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May 2, 2022

It is with a heavy heart and very mixed emotions that this will be my last blog entry.  I started the blog in 2007 and it’s been a great communication tool.  It is time for Dan and I to move on to a new adventure and look forward to what retirement may bring.  We would like to extend a very sincere thank you to all of our customers, friends, associates and businesses who have allowed us to be a part of their lives over the past many years.  Tara-Lynn Aultman and Brandon Roach are moving their young family up here from Hamilton and we sincerely wish them the very best on their new endeavour and hopefully Greening Bay will bring them as much happiness and joy as it did us.

April 27, 2022 - 7:13 a.m.

What sorcery is this?  Snow on the ground this morning is not the way I wanted to wake up.  There were light flurries when I went to bed last night but I didn’t think it would actually stick.  And people have already been on Lake Nipissing in their boats.  I’d say they are jumping the gun just a bit.  At least sunshine will return tomorrow but we still have a few nights of below zero temperatures before more seasonal weather returns.  It just seems rather late for the white stuff.  That said, I can remember getting snow the end of May before so not unheard of.  We had a quick visit down south and back this past weekend dropping off a trailer, seeing our families and then scooting back home.  Long drive for sure.  I spent nearly the entire day on the phone yesterday looking after business.  Today, since it’s so nasty, seems like a good day to defrost the freezers and take down the curtains for a good wash.  Deb came in yesterday and cleaned the shop.  After Dan and company using it for a man cave all winter, I’m sure it needed a major bath as well.  A little spit and polish is always good.

April 23, 2022 - 5:00 a.m.

Wow!  Looking at the temperatures for the weekend, I can’t believe it’s going to be above +25 across most of southern Ontario this weekend.  We are going to have some above normal temperatures here but nothing like that.  Enjoy people!  I took a drive around the property yesterday since it was nice and sunny yesterday.  I was on the search for chipmunks and didn’t see a one anywhere in the park.  That tells me the little weasel has cleaned them out.  I did have two up around the house when they first came out of hibernation but have only seen one since.  Love my chippies so kind of sad about that.  Hopefully some have been able to evade the predators but it’s not looking good for their population this year.  We had a short visit with Paul and Kat Pruneau late yesterday afternoon as they came out to check on their trailer.  Was good to see them after the winter we’ve had.  Hopefully we are on the upswing of spring and the snow is a thing of the past for this season.

April 22, 2022 - 6:09 a.m.

I would have to say if Lake Nipissing isn’t ice free, she’s pretty darn close.  I can only see a little bit of build up around the bigger islands this morning, other than that, it’s all moving water now.  Pretty much all of the water fowl has returned including the merganser’s, wood ducks, mallard’s and geese.  Still no sign of the trumpeter’s which we normally see in Moose creek by now.  It also looks like it is going to be a high water year.  It has already risen to opening weekend operating levels so if we get a lot more rain, it could be an issue.  It has been raining the past few days but looks like it is going to be a gloriously sunny day today.  Not many seagulls hanging out here this year likely because all the little sand bars are already covered in water. I noticed the mallards are already starting their mating dance so likely will have several hatches this year.  Now if we could get some warmer temperatures, it’d be perfect.

April 20, 2022 - 8:09 a.m.

It is quite chilly out this morning but the sun is shining which is more than I can say for my hellish drive to and from Sudbury yesterday.  The rain turned to snow as soon as I hit Sturgeon Falls and shortly there after, I heard a Big Bang and soon realized a rock had projectiles towards my windshield and had hit my windshield wiper, smashing it.  So it was very interesting that the wiper still worked well enough to do the job because it didn’t actually damage the blade.  Sudbury had quite a bit of snow by the time I got there.  Spent 2 1/2 hours in the clinic but received a clean bill of health as there have been no changes.  The ice on Lake Nipissing is breaking up quickly and keeps moving from south to shore.  It was on the north side when I drove around Nipissing and is on the south shore this morning after being pushed through the night.  A warm up is coming so I suspect a lot of the ice will be gone after this weekend.

