the end of this week.  Landscape is going to look much different.

March 10, 2018 - 7:36 a.m.

I slept late this morning as I was up late with poor little Marble last night.  She was doing really well and bouncing back but then she started having painful stomach convulsions.  She was just a howling when they hit.  Of course it was too late to get in touch with a vet so I searched the net.  I’m thinking she could be dehydrated from the medication, which she is nearly finished so I’m not giving her anymore injections.  I’ll talk to the vet this morning and make sure it isn’t anything more serious.  I haven’t seen her convulse anymore this morning so that’s a good thing.  We were hoping to fish today but the north wind just isn’t letting up.  Winds from the north, don’t venture forth.  Heard it was pretty slow going yesterday.  Besides, with the wind chill factor at -15, I’ll pass.  Never know though, just may head out with Donna and Mitch for something to do (although I did dig my equipment out yesterday so could tap some trees today).  When I was in town yesterday I noticed quite a few huts have been removed from Callander Bay and assume most will be gone from Lake Nipissing after tomorrow.  Lake conditions are still good on the main body but noticed a few spots where run off has started to open things up.   

March 9, 2018 - 6:46 a.m.

For the past 3 evenings we have received some flurries but nothing really during the day.  It’s been overcast, as it is today, with a few lingering flurries and Lake Nipissing is now completely snow covered.  I read an OPP notice yesterday that stated there have been a few vehicles going through the ice namely by the channels and water treatment plant.  Spots are opening up on the lake due to the melt which causes flowing water so please avoid those areas and tributaries.  Likely isn’t too safe around islands with run off either.  Donna and I went snowshoeing in our bush yesterday and saw our neighbour has already tapped the maples.  There was a little sap and could see it slowly dripping so the weather is upon us.  I may tap a few trees myself this year although its a lot of work for a little maple syrup.  There was an article on Facebook saying it’s going to be a good year for it and it’s free so what the heck.  Long term forecast looks good for the sap to start running in earnest with the mild day time temps and colder weather at night.  Hoping to get out fishing tomorrow afternoon now that there is enough snow on the ice to make the ride a little more comfortable.  May even see some sun tomorrow.  Temperatures were above zero yesterday and its currently -3 and windy.

March 8, 2018 - 7:10 a.m.

We are currently receiving some light flurries after getting some heavier snow overnight and temperatures remain mild.  With the complete cloud cover, I’m going to assume this may stick around for a few more days.  Ice fishing for those still venturing out should be quite good.  Although things went smoothly for Dan yesterday and he was able to get all the winterizing complete, things weren’t so great for me.  I’ve been so cautious around the property but yesterday I wiped out stepping off of our deck onto the icey driveway.  My feet literally came out from under me and my back took the brunt of the fall as I hit the stair and my forearm is gashed and bruised.  Just glad I didn’t knock myself out as I hit quite hard.  I was walking out to start the car so I could take Marble (our oldest cat) to the vets.  She’s had a relapse and I honestly thought I would be coming home without her.  The vet is stumped as to what is wrong with her.  Why she is producing fluid in her lungs is a mystery and it’s painful to watch her breathe.  She was given a steroid injection for inflammation which takes 4-5 days to work and I am to continue giving her injections twice a day for the fluid build up.  The poor thing, just can’t stand to see an animal suffer.  If she isn’t better next week, well, let’s just hope she is.  The vet is having a radiologist look at her X-rays as all her bloodwork shows a healthy cat.  I guess time will tell and hopefully the medication will heal her.  Poor Marbs.  I’m doing some office work this morning since it didn’t get done yesterday and then hoping to go for a walk and clear my head.  Again, see what the day brings.

March 7, 2018 - 7:15 a.m.

We awoke to mild temperatures of -3 and a beautiful blanket of snow this morning.  We didn’t receive more than an inch or two but it was enough to cover everything in white.  The landscape was looking pretty ugly so this is nice to see.  It also helps when manoeuvring over all the ice on the property that has yet to melt.  I went into town early yesterday morning for errands and was home by shortly after 1:00.  I washed my car for all the good it did.  Still has some salt and sand on it but at least I washed the majority of it off.  Car wash was very busy for that time of day.  Gato showed up last night with the other cat I mentioned a few days ago in tow.  Now that I’ve gotten a good look at her, she isn’t feral.  Either someone dropped her off, lost her or she belongs to someone in the neighbourhood.  Beautiful white and orange markings and about 6 months old.  If you happen to know this cat can you please email me.  She definitely needs spaying.  Dan is always saying how he feels sorry for Gato as he must be lonely.  Apparently not anymore.   I’m working in the office this morning after I do a little shovelling and then may go for a walk.  See how the day goes. 

March 6, 2018 - 6:43 a.m.

