What's New

March 27, 2020 - 8:40 a.m.

Good morning everyone!  I won’t be updating daily right now unles there’s something really good to report.  During this isolation time, there isn’t a whole lot going on.  I got hooked into a few things on the net so was up late last night reading but I’m pretty spry this morning.  It is going to be an absolutely gorgeous day.  The sun is already gaining strength and because there was a very heavy frost last night, it’s going to warm up quickly.  I’m betting it reaches close to +10 today.  Lots of melting has been going on but we did receive a bit of snow yesterday morning which didn’t stick around.  Big beautiful flakes which were lovely to watch fall from the heavens.  More water fowl have returned and Moose Creek is starting to open and flow so they at least have a water source.  The creek is carving a path into the bay and I wouldn’t be surprised if next week we begin to see the bay starting to fill.  Temperatures are going to be mild all next week with even the nighttime lows not too far below zero.  I am zipping into town to pick up some fresh produce and staples so it will be good to get out and about.  No worries.  I have sanitizer and wipes.  Enjoy this beautiful bright sunny day!

March 25, 2020 - 8:16 a.m.

It was certainly a beautiful day yesterday!  I did some house cleaning in the morning and then got out for some fresh air in the afternoon.  No fear of running into people where I am so it was quite enjoyable listening to the wild life that has slowly begun to return.  I even saw the first eagle of the season.  And a robin.  Nothing has changed in nature as their instincts are still as they’ve always been.  They are oblivious to what is happening in the human world.  I briefly watched the news and then turned it off.  The media needs to start reporting something other than 24 hour pandemic fear mongering.  Don’t get me wrong.  I know the seriousness of this and believe we will persevere but I really don’t think think being bombarded 24/7 is good for people’s mental health.  Turn off the tv folks.  Take your kids outside in the back yard and play.  Or drive them to a deserted beach or park.  Go for a forest hike.  Just get outside and appreciate nature.

March 23, 2020 - 7:22 a.m.

This social distancing thing is not working in North Bay by the looks of things.  Although there are very few cases up North and none in the Bay, people are still out and about like normal in town.  I was in town Saturday and most of the shopping centre parking lots were full as well as the main roads.  Lots of traffic.  Our restaurants are now doing limited hours for takeout and most stores are closed but the amount of traffic I saw tells me people aren’t being cautious enough.  Unless Saturday was the day everyone decided to get groceries, I was a little taken aback.  Some nice weather is coming our way this week with mild daytime temperatures well above zero.  Hopefully people will be able to get some fresh air by going for a walk.  Safely, of course.  Dan and I have gotten some rest but now boredom has set in so I’m going to start my spring cleaning in the house this week.  Do some purging while I’m at it.  I’d like to drop off some things for the food bank in North Bay as it seems to have been emptied out.  They likely have limited hours at well but if I contact them first, I am hoping to drop a box off outside for them.  Keep smiling everyone!

March 21, 2020 - 8:39 a.m.

Dan and I have been getting some rest during our self isolation but I think next week, it’s time to get back at it.  We have lots to keep us busy indoors and I’ve already defrosted and cleaned two fridges and a freezer.  I’m going to start my spring clean next week I think because it should actually be warm enough I can air the house out.  There’s also books and office work to be done.  I just need to get my butt organized and away from the tv.  Four Mallard ducks showed up here late afternoon yesterday and were under the cedar trees where I have my bird feeders hung.  It was snowing and blowing yesterday so not too nice for their return but it is calm and sunny this morning and the warm up is due to begin today.  No temperatures really below zero for the next week and since Moose Creek had already started to flow before yesterday, it should be running well within a couple of days.

March 19, 2020 - 7:15 a.m.

It looks like it is going to be a beautiful day with sun and a high of +7.  Sadly, it won’t last.  Calling for rain overnight into tomorrow and then a cold front coming through changing it to snow.  Going to drop down to -19 tomorrow night and stay cooler for the weekend.  Get those huts off because mild weather will return and Lake Nipissing will be a pile of slush.  There are very few huts left on the ice in our line of sight and considering I haven’t been to town in over a week, I can’t tell you the hut situation on the rest of the lake.  Might be a nice day for a drive with the windows down and fresh air.  We still have a skating rink around the property which makes walking around a little difficult.  Dan wiped out in our driveway yesterday.  Today should help with some melting and there is grass starting to appear in batches around certain areas.  Won’t be long and we’ll be into the spring clean up.  Doesn’t look like it’s as bad as last year when I spent a week picking up branches from winter thinning and I overfilled every single firepit on the property.  Hallelujah!

March 17, 2020 - 6:42 a.m.

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!!  Slainte!  Hope everyone enjoys some green beer today although I’m thinking celebrations will be kept to a minimum.  It’s a terrible thing going on in the world today but I’m positive through diligence and perseverance we will prevail, just have to get through the next few weeks or so.  I do wish people would stop panicking though.  During this lockdown period, spend quality time with your kids and really listen to them, get to know them.  Look after an elderly neighbour who is feeling overwhelmed even though they’ve probably experienced much worse than what we are experiencing right now.  Take a few minutes to write some generic uplifting letters and have your children draw some pictures for those confined to elderly residence homes or hospitals with no one to ease their fears but a handful of exhausted care workers.  Make some hygiene packages up and leave them where you know unfortunate homeless souls will find them.  There is plenty of kindness to be found in the world and it starts with you.  This doesn’t have to be a time of fear, hoarding, greed, and gouging.  Keep positive and brighten someone else’s day if even from a distance.

March 16, 2020 - 7:12 a.m.

That’s it for ice fishing.  Lake Nipissing is now officially closed until the 3rd weekend in May.  There were quite a few people out fishing yesterday hoping to catch enough for one more fry.  A lot of huts have started to disappear off the ice as well.  We have a mild forecast this week with the temperature above zero for the daytime high all week.  We still have a few cold nights to keep things relatively firm but there is rain coming also.  It would be advisable to get your huts on shore as soon as possible.  

March 15, 2020 - 5:59 a.m.