April 19, 2022 - 6:33 a.m.

Ugh, what a dismal day.  Of course it is, I have to head to Sudbury for an appointment with the vascular surgeon today.  I don’t ever remember going to Sudbury for any kind of appointment and having the weather be cooperative.  It either rains or snows without fail.  At least it’s raining for the most part this trip.  It isn’t going to let up until after supper so I’m prepared for a crappy drive.  My appointment isn’t until 11:45 and is usually a couple of hours so hopefully it won’t take as long this time and I’ll be home well before supper.  I saw there was a horrendous accident on the 401 yesterday likely due in part to the snowfall southern Ontario received.  The footage was horrible and I feel so badly for the families of those injured.  I am thankful everyone survived such a horrid accident.  I truly don’t care to drive on the 401 anymore, it just seems like a death trap.  Sorry to be so gloomy today but the accident video really bothered me.  Take a care out there people.  Slow down when the conditions are less than good for driving.

April 16, 2022 - 7:08 a.m.

Although it is quite cool this morning, the sun is shining and it looks to be a beautiful day.  We had some snow squalls yesterday and it was windy so a lot of lake ice was pushed ashore to hopefully melt in the shallower waters over the next few days.  The Osprey was out gathering branches for her nest and so I dragged a few out of the woods to put on the beach for her next fly over.  We’ve completed the property clean up so there wasn’t any nesting material left.  Least I could do is give her some.  We’ve had a rough few days as Douglas, Dan’s father passed away on Thursday at 5:55 p.m.  The earth got a little duller and heaven a little brighter.  Doug was a good man and will be sadly missed.  He loved to read my blog and keep abreast with the happenings of up North.  Things just won’t be the same without him.  RIP Doug.

April 14, 2022 - 6:20 a.m.

Since it was relatively mild this morning and warm enough for me to sit outside in my housecoat and drink my coffee, that’s exactly what I did.  So great to listen to the world wake up first thing in the morning.  There was a rather vocal Osprey, an owl hooting it’s greeting, a few frogs trilling, the honking of the geese flying in to the bay and of course all of nature’s waking birds.  Marvellous.  My sister Jill zipped up for a quick visit and to pack up some family dishes I no longer need.  She is the entertainer in the family and considering the number of dinner parties she hosts, Jill can use them more than I.  The rain has been relentless the past few days but it seems a warm front has made it through and the rain stopped for a bit.  At least we were lucky enough not to get the snow other provinces are experiencing.  Hopefully it stays that way.

April 12, 2022 - 8:18 a.m.

I keep hoping that if I don’t update the blog more often, winter will stay away permanently.  We received some more snow on the weekend but it melted fairly quickly.  It was beautiful and sunny yesterday though a tad chilly so I was out burning a bunch of stuff for a bit.  Today is sunny as well but I’ve mostly indoor chores to do.  We hired Deb to help with property clean up since Dan is such a gimp right now.  His knee surgery has been pushed back until the end of May so he’s a bit longer getting his knee replacement.  We have so many branches and sticks around because of that awful autumn wind storm but Deb is making quick work of it and burning everything.  Due to the cold weather returning, a lot of the progress we made in the thawing of Lake Nipissing sort of went out the window but a lot of the bays are just on the cusp of being ice free so between the sun and milder temperatures for the next few days and all the rain we are due to get, I think most of the ice will be gone next week.

April 7, 2022 - 6:57 a.m.

What an amazing morning.  It’s so peaceful and calm with foggy mist over the bay and I can hear a flock of seagulls in the distance.  It’s eerily beautiful, almost like I’m the only person on earth.  To make it even more lovely, there was a deer looking in my window when I got up.  I haven’t seen a deer for a while and she was under the cedar trees where I use to put the corn so I can safety assumed she’s one of Red’s offspring.  I think it’s going to be a good day.  Maybe it’s Craig coming to say he’s okay.  Unfortunately, we lost a friend a few days ago who was part of Dan’s coffee group.  Craig Moffat passed away this week who we have known pretty much since moving to this part of Canada.  As Dan said, “he was the most cantankerous soul he’d ever met but he was loved.”