Dan and I would like to thank everyone for their patronage as we end another great ice fishing season.  Dan and Nick removed all the huts yesterday with no difficulty considering the ice is still like a skating rink.  Easy pulling with no snow drifts to contend with.  Donna and I cleaned the last of the cottages so they are ready for winterizing which I believe Dan is doing today.  I’m doing a town run since I have an appointment and hoping to get most of the running done this morning.  They are calling for temperatures to rise to around zero today with snow beginning this afternoon.  Lots of snow in the forecast this week so there may be one more kick at the can for snowmobiles.  We’ll need an awful lot dumped though as there isn’t much left in the area.  I wouldn’t mind fishing one more time either so prefer some snow on the lake.

March 5, 2018 - 7:19 a.m.

I had a typo yesterday saying it was suppose to reach +4 when in fact it was -4.  It did get a bit warmer due to the gorgeous sunshine but it’s currently only -12 in North Bay and overcast.  Calling for flurries today and the rest of the week.  We would like to thank everyone for your patronage and another great ice fishing season but we’ve called it a day.  Dan didn’t get any huts off yesterday and think he and Nick are taking them all off today.  Conditions are good for removal as there are no snow banks to deal with and just pure ice to slide them over so hoping there won’t be any problems.  Knock on wood.  Since I didn’t need to get up early this morning, I stayed up and watched the Oscars last night for the first time in years.  The whole production was getting too political for me in past years but I found they weren’t too bad last night.  A few people with too much to say but that’s the norm.  Jimmy Kimmel did a great job and the set was beautiful.  Entertainment so so.  Some better than others.  I was very pleased that Gary Oldman finally received a best actor Oscar.  In my opinion he is one talented man and it was a long time coming.  Today Donna and I are getting the cottages cleaned so Dan can winterized as soon as he’s able.  The cold weather hasn’t completely left us just yet and I would rather not heat empty cottages.

March 4, 2018 - 6:36 a.m.

The temperature crawled to just above zero for a brief time yesterday and it sure was a beautiful sunny day.  Today is suppose to be even nicer with a high of +4.  Sunny as well.  Finally some decent sun recently.  The winds were and still are straight out of the north though (but have since died down somewhat) so felt pretty chilly and made outdoor fishing a little uncomfortable.  The fishing wasn’t the greatest as pretty much everyone was catching pike.  Lots of pike around right now.  Doing the heavy feed before the spawn.  Perch and walleye also caught but not many keepers.  Dan was able to get the treeline off the ice yesterday.  That’s one less thing to worry about.  We’ve never taken the treeline off before the huts but we won’t need it this year as they are coming off shortly.  All our groups of guests this weekend are only fishing until noon so I wouldn’t be surprised if Dan starts hauling some huts off this afternoon.  We can’t dally because all our snow is gone between the path and where we store the huts so he’ll be pulling them over dirt in some areas.  Not good for the equipment and Dan will likely need the tractor to pull the huts over the bare spots.  Can’t believe our season has come to a close as of noon today and just happy we were able to run this weekend.  The full moon brought just enough cold for us to do so and we’re grateful to the lucky stars above who are looking out for us. 

March 3, 2018 - 6:22 a.m.

Everything went off without a hitch yesterday although we will definitely need to replace the sliders on our sled once the season is over.  Running on bare ice is never a good thing but we are using studs which helps.  No snow in the forecast until Wednesday but even then, it could materialize as rain.  Full moon didn’t affect the fishing too much as everyone caught.  Both perch and walleye still around.  Dan put Alf on the hunt for a new garbage trailer for us and he managed to find one in the Stoney Creek area so we bought it yesterday.  Alfie is going to pick it up for us and Dan will get it when he heads down south in a few weeks.  Chipmunk was out and about yesterday so it likely has run low or even possibly out of its winter food stores.  Two or even three weeks ahead of schedule and mild weather all through the long term so I’m thinking winter is nearly done.  Reached -1 yesterday only down to -6 overnight so it’ll be another very mild day.  Poor Dan had to drill 50+ holes yesterday in order to make slush for banking. 

March 2, 2018 - 7:18 a.m.

