What's New

January 23, 2017 - 6:31 a.m.

Had a busy day yesterday but managed to get everything accomplished that I wanted to.  Dan had work to do in the morning but took the afternoon off.  He was hoping to get some sleep but the phone wouldn't leave him alone.  The temps didn't get much below zero overnight and it really needs to.  Our path was covered in water closer to shore as Moose Creek has started to flow.  Will be fine once it freezes but need the weather to cooperate with us.  Today is office work day for me.  Time for 4th quarter and year end books.  

January 22, 2017 - 8:21 a.m.

I'm late this morning but not my fault.  I actually turned the bedroom light off at 8:50 last night and slept through until 5:20 this morning which is an anomaly for me.  Must have been tired.  I could have gotten so much more accomplished this morning had our internet been working.  I believe Dan is going to install our new router sometime today but see if he feels up to it a little later.  I've already cleaned the house and stripped a cottage of the laundry currently in the machine but only after checking out a couple of groups.  The gods were shining on us yesterday as we were able to get everyone off the ice last night with no incidences.  Good thing we called off running today though as the temps never did get below freezing this weekend and now the path, even though it was drilled, has started to really deteriorate.  There are puddles all over the property and it's really starting to be a soupy slushy mess.  Staying above zero again today and only down to -1 (if it makes it) overnight.  Hopefully we will get the -6 forecast tomorrow night.  Really need some cold weather here folks.  On a good note though we had some good sized keepers on the ice yesterday so people were able to have a fry.  We seem to be more in a pickerel hole than perch this year so Dan and Nick are moving the huts on Thursday (weather permitting) so we get into more perch.

January 21, 2017 - 6:00 a.m.

So far, so good.  Has been a little stressful for me with this never ending thaw we've been experiencing.  Not as stressful as it is on Dan I'm sure but being on shore and not knowing what's happening on ice, I think is worse.  That said, the path has been holding together though deteriorating and it doesn't look like we've lost any ice.  It think our saving grace through this thaw is the fact we've had no sunshine.  We had a little excitement last night right at dusk.  Dan went out to open the last hut before starting his end of day runs back to shore and one of our guests had a bit of an emergency.  Seems when he yanked too hard on his line, the hook kicked back and embedded itself in his eyelid.  I called an ambulance as none of the group could drink after sipping on the ice all day and I figured the paramedics would be able to remove and treat it on shore.  Nope.  They couldn't tell where the barb was and so he'd require a local anesthetic as well as antibiotics for infection.  So off he went.  Dan wasn't able to get the hut open for this morning's run so just got back from doing that.  Things are holding together so we just need to get through today and are then shutting the huts down until next Thursday.  We had a bit of rain overnight and they are calling for rain today and tomorrow.  It didn't get below zero last night but calling for -4 tomorrow night.  Certainty hope this is isn't the way it's going to be for the rest of the winter...although it does make for beautiful fishing outside ;)

January 20, 2017 - 6:33 a.m.

Another above seasonal day yesterday.  The tin roofs started to shed the snow build up last night.  Could hear the crash, boom, bang every time the snow slid off the roof around our house so will need to get rid of it off the decks before it has a chance to freeze.  Even with this thaw there is no chance of getting the Christmas lights put away as they are frozen in the ground by maybe some of the other decorations.  The path started to deteriorate yesterday afternoon so Dan had to use the studded sled for traction.  It doesn't have as much power as our other one so he may end up having to do more trips than he'd like this weekend.  We only run today and tomorrow and then that's it until next Thursday.  We rescheduled our mid weeks and there is no below temps in the forecast until Sunday night.  So Sunday will make sure the huts are jacked, high and dry and then let Mother Nature do her magic, firm everything back up and we should be good to go for next weekend.  Lord I do hate these thaws but have never seen one quite this drastic or for so long.  On a good note, the fish have been very active and hitting fairly hard.

January 19, 2017 - 6:43 a.m.

The weather forecast is looking a tad better since they changed it this morning.  The daytime temperatures aren't suppose to get nearly as high as originally forecasted and it's  suppose to go below zero every night so we should be okay to get through the weekend.  Dan is still contemplating drilling holes along our path to give the water a detour route so it doesn't sit on top of it.  They are calling for a low percentage of precipitation over the weekend so that is another thing in our favour.  Hoping the forecast stays as it is or gets even better.  So far our conditions are holding.  One of our guests (Rick Connor) caught a beautiful 8.3 lb, 29" hog walleye yesterday.  He actually felt bad as he wanted to release her but too much damage was done so I'm guessing they had a decent fry last night.  Fishing was really good yesterday and should stay that way with all this mild weather.

January 18, 2017 - 6:32 a.m.

Our current guests did really well yesterday.  Said they had non stop action from the time Dan dropped them off.  The perch were slow this past weekend and a few pike were caught so maybe that was the problem.  At any rate, they are back with a vengeance.  Apparently when the walleye hit last night though, they hit hard.  I'm pretty sure the fishing will be good while this warm front is in.  Not sure if we'll be able to run though.  At this point Dan is saying he can't run Sunday so I'm contacting customers to see if they're able to come in early Friday.  It's really not looking good for the long term.  I don't think I've ever seen it stay this mild for this long.  We have lots of ice but we have to deal with Moose Creek flowing as well as path deteriorations.  Not to mention no banking.  I'm so happy I didn't take any booking requests next mid-week because we would have had to cancel them.  I'm heading to town today either before or after our guests arrive this morning.  Dan will be busy on ice today.

**Side note:  If anyone from Murray Oates group is reading this, could you please contact me this morning.  1-866-535-0518

January 17, 2017 - 6:30 a.m.

It was a beautiful day yesterday.  Sun was shining and temps went above zero.  Felt like the end of March and will remain that way for the rest of the week.  Dan is keeping his eye on the conditions.  He actually has to get a hut ready this morning for arriving guests so will know more later this morning but thinks the -8 temps overnight likely kept everything firm.  We've two more groups arriving tomorrow but Dan doesn't seem too concerned about the mid weeks.  He's concerned about the weekend, Sunday in particular.  We are making a decision on whether we'll be able to run this weekend tomorrow morning but this thaw and the above zero temps aren't changing like we'd hoped.  We didn't take any mid-weeks next week, which was a good call as the cold weather isn't returning until later next week.  It certainly isn't like it use to be when you could rely on cold weather and good ice for the duration of the season.