April 5, 2022 - 7:03 a.m.

We’ve had some milder weather the past few days.  The snow seems to have let up, hopefully for the season.  Dan and I have been busy doing a major purge.  Cleaning up the shop and office and I started on the house yesterday.  Namely “Grady’s room”.  I’ve been finding things I’d forgotten about or had misplaced.  What a chore.  I’m hoping to do a little painting but we’ll see how that goes.  Dan actually used the leaf blower for the first time yesterday and his knee didn’t like that very much.  He is suppose to get his knee replacement on April 25th but that could be pushed back.  I thought the planet was beginning to live with covid but the narrative has started to change again so I guess time will tell if surgeries are going on as planned or what’s going to happen.  I’d like to say sooner than later so Dan will be able to enjoy at least part of the summer.  It takes a few months before a knee replacement will have Dan mobile again.  The Robins are finally back now that green patches have opened up and a lot of the snow melt has been absorbed.  There is still plenty of ice on the lake and Nipissing is rising daily but has a ways to go just yet.  We have heard there is still quite a bit of snow in the bush to melt so that will definitely help with the water level.

March 31, 2022 - 8:03 a.m.

Dear Lord when will this winter ever end?  It was absolutely gorgeous yesterday morning.  The sun was shining and it actually reached 14 degrees here and then the wind changed direction and now it is currently snowing.  Enough already, stop with the teasers and bring on spring.  It has been a busy week, both Dan and I have been dealing with a bunch of piddly  headaches but we’re getting through it.  The adjuster and garage have now written his truck off.  We were hoping to have it repaired but the original garage missed a lot and it turns out the frame was bent.  Now we’re on the search for a replacement and in these post covid times, it’s proving to be a little difficult.  I’m sure something will turn up but it may take a bit of searching.  There is certainly nothing available locally that we are interested in.  I’ve been working on my books so have a few more transactions to do today and they will be complete and can be crossed off my “to do list”.  We still have lots of branches down from the horrible storm we had last autumn just before the snow came and brought our clean up progress to an abrupt end.  It shouldn’t take more than a few days to get the property back to its formal glory but at the rate spring is coming in, it’ll likely be a few more weeks before yardwork is on the agenda.

March 27, 2022 - 7:29 a.m.

Winter returned with a vengeance and I’m not liking it at all.  It’s been windy and the wind was biting yesterday and still is this morning but apparently spring is due to return tomorrow.  It’s currently -16 and due to hit +11 by Thursday so bring it on.  From our part of the lake to Callander Bay is completely clear of ice huts so I wager a guess and say Nipissing is bare of huts now.  Moose Creek isn’t flowing as she was which the water fowl aren’t liking.  They are waiting patiently but it’ll be later in the week before things will open back up.  Poor things always come back a tad early.  The snow we received the past couple of days has covered any greenery we had showing so even the poor robins I heard late last week are likely gone.  In like a lamb, out like a lion is certainly the case this year.

March 26, 2022 - 6:18 a.m.

Well will wonders never cease.  Gato showed up last night just after midnight.  I don't know what made me look for him at the backdoor as I had pretty much given up on him but he didn’t look none the worse for wear.  He must have travelled miles looking for a female feline and from what I can tell, he wasn’t successful.  Poor guy.  I can’t believe he was gone so long but I guess that’s nature.  We have lots of wildlife around now that the weather is more spring like.  Or at least it was.  It rained quite a bit on Thursday but more so later in the day.  We did get some freezing rain but it pretty much melted and then yesterday the snow came.  It reached a high of +6 yesterday so most of it melted as well but there is still some on the ground.  It doesn’t look like we’ll have any sun until the middle of next week.  This has been one dreary winter with several months of this crap and I’m pretty much done.  I don’t think we’ve ever had such a season with so little sunshine.