The full moon wreaked havoc with my sleep last night, as it usually does.  Beautiful though but very very bright.  Dan will have a hard time getting the diehards off the ice tonight because it won’t get fully dark.  All our guests are due to arrive by noon and should be fishing shortly thereafter.  There was a discussion on a message board yesterday that Lake Nipissing is thriving because the fishing has been so good.   With all the thaws we experienced this winter, the water is highly oxygenated, which makes fish active.  I doubt very much it is thriving but could certainly be starting to rebound due to the restrictions of the past few years.  Only time, good management and people sticking to guidelines will tell the tale but there certainly were a good number of “keepers” caught this year.  So many just below the slot, hopefully they don’t end up in the nets and will make next year’s ice fishing experience even better than this year.  There was a chipmunk out earlier in the week (which I had forgotten to mention) which is earlier than the norm but I haven’t seen it since.  I’m happy to report that the big black and the big grey squirrels which appeared last fall have made it through the winter and are back.  They’ve been battling the red squirrels for food and will likely be run off once the snow completely melts and they can obtain food elsewhere.  Northern reds can be awfully aggressive.  Must be the climate that makes them so ornery.  Lol.

March 1, 2018 - 6:56 a.m.

Where did February go?  Can’t say that I’m not happy it’s gone but it flew by.  Maybe it’s age.  For those of you trying to get a hold of us, I apologize.  Our phone isn’t working properly.  There is a large humming in our line and we are unable to hear callers.  If you must get a hold of us, please send an email which we check frequently to greeningbay@yahoo.com  Sorry but this happens every year during the spring melt, has been going on for nearly twenty years and Bell has informed us they’ve no intention of doing anything except maybe put bandaids on the situation.  Guess it’s time Dan and I move into this century and get cell phones.  So I went to the vets again yesterday and exchanged Marble’s pill form meds for injections which I gave her last night.  She seems much better today so the medication is doing it’s magic.  Won’t know until later today what actually caused the fluid build up in her lungs but hope it isn’t anything serious like her kidneys.  I also discovered what was hijacking Gato’s cat food.  It’s another damn cat.  Just a young one, likely just entering breeding age with my luck.  Beautiful cat with white and orange markings but don’t need a litter of kittens showing up here in May.  I think Gato, being the fine Tom that he is, finds these strays and brings them here.  The last female he “found” we were able to catch and take to Kathy’s All Heart Pet Rescue and she was adopted.  This one I don’t know about as it appears quite healthy though a little skittish.  I really don’t know where all these cats come from, could be a neighbourhood pet for all I know.  I certainly hope this wasn’t a case of someone dropping it off in the country.  Please be responsible pet owners people.  Ice conditions good this morning, all the water firmed up overnight and colder weather coming overnight due to the gorgeous full moon.  Was just beautiful this morning.  Our guests this weekend are in for a treat when they see how big the moon looks from their ice huts.

February 28, 2018 - 6:57 a.m.

We are experiencing a light rain right now which is hopefully going to change to snow.  The temperature is due to start cooling down overnight which will give us a couple of days before our guests arrive.  We are starting to lose ice now but still have plenty and the colder temps coming in will firm everything nicely I would think.  I’m going to get bait first thing this morning for our last weekend as I was informed last night our supplier won’t have anymore for the weekend.  Definitely the end of the season.  Unfortunately, I spent the afternoon at the vets with a very sick cat.  Marble started laboured breathing on Friday but it was too late to take her to the vet and she seemed to be better Monday but started again Monday night.  I thought perhaps she’d had a heart attack but it turns out our geriatric fur baby has fluid on her lungs.  Her breathing is shallow so on initial examination, the vet said all her organs seemed to be fine but he didn’t find the fluid until X-rays were done.  It’s not a mast per say so not pneumonia.  It’s through both lungs.  I opted to have bloodwork done (cha-ching) as we need to determine the underlying cause.  The next 36 hours will tell the tale but she’s not doing any better this morning after having medication injected yesterday afternoon and she refused to eat this morning.  Not good.  I am to give her meds every 12 hours in pill form.  Just gave her the first dose and that didn’t go well.  The pill is miniscule and has to be quartered.  Seriously?  I asked for injection initially but will see how this goes.  Hate it when I see an animal suffering.  I am to contact the vet tomorrow as he indicated there should be an improvement so fingers crossed.  

February 27, 2018 - 6:23 a.m.

The weather seems to be holding things together for us.  The next two days are going to be rather mild but if the night time lows dip below zero, we should be okay.  Dan went and checked the huts yesterday and none had fallen off their blocks and were in good condition.  High and dry.  Nothing to bank with but it isn’t going to get overly cold for the rest of the season and they are predicting snow this week.  Other than a few “chores” we both had a somewhat easy day yesterday.  When you go from being run off your feet to dead calm, it’s hard to know what to do with oneself.  It’s a feeling of “I should be doing something”.  Lol.  Today is another day and I’ve enough to keep me busy.  Either Grady (our cat) was cold last night or something outside frightened him.  He climbed right under the blankets around 1:00 this morning and snuggled up against my chest refusing to budge.  Once I was fully awake, had a hard time getting back to sleep.  The loud purring didn’t help.  Gato did show up last night so he has been fed and watered for another day.  As I said yesterday, I’m not leaving the food out anymore as animals are starting to come out of hibernation and/or returning from wherever their winter homes are.  Not feeding skunks and raccoons thank you very much ;)

February 26, 2018 - 6:36 a.m.