 

January 16, 2017 - 7:52 a.m.

The past cold snap sure affected the fishing, which seemed to drop off drastically.  However, it did start to pick back up for the evening fish last night.  Now the warm front is coming in and the fishing will be excellent once again but will start to cause problems on the lake.  Due to the length of the thaw we are a little concerned.  Our conditions are pristine at the moment and there is lots of ice on the lake but due to tributaries which will begin to flow, there are bound to be problems.  Please check with your operators for their conditions and please, for your safety, try to use only tracked vehicles when venturing out.

January 15, 2017 - 6:03 a.m.

The weather warmed up yesterday but it took most of the day to do it.  The high pressure system is slow moving but due to move out within the next day or two.  It is dropping but very slowly.  The fishing was just okay yesterday with some groups doing better than others.  Hoping it's better for the last group we have today.  Fishing was slow everywhere on the lake yesterday if it's any consolation.  There were some major mishaps this weekend around South Bay way.  Their conditions this year seem to be what we were dealing with last year.  Nuisance pressure cracks, flowing water, etc. because there were at least 3 trucks that we heard of which got caught on cracks.  One truck completely sunk, another partly submerged and a third which was able to be retrieved.  Be very careful if venturing in that area folks. The long term forecast has all the operators on the lake concerned.  With it being above zero for as long as forecasted, this can only spell trouble.  Some operators on other areas of the lake have already opted to cancel the upcoming week/weekends and pull their huts completely off the lake.  We are in good shape (for a change and knock on wood) at the moment.  Our usual grief giving pressure crack hasn't formed this year and I think it's because the pressure was taken off the lake elsewhere (South Bay) so hopefully it'll be remain that way for the rest of the season.  We currently have a good 18"-20" of ice so guess we will have to see what happens in the next few days.

January 14, 2017 - 6:11 a.m.

Wow, did it get cold last night.  Could feel it coming in the air all day yesterday.  Bottomed out at -28 but currently sitting at -18.  We are full up this weekend, all regulars and a great group of people.  Those that fished yesterday said the fishing was okay and they did alright but I think the current front slowed the fishing down compared to the past week.  It'll pick up again later today as the winds are shifting from north to south and an extreme warm front is on the way.  The long term forecast is being bothersome as the high temps for a long duration isn't good for the lake but we'll deal with whatever comes our way.  Suppose to reach -6 this afternoon so should be a pleasant day for fishing.

January 13, 2017 - 6:27 a.m.

I stand corrected.  We DID need a plow yesterday morning.  And how.  Hard to tell standing inside the house looking out, especially when it was still dark out.  Once the sun came up and I went outside to shovel, we had received a lot more snow than originally thought.  Not only more but much heavier.  Did a number on my back shovelling out the cottages but put the Dr. Ho on last night and it did the trick.  I had to clean and get bait yesterday as well while Dan and Nick were on ice dealing with sinking shacks.  Not sinking more like rising water so they had to jack them up and rebank them which took a good 5 hours between the two of them.  And this was after Dan did the plowing.  It can stop snowing anytime but it is winter so comes with the territory.  Fishing was still good yesterday so see what this morning brings.  Maureen is coming in today to clean what I didn't get done yesterday as I need to zip into town.  We've been having problems with our internet ever since the windstorm kept flicking our power on and off so think we need a new router.  Last time we had to replace it the same conditions applied.  Internet is very sporadic at best right now.  We had some grosbeaks and finches turn up yesterday and it looks like the doves are definitively wintering here.  Can't believe that.  Definitely going to be more mild than cold here this year, for sure.

January 12, 2017 - 6:03 a.m.

Yesterday turned out to be a mixed bag of precipitation.  Once the wind died down Dan was able to get everyone out but was just about an hour or so later than usual.  Our washroom was fine, mainly due to the contents being frozen.  Lol.  Dan did end up having to rebank the huts before taking our guests out though.  They did very well again yesterday as the winds remained west or south west.  We received some rain, freezing rain and snow through the late afternoon and evening hours.  The snow plow just went by but think we could have foregone a plow this morning as we needed the snow cover but according to the forecast, we're in for more snow today.  It's going to get cold for the weekend, as it usually does during a full moon but then things are due to warm up next week.  Calling for the January thaw.  Could most definitely do without that.  Whatever ever happened to the reliable -10 temperatures?  Goes from -25 to -1 these days.  Hearing some mumblings from South Bay way that the pressure crack is causing some problems.  We're thinking that crack is what is relieving the lake pressure which is similar to what we had to deal with last year when the crack formed on our part of the lake.  I wish all the operator's dealing with it good luck, stay safe.

January 11, 2017 -5:48 a.m.

UPDATE:  Dan hasn't run yet this morning.  He went out to check on the huts and had a very difficult time staying on the sled which was being blown sideways so no way he was using the peoplemover.  He will once the wind dies down a tad more though.  Also discovered our on ice washroom was blown over and moved a good 20'.  Lovely.  It's a port-a-john so think about that one for a minute.  Sucks to be Dan today.  The property is also a mess with debris everywhere.  The wind that woke us up must have been way more brutal than we thought.

Holy wind batman!  The snow started yesterday later then anticipated which was around 4:00 in the afternoon.  Sure, we had some light flurries throughout the day but nothing major.  Of course going by the forecast all the school buses were cancelled but didn't need to be.  Today is another story.  After the heavy snow came the freezing rain.  North Bay lost power last night around 10:00 and ours was flickering but didn't actually go out until 3:45 this morning when the wind came in.  It was the wind that woke me up.  Just hammered us.  Dan woke up because his sleep machine quit working.  We didn't lose power for long though and North Bay's has been restored.  It's currently gusting to 70 km/hr but starting to die down.  It's still going to be fairly windy today but tolerable.  Dan is heading out shortly to see what the conditions are on the lake before he pulls anyone.  At least with the freezing rain, it's packed down the snow so there shouldn't be any white outs.  The fishing wasn't as good yesterday as the day before, likely due to a pressure change with the storm but it'll either be really good today or really bad.  The winds are shifting to the west but the pressure is really high at 103 kpa so I'm guessing it's not going to be great.