March 23, 2022 - 8:11 a.m.

I slept in this morning after waking up around 4:00 and deciding “nope, not yet”.  It’s so nice to be able to fall back asleep.  We have had a few very busy days.  I have been doing major purging both in the house and office.  Yesterday I had planned on starting my 1st quarter books and got side tracked with purging so burned quite a bit of stuff.  It just feels so therapeutic.  We haven’t given up on Gato yet but I honestly feel something has happened to him as it’s been a couple of weeks since I have seen him.  If he’s looking for a woman, it may take him quite a distance but that also means he could run into a predator he didn’t anticipate.  Or roadways to cross.  I’ve checked all our sheds and storage buildings to no avail.  Poor guy.  If he has succumbed, at least I know we helped prolong his feral life just by feeding him over the past 6-7 years.  Dan headed into town first thing this morning and I may zip in when he gets back.  There is a major storm coming in sometime this afternoon bringing rain and supposively freezing rain and then rain all day tomorrow.  Figured I’d pick up some stuff for a fish fry in the shop tomorrow since we won’t want to be working too hard.  See how my morning goes because a person can plan their day all they want and then life happens.

March 21, 2022 - 7:39 a.m.

Spring has definitely sprung.  A pair of Mallards were up on the bedrock yesterday and I believe a few more have arrived.  That always indicates spring to me.  Moose Creek was running pretty good yesterday and it was a bright sunny day so lots of water birds around.  Looks were a little deceiving though because it was quite chilly with the wind.  It’s currently below zero so things have firmed up again which is perfectly alright as a slow thaw is always better than a fast one.  There are still a few huts on ice but most of them have been removed.  There was only one on Callander Bay when we went to the casino for brunch.  Speaking of, I think there are still quite a few kinks to remove before the casino will be a smooth operation.

March 19, 2022 - 6:51 a.m.

It’s just a miserable morning today.  It’s raining and could turn to flurries although I doubt it as it’s been raining most of the night and will only warm up as the day progresses.  The chicken hawk returned yesterday and almost immediately killed one of our beautiful doves.  Poor thing wintered here only to be taken by a hungry predator as soon as the spring weather began.  That will be it for our grosbeaks who also wintered here.  I was kind of hoping they would stay around and perhaps even nest here this summer but not with a hawk around getting easy pickings from around the birdfeeder.  There were three Canadian geese in Moose Creek yesterday so I’d have to say the odd man out lost it’s mate during the last hunting season or sometime over the winter.  Either that or it hasn’t been lucky enough to find a mate yet and is still hanging around it’s parents which is doubtful.  It was staying quite a distance away from the pair but who knows.  I do love watching nature but the killing, not so much.  I am heading into town first thing this morning to finally get a decent haircut.  It’s been a few months because I’ve been busy with ice fishing but finally managed to make arrangements with Annie.  Afterwards we are meeting up with Dan, Nick and Scotia for brunch at the new casino.  Apparently the food is really good but you definitely need a reservation as it’s still very busy with people checking out the latest in North Bay entertainment.  I’m just looking forward to getting out and acting like a person with a bit of normalcy from days gone past.

March 18, 2022 - 8:01 a.m.

It was just gorgeous yesterday, warm and sunny.  I’m sure there were lots of green beer parties going on and hopefully most of them outside.  The snow has been melting bigtime but slowly enough not to cause too many problems.  I opened the backdoor and put a stool in front of it for a few hours yesterday so Grady could get some fresh air and sunshine while watching the chipmunk gather peanuts.  The blackbirds have started to arrive back to begin nesting along Moose Creek so that’s a sure sign of spring.  All the huts are off the ice in our line of sight but there is still one washroom out by Greening Island which we are assuming is frozen in.  We actually had a Canada Goose show up in the bay yesterday as well as a handful of seagulls so it won’t be long before the ice starts to break up.  I know it opened up by Wasi Falls so there is likely some open water in other places.  Be careful if venturing out please.