After checking out our guests yesterday morning, Dan and I had a nice relaxing day.  It was an overcast day but very mild staying just below the freezing mark.  Going to be above zero for the next two days but we think we should be able to run this coming weekend, which is our last one. The fishing has been good all season and should stay that way until the last dog is hung.  Spring is definitely on route as two bald eagles have been spotted back in the area and some other birds have started to return.  Something, and I not sure what, has gotten Gato’s cat food the past two nights so I can’t  leave it out anymore until I actually see him come up to be fed.  Could be a skunk because that’s happened before.  Lol.  I’ve some cottage laundry to do today but it’s going to be a nice easy week for us with no one in until Friday.  Rain and then snow in this week’s forecast so hoping for more snow.  Definitely need some grease on our path.

February 24, 2018 - 6:31 a.m.

Looking at the long term forecast, I would have to say the ice fishing season looks like it may have come to an end for us.  Calling for lots of above zero temps with plenty of sunshine next week.  Our whole bay was covered in water yesterday which is okay because there is a good 30” under it.  It looks worse than it is.  Our problem is a fairly big flowing tributary into a small bay.  The moving water creates problems and weakens the ice.  Our bay is almost always the first to freeze and the first to break up.  The rain yesterday didn’t help matters.  Those of you booked in for next week, please be patient with us.  If we can run, we will.  We’ll see how the conditions are over the next few days but it doesn’t looks promising.  Still lots of huts and bungalows out there and no one else seems too concerned but I know there are a few operators who are calling it quits after this weekend.

February 23, 2018 - 6:28 a.m.

Unfortunately we had to cancel this weekend.  Moose Creek is giving us grief but can’t say it wasn’t expected.  Dan took me out on the back of the sled yesterday and there is just too much water to run several groups of fishermen in our people mover.  There is lots of ice but it’s the flowing water on top giving us grief.  It was warmer than expected yesterday and things were fine when Dan went out to bank the huts but on his return, he was sledding through 12” of water once he hit Greening Bay.  We watched a couple of sleds puddle jump the bay yesterday to the shore but when they came back out, followed the shoreline.  It’s not a good situation for us and am hoping next weekend is a go but it’s all going to depend on what the weather does this coming week.  We discussed using vehicles but that isn’t an option.  They would break through closer to the shoreline at this point and we aren’t prepared to risk it.  Don’t need the repair bills for one thing.  We aren’t worried about our huts at this point as we can always haul them to a different access and then tow home but it’s not a scenario we’re looking forward to.  We’ll just need to wait until things tighten up (if they tighten up) and move quickly.  Suppose to be warm the next few days with rain, freezing rain and snow in the forecast which is why we called it.  I did suggest other operators to our guests as unfortunately this is out of our control.  Mother Nature is a formidable opponent.

February 22, 2018 - 5:32 a.m.

It didn’t get as cold as quickly as anticipated yesterday and only dipped to -8 here overnight. The winds did pick up but thankfully there weren’t any huts sailing down Lake Nipissing.  May have been a few knocked off their blocks though.  We lucked out and most of our our path is high and dry but there is still some standing water in the bay.  Looking forward, we should be okay for the next two weekends but are pulling the plug after that.  Yesterday afternoon Moose Creek was flowing inland at a pretty good clip.  Creek is starting to fill nicely and wouldn’t be surprised if we start to see water fowl show up in the next few weeks as it doesn’t look like it will get cold enough to refreeze.  Not over til the fat lady sings.  Dan spent a good portion of his day getting the new satellite receivers set up.  They should have come already programmed but because we bought new dishes he was on the phone for longer then he wanted to be (hours).  The equipment we currently have is going to be redundant in a few months so being proactive before everyone else requires an updgrade; so heads up if you’re a Shaw customer.  I had therapy and then did my town run.  Today I’ve a couple of cottages to clean that didn’t get done earlier in the week.  I’m just running out of steam ;)  Have checkins later today and running first thing in the morning.  Dan will be on ice trying to scrounge some banking.  Calling for some snow turning to freezing rain tomorrow.  Hopefully we get enough snow to do some major banking with but it’s definitely getting close to the end of season.  The sun has started to come back around enough to give us the awesome sunsets that Greening Bay is known for and last night was no exception.  Just beautiful last night and promises to be a beautiful day.

February 21, 2018 - 6:53 a.m.