We had a really nice day yesterday.  Had a small gathering for a “shop/garage party” out back.  We were hoping to sit outside in the sun where we were somewhat protected from the wind but it wasn’t to be.  The wind was just a tad chilly so we stayed indoors and enjoyed the wood stove.  I made stuffed peppers wrapped in prosciutto, baked brie with pears, rosemary and bacon marmalade, tequila paprika shrimp and chilli for supper which no one ate.  Lol.  We were all just happy to visit but by around 6:00, everyone was ready to head home.  Had a very nice visit and by the time I got everything cleaned up and relaxed for a bit, I was ready for bed.  I guess 9:00 is the new norm.  Lol.  It is suppose to be sunny again today but we still have a north wind so it’ll be rather chilly unless directly in the sun.  Not sure what’s on my agenda for the day.  I’d like to get some bookwork done next week so may just relax today.  It’s too messy for a snowshoe, too icy for just a regular walk and not nearly time yet for a bike ride so my options are limited.  Pretty sure Dan will be vegging as his knees were acting up yesterday.  Poor old guy is feeling his age ;)

March 13, 2020 - 7:19 a.m.

The Canadian geese have made an appearance if a tad early.  Thankfully Moose Creek has produced enough water for them but it will be a bit before it is fully open.  The winds kicked up big time yesterday and are still howling this morning.  It is suppose to settle down somewhat but I’m hoping more for sun than anything else today.  We’re having a small get together this afternoon just to chew the fat and it’s nothing special because we’re going to sit back in the shop if we need heat otherwise, we’ll be getting some fresh air.  When I was in town on Wednesday, I had to stop briefly at Shoppers Drugmart.  There was an elderly fellow (older than me, lol) in front of me buying, you guessed it, toilet paper.  He had 3 packages and 3 bottles of hand soap and his bill was over $50.  I raised my eyebrows and he asked the cashier how much the toilet paper was.  She replied, “$15”.  I said “wow”.  He just looked at me and said, “I can’t find it anywhere”.  Price gouging at its finest and Shoppers should be ashamed.  Not only is illegal but it’s unethical.  I had the foresight to put my seasonal order in for the cottages with our supplier so I’m good.  Really good.  Seems a lot of restaurants, resorts, businesses, etc were doing the same so I’m glad I was proactive because by the time May rolls around, might be a problem.  It’s just nuts.  Dan and I have nothing pressing on our plate and so happy we live where we live so we can hunker down and do some work around the property until things settle down a bit.  I’ve been watching the news religiously but have to say, people need to stop panicking and have some common sense.  Keep an eye on your neighbours, help out the elderly and be kind.  Always.  This too, shall pass.

March 12, 2020 - 8:15 a.m.

Dan managed to get the last hut off the ice yesterday so now he can relax.  He was quite worried about it just due to the lake conditions but managed to get it on shore with little trouble.  He said he took a few treeline posts out and initially getting through the moats which had formed ice on top of them was a little tough, but it was fairly easy for the most part.  We don’t have much cold weather in the forecast so had to get while the getting was good.  He then decided to go into town with Mike so I stayed home and did very little except enjoy the peace and quiet.  I am going to town today though as I have some running around to do.  I really need to hit the bank and our accountants but have a little supply shopping to do.  God save me from Walmart. Lol.  I saw a few blackbirds yesterday so wasn’t imagining it earlier in the week, they are definitively returning for the mating season.  We also heard coyotes across the creek last night which might explain why Gato didn’t stick around for very long.  If the coyotes are back it likely won’t be long before we start to see some deer in the neighbourhood.

March 11, 2020 - 6:33 a.m.

It is a little chillier than it has been this morning.  Back to feeling like winter but the rest of the week will be considerably warmer.  We received a little snow yesterday, just enough to dust everything in white again but today should be much better and hopefully get close to zero.  Going to have fluctuating temperatures through the weekend but the days are definitely getting longer and having an impact.  Hopefully a lot of the standing water on Lake Nipissing has firmed up overnight although most of the ice was slush covered yesterday.  Sunday is officially the last day of the season for ice fishing and then the lake shuts down until May.  Saturday looks like it might be a good day for one last adventure out but see what the weather brings closer to the weekend.  Won’t be much fun if it’s windy.  Dan went to town yesterday as there wasn’t much he could do with the rainy/snowy day so I suspect he’ll be taking our last hut off the ice today.  I’m heading to town at some point as I’ve errands.  Gato actually showed up last night after gallivanting around for a few days.  I’m thinking with the spring-like weather we had been experiencing, he was in search of some female companionship.  He might be getting older but he’s still a Tom cat at heart.

March 10, 2020 - 7:51 a.m.

Ugh!  It started raining yesterday afternoon and hasn’t quit yet.  Still coming down pretty good this morning and it’s very foggy out.  Once the sun is fully up, this will hopefully all burn off but for now, the rain continues.  It’s the messy time of the year and between the mild temperatures and all this rain, things are starting to melt fairly quickly.  We have a lot of snow cover but it’s being condensed and there is standing water in lower lying areas.  The winds are suppose to pick up gusting to 50 km/hr out of the NW this afternoon so hopefully that will firm things back up a bit.  Slow thaw this year would be very welcome.  I heard a red winged blackbird yesterday and it’s early, even for them.  They return here every year to nest along Moose Creek and to generally just be annoying to everyone.  My neighbour dropped down for a quick visit yesterday and said, she too, has heard a robin.  Can’t see it or find it in the trees though.  There is some grass starting to be exposed already but I think that just might be short lived as there is still snow in the long term forecast.  Not getting too excited just yet.

March 9, 2020 - 8:16 a.m.

What an amazing weekend.  The weather was absolutely beautiful, especially yesterday.  Saturday was mild and sunny for the most part so Dan and Mike managed to get another couple of huts off the ice which just leaves the last big one and the supply hut which will come off as soon as possible.  The snow banks were just too big around the big one but I think with the mild temperatures this weekend if it doesn’t come off today, it definitely will after all the rain they are calling for today.  It hit +8 yesterday so I opened up the house for most of the afternoon.  Fresh air inside was nice for a change.  Today won’t be quite as warm and rain is suppose to start later this afternoon and continue throughout the evening.  May turn into snow tomorrow morning but will have to see how the system tracks.  We had a great time Saturday night as a group of us went to Anglers Grill for supper and stayed for the entertainment.  Was a very fun evening and we haven’t done that for quite some time.  I’ve a few things to do today but for the most part my time is my own for a change.  