January 10, 2017 - 6:03 a.m.

Get the shovels out people.  Snowfall warning in effect for today.  Could get another 20 cm which I'm really hoping not.  We received another inch or two yesterday plus what we had on the weekend.  It's certainly weighing the huts down but at least we have about 14" of ice now.  Warm front isn't fully in yet as it's currently -8 in North Bay and suppose to go above zero overnight tonight.  Just a brief warming trend but I'm sure we'll get a bit of a thaw.  The fish were on fire yesterday.  The morning bite was by far the best and our guests couldn't even keep up with their lines.  They managed to catch a couple of keepers so that's a good thing.  From what I'm hearing, just tons of 16-17" being caught this year so the slotline is working.  The perch are definitely on as they tend to come on a little later at our hole but didn't take long for them to show up this year.  Good eating.

January 9, 2017 - 8:07 a.m.

My goodness were they slaying the fish this weekend.  Any amount of pickerel were caught, most in the 16"-17" but managed to keep a few.  Some massive ling and whitefish, pike and perch.  Fishing has been excellent which really surprises me considering the cold snap we've been experiencing.  It's a bit nicer today but the warm winds didn't come in until after it dropped to a bitter cold with temps around the -30 mark.  Everything e we opened a door, the steam just poured in.  It's currently -10 with a southerly wind so fishing, if the legends ring true should be phenomenal (winds from the south puts the bait in their mouth).  We had an extremely busy day yesterday and I'm pooped today but have a couple of cottages to clean. Dan has already taken our Sunday check-ins on ice and is getting huts ready for today and tomorrow's guests.  Hopefully they'll all do really well and bring some fish home for dinner.

January 8, 2017 - 6:35 a.m.

Was a busy day yesterday.  Tons of fish being caught, lots of walleye, a few keepers so everyone is happy.  Our spot is sure producing this year.  It got a lot warmer than forecasted so actually was too bad out with a high of -9.  Got cold again overnight at -18 which is actually warmer than forecasted also.  I think the extreme cold may be done for a while but it's still going to stay well below freezing.  I've a very busy day today with check outs, cleaning, clean ins so I'd better get at it.

January 7, 2017 - 6:10 a.m.

Dan is currently on the ice making sure everything is good to go this morning.  Certainly no shortage of cold and I don't envy him at all.  Thankfully he has a thick skin.  It never warmed up yesterday and I think there are cold pockets of air all over the place because it's saying -18 in North Bay (higher elevation), -21 on the lakeside of our house and -25 on the land side of our house  whatever the case, it's fricking cold.  Open the door and the steam rushes in.  We've definitely been making some ice.  The fishing has been really good regardless of the temps or air pressure, which has been relatively high.  Lots of walleye being caught in the 16"-17.5" range.  Nice sized pike and of course perch.  Dan was able to get on his usual spot this year so at least that's something.  I've work to do today back in the shop/office and Dan needs to zip to town for parts.  He's been having a hard time getting the hut doors open in the morning so is replacing all the handles.  Called yesterday to have them all keyed the same so he doesn't need to fart around in the mornings looking for the right keys.  Nick is coming in to help today so he'll be taking over the bait runs until Dan gets home.  He's also going to stud up our one snow machine, which we've never done.  Should help with the traction as they had a hard time getting the big huts on ice.  I wish I could drive a sled and fish these days because I would love a nice fresh dinner but hopefully I'll be back to normal next year.

January 6, 2017 - 9:48 a.m.

Little late today folks as it just warmed up enough to get our internet back.  Peaked out at -29 overnight and we made another 2" of ice.  The pressure cracks have formed but don't think they are going to be nearly as hazardous as they were last year.  About time we caught a break!  The fishing was pretty good yesterday considering how cold it was and the rising pressure.  They were biting again this morning when Dan left the ice so see how things go.  I know our group yesterday caught quite a few walleye but they were all 16".  Hopefully some keepers are around today.  Good sized perch so they'll be having a fry.

January 5, 2017 - 5:50 a.m.

So it begins...it's officially our first day of the ice fishing season.  Dan will be on ice first thing this morning drilling holes for the first of our guests who are set to fish this afternoon.  The first group is always the most difficult as there are variables at play but hopefully everything will go off without a hitch and it'll be a great weekend.  The weather has certainly changed in the past 12 hours.  Was pretty nice yesterday on shore, with mild temps and a few little breaks of sunshine but Dan said it was windy on the lake.  We watched the band of cold air and snow come down the lake yesterday and it began to blow around 4:00 yesterday afternoon.  Was nasty for a good few hours with white out conditions and blowing snow.  The temps dropped from -3 to the current -18.  Going to -13 today and the sun may make an appearance.  Looks like Dan will have decent conditions for pulling but will be chilly.  Can't report on the fishing until likely Saturday after we've had a full day but our friend Craig put his hut near us and he made out pretty good.  I would just like to remind everyone to please handle caught fish with care, especially when you intend to release.  Try to avoid handling too much, avoid touching the gill area and don't keep above the surface longer then absolutely necessary.  You'll want to give the fish the best possible chance to survive.  Tight lines everyone!!

January 4, 2017 - 7:18 a.m.

We're getting yet another round of snow right now.  None of the freezing rain materialized on the south shore, at least very little.  Dan ran into some on the lake yesterday but not much inland, thankfully.  The snow overnight is enough to make shovelling an agenda item for today though.  Getting tired of too much snow, too little sunshine.  Dan will be checking the huts today to make sure they are still banked well to withstand the winds coming our way later today.  Was very mild and melting yesterday but the cold front coming in will likely be a big blast of artic air dropping temps drastically overnight.  We need some cold weather for sure, especially for the huts to stay high and dry this weekend.  I've help in today to get the final cottage cleaning done.  Come tomorrow, we'll be in the thick of things until the end of the season.  God willing, we'll have a good one with little to no problems.

January 3, 2017 - 7:35 a.m.