We definitely made the right call this week.  We received snow, freezing rain and rain yesterday but the heavy rain didn’t come until the overnight hours.  Lake Nipissing has turned opaque with very little snow left.  We have lots of standing water in our bay and Moose Creek did start to flow but looks like most of our path is dry at the moment.  The shoreline is iffy but once the cold comes back in later today, things should firm up nicely.  Just happy it didn’t stay overly mild for as long as forecasted.  Dan isn’t going to check on the huts at all today as he tied them down yesterday in case the cold front comes in like a hammer.  Looks like there is quite a bit of water on the lake so let nature do her thing and firm it up.  Those of you coming to Lake Nipissing this weekend, rest assured there is plenty of ice just be cautious around pressure cracks and tributaries.  And don’t be bombing around at night if you aren’t familiar with the lake.  

February 20, 2018 - 5:48 a.m.

We have dodged a bullet so far but that isn’t going to last.  It was very mild yesterday and all the banking is now gone from our huts with nothing left to rebank.  So far we received a little snow and quite a bit of freezing rain, which is coming down as I’m typing this.  The big warm up isn’t due to hit until noon today.  Temperatures will be rising throughout the day and peaking at +9 later on.  Rain is due to start this afternoon through to tomorrow.  Then the flash freeze which will likely bring high winds.  We made the right call in cancelling our midweeks as our guests would have made the trek up here and only able to fish one day (without banking), if that. Can’t in good conscious take money and not be able to deliver the goods.  Dan is going out this morning to tie our huts down while he is still able to get to them with little (potential) harm to our sleds.  Our machines have been through the wringer this year with all these thaws, that’s for sure.  People think we are overly cautious but don’t realize it is not the ice thickness that is a concern as there is lots of it.  Our concern is the tributaries start to flow and greatly affects the shorelines.  We can’t take the chance of getting people to our huts with no way home.  All that said, if the weather forecast stays true, we’ll be good to go for the weekend.  See what transpires after today’s events.

February 19, 2018 - 6:29 a.m.

What a beauty day yesterday.  Was sunny, very mild and felt a lot like spring.  We had to make a decision concerning our midweek guests which were due to arrive this morning so erred on the side of caution and cancelled.  By the looks of the updated forecast this morning I think it was a good call.  Today isn’t going to be the problem but tomorrow is another story.  Freezing rain warnings are already up and it is suppose to be +9 with rain tomorrow.  It is already very mild and has begun to thaw.  We are praying we don’t get the rain they are calling for but the next 24 hours is going to tell the tale.  Dan was proactive yesterday and he and Nick removed one of the big huts. They are taking the other one off this morning while the getting is good.  We are still running for the next two weekends but not to full capacity as we are pressing our luck as it is.  Although Lake Nipissing doesn’t close until March 15th, we generally can’t run past the end of February, first weekend in March.  I haven’t heard yet on conditions elsewhere on the lake but am sure this thaw isn’t going to be kind.  Will be a lot of standing water for sure.  

February 18, 2018 - 6:47 a.m.

We are having a hard time getting people on the ice this weekend it seems.  Can certainly tell it’s family day weekend vs avid fishermen weekend.  Lol.  People were catching fish yesterday but some doing better than others.  I think those outside did the best.  We are certainly in a pickle for Monday though.  We have two groups coming in tomorrow and don’t think we’re going to be able to run.  There are conflicting reports but from the research we’ve done, it looks like we are in for rain and lots of it Monday into Tuesday.  Enough that our path is going to fall apart and no real cold weather in the long term to refreeze.  Dan’s concerned we may be done for the year if cold weather doesn’t do it’s magic by next weekend.  Operating a business that relies on the weather can be stressful at times to say the least.  We deal with this “end of season weather” every winter so this is no exception but weren’t prepared for double digit temperatures above zero or 30 mm of rain.  It’s all going to depend of how far up this warm spell is going to reach.  When they forecast +5, it always hits +10.  It is already -4 here and the sun isn’t even fully up.  We are monitoring the weather and I’ve already given our mid week guests a “stand by” courtesy call but it’s not looking too promising.  Honestly, we’ve only the two next weekends booked as we’ve never been able to run until March 15th with Moose Creek always beginning to run.  Fingers crossed.

February 17, 2018 - 6:37 a.m.

Going to be one of those weekends.  Had a hard time getting people commit to a run time so think the boys will be running all day.  No one wanted the 6:30 run which is the best one to get as the sun is already rising.  This is the time of year when we start earlier and end later.  Days are getting longer for sure.  Had sporadic arrival times yesterday but everyone was here by midnight.  No kids but do have some mixed couples which is nice to see.  Going to be a nice mild weekend for everyone although a little windy today.  We heard yesterday that the two trucks which sunk earlier in the season were both raised this week.  Good to know they won’t be there until spring but I’m sure the environmental damage has been done as they’ve been there quite a long time.  I’d love to see just what is on the bottom of Lake Nipissing.  Then again, maybe I wouldn’t.  My computer has been repaired so I am going to town a little later to pick it up.  They removed Windows 10 and reinstalled Windows 7 but I need to reinstall my Simply Accounting so this should be fun.  I may need to buy an updated version.  See how it goes but computers and I don’t particularly get along.  Technology is a wonderful thing when it works.