March 16, 2022 - 8:55 a.m.

Now that ice fishing has closed for the season, a lot of huts have come off the ice this week.  There are still quite a few on the horizon but I think they’ll all come off in the next day or two as the weather is turning extremely mild.  It’s suppose to go well above zero the next few days with rain a possibility so hopefully people won’t dally as there are reports of open water already.  Granted it’s by Wasi Falls but still.  It won’t be long before the rest of the tributaries start opening up other areas.  Dan has been down south the past few days as he had a storage trailer to pick but is on his way home today.  If he’s lucky, he can get the treeline off the ice by Friday.  He isn’t going to be able to wait much longer as Moose Creek is doing it’s usual and interfering with our path.  I spent the day sorting receipts yesterday as I’d like to get most of my office work done early this month.  I’m spending today in the office.  As soon as the snow melts and the weather turns a little nicer there is a mess on the property to clean up.  Mostly branches that didn’t get picked up after the nasty storm which happened last year just before the snow started.

March 13, 2022 - 9:54 a.m.

Where does the time go?  We’ve had a busy week but I couldn’t begin to tell you what we did.  Alf showed up Thursday for a surprise visit so he helped Dan get the last of the huts off the ice yesterday.  And that’s a wrap for another ice fishing season.  Thankfully the conditions were really good for pulling the huts yesterday so no problems.  Rain is coming this week though so it’s likely a good idea for operators to start removing unoccupied huts today.  The rain will definitely help loosen our treeline so may be able to pull it a little later in the week.  There’s only two more days to the season anyhow and I think spring is going to sneak up on us rather quickly this year.  I saw the first chipmunk out a couple of days ago but haven’t seen it since.  They tend to come up when the melt begins as their dens get flooded.  Or they run out of food.  Haven’t seen Gato for several days but with it being nearly spring, he’s likely out tom catting.  Haven’t seen the orange and white Tom in ages so Gato likely ran him off but who knows.  The predators are going to start coming back shortly so they’d better have a care.

March 8, 2022 - 10:10 a.m.

Well that was fun.  All the thaw did was wreak havoc on the lake.  Where all the snow melted, there is 2-4” of standing water on top of the ice and then yesterday we received a very big dumping of snow so even with the colder temps last night, it wasn’t enough to fully penetrate to refreeze.  Dan finished plowing us out first thing this morning while I shovelled.  After that Dan headed on ice to check the huts.  I was watching him through the binoculars in case he got into trouble.  There was only one bad spot I could see where he broke through the top layer of ice but I think there is just sand underneath as it’s near the shoreline which means he should be able to get the huts off this week.  It is suppose to stay double digits below freezing (night time) for most of the week so that should help but today, it’s absolutely gorgeous, sunny and will likely go above zero.  Think i’ll find a spot in the sun to ground myself and meditate away all this negativity that’s been hovering around lately.

March 7, 2022 - 7:36 a.m.

I certainly hope people jacked their huts this weekend because it’s too late now if they didn’t.  The mild front came in Saturday afternoon but the rain didn’t start until very early Sunday morning.  And rain, it did. There was actually white caps on Lake  Nipissing yesterday.  Granted there was 30” of ice underneath but it sure makes for a messy situation.  Moose Creek was running big time and I think it still is.  It didn’t get as cold as anticipated overnight so still lots of standing water all over the ice.  Hopefully things freeze up tight tonight as it’s suppose to drop to-14 and then Dan can get the huts home and put to bed for another year.  The sooner the better.

March 5, 2022 - 7:36 a.m.