March 7, 2020 - 5:48 a.m.

What an eerie moon set this morning.  The sky was so bright last night with the nearly full moon shining on the snow covered landscape but the moon this morning was coloured blood orange.  The mist surrounding it made one think of an Orson Wells movie.  Creepy but beautiful at the same time.  The evening temperature reached -18 but the warm up begins today so I’d have to say the current full moon is bringing a change in a positive way.  Rather than freezing cold, it will give us wonderfully warm temperatures this time around.  It’s suppose to be sunny with a high of +7 tomorrow.  Will be a great ice fishing day.  There are quite a few bungalows still on the ice in our line of sight and the lights were shining brightly in them when I went to bed last night.  A couple still had the lights on when I got up.  With the time change jumping forward tonight it’s back to dawn breaking closer to 7:00 again.  

March 6, 2020 - 7:20 a.m.

Winter came back in the form of snow but at least the temperature is suppose to remain mild today.  Tonight may get a little chillier than it’s been though.  Dan has managed to get the cottages winterized and a couple of huts off the ice.  Depending on how much snow we received on the ice, Dan may remove some more huts today.  I was hoping to get some fishing in today but I’m not going out there unless the weather is conducive which it doesn’t look like it will be.  It is still snowing and the wind is due to pick up from the north.  I finished all I needed to do yesterday in regards to shutting down the cottages for the season so I have some time to myself this weekend.  Next week I’ll likely be starting a spring clean or I could do the first quarter books.  Or I could do nothing.  Lol.  I saw the chipmunk out and about again yesterday.  Going to be a while before all this snow is gone especially since there is still plenty in the long term forecast and it’s still coming down pretty good right now.  I’m ready for summer.  Bring it!

March 4, 2020 - 7:15 a.m.

It started to snow lightly yesterday afternoon and hasn’t really stopped.  Just light flurries but enough to cover everything again.  It’s going to be very mild with nice temperatures all week.   I still think spring is coming a tad early here this year as I saw the first chipmunk of the season out and about yesterday.  It’s home may have been getting wet due to the thawing or could be it ran out of its winter food stockpile but I don’t usually see them until at least mid-March.  I hope the migratory birds don’t start returning as we’ve still lots of snow load to get rid of.  Dan and Mike were on the ice yesterday morning digging out the huts and freeing them enough to be able to pull home as conditions are favourable for it right now.  Lots of snow in the forecast this week so hopefully the sooner they get them off the ice, the better.  I cleaned all the minnow equipement yesterday which involves a lot of bleach but it’s all been put to bed for the season.  I still have a small pail of minnows left in the shop with an aerater keeping them alive so if we’re going to use them up, it best be the next day or so.  Karen came in yesterday and got the cottages cleaned and ready for winterizing.  Dan zipped into town yesterday for the anti-freeze which I could have picked up today in hindsight as I’ve an appointment this afternoon in Mattawa.  Dan certainly has his work cut out for him this week but once it’s done, he can relax which will likely involve a lot of much needed sleep for a week or two.  The man definitely has earned a break!

March 3, 2020 - 6:57 a.m.

It started out as a gorgeous day yesterday.  It was mild, sunny and calm.  We decided to go fishing in the afternoon if I got my work finished, which I did by just after 2:00.  By the time we got out on Lake Nipissing and the tip ups set, the wind picked up so it turned a little cool.  Still, it was nice to be out enjoying the sun.  I managed to catch 4 walleye and 2 perch but even they were hard to catch.  No keepers so I released everything.  They were biting very light and the flurry didn’t come on until right at dusk, around 6:15.  The season is getting much longer so if we fish anymore, we won’t be venturing out early unless we just want to soak up the sun.  It’s going to be a pretty mild week and the snow has compacted quite a bit just from the weekend, or rather our last snow storm.  Things were melting really well yesterday and most of the snow has fallen off our roof tops.  Many of the roads in the area are now free of snow, we are just hoping ours holds off a bit longer so pulling the huts off will be fairly easy.  Once the sun gets beating on a clear dark spot in the middle of the road, it accelerates the melting process.  There is a heavy cloud of stove smoke hanging over the Bay this morning which means the temperature is going to warm up very quickly this morning.  It’s a sign of spring, for sure.  Another sign is the two squirrels I saw mating yesterday.  Yep, the mating season is upon us.  Lol.

March 2, 2020 - 6:09 a.m.

Well that’s a wrap folks!  We thank all our patrons for their loyalty and business this past ice fishing season but we are pulling the plug.  Looks like just in time as the temperatures are going to above zero for most of the week.  Moose Creek should likely start to thaw and possibly run and since we seem to be right on schedule weather wise this year, it’s a good call for us.  Just need to get our huts off this week and the cottages winterized and it’s relax time baby!  Dan and I actually slept for most of the day yesterday but it’s going to take some time for our internal clocks to kick in and allow us to sleep in past 5:00.  We do have some friends in for the week who wanted to come up north for some snowmobiling but other than that, we’re pretty much done.  I do have a few minnows left so we may go fishing sometime this week as it was so good on the weekend.  Lots of fish caught and everyone was pretty happy.

February 29, 2020 - 5:40 a.m.

Happy Leap Year!  I wonder how many couple’s will be getting married today?  We had a pretty cold night and it’s currently -23 so whoever is getting married today, I hope it’s in a much warmer climate.  It’s not suppose to warm up here until tomorrow so we’ve one more cold night to get through.  The winds are going to be strange over the next 24 hours, for sure.  Blowing NW currently, changing to the W in a bit, then NW again this evening before shifting to the SE overnight and finally S tomorrow when the warmth comes back.  Fishing was fairly good yesterday.  Had a flurry late yesterday afternoon and one group fishing outside managed to get 5 keeper (legal) walleye.  Hopefully fishing is good today as I don’t think anyone is fishing tomorrow.  

February 28, 2020 - 4:35 a.m.