So far so good.  No freezing rain as of yet but we did get a couple of inches of snow overnight.  The temperatures were above zero yesterday, the sun was shining and it felt like a wonderful spring day in March. Dan and Nick had a long day.  They started at 9:00 and worked diligently all day but managed to have all the huts set up on ice by 5:00.  They had a bit of a problem with the very first hut getting stuck in the middle of Greening Bay due to a lack of grip but after that, things went pretty smoothly.  The long term forecast looks great after tomorrow when the cold weather return snow and stays that way for quite some time.  Would like to see at least a few more inches of ice just in case we have a few more thaws, which are inevitable.  

January 2, 2017 - 7:54 a.m.

We had a busy day yesterday as we're getting geared up to go.  Dan had to plow the property as we've no shortage of snow this winter (as I predicted just from watching the squirrels lol).  Then he turned the heat on in the cottages to warm them up before turning the water on for the season.  After that he ran our path for most of the afternoon.  Needed to pack it down as best he can.  Considering all the snow we've received to date, he said there isn't much out on the main body of Lake Nipissing due to wind.  They are calling for the freezing rain to start tonight, then rain, then snow all over the next few days.  He needs to get our colossal huts on today while there is still a bit of grip out there.  Nick is coming in this morning to help so I am heading to town for provisions and supplies while the roads are still in fairly good condition.  I won't have a chance to go any other time this week anyhow.  Won't bother you with my cleaning schedule for the rest of the week but suffice it to say that's what I'll be doing.  Just a heads up people...there is a green marker buoy that has gotten loose and is frozen in the ice upside down just next to our treeline (which you can't miss).  It's is the middle of the lake just out from Greening Bay.  Use extreme caution when sledding in the area because if you hit it, you're dead.  The authorities have been notified but I don't believe the sled patrol has began just yet which means it may be some time before it's dealt with.  Please use extreme caution.

January 1, 2017 - 7:32 a.m.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  What a ride we had this past year.  It was very difficult on the entertainment industry, music in particular but today is the beginning of another year and I plan on making the best of it.  Hope everyone has a wonderful new year filled with peace, love and happiness.

December 31, 2016 - 6:32 a.m.

UPDATE:  We have 81/2" - 12" all the way to our hole.  We'll be running the 5th.  Happy New Year!

Yesterday was somewhat of a busy day.  The girls came in to clean the double unit while I took down all our interior Christmas decorations and then cleaned the house.  Dan was out and about most of the day doing due diligence on the cottages and equipment.  After I got my work finished I took a drive around the neighbourhood.  Conflicting reports on ice thickness this year as everyone was pretty much measuring different thickness.  Dan and Nick are going out to measure our spot today and will most likely put the treeline in while they are at it.  I'll update the blog later on once I know what we're dealing with.  Everyone have a safe and happy new year if you're celebrating tonight!  Pretty sure Dan and I are staying home and vegging.

December 30, 2016 - 7:01 a.m.

Things are shaping up for the opener later this weekend. The weather was very mild yesterday and we received quite a bit of snow but the winds shifted in the evening dropping the temperatures to -10, -19 with the wind chill factor.  There have been numerous reports on ice conditions coming in over the past few days and the findings are anywhere from 6"-10" with 2"-3" of water on top of or between the ice.  With the colder temps coming our way, it should firm everything up.  If we don't receive much more snow, we'll be good to go on the 5th as scheduled.  Those operators running for the 1st will begin setting their huts up today so see what transpires and update tomorrow.  There were a couple of people fishing Callander Bay yesterday (NFN so it's legal) but they weren't very far out and not fishing out of a hut.  Walking out and fishing is one thing.  Hopefully some huts will pop up on Callander Bay tomorrow.  Day huts should be okay, especially if pulled by sled vs a truck but again, see what happens over the weekend.  We haven't measured our bay yet, which is usually where the thinest ice is but will be doing so in the next few days.  From shore it looks like the pressure crack has formed which we need to happen before attempting to set up.  Patience people, updates will be forthcoming over the next few days.

December 29, 2016 - 6:25 a.m.

I was in a fishing discussion forum last night and it occurred to me that a lot of people really don't understand just what a tourist operator does or how perilous their jobs can be.  Things have changed drastically in recent years, namely the weather, and as a result, it's not just a matter of plopping ice huts out in the middle of a lake on January 1st.  We've not been seeing the -20 temperatures in December like we use to which always gave us the safe black ice and plenty of it.  We've recently had to deal with maximum ice thickness of 6-8 inches of white ice.  Then you need to take into account the long term forecasts which always include a monthly (if not more frequent) thaw.  An abundance of snow makes it impossible for the cold weather we do occasionally receive to get at the ice, insulating it instead.  Lake Nipissing will freeze over safely but the trend has been more mid January vs the end of December.  Even when she does eventually freeze over, there are no guarantees the ice will remain safe.  The continuous thaws and up and down temperatures we've been experiencing of late are opening cracks where previously they have not ever been.  An operators job is to safely put you on fish.  Safely being the key word.  Operators know everyone is anxious to be on ice for the opening weekend and trust me, they want that as well.  But at what cost?  Please be patient this year with your operator of choice.  They are doing the best that they can with the circumstances they've been given to get you out and fishing.  Although it may be disappointing, delaying your trip a week or two just might save your life.

December 28, 2016 - 7:50 a.m.

Our family arrived safe after travelling over 6-7 hours to get home yesterday.  Such terrible accidents all over the place due to weather conditions yesterday.  People need to slow down and adjust their driving to the conditions.  Anyone thinking all season or snow tires are going to be invincible are dead wrong.  I think the deer know Solo (in-laws dog) is gone as they were all up waiting to be fed this morning.  We had a little sprinkling of snow overnight but it wasn't enough to provide the grip we need on our property.  More is coming this week though.  The temperatures aren't getting nearly as cold as forecasted but am hoping it was cold enough last night to make some more ice.  It did hit -11 here but there isn't a whole lot of cold coming our way this week.  Thankfully our first ice fishing run isn't until January 5th so we do have some time yet.  Those running on January 1st, well, that will depend on their conditions on their part of the lake.  If you do have an excursion booked for the 1st, please check for conditions with your operator.  Everyone calls us and we don't have a clue what's happening elsewhere.  There are a lot of factors which determine ice thickness, contrary to what people believe.  Just because someone is reporting 8" where they measured, it doesn't mean it's 8" everywhere.  When venturing on ice this week, please be smart and stay safe people.