February 16, 2018 - 6:53 a.m.

I’m well rested this morning and ready for another busy weekend.  Dan and I just had a veg day yesterday and aren’t feeling guilty about it at all.  We have a full house starting at noon and it looks like it will be a very mild weekend.  The temperatures were above zero yesterday and we had quite the thaw but the path to our huts is fine and likely hardened up overnight when temps dropped to -12.  Just hoping there aren’t any “moats” around the huts.  Dan did take our people mover to Jim Andrew for welding yesterday as we had a piece break but that usually happens once during the season.  I haven’t seen a machine yet that actually likes the cold.  I’m hoping the fishing is good this weekend for family day.  Always great to see the little ones catch some fish.  We are running next week as well and hoping the forecast stays on our side.  They were initially calling for an inch of rain on Tuesday which is devastating to lake conditions but it was updated this morning to snow.  We are on the home stretch as we are only running until March 6th.  We can’t take chances that Moose Creek will start to flow before we can remove our huts and there are no severely cold temps in the long term forecasts.  I definitely think winter is on her way out.  Yippee kiyay.

February 14, 2018 - 7:52 a.m.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.  Dan and I are spending the day (well, the afternoon) together on the ice.  Donna and Mitch are joining us.  Hopefully we’ll catch enough to have a lovely dinner.  I’m planning on making some fish wontons with wasabi sauce as well if Lady Nip gives up her bounty for us.  I had a restless night so that’s why the blog is late.  I watched Shawn White win another gold medal at 4:00 this morning.  At 31 years old he’s still hard to beat.  I finally figured I could sleep around 5:30 this morning so fed the cats (it’s their usual time this time of year) and went to bed.  Just got to sleep and Dan woke me up saying “Gato is here”.  So feed him already.  He was fed well last night but the warm front arrived overnight and wouldn’t be surprised if the cat hung out at our backdoor all night.  It feels like spring out there this morning with balmy temps at -5 and sunny.  Suppose to hit -2 but I think it’s going to get warmer.  I just really hope it stays sunny so we can sit outside and bask.  I have my therapy appointment at 10:30 today and need to make the house presentable enough for company.  Better get busy.  Just looking forward to some outside recreation today.  Enjoy yourselves with your partners!

February 13, 2018 - 5:31 a.m.

The snow that started Sunday and was apparently suppose to stay below us dropped a lot more than we had anticipated.  We got up yesterday morning to a beautiful blanket of snow.  Love it when all the dirt and prints are covered, it’s just so serene.  I ended up digging out the house and cottages and that’s when I realized we actually had a good 5-6 inches of new powder.  Dan did the snow blowing so our morning was used up.  I did all the remaining cottage laundry in the afternoon as well as some time consuming phone calls.  I’m cleaning this morning and then Dan and I are heading to town.  I need to take my computer in for maintenance (thanks Windows 10, you piece of crap) and Dan needs to pick his truck up.  If you remember, earlier in the season the cold cracked the entire length of his windshield, so he was finally able to get the vehicle in for repair.  We’ve a few errands to run as well so today is the day.  The weekend was a successful trip for everyone with the fishing being very good.  It was sunny but the wind was bitterly cold out of the north yesterday.  An extreme warm up is on the way later today.  Going to be just below zero tomorrow so hopefully we can get some fishing in.  Or at least regroup.  Haven’t really had time but an afternoon of recreation would be nice for a change.  This is the only week of the entire season that we don’t have mid-weeks because I booked it off.  We needed the time for catch up and get things done requiring our attention that couldn’t wait until the lake shuts down.  Since this is the week the cottages are vacant we are also doing an upgrade to our satellite tv and having all new receivers installed.  

February 11, 2018 - 5:45 a.m.

It feels a little chilly this morning but think that is due more to moisture in the air.  It isn’t getting cold enough these days to suck the humidity out of the air but even with the -20 cold nights, the daytime highs have been lovely.  It is currently -19 and should warm quickly once the sun is fully up.  Calling for some really mild temps next week so looking forward to that as long as it doesn’t cause a thaw on Lake Nipissing.  More likely bring some more snow.  Our guests did well again yesterday.  I was able to get enough bait to get us through the weekend although we did ask our guests to conserve as much as possible.  The perch were biting on anything whether alive or dead so that was a non issue.  All species of fish have been caught this weekend including pike, whitefish and herring as well as the standard walleye and perch.  Hope the fishing stays as good through to the end of the season.  I’ve some checkouts this morning and then am hoping to get a leg up on the cottage cleaning as I would really like to get out fishing some time this week myself.  Nick was running his butt off with everyone yesterday giving Dan and I somewhat of a break.  I actually had a much needed unintentional nap yesterday afternoon so didn’t get a few “catch up” chores completed and I am quite alright with that. Lots of time for “catch up” when we close for the season.