This storm just keeps on giving.  It snowed most of the day yesterday but the wind was something even worse to contend with and it’s still howling out there.  Apparently the winds are suppose to die down to a steady NW 10 km/hr by around 10:00 this morning but the gusting woke me up around 3:30 and that was it.  No sleep for me.  Dan was able to get our guests on and off the ice last night but had to use the treeline to do it.  Nothing like having to go stake to stake to guide yourself.  We do have a gps on one of our sleds but that wasn’t the one Dan happened to be using yesterday.  The fishing wasn’t all that great but then it usually isn’t with adverse weather so hopefully it picks up today.  The weather is going to remain unstable all weekend but will start to settle later on Sunday and they are forecasting a rather nice week ahead.  Nice mild temperatures anyhow instead of this winter crap and 20 below.  Lol.  I got a little annoyed with one of our guests last night.  One group brought a few of their own sleds and proceeded to drive where they shouldn’t have when they got off the ice last night.  Please sledders, when on private property, always ask the owners where you can and cannot go.  Lots of things, including mechanical, is buried under the snow even if it looks harmless enough.  It’s likely a good rule of thumb to stay on already plowed areas.  The owners would appreciate your thoughtfulness.

February 27, 2020 - 6:18 a.m.

We’re definitely feeling the affects of this latest winter storm barrelling through Ontario.  I had just gotten home from Mattawa yesterday afternoon when the first small flakes of snow began to fall.  Slowly, the size and amount began to increase.  It was snowing pretty good when I went to bed and still is.  I don’t have a clue how much accumulation we received overnight as the wind has picked up and is causing drifts.  It is also still dark out.  I can say there was a good 2” of snow on my vehicle last night but it’s all been blown off.  I’m guessing we’ve received a good 4-5” so far and doesn’t look like it’s letting up anytime soon.  Dan was fretting last night because the first of our guests for the weekend are due to fish early this afternoon.  He said he won’t take them out in a blizzard.  I’m sure they’d agree with him.  They may not even make it here until much later than anticipated so Dan needs to settle down and cross that bridge when he comes to it.  Once the sky brightens a bit more, we’ll see just what we’re dealing with but in the breaking of dawn, it looks pretty blustery as I can’t even see a hint of the island in front which is a pretty good indication it’s nasty out.  The temperature is currently -20 with the windchill with extremely low pressure and winds gusting straight out of the north.  Going to be another interesting day in the neighbourhood.  Lol.

February 26, 2020 - 6:51 a.m.

We were teased by Mother Nature with a few gorgeous days promising the coming of spring.  Sigh.  Back to normal today.  They are calling for significant snow starting later today, throughout the evening into tomorrow.  Possibly 30 cm but I’m hoping it stays below us and we only get a sprinkling.  One can hope.  I really don’t feel like shovelling anymore and am pretty sure Dan would like to leave the snowplow right where it sits.  We had a lot of melt over the past few days and all the banks and mounds have compressed.  The winds are coming out of the north and will be blowing for the next few days.  Again, hopefully not as severe as forecasted.  Our guests are due to arrive tomorrow evening and we’ll have another packed house so with any luck, the conditions won’t be too bad for Dan hauling everyone.  I have an appointment in Mattawa today but should be home before the weather moves in.  Overall it’s been a pretty decent winter so what’s one more storm?

February 25, 2020 - 6:44 a.m.

It was a rather long day yesterday but so worth it.  I did my town run and by the time I got everything put away and sat down it was about 2:00 and then Dan suggested we go fishing around 3:30, which we did.  Between Dan, Mike and I we caught around 20 walleye including a couple of keepers which became our dinner.  Smack, smack.  Today is another working day but at least we were able to sleep in an extra hour today.  Gato spent the entire evening sleeping on his blanket by the backdoor because it didn’t get nearly as cold as forecasted.  It was sunny, mild and beautiful yesterday with mixed temperature readings.  Apparently it was +6 in town and +3 by the lake.  Whatever the temperature, I didn’t need my coat when sitting in the lawn chair on the lake soaking up the rays.  I got my first sun burn on my face so nice to see some colour.  Lori was in yesterday to clean and Karen is coming in today.  I’ve things to keep me busy and they are calling for quite a bit of snow over the next couple of days.  I washed my vehicle when in town yesterday, not that you’d notice as it was covered in road salt spray by the time I got home, so the snow will hopefully help remove the residual.  

February 24, 2020 - 5:58 a.m.

What an absolutely gorgeous day yesterday!  It was well above zero and I’m guessing it did hit the +5 degree mark.  The sun was shining and it was definitely warm enough to feel it’s strength.  It was just beautiful.  Unfortunately, by the time I got everyone checked out and the cottage laundry finished, it was too late for me to go fishing but I did enjoy some time outdoors even if worked related.  There will be plenty more days like that in the not to distant future.  We have guests in tomorrow so Lori is coming in today to clean and I’m zipping into town, finally.  It’s going to be another great day but not quite as warm.  The cold front is due to arrive later tonight to bring conditions back to normal.  There are some -15 degree temperatures in the long term forecast for the upcoming week as the winds will shift from the south to the north but for the most part, it’s going to stay fairly mild.  Might make the fishing drop off but I believe they are starting to head into more shallow water as things are beginning to thaw.  That means the tributaries are providing the oxygen the fish like.  Yep, I do believe we may be in for an early spring this year.

February 23, 2020 - 6:33 a.m.

It was a great day yesterday!  Sun was shining in the morning but clouds moved in later on.  The winds weren’t as bad as forecasted but it did get a tad windy in the afternoon for a bit.  The temperature was above zero and it is suppose to be at least +5 today.  I may just drop a line this afternoon.  I didn’t make it to town as some things needed my attention and then around 9:30, I hit a wall.  I did something very rare and went back to bed.  I slept until the 11:00 minnow run, then went back to bed again and it was the best hour I’ve slept in a long time.  I’m thinking the fumes I’m running on really need replenishing.  Both Dan and I were in bed early last night and since our guests didn’t want to go on ice until 8:00 this morning we slept until 6 this morning.  Good for us!  The fishing was good yesterday and I’m hoping it remains as such with all the mild weather we have coming our way this coming week.  I’ve check outs this morning and then lots of cottage laundry to do.  If I go fishing it won’t be until later this afternoon so see what the day brings.  Thankfully we haven’t had moats form around our huts just yet but they’ve been jacked all the same just in case.

February 22, 2020 - 5:54 a.m.