 December 27, 2016 - 8:16 a.m.

Wowza!!  We had quite the weather yesterday.  Lots of freezing rain and both Hwy 11 and 17 were both closed briefly but the rain event only lasted long enough to make driving difficult.  They had forecasted high winds to follow but they didnt come through until around 11:00 last night.  Dan was actually walking home from the cottage when they came in like a hammer and nearly blew him over.  They were strong enough to knock out the hydro for 3 hours.  When I contacted Hydro, they indicated Callander and Corbeil were out.  Didn't say anything about North Bay.  Of course when you contact hydro to report an outage, they call you back to let you know when the hydro is expected back on so that was at about 2:00 this morning.  Meaning I'm running on very little sleep.  Doug and Dianne have already left for the return trip home to Chatham and the rest of the family is leaving shortly.  That means Dan and I can get back to business.  One good thing about the storm yesterday...Lake Nipissing is now opaque so the colder weather coming in tonight can get at and make ice.  Where Dan has been plowing our property is now a skating rink so a little snow wouldn't be a bad thing.

December 26, 2016 - 7:09 a.m.

Dan and I and our family all had a wonderful Christmas.  Food was great and plentiful, the gifts thoughtful and the company enjoyable so what more could a person ask for?  We are very blessed indeed.  We were all going to head to town to do some Boxing Day sale browsing but the weather isn't cooperating.  As forecasted, we've already received some freezing rain and by the looks of the radar it is going to continue throughout much of the day.  Our decks are ice encrusted but not too bad just yet.  I suspect they've already been out last night salting/sanding so the roads may or may not be okay.  I'm more concerned about the power going out while we're in town.  Dan has already prepared and bought the gas for the generator and I've plenty of candles if it comes to that.  The rain, if we do get any, isn't due until the temperature rises later today.  Play it safe people and don't travel unless it's absolutely necessary.  

December 25, 2016 - 7:01 a.m.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!  Dan and I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season.  

December 23, 2016 - 6:35 a.m.

Was just a gorgeous day yesterday.  The snow we had received overnight clung to everything so I went out for a walk as soon as it was light enough and took some pictures.  It was truly breathtaking and perfect winter scenery.  The sun came out later in the day which just completed a near perfect day.  Temperatures rose above zero and our gauge is showing right on zero right now.  Going to stay pretty mild over the holidays with the exception of two nights around -15.  I see they have now issued a weather alert for most of Ontario for Christmas and Boxing Day so hope everyone plans ahead and stays safe.  We had a flock of grosbeaks show up yesterday.  I hope they stick around over the holidays as they are truly beautiful birds.  I still have 6 doves hanging around the house this year so make sure they have plenty of birdseed.  Just the fact that the doves haven't left tells me we're in for a mild winter this year as they are usually long gone by now.  Great for anyone not wanting to ice fish ;)  Dan and I are having a cocktail party today as his family is due to arrive later this afternoon.  We invited some friends and neighbours so I was busy prepping yesterday as I will be today.  I made some "kick ass" Puerto Rican egg nog from a receipe I found on Facebook.  Very yummy.  Not to mention I have enough food for an army.  Should be fun and a great way to kick off the holidays!

December 22, 2016 - 6:53 a.m.

Nice to know we will get 2 more minutes of daylight today.  It's still pitch black right now and when I turned on the outside porch light, lo and behold, we received another inch or two of snow overnight.  Ice conditions weren't good when I went to town yesterday.  You can tell where tributaries had started to flow and water was also forming on a lot of the bays as temps went as high as +3.  With the warmer temps this week, that ice is no where near ready to venture out on.  Anyone reporting differently doesn't know how to take measurements.  Good thing is, they are calling for rain or freezing rain early next week with colder temps to follow.  I still think the season is going to be late starting this year.  Yesterday was my day for needles.  I gave a blood sample, got a flu shot, got a pneumonia shot and then had acupuncture with 20 needles.  I was a little sore by the time I got home but I'm set for the season now.  Lots of flu and viruses going around up here and the up/down weather we've been experiencing, I'm sure is a contributing factor.  After that, I did the last of my shopping.  Other than some minor cooking and cleaning, I'm ready for Christmas, which promises to be white for most of Ontario.   Bring it on!

December 21, 2016 - 6:34 a.m.

The warm front has finally made it.  Got a little windy yesterday but wasn't blowing snow around.  At least not at our house, which I didn't really leave all day.  Dan continue shovelling the snow off the ice huts and I finished all my cooking/baking...at least for a few days.  I decided pastry is not my forte.  I use my Grandmother's blue ribbon award winning receipe but for some reason, pastry and I do not get along.  If it's possible, it turned out too flakey.  Definitely edible though.  We had another system develop yesterday afternoon which dumped a good bit of more snow.  The snow just doesn't seem to want to let up this year.  It's currently sitting right at the zero degree mark and is going to stay unseasonably warm through Christmas.  Likely get warmer then forecasted also.  Not good for ice conditions but there is some rain in the forecast on Boxing Day so that may help if we get cold weather behind it.  Incidentally, please contact your operator to check on ice conditions.  We can't speak for conditions elsewhere on Lake Nipissing, only our area.  Thickness varies depending on circumstances.  We have a tributary which affects ice thickness in our bay, especially during thaws; other areas, not so much.  Dan and I are both heading to town today but separately.  I have an appointment and am getting groceries.  He has an appointment and is doing his Christmas shopping.  Yes, Dan is one of those typical men that waits until the last minute.  Surprisingly, he's getting it done early this year as Dan usually fights the crowds on December 24th.  Lol.

December 20, 2016 - 7:27 a.m.