February 10, 2018 - 5:20 a.m.

And so it begins...the joys of owning a camp.  This is the weekend we have our biggest group in who started to arrive around 11:00 in droves yesterday morning even though they aren’t fishing until this morning.  They were in fine shape by about supper time last night.  Our other guests who came in Thursday night fished all day yesterday and had the best fishing on Lake Nipissing they have ever experienced.  The fish were on fire yesterday and they just blew through the bait.  Now I’m told our supplier may not have any more bait until Monday.  Sooooo, I’m up and going to be scrambling for minnows today.  Hopefully I can get enough to keep our guests happy for the weekend.  Two long days.  Quite the dilemma.  Last night our satellite tv’s all went out in the cottages.  Dan had ordered an upgrade earlier in the week as our current  receivers are going to be obsolete in a month or two.  Well the supplier deactivated our current receivers before we received the new ones.  Not operator error, just some employee that didn’t follow protocol.  So Dan was on the phone for an hour and a half last night getting everything reconnected.  And here we thought it was going to be a great weekend because the conditions are so good.  Always something to keep us on our toes.  Sigh.  Wish us luck today, think we’re going to need it.

February 9, 2018 - 6:38 a.m.

I know winter isn’t over and we’re likely in for several more blasts before it’s over but I do believe spring is coming.  It’s  been getting severely cold overnight and then warming up quickly once the sun rises which usually is a sign of the season beginning to change.  I certainly hope so.  Another month is about all I’m good for.  Had a busy day yesterday, one more cottage to clean this morning and then we’re full boar until Monday.  Had check ins arrive around 5:00 yesterday and all lights were out when I got up around midnight so people are biting at the bit to go fishing.  Rest of the guests arrive later today through to Monday.  It was gorgeous yesterday considering it hit -26 in the early morning before going to -6 by the afternoon.  And sun.  We actually saw some.  Pretty much a repeat today.  Hopefully some fish will be caught today but they haven’t started biting until around 8:00 recently.  That’ll give everyone plenty of time to get set up and organized once they are on ice.  Dan’s going to freeze his little patootie off this morning as it’s currently -31 with the windchill.  Thankfully it should warm up quickly.

February 8, 2018 - 5:48 a.m.

Another restless night for me.  I slept well from about 9:30 to 11:00 but that was about it.  Going to be a long day for moi.  Our guests did great yesterday and we have some very happy fishermen departing this morning.  Phil Falcone who was the same fellow to catch a fairly large Muskie through the ice this time last year, landed a beautiful pike yesterday.  He didn’t measure or weigh it before releasing but from the looks of the picture, it was likely a 15 pounder.  Nice gator Phil!  Lots of walleye and perch caught as well so everyone had a nice fry.  I have a couple of cottages to clean this morning and am hoping to get them both done but running on no sleep, see how it goes.  Definitely need to get one done for check in later today.  Going to be a very busy weekend but no one is fishing today so Dan will have a bit of a break in that respect.  He has other things to do but one last thing to worry about.  He’ll be cleaning the vacated huts and getting things organized for tomorrow’s fishing.  At least I’ll be warm on shore while he’s on the ice.  Sucks to be him.  Temperatures are in the -20’s but daytime highs due to warm up considerably this weekend.  I didn’t get my fridge cleaned out as anticipated yesterday but I did manage to make a delicious roasted chicken dinner, rice pudding, wonton soup and some pana cotta to save me some work this weekend.  Didn’t get the beef stroganoff made as hoped but will likely make it tonight or tomorrow.  Would rather pan fry some fish truth be told.  Hopefully we can get out there some time next week!

February 7, 2018 - 5:53 a.m.

Was a very busy day for Dan and I yesterday.  Neither one of us stopped but our guests all did well with the fishing.  Lots of walleye, perch and even pike caught.  Hope it keeps up for them today as well.  Going to be a cold one this morning and can’t see anyone fishing outside until it warms up.  Dropped to around -20 last night but with the wind chill currently -26.  A lot of moisture in the air so you can really feel the cold.  When Gato came up last night just after dark, you could really feel the cold through to the bones and our door completely frosted over when I put some food outside for the poor little feline.  His whiskers were all white by the time he was done eating.  The flock of doves are still around so faired well and think considering we’re heading into spring shortly (praise be to God) they will all survive the winter.  We have a nice two day warm up coming early next week as Tuesday and Wednesday the temps are due to be -2 for the daytime highs.  I’ll take it!  Maybe, just maybe, we can get on the ice and do some fishing ourselves.  We are hoping to have an easy afternoon today as we are both caught up so thinking I may do some cooking after I clean out my fridge.  Or a nap sounds good as well.