It was a tad windy yesterday, actually more than a tad.  We actually had some fellas show up on our doorstep looking for a day hut as they were blown off the lake while using their fish clam.  It didn’t feel as windy on shore but it was pretty nasty.  Regardless, our guests did well fishing, especially those that tackled the elements and fished outdoors.  The warm front arrived but apparently we are in for a repeat today as the winds bring even warmer weather today into tomorrow which is suppose to reach +5.  I don’t like fishing in the wind because I can’t tell when a fish is actually on until the tip up goes down.  I like seeing it nibble and feeling it on the line as it takes the minnow.  When the tip up slams down, it’s usually too late or the fish has swallowed the hook.  With the wind blowing WSW, the fishing should be excellent today but who knows with such fickle creatures.  I think I may head into town today although I dread Saturday shopping.  I need some cottage supplies and have another very busy week ahead of me so don’t have much time opened in my schedule.  Hopefully I can get out of here by 8:00 before everyone in the Bay is out of bed.  Lol.

February 21, 2020 - 5:20 a.m.

Another full house today.  It’s going to start off a little chilly today but is due to warm up this afternoon.  Unfortunately the wind will be gusting SW at 50 km this afternoon as it ushers in the warm front (high of -2 this afternoon) but the rest of the weekend should be glorious.  Next week looks to be very mild as well with the lowest temperature forecasted to be -15 at night.  Dan and Mike did some work on the huts yesterday jacking and cleaning and such and it was pretty cold.  They waited until the afternoon when the sun had had a chance to warm things up.  Lori came in to clean in the morning and I just puttered around accomplishing very little.  Don’t care either.  Both Dan and I are running on fumes.  Lol.

February 19, 2020 - 6:21 a.m.

Wow!  Wish the weather gurus could make up their minds on the forecast.  We received some snow yesterday, likely around 5” and it was enough to make us work.  The surprise was the snow we received overnight which is likely another 5.  The snow ended yesterday around 2:00 and although I said I wasn’t shovelling, that’s exactly what I ended up doing.  It was the heavy really great snowman making snow so my back was toast.  Dan did the plowing so between the two of us, managed to get the property dug out.  Then when I was heading to bed last night, it started snowing again.  The wind woke me up at 2:30 and I didn’t get much sleep after that.  It was just a howling.  The boys started running the path and plowing nearly an hour ago and when that’s finished, Dan has to get everyone on the ice for 7:00.  Hopefully the winds will die down, although that looks unlikely, as he needs to jack the shacks this afternoon.  Good news is the sun is suppose to shine all day which generally helps settle the wind down.  Bad news is, the fishing isn’t likely to be as good as yesterday.  I was talking to one young fella in the group who said they must have caught 40-50 walleye.  Winds are currently NW shifting to W for a good part of the day before shifting back to NW.  

February 18, 2020 - 5:47 a.m.

It was a busy day for us yesterday.  The last of our checkouts were on time vacating so Lori and I could get right in to the double unit to clean but unfortunately, one vehicle wouldn’t start.  Guess his van didn’t like Northern Ontario weather.  It was a few hours before it warmed up enough to get it started but between Lori and I (mostly Lori), the cottage was cleaned and ready for our new guest arrivals which started at 11:00.  Dan had them on the ice as soon as they were settled.  The fishing was pretty good yesterday although everyone was tight lipped about it.  When Dan is out there checking on the guys, he can tell because the tip ups are going off.  We also know it’s good or bad by the amount of bait being used.  So yeah, they did okay yesterday.  I was suppose to go to Mattawa today for an appointment but once the snowfall warnings went up yesterday, I called and cancelled until next week.  I’m not driving all that way in a snow storm if it’s not absolutely necessary.  It has started to snow and is just getting heavy now but they are calling for up to 20 cm.  Don’t know if we’ll get it but surrounding areas may.

February 17, 2020 - 6:54 a.m.

We actually slept in this morning.  We survived the family day weekend crew and have another one due to check in at noon today.  Going to be a scramble this morning getting a couple of cottages ready as they won’t be vacated until 9:00 but Lori is coming in and I’ll help.  The fishing was excellent all weekend with constant bites.  Unfortunately, our guests need to land them and they all have to be keepers before a fisherman will ever admit that to us.  Lol.  We are in for some weather but they aren’t quite sure when.  Apparently we will be getting some snow starting either tonight or early tomorrow morning.  I’m hoping it stays south of us like it has been doing most of the winter because neither Dan nor I feel like digging out anymore.  As a matter of fact, we’re both ready for summer.  The temperature dropped from -6 to -19 overnight.  I didn’t think it was going to get that cold but I was wrong.  A sure sign of spring coming is when the days are quite warm and mild and the nights get significantly colder.  I think we are in for an early spring so here’s hoping.  As long as we can get through the ice fishing season before Moose Creek starts to run, I’m all for it.

February 16, 2020 - 5:37 a.m.

Everyone enjoyed their day yesterday and caught some fish.  It was a nice balmy day but we did have somewhat of a blizzard going on last night when Dan was getting everyone off the ice.  We didn’t get an enormous amount of snow but the winds were high enough to affect the visibility.  The winds were gusting something awful around 2:30 this morning which woke me up but have since died down a bit.  The drifts on our path were already bad enough but are likely worse this morning.  The boys are already out grading from shore to the huts so that when Dan takes everyone out, they should have somewhat of a smooth ride.  I’ve check outs today but most of our guests are staying until tomorrow.  I’m so glad the temperatures remained mild for this weekend and the little darlings didn’t freeze to death this year.

February 15, 2020 - 5:54 a.m.

Our guests did quite well fishing again yesterday and I hope it keeps up.  We actually have some young ones in this family day weekend and it’s always nice to see them catch fish.  Nothing like getting another generation hooked on a great past time.  A rainbow smelt was caught yesterday and because it is considered an invasive species, was not released.  We’ve had smelt caught before which is nice to see but not this particular kind.  Dan use to smelt fish when he was a kid and said he’d love a good feed of them.  I can remember the smelting as well but those days haven’t been around for some time.  Not sure what’s on my agenda today but I’m sure I’ll find something to do.  It’ll likely involve a little housecleaning as I did errands and laundry yesterday.  It is quite mild today as the warm front moved in so who knows, may drop a line later today.  The temperature started to rise as we were heading to bed last night.  With the winds shifting south, it was -8 when we got up this morning.  Sure beats the -30’s and I hope that was the last of such nastiness for the rest of the season.  Bbbbrrrrr, it was nostril sticking cold.