Yesterday was quite pleasant weather wise.  The sun was out for a bit but we did get some flurries as well.  Lots of snow this year.  North Bay looks to be running out of places to put it.  I saw them hauling it away in dump trucks yesterday and noticed the parking lots are starting to get filled up with snow piles.  Not much parking left on the streets in the downtown core either.   Dan shovelled all the cottage decks and walkways yesterday as well as removing the snow from the ice hut roofs.  We've received a good two feet and lots more in the forecast.  It is compacting but not very quickly.  We are suppose to hit above zero this week so assume a lot of melting will begin.  I did some more Christmas cooking yesterday after returning from town.  Will likely do the same today.  We sure aren't getting a lot of daylight these days but come Christmas, our days will start to lengthen and hopefully we can see a lot more sunshine.  Been too consistently overcast for much too long.  

December 19, 2016 - 6:20 a.m.

Good Lord, was it cold yesterday.  The sun was shining all day but it was bitterly cold.  The windchill factor didn't help.  It nearly dipped to -30 overnight and knocked out our internet as soon as the magic -25 was reached.  The warm front is already on its way through and currently sitting at -18 here.  Unfortunately, it will be bringing 60 km/hr winds with it.  May get some drifting but suspect the cold has frozen the snow in place.  We'll just have to wait and see.  I dig some shovelling yesterday and Dan plowed.  Wrapped all my gifts and got things ready in the double unit as I have some help coming in today.  I need to zip into town for a 10:00 physio appointment so will get the girls started before I leave.  I'm happy to say Dan is going to have help this winter.  Last year was too stressful as it is only Dan and I running the business.  With me unable to drive a sled at that moment (as well as last year), if he got in trouble on ice, the repercussions are enormous.  Not doing that again.  We will both rest easier knowing help is available.  Apparently there were some measurements taken on ice yesterday.  There was 4 1/2 inches of ice with lots of slush.  That's not to say it's like that everywhere so I'm going out on a limb and saying it's still not safe to venture out there.  Especially with all the snow cover.  Long term forecast isn't looking very good either.  Above seasonal temperatures for the entire week with more snow is not going to be making any ice.  Fingers crossed it gets extremely cold after Christmas.

December 18, 2016 - 7:08 a.m.

We had quite the snow event yesterday and apparently, it's not quite over.  It snowed all morning and then the sun came out.  Environment Canada, silly people, lifted the snow advisory yesterday afternoon.  Dan was digging us out until 3:00 while I was making cabbage rolls and then we headed over to Deb's, who hosted a wonderful neighbourhood Christmas party.  While there, it started snowing again and hasn't really let up.  Still snowing this morning and considering it is still still dark out, not quite sure how much we got.  Total accumulation so far is likely a good ten inches at least.  I'll be shovelling shortly as the deer are already up looking for food.  I actually have to dig a trench to put the corn before I can feed them so it'll be a while.  The temperature is currently -18, dropping to -29 with the wind chill factor this afternoon.  Winds are suppose to change direction bringing in the warm front.  Nothing but mild temps in the long term forecast but at least it will stay below zero.  Way too much snow on the lake right now.

December 17, 2016 - 6:14 a.m.

Due to the forecast, I decided to go to town yesterday and get the groceries required for the baking/cooking I need to do.  So glad I did as the snow started about 9:00 last night.  I was up a few times in the night and it was still snowing.  Now that I'm up for the day, it still is.  Calling for at least 20 cm by the time it's all over tomorrow morning.  I'm guessing we'll be shovelling on and off for the better part of the day.  Figured we were going to get something because the whole deer herd showed up at once last night.  There were 6 deer frolicking on the lake in back of the house and at least 10 already up on the bedrock patiently waiting for me.  I took a few videos and posted one on our Greening Bay Facebook page.  Such beautiful creatures.  Today I'm going to start some Christmas cooking.  Either making tourtière or cabbage rolls.  See what I feel like doing once I'm totally awake.  We have a Christmas party at the neighbours later today and am looking forward to it.  I made a crockpot of chili last night to bring along.  The temperatures are staying somewhat colder today at -10, going down to -18 tonight but the long term says it's going to warm up.  Still staying below zero but not the really cold weather we need to make lots of ice.

December 16, 2016 - 7:40 a.m.

Wow!  It really was cold yesterday.  Temperatures were hovering around -25 so we definitely made some ice.  They have issued a snowfall warning for the area for the next 24 hours as warmer temps move into the area.  Suppose to reach -9 today, a little chillier tonight and then more reasonable temps next week.  Still staying below zero but hoping we don't get much snow so the cold is able to get at the ice.  As I drove through town yesterday, I noticed a lot of ice shard pile ups and snow dunes on the lake so it didn't freeze nicely this year.  Today I'm not quite sure what's on my agenda but it's going to involve being indoors.  I do have some gift wrapping to finish and need to continue on with cottage laundry.  Laundry I've already done needs to be put back (i.e. window treatments, shower curtains, bedding, etc.) so there is that.  Dan will most likely finesse the snow removal once it warms up.  There was some drifting involved so he may have to do some more plowing.  

December 15, 2016 - 6:48 a.m.

I'm surprised I still have Internet this morning!  It hit -25 in North Bay overnight which is usually the magic temperature for our net to quit working so it must not be as cold by the water.  Our temp gauge reads -20 so must be pretty accurate.  We had blizzard like conditions here yesterday.  First the heavy snow came and then the wind as the cold front blasted through.  Lots of accidents, road closures and school closures yesterday.  It's only suppose to hit -17 today which figures.  I have two appointments today that I can't miss so I'll be freezing my little patootie off.  No cozying up to the fire for me today.  No sign of the deer this morning (as usual) so they must be hunkered down trying to keep warm someplace.  Keep your animals inside today folks.  This weather is a lesson for me.  I need gas and I know to always keep my tank topped up this time of year.  Gas station will be my first order of business this morning!  Sorry but it's too dark to tell you if the lake froze over last night.  It was pretty windy overnight but pretty calm right now so chances are good.  Lake Nipissing was really pushing the slush yesterday during and after the storm so it's definitely at the right temp to freeze.

December 14, 2016 - 7:51 a.m.