February 6, 2018 - 5:30 a.m.

It has been hovering around -10 since yesterday afternoon and didn’t get colder than that over night.  Did I say we badly needed snow only a few days ago?  It just keeps coming.  Keeping Dan on the tractor and plowing his little heart out.  At least now we have a terrific base in case of another thaw.  Not that there is one anywhere in the long term forecast.  The conditions on our path are excellent once again and should be great for the next couple of weeks providing no drastic changes in the weather.  Our guests did pretty good with the fishing yesterday.  Have more checking in this morning.  I believe they are newbies so Dan will be helping them out until they get the hang of things.  I’ve some cleaning to finish this morning and then my town run this afternoon.  I hear the highways weren’t very good yesterday so hopefully they’ll be in better condition for my drive.  Donna and I certainly had our work cut out for us yesterday.  Seemed most of the cottages were more worse for wear than normal after this past weekend.  I actually had to use the wet vac in one of them for water leakage.  Long story regarding a keg on ice in a recycle bin and a lot of work created for me by a group lacking common sense.  Silly boys.  If you wouldn’t do it at home, don’t do it in my cottage.  At any rate, it all cleans up.  Mostly.

February 5, 2018 - 6:19 a.m.

Wow!  I went to bed at 9:00 last night and slept through until 6:00 this morning.  Think I needed some sleep.  Dan is still in bed and we have a few hours reprieve until the next guests arrive.  It snowed for most of the day yesterday and calling for a few flurries today which means more shovelling likely.  Dan has some plowing to do today and Donna and I are cleaning.  As tired as I was yesterday, I managed to get everything done that was mandatory.  I also did a boo boo by clogging the toilet in the house with too many dead minnows.  Lol.  They are good for the septic but only in small doses so my bad.  Dan was not impressed with having to deal with that problem after working all day so I guess I’ll start feeding the ravens from now on.  The last group checking out today decided only to fish the afternoon yesterday.  A couple of the fellows cross country skied out to our huts but opted to get a lift home.  The group aren’t die hard fishermen and seemed to enjoy their time here.  Looks like our path is in fine condition with all the new snow.  Better than travelling over bare ice as the screech, screech, screeching tends to make people nervous.  Hopefully the fishing is good this week.

February 4, 2018 - 5:42 a.m.

Well that was a waste of time tucking in to bed last night.  I was up for most of it.  My busiest day of the week today so this should be fun.  Dan will be heading on the ice shortly as we have quite a few fishing today.  The fishing dropped off slightly late yesterday which was likely due to the front and weather change coming in but the winds are suppose to change from NE to SW right shortly if they haven’t already.  Lots of fish were still caught and some did better than others but everyone seemed happy enough.  It snowed most of the night and is still continuing to do so with about 3-4 inches of fresh powder so far.  Conditions will be great on the path by the time Dan gets his runs finished.  Providing there hasn’t been a lot of drifting the people mover should pack everything down nicely.  Looks like conditions should be good for the next week or so but not sure for truck traffic if we continue to get much more snow.  I’d rather the snow than the awful thaws we’ve experienced for the past several weekends.  Hopefully the long term forecast stays true and gets us through the better part of February with great conditions.  Our American guests gave Dan a big pot of gumbo right from Louisiana last night so he was/is a happy camper.  They honour him with it every year.  Nick was promised some as well so will have to make sure I put some aside before Dan inhales it all.

February 3, 2018 - 6:05 a.m.

Wow, talk about scrambling yesterday.  Donna came in for 9:00 to help me clean the double unit for the next arrivals and between the two of us running at full speed, just managed to get it done in time.  The group that vacated and had previously been tight lipped told me they caught 8 keepers while here so the fishing has definitely improved this year if there was any doubt.  Full house again this weekend (as every weekend) and I’m thinking the fishing should be pretty good today.  We received a dusting of snow overnight and they are calling for more so it’ll be overcast all day.  The pressure was falling when I went to bed last night but still a little high this morning so we’ll see.  Temperatures have warmed up so that also helps.  Was very cold yesterday with the windchill (although sunny for a change) but suppose to reach -10 today and is currently heading in that direction.  Had a catastrophe diverted last night as one of the cottages had a grease fire.  It was outside on the deck but I could see the flames were getting out of control when I looke