February 14, 2020 - 6:29 a.m.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!  Hope you are able to spend some time with that special someone today!  Dan actually surprised me yesterday with a dozen beautiful red roses, a heart box of chocolates and a wonderful mushy card.  Who are you and what have you done with my husband?  Lol.  Actually, it was very thoughtful and I thoroughly appreciated it.  We had to celebrate a day early because of work but I am making Dan a special meal tonight.  The cold temperatures yesterday kept us both indoors for most of the day.  It was absolutely frigid and it’s even worse this morning.  It is so cold, we have a build up of about an inch of ice on the windows inside the house and when you open the outside doors, the steam just rolls in.  Our decks and trees are popping constantly.  Thankfully the warm up will start later this morning and the winds will be shifting because it’s really not conducive to being outside and frostbite is a distinct possibility, at least this morning.  The fishing was pretty good yesterday considering.  One of our American gentlemen managed to land a beautiful 8.25 lb. walleye and what a beaut.  I posted a picture on our Facebook page.  I hope the fishing is as good today and I think it should probably be pretty decent this weekend but a person needs to work at it.  Lots of jigging required, not to mention patience as the fish have been biting really light.

February 13, 2020 - 6:17 a.m.

Poor Dan.  He has to run today and it’s frickin’ cold out there.  Was a beautiful sunny warm day yesterday and actually went above zero but then the cold front happened.  There were snow squall warnings up which were due to hit around 8:00 last night and although the wind gusts started in the late morning, the snow didn’t arrive until around 11:30 last night.  The temperature dropped significantly overnight but tonight is going to be brutal and the winds north all day.  Apparently it will be one of the coldest nights of the year tonight at -31, -37 with the windchill.  Frostbite warnings are up today and tomorrow so dress accordingly.  Especially the kids arriving for the family day weekend.  We had guests arrive last night that are fishing all day tonight so hopefully the weather snap won’t affect the bite much.  It’s been fairly light to begin with.  We have more guests arriving today and tomorrow so thankfully the weather is suppose to change back to normal Friday afternoon when the winds turn south.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this is the last real cold for the season.  I went to Mattawa for an appointment yesterday and saw a few open water spots.  Namely the river and a small pond that had full access to the sun but still, there are signs of an early spring for us.  Bring it!

February 12, 2020 - 6:50 a.m.

It has been a quiet few days for us since we don’t have anyone checking in until later today.  Play time is over though until the end of the season now.  Dan got plenty of badly needed rest yesterday as did I.  I did work in the morning but managed to get everything finished around noon and then took the afternoon off and actually enjoyed a nice little nap.  The family weekend with free fishing looks to be a good one weather wise this year.  Last year it was so cold and frigid I felt sorry for the kids but then they tend to be more resilient than adults.  I’m sure Lake Nipissing will be hopping this year and lots of people taking advantage of not requiring licenses.  Just please make sure you are familiar with the fishing regulations and what the limits and slot sizes are before you venture out.  I’m sure the MNRF will have a presence known on the lake over the weekend so it pays to educate yourselves.

February 11, 2020 - 6:29 a.m.

Well we survived the cold snap on the weekend and it’s rather nice this morning with a balmy -4 degree temperature.  Looks like it will stay mild for a few days before getting cold again for the weekend.  We also received a little snow to help grease the path but things may get sloppy.  Dan moved a hut on Sunday and is moving more this week.  We fish Sunday afternoon to make sure the new location would produce, which it did.  Had a nice little fry to accompany the crab mac ‘n cheese and pike wontons I made before going on ice.  Our neighbours John and Mike joined in so it was a good time.  We had a relax day yesterday and today we are back at it.  The phone was ringing off the hook yesterday with last minute people looking for a spot for the upcoming family weekend. The fishing is free so would be a good time to try something new with your kids.

February 9, 2020 - 6:09 a.m.

It was a very chilly though a beautiful day yesterday.  The sun was shining all day which has been a rarity of late.  The moon was simply gorgeous last night and the constellations breathtakingly beautiful.  After getting everyone organized and on the ice, I went into town with Donna and did a few errands and then we met Liz and Annie for lunch.  Was so good to see the girls as I’ve seen nothing but fishermen for what seems like months but is actually only weeks.  Lol.  We met at “My Thai Palace” and is the first time I’ve ever been.  I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed my cashew chicken followed by coconut ice cream (my favourite).  It did stay cold all day as the wind was still northerly but the temperature rose overnight and is currently -16 after peaking at -26.  The temperature will be downright balmy at -3 today with a possibility of flurries so with the winds changing south, I may just need to drop a line.  See how my day goes as I do have work.

February 8, 2020 - 6:54 a.m.

The “super” snow moon did its thing last night.  Both Dan and I were up for most of it and it is sooooo cold this morning.  It hit -25 but with the windchill -38.  I could not believe my eyes when Dan went out to check on the huts and there was Gato sitting at the back door with 1/2” of ice on his poor wee whiskers.  Stupid cat.  He promptly drank some water and ate a bit and then headed for shelter.  I don’t know how long he was out there because he also came up last night but hopefully he’ll spend the next 24 hours hunkered down somewhere as it’s suppose to get pretty cold again tonight.  Thankfully the warm up starts tomorrow so it isn’t a prolonged cold snap.  Dan was worrying more than anything most of the night because when it gets this cold, especially after is been fairly mild, that’s when things start to break.  Never mind how hard it is on the poor man running in this, the equipment doesn’t like it much either.  I suspect Dan will be running as little as possible today, no special trips in and out, strictly minnow runs.  I just couldn’t do it.  I’m a fragile flower these days ;)

February 7, 2020 - 6:00 a.m.