I waited to update a little later this morning as I wanted to see the lake conditions.  We lost a lot of ice yesterday as the wind picked up and blew a lot of it to shore.  We have the ice shard hazard along the shoreline, as usual, but it does look like the whole lake has tightened up overnight.  There is still open water but considering the temperatures we are expecting over the next few days, I think Lake Nipissing will be completely frozen by the weekend.  See what Mother Nature gives us between now and then.  Dan went into town yesterday and shortly after he left the snow started falling quite heavily but he didn't have any problems.  Highway 11 North was closed for a bit due to an slight accident but that was about it.  I did cottage laundry and finally got to my Christmas cards.  I'm way behind this year as I usually have them out by the first of December.  Been busy, what can I say?

December 13, 2016 - 7:01 a.m.

The deep freeze, as the weather gurus are calling it, is due in overnight tonight.  It is currently only -3 with another round of snow due to hit anytime.  We received quite a bit of snow yesterday, enough to make us shovel a couple of times.  Dan just plowed out the house and back to the shop.  The road plow we actually pay for showed up later in the day to blow out the roads.  I went down to Young's around 1:30 and none of the township roads had been plowed yet either.  They cancelled the school buses in the area, which is the norm around here.  I worked in the office until around 1:00 and then hit a wall.  I was exhausted yesterday so didn't really do much in the afternoon.  Was asleep in bed by 10:00.  Not quite sure what's on my agenda today but I still have lots to do.  I'm definitely starting on the cottage laundry.  Need to wash all the linens, bedding, curtains, etc. as I have a couple of ladies coming in next Monday to start the power clean before we open the cottages back up for the season.  If we ever get ice.  Was looking promising yesterday morning and Lake Nipissing is on the cusp but with all the snow and milder temperatures yesterday, the main body of the lake is not freezing.  I'm thinking with the -20+ temps over the next few days, that should do the trick. Providing it doesn't get too windy...

December 12, 2016 - 7:50 a.m.

I'm back. Sorry but I had some technical difficulties on both my website and blog yesterday and actually had to contact Karl, my IT guy to get me up and running again.  I even had a few people contact me to let me know, even though I was aware of the problem.  Glad to know I have such faithful followers out there.  Our Ladies Christmas Party 2016 was a huge successful.  Lots of great food, company, gifts and laughs, for sure.  Unfortunately, me thinks we're all getting a tad old.  The party started at 3:00 and everyone was ready to tuck in by 9:00.  I had the house cleaned up by 9:30, or at least most of it.  I went over to the cottage afterwards to round up Dan and the fur babies.  Dan was sound asleep on the couch and the cats were hiding and very traumatized.  A little stir up every once in awhile is good for them, I think.  Shows who's still the boss.  Yeah, right.  Lol.  We have been getting quite a bit of snow over the past few days and there is nothing but snow and flurries in the long term forecast.  Don't think we'll see the sun for days.  The ice is forming on Lake Nipissing and from what I'm seeing and hearing, all the bays and tributaries are frozen.  The main body of the lake, which is where all the good operators put their huts, is still open.  I suspect the entire lake will be frozen by the end of the week providing we don't get a whole lot more snow.  Frigid temps coming our way a little later in the week and since it doesn't usually snow below -10, we should be okay.  Then it's just a matter of time and letting Mother Nature do her work.  Build that ice please.

December 10, 2016 - 5:33 a.m.

I was hoping to sleep in this morning but it wasn't to be.  Been up since before 5:00.  Sigh.  We are getting some snow this morning and it started before I went  to bed.  Beautiful blanket of snow and currently -8 according to my thermometer.  Quite a bit of snow in the forecasts and of course Dan is having trouble with his tractor.  He talked to Alf for a couple of hours last night trying to sort out the problem but I think the conversation kept getting sidetracked.  Hopefully he can fix the problem before we get too much more snow.  Think our road maintenance man will actually need to make the first appearance of the year today with his plow.  We'll definitely be shovelling today once the snow slows down.  The ladies are due to arrive around 3:00 today for our Christmas party so have a bit of a busy morning.  Town was a little crazy yesterday but managed to get all my errands done before noon.  So glad I have all my Christmas shopping finished.  Just need to do some cooking and baking but have plenty of time.  I had taken some things to the dry cleaners which I picked up yesterday.  Boy am I out of the loop.  I haven't required the use of dry cleaning since we moved up here 17 years ago.  If I had to use one regularly, I'd be broke.  Two suits and an overcoat, $65.  Seriously?  I'm in the wrong business.  Lol.

December 9, 2016 - 7:01 a.m.

Well that was a rather rough night's sleep.  Something woke both Dan and I up around 2:00 this morning.  No idea what but quite difficult for us to get back to sleep.  Hope I don't find a downed tree or something once it's light enough to see outside.  The wind picked up around supper time last night and the forecasted cold front is now definitely here.  Dropped to -10 in the Bay overnight and is still very windy.  Getting really sick of the wind this year.  Long term temps look favourable for making ice but only if the wind dies down, which it is suppose to later today.  I finally got the last of my cleaning done yesterday.  Was quite the acrobat while hanging off the ladder scrubbing the bathroom ceiling but managed to get it done.  I did a little baking last night and am heading to town today.  I am hosting the Ladies Christmas Party tomorrow so have cut things pretty close but know we'll all have a great time.  Dan is being shuffled over to a cottage for the day along with our fur babies but think he'll rather enjoy that.

December 8, 2016 - 7:29 a.m.

We received a little snow overnight but not as much as they called for and certainly not enough to cancel buses in our area but some areas did.  First hint of snow and it seems they cancel school buses these days.  Has to be hard on parents.  Lol.  We had nineteen deer come up last night and they didn't seem too jumpy so don't know if they are all Red's offspring (probable) or just herding up for the winter.  Another month and they will all be gone so enjoying them while we can.  Dan worked in the shop yesterday and has all the equipment for ice fishing ready to rock.  The lights on the sled he put through the ice into two feet of water last year were working intermittently so he pulled all the fuses and replaced with new ones which solved the problem.  Dan is certainly starting to be a jack of all trades.  Do or die I guess.  I did more cleaning and then decorated the house.  Just have to clean the bathroom today but am scrubbing the ceiling, walls, etc and organizing the cabinet so isn't just a small job.  After that, I'm taking a break.  Still have some purging to do but I'm cleaned out...at least until next week.  Still no ice but the long term forecast is cold with temps around -10 so fingers crossed will start to see some ice formation in the next week.