Wow, I’m sorry.  I didn’t realize how long it’s been since I updated the blog.  I guess there hasn’t been much to talk about.  Dan and I have been catching up on some sleep and I swear I could not get enough of it right about now.  I am pretty confident we have some nasty weather coming through within the next 24 hours because this old body of mine is hurting this morning.  As is Dan’s.  I’m completely flared and inflamed so checked the weather first thing.  Looks like a bothersome system of snow, ice, rain then snow is due to start during the late afternoon/early evening hours today.  So glad I did a town run yesterday.  Dan was on ice yesterday checking on the huts so I think he’s pretty confident they’ll be safe through  a storm and he did bring in the bathroom hut yesterday as it’s the only one that can’t be tied down.  I’m going out shortly to move my vehicle out of harms way (from under wires and trees) and lift the wiper blades as I didn’t do it yesterday which is my usual habit.  There is an inversion this morning (we can see all of the north coastline completely) so I know something is definitely on the horizon.  Literally.

March 1, 2022 - 6:54 a.m.

It may be snowing but it’s pretty mild so I would have to say “in like a lamb” but the weather is so unpredictable these days who am I to know?  Things are going to be much warmer for the next several weeks but the long term forecast changes regularly so I would not be surprised if we’re in for several more bouts of nastiness.  We are closed to ice fishing as of yesterday as we always are this time of year.  We just can’t trust Moose Creek or that it won’t start flowing although we are likely good to go this year just because it’s been so cold.  I think we made the right decision though as bait is hard to come by.  I think most of the operators bought up what was to be had and it’s going to be slim pickings for the next couple of weeks.

February 25, 2022 - 6:53 a.m.

Awe.  Dan called me from the ice yesterday and I’m sad to report, our little muskrat friend didn’t make it.  Dan found it frozen solid inside one of the huts.  He’s not convinced it was the cold that got him.  He had been acting weird and a little too friendly so I’m thinking he might have swallowed a hook as he was chewing up some of the extra tip ups to use for nesting material.  Or it could have been injured when some guests decided to not be very kind to it.  Guess we’ll never know.  Gato is still around but I haven’t seen him with the orange and white guy (aka Tom) since last week.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Gato ran him off.  They are calling for some snow and high of -9 today and the sky is rather grey this morning.  It was beautiful and sunny yesterday so we are finally starting to see a little more sunshine as the season end nears.  It’s been a long cold dark winter for sure.

February 23, 2022 - 7:29 a.m.

Yesterday was certainly a mixed bag of weather.  Freezing rain that was more like snow and it really came down for most of the day.  We didn’t get the snow accumulation they were predicting but apparently the roads were really bad so I didn’t leave the house.  We have some guests in who are snowmobiling and ice fishing but it’s not the greatest conditions for sledding.  Although the ride home in the peoplemover last night was apparently really sweet because it just slid along nicely.  Dan is going to need to jack huts once more before we call it a season.  It’s going to be really cold tonight again at -28 and I just can’t believe the weather this year.  It’s warm than cold, warm, cold.  Just nice mild temperatures for this time of year would be lovely instead of the up down crap.  Dan and I slept like the dead last night and both had a difficult time waking up this morning.  We’re both still all bleary eyed.  Wonder if it’s anything to do with “two’s” day yesterday because we’re both struggling to wake and both slept in.  Or maybe we’re just both exhausted.  Lol.

February 19, 2022 - 3:35 p.m.

It’s been a day.  I was busy with Dan and the guys this morning so no chance of updating the blog and then when I did have time, forgot about it until just now.  It was an absolute blizzard when Dan went on ice this morning.  Zero visibility but at least the temperature hadn’t dropped yet.  It was tough getting the boys out but my hero managed.  Thankfully the sun was up enough to help Dan see where he was going.  The wind has switched now to the north so it’s cooling off but suppose to swing around to the south again tomorrow so it’s going to be blustery for the entire weekend.  We still have our little muskrat friend hanging around, or I should say, living in the huts.  Dan drilled the holes yesterday with the little guy in the hut and he was just screaming.  Dan came back to shore and said he’s grow attached to the little fella and it bothered him that it was screaming.  I read up on muskrats and I think this one lost its home which explains why it’s taken shelter in our hut.  It’s not able to feed well either so I think the fishermen have been giving it things.  Now that I know they eat fruit, veggies and nuts, the thing will be well fed.  We will likely need to trap it before Dan brings the hut off the ice and I will release it on our property by the creek and just make sure it gets fed or is able to find food until the ice starts to melt. We’ve heard of other muskrats taking up residence in shacks as well this winter.  This one lucked out when it found us.  I swear I have a target for animals on me.