The full “snow” moon due overnight Saturday is making its presence known.  The weather changed and has turned cold, at least colder then we’ve had for a while.  Tonight will likely be the coldest and can possibly drop below -20 but we’ll see.  It was -11 here when I got up this morning and it doesn’t look like it will get much warmer today.  The pressure is low but the winds are coming out of the north.  I’m hoping to get some fishing in on Sunday when the winds are suppose to change to the south but that’s a few days away.  Today I have work I really need to get done this morning as I didn’t get it done yesterday.  Both Dan and I were hurting units, meaning aches and pains that we attribute to the change in weather.  I actually had to use my wrist braces while changing out the minnow tank yesterday as my joints were on fire.  After supper it started to snow so now I’m thinking I’m a weather gauge.  Lol.  I wanted to stay up and catch the premiere of the new “The Sinner” season but was nodding off by 8:30 so took some Advil and went to bed.  Much better today and not so inflamed but we didn’t end up with much accumulation and we could really use a good dumping of the white stuff about now.  Dan couldn’t move the huts this week due to lack of snow to bank with so he may be able to move a few today.  They are all still producing well but fresh holes are always nice.

February 5, 2020 - 5:34 a.m.

It was such a beautiful day yesterday and actually felt like spring outside for a while.  The sun was out and the temperature above zero and would have been a great day for outdoor activities.  Too bad I was working but I did get out for a bit.  We both had a busy day and were in bed before 9:00.  I will be heading to town hopefully by 8:00 as I need to stop at Walmart and like to breeze through without fighting the masses.  Dan really wants to move the huts this week and conditions are pretty good for it but there isn’t anything to bank with.  He’s been keeping his eyes on the weather hoping for a little snowfall which we may or may not get this week.  We will have our 6 more weeks of winter, just like always but I saw on one of the weather pages yesterday that trees have started to bud in parts of southern Ontario already.  That’s a little premature and not good for the trees because winter certainly isn’t over.  Even down south.

February 4, 2020 - 6:37 a.m.

What a beautiful day yesterday!  The sun actually came out for a bit and the temperature was above zero for most of the day.  Temperatures are going to remain mild for most of the week but hoping staying below zero so things don’t turn to slush on the lake.  After doing some laundry, I fished Sunday afternoon and caught my first pike of the season.  Lots of walleye were caught by our guests including one that was slightly deformed.  It’s face looked more like a minnow but the body was perfectly fine which made it identifiable.  Weird indeed.  Dan and I took yesterday off and just vegged but today is a working day.  I’ve cottage laundry to finish as well as some office work to do.  Lori is coming in today to clean and Karen tomorrow.  Half way through the season (already) and seems to be quite a bit of pike being caught.  Last year there seemed to be a lack of it but there is an abundance this year.

February 2, 2020 - 6:24 a.m.

I don’t want to sound like a downer but we are in for another 6 weeks of winter regardless if the groundhog sees it’s shadow.  I don’t know why such a silly tradition was started but I’ve never seen an early spring come and actually stick around.  I remember about 15 years ago we had an early spring and then we received 6” of snow on May 31st.  Suck it up buttercups ;)  The fishing was pretty good yesterday but there were lots of pike caught.  Nearly every hut was catching pike which is weird to see because there were hardly any last year.  Walleye and perch as well so the pike are coming around to feed.  I think the fishing will be excellent today as the pressure is way low at 99.8 and the winds are steady out of the SW.  I was hoping to drop a line myself this afternoon after I get my work done but I’m on my third night with very little sleep.  I wanted to take an Advil PM last night but they’ve disappeared.  Must be elves.  I have checkouts this morning and cottage laundry to get done so I’ll see how I feel around 2:00 and decide if I’m fishing or not.  We will still have some Superbowlers in so I suspect they’ll want to come off the ice earlier than usual.  Not my cup of tea.  May watch the halftime show though.  See what fiasco is in store for this year.  Lol.

February 1, 2020 - 5:06 a.m.

January is finally over and what a year that was.  Lol.  Fishing was pretty good yesterday and with the winds staying south for the rest of the weekend, I suspect it’s going to keep up for the duration.  With any luck I can dip a line myself tomorrow.  I’ll have to see how the energy level is since my internal clock seems to be out of whack again now.  With the temperature being in the mild range once again, we received a light sprinkling of snow last night.  Gato’s blanket had a thin layer of powder on it this morning but he was close by when I checked on him first thing.  He’s contentedly eating right now and will head off to parts unknown shortly, most likely to hunker down for the day.  He certainly has our schedule down pat.  Dan is heading to town today since Mitch is coming in to help out.  Dan has some errands to run and some parts to get so I should have some quiet time.  I need to do a town run as well but it can wait until next week as I’ve a few things to do before town errands.  I trimmed Grady yesterday so with all his hair gone, he looks like a small poodle now instead of a big fat cat.  He actually prefers all the long hair gone as it’s easier to keep himself clean and must make him feel much lighter.

January 31, 2020 - 5:57 a.m.

We managed to do some catch up this week but are back in the saddle again today.  Had guests arrive last night and more due in right shortly.  Going to be another busy weekend and with the super bowl, it’ll be an extra fun weekend, I’m sure.  First run today is 7:00 and I noticed last night the sun is setting later than the beginning of the season so February, as it always does, means much longer days for us as Dan can’t start pulling off until at least 6:00.  By the end of the season, it’s usually closer to 7:00.  At least we should start seeing more sunshine as it’s been pretty gray, gloomy and overcast for most of the winter thus far.  The winds are currently ESE veering to SW this afternoon so I’m thinking fishing should be pretty good today. At least I’m hoping.

January 29, 2020 - 6:09 a.m.

I had a pretty busy day yesterday while Dan and Mike did a jaunt to Sudbury.  I finished all the cottage laundry after doing the house laundry.  That included the bedding for “Stinky’s” room aka Dan’s man cave which needed a pretty good bath.  More like decontamination.  Lol.  I also cleaned the house but didn’t get the floors washed which is today’s job.  I also took all the kitchen chairs out of the double unit and moved them to the back shop with my car to make room for the ones the boys picked up yesterday.  They aren’t the prettiest chairs I’ve ever seen but are more comfortable and much sturdier.  They should be able to withstand a little beating.  The temperature finally turned a little colder and it hit -15 overnight which should firm everything up nicely.  Hopefully the moats around the huts are solid again.  Going down to -22 tonight before warming up again for the weekend.  By the way, I had a cancellation for 6 for next weekend (Feb 7th) if anyone is interested. 