December 7, 2016 - 7:05 a.m.

Wow, it was colder than I thought yesterday morning.  Once I got outside, I really had to scrape my windows and the car said it was -10 here.  The closer I got to town, the warmer and foggier it got with temps being -4 by the time I was in town proper.  I also noticed ice is starting to form along the shorelines of Lake Nipissing.  It's warmer this morning but the cold front is due in this afternoon so it will be windy (again) this afternoon.  Every year, same thing.  That's why we always have a pile of ice shards to contend with because when the water is cold enough to freeze (apparently the lake temp of +4 is the magic number and it was +5 as of yesterday) the cold weather comes in with the wind, stirring up the lake.  Ice then forms and is pushed to the shore.  If no wind, the lake would freeze like a skating rink, which would be awesome but doesn't happen very often.  I was back from town by 11:00 and continued on with my cleaning.  Dan did some maintainenance over in one of the cottages so think he's pretty organized for the upcoming season.  I still have lots on my plate but it'll all get done.  I managed to find some cleaning help for ice fishing so that takes the pressure off.

December 6, 2016 - 6:46 a.m.

Dan and I worked on the house again yesterday.  He puddled around doing paint touch ups and maintenance while I continued the cleaning.  I managed to get all the appliances sparkling which took most of the day.  The house will look great for Christmas but once ice fishing starts, well, that's another story.  Thankfully I have found some help for the season.  Now to get some for Dan when he needs it, which isn't very often.  I've an appointment in town this morning but should be home no later than noon and then I'm going to continue on and finish the kitchen.  I know this is my life right now but after the windy summer and fall and living next to a sandy beach, the house definitely needed a good bath.  We had at least 15 deer come up yesterday afternoon.  This is the time of year they start to gather and try to fatten up.  I am holding off feeding them until dusk now as I want them all to get a little corn and the ducks, which I hate feeding have been trying their best to scoop the corn. They don't fly south until the ice forms and a neighbour across the creek is feeding them so they may stick around even longer.  I've another month of feeding the deer before they head into the bush.  Can't come soon enough as I go through a lot of feed right now.  Just like everything else in North Bay, we pay more than everyone else for certain items.  Deer corn is one, hydro and gas a few others...

December 5, 2016 - 7:50 a.m.

I had a great day yesterday.  Cleaned until around 1:00, hopped in the shower and then headed to Annie's in town.  The two of us went out for a nice supper at "The Station" and then headed over to the actual station and watched the Ontario Northland's Holiday train come in.  There was quite the crowd and from what I could see, the children loved it.  I've always wanted to see the train so now I can check it off my list.  It started to snow lightly last night just as I was going to bed and we woke up to a nice little dumping this morning.  Maybe about 2-3 inches but definitely enough to cover everything in a blanket of white.  The deer were waiting for me this morning wanting feeding so I've already been out and it's quite nice.  Temperatures are just below zero with colder weather coming a little later in the week. I have to give a shout out to the people of Callander.  Driving home last night, I was so happy to see all the brightly coloured lights, especially along Wasi Road.  So happy to see people are keeping the MERRY in Christmas even with the soaring hydro rates.  Kudos!!

December 4, 2016 - 6:44 a.m.

We had another very gray day yesterday with flurries on and off for most of it but nothing much to accumulate.  According to the forecast, miracles of miracles, we may see a little sunshine today.  Temps are below zero and staying that way for the week.  Might even get some double negatives ;) as it could hit -15.  Providing the wind behaves itself, might see some ice formation.  I finished cleaning the living room yesterday which took me all day.  Keep in mind I'm doing walls, baseboards, the whole shamally so it takes time.  I'm also not as agile or young as I once was.  Dan recovered most of the dining room chairs yesterday and has a few more to go which I assume he'll finish today while I clean the dining room.  Started washing the dishes in my buffet hutch yesterday and will finish them today then hoping to move on to the kitchen.  Geesh, by the time I get the house cleaned and purged, I'll need to start over again.  Lol.

December 3, 2016 - 8:51 a.m.

Legend has it that if you are unable to sleep at night it means you are awake in someone else's dream.  Whoever was dreaming about me yesterday, please stop because you ruined a perfectly good night's sleep.  Lol.  Dan and I went to town yesterday.  While he was in the dentist, I did a bunch of errands and then we went for a nice lunch at Burger World.  That place is always busy, no matter what time of day but it's worth it if you have to wait. Unfortunately one of our errands was to pick up the pump parts and when we got there, no one was around.  Dan ended up having to go back into town once we were home but did eventually get the chlorination system working on our pump again.  We also exchanged some bedroom furniture in one of the cottages so it'll be ready to go once we open it up again.  Still having a problem finding cleaning help but hopefully something will turn up.  I'm back at the house cleaning today and am tackling the living/dining rooms today.  Hopefully I can finish by day's end.  The Ontario Northland Holiday train is going to be at the North Bay Station tomorrow evening at 6:00.  I would sure like to attend but will have to see how things go for me tomorrow.

December 2, 2016 - 6:03 a.m.

Two rooms finished.  So nice to purge and help the homeless or less fortunate at the same time. Dan was outside or in the shop most of the day yesterday.  Doing some organizing and maintenance while I cleaned.  He hates when the house is torn apart or disorganized so a good place for him.  He has an appointment in town at 9:00 so I'm going with him as I have some errands to run and then we are doing a little shopping.  We have a few flurries this morning and calling for light snow throughout the day.  The wind is blowing northwest 20 km which explains the cool down from yesterday.  It finally went below zero overnight and is due to get colder over the next few days.  Too windy to form ice but hope that's coming within the next week or so.  I'm guessing it's going to be later in the month before we see ice though.

December 1, 2016 - 7:42 a.m.

Dan came home yesterday looking like a new man.  He basically shaved his head and had his tooth repaired so looks like a new man.  Considering it rained most of the day and night, good day to sit in a chair and get some pampering.  The pressure has been lifted off me.  The hospital called yesterday.  Changed my surgery from December 21st to the 22nd (apparently they could get closer to Christmas) then called again saying they lost the surgery suite for the day so changed it to January 8th which I indicated was no good for me as we&#