January 28, 2020 - 6:40 a.m.

We survived another busy weekend and finally had our first day off in forever yesterday.  We did nothing.  It was a nice relaxing day.  Dan caught up on some sleep and I watched a couple of movies.  Today is another day.  I’ve got cottage laundry and some cleaning to do.  Dan is going to Sudbury to pick up some new kitchen chairs for the cottages and is also doing a Costco and Princess Auto run.  I don’t know where he’s going to fit everything he wants to pick up but I’m sure he’ll figure it out. 

January 26, 2020 - 5:30 a.m.

Fishing was no hell yesterday although those who really applied themselves did ok.  It’s like the whole lake was dead.  Lots of fish being marked but they just weren’t feeding.  The winds were easterly all day but they are currently west and the pressure very low so I’m hoping the fishing is really good today.  We’ll find out soon enough.  There are conflicting reports on when the winds will shift to the north so here’s hoping not until everyone is off the ice tonight.  Moats have now formed around our huts which we were hoping to avoid but this mild spell aka January thaw, has been prolonged with temperatures well above zero.  One good thing though...we shouldn’t have a spring flood this year like we did last.  The flooding was mainly due to no winter thaws so I’m happy to see things back to normal this year.  Dan is jacking some huts today as the mixed bag of rain and snow yesterday combined with the mild temps has sunk them about 6 inches into the snow.  I’m hoping he’ll get some help but he’s a stubborn cuss.  I’ve laundry to do once some guests check out but most of them are staying until Monday.

January 25, 2020 - 5:34 a.m.

It was a day yesterday and quite a busy one.   Dan was running all day and I spent my time in the office.  I managed to get all the data entry done for my year end books so this morning I’m just dotting my i’s and crossing my t’s and that will be another year finished.  I don’t know where the time has gone.  It seems like yesterday that I started this blog and that was in 2007.  I’ve been recording the weather for longer than that so this weekend is about par for the course.  Just amazes me that every weekend since we’ve opened for the season, we’ve had some kind of nastiness thrown at us.  This morning it’s freezing rain which is suppose to turn to snow shortly.  We did get a little rain overnight but thankfully it doesn’t appear to have been enough to deteriorate things.  The temperature is currently just above zero with the pressure steady but the winds are out of the east.  Our guests were catching some fish yesterday even though the conditions weren’t favourable so that gives some hope for today.  One of the blokes had a camera down the hole and said they could see the walleye but they were just sitting there without taking the bait.  Not even nibbling, so it looks like they aren’t in a feeding frenzy and people are going to need to work at the jigging today.

January 23, 2020 - 6:35 a.m.

I hit a wall yesterday.  Not literally but figuratively.  I was having problems in the office with the internet and as my patience was weening I decided to zip into town as I had a few errands to run.  I did a few things when I got home and then laid down on the couch and was out cold until it was time to get our guests off the ice.  I also was in bed by about 9:30 and didn’t wake up until 6:00.  Dan and I haven’t had a day off since December but this coming Monday is the day.  No guests, no staff, no phone calls.  I’m not even going to get out of my pajamas.  Lol.  So I say now.  We have a full house again starting this evening and Lori is coming in to clean but for the most part, I’ll be in the office for the next couple of days.  Once my books are completed I’ll be able to relax a little and maybe even find some time to myself.  Dan is badly in need of rest also as his knees are really giving him grief.  When he was picking up the porta-john he stopped in at Shoppers Medical and ordered two braces.  Hopefully they arrive quickly.  He keeps falling when on ice but says now, he just lets himself fall because it’s a cushy landing in the snowbanks.  What a pair we are.  The fishing hit pretty good last night.  One gentleman was fishing by himself and caught six walleye just as Dan was picking him up.  Fishing should be good this weekend if people are paying attention to their lines and it’s going to stay mild for the duration.

January 22, 2020 - 5:44 a.m.

It was a very long day for me yesterday but I accomplished everything I wanted to by about 5:00.  Today I’ll be holed up in the office working on my year end books.  Dan needs to zip into town and very quickly as we will have people on the ice.  I would like to extend a huge thank you to K&T Porta-John for going above and beyond.  We needed a replacement washroom for the ice and they were able to find us one although it was a very difficult task for them.  We can’t thank them enough for trekking through a compound heaped with snow and digging us out one.  Dan is picking it up first thing this morning after dropping everyone off at the huts.  The fishing was pretty good yesterday but nothing of any size was caught.  I’m thinking it’s just going to improve as the week progresses.  It’s already -3 this morning and daytime temperatures will be steady around zero through the weekend.  Plenty of guests will be wanting to fish outside but Dan won’t be able to drill too close to the huts as the water will come up.  As it is, I’m keeping my fingers crossed no moats form around the huts.  They are nicely high and dry at the moment and we’d like to keep it that way.  After the -30 weather we’ve had this balminess is more than welcomed.  Even Gato spent the night on his blanket outside our door.  He’s certainly been well fed Mr. 5 bowls of food and 3 bowls of milk in a 10 hour period.  Geesh.

January 21, 2020 - 6:04 a.m.

We actually slept in until 5:30 this morning.  And we both needed it.  What a week this is shaping up to be.  They say everything comes in three’s so hopefully we are now done.  We had the supply hose break on the toilet in a cottage, then the little incident with Dan’s sled and yesterday a plugged sink in another cottage which took all morning to resolve.  Even though there is a notice not to put anything down the sinks, someone poured bacon grease down the drain.  What a dog’s breakfast Dan had on his hands trying to deal with that mess.  Please go easy on us guys.  If you wouldn’t do it in your own home, don’t do it in ours, thanks.  Anyhow, all our guests arrived and the fishing was pretty good.  I think it’s going to get increasingly better as the week progresses because the weather will improve also.  It hit pretty close to -30 yesterday and was very brisk but the warm up starts today and the winds have shifted to the SW.  I hope we don’t get anymore snow, which is likely pipe dreaming, but for the next week or so, the temperature won’t be going below -10.  Glorious.  At least we had a beautiful sunset last night and a sky full of stars.  Frigid weather cleans the air so you can see forever.

January 2