February 18, 2022 - 7:30 a.m.

It’s been a long week although I couldn’t tell you what was accomplished.  Dan has been freaking all week because of the weather forecast but for the most part, we ended up dodging a bullet.  The thaw did come through and made a right mess and then we did get rain although not as much as we could have but enough that it compiled the problem.  Needless to say, it was a good call tying the huts down just in case because all the banking is gone and there are moats around the huts.  All our guests are arriving today and fishing tomorrow which will give Dan some time to try and bank but we really didn’t get much snow yesterday.  There is snow in the forecast this weekend and thankfully the temperatures won’t be as cold as we have been experiencing this winter.  Only dropped to -18 overnight and rising to -13 today with sun.

February 15, 2022 - 6:41 a.m.

We had a great weekend and spent Sunday evening watching the Super Bowl with friends.  It was a good time.  We broke a weather record yesterday as the coldest day recorded since 1943 when it hit -35 here.  The warming trend is due to start and they are calling for rain Wednesday and Thursday.  Not good for the family day weekend so we’re keeping our fingers crossed.  Dan is going on ice today to do what he can with banking but it’s not looking too good.  Hopefully Moose Creek doesn’t start flowing too badly but chances are, it will be even just due to milder temperatures.  Going to be a sloppy mess from the sound of things.

February 12, 2022 - 6:21 a.m.

It’s been a busy and very mild week for us.  Hardly any sun which is the norm these days but the mild temperatures have been wonderful.  Last night however a cold front came in and it was pretty blizzardy out around 1:00 this morning.  Winds were high and we got a fair bit of snow overnight just in time as the banking was pretty much gone from the thaw.  Fishing has been excellent all week but I suspect this cold snap and windy conditions will likely affect the bite a little later today.  It’s only suppose to stay really cold for a couple of nights  I haven’t looked but there must be a full moon coming up.  For the most part we have been keeping up with the trucker’s convoy saga and continue to support them.  It might be inconvenient and people might be angry but the alternative isn’t how we want to live our lives during the rest of our time on this planet.  We  are hoping for a quick resolution but I think the more the truckers dig their heels in, the more Trudeau will as well.  Whether you agree with the convoy or not, you do need to ask yourself why our prime minister is so insistence upon practices that most other countries are abandoning and why the military stance and threats against his own people. And why is he so insistent upon dividing his constituents?   It’s disgraceful.

February 8, 2022 - 7:14 a.m.

We’ve had some quiet time the past few days and it’s been marvellous.  Scotia and I went fishing Sunday afternoon and managed enough for a fry.  I caught a huge pike which I didn’t want so ended up pushing it down the hole backwards with the strainer rather than fighting with it on the floor.  Pike is not a favourite of mine and they are so slimy.  Not to mention they always hiss at me.  I catch at least one every winter.  This one lived to see another day but the fishing was slow due to it being in the vicinity.  Scotia had beginners luck and landed two keeper walleye and a couple of perch.  I just kept some good sized perch but didn’t get one hit from a wally.  Likely due to my little friend.  We also had a little visitor in the hut.  We both saw and heard something scratching at the door but when I went out to investigate, there was nothing there.  A little later on, lo and behold, we had a baby muskrat running around under the hut eating all the dead minnows.  It was playing with Scotia’s line at one point.  Needless to say, our buddy was well fed.  I’m sure it’ll find it’s way back to shore as the heat will have been off all week but what a special thing to have happen.  The weather has been so mild I’m sure the fishing has great everywhere on the lake.  It always is during the thaws but we have another high pressure/cold weather event due to hit on the weekend.  Hopefully it doesn’t materialize.  Things were dripping yesterday as it went above zero and is suppose to be even warmer today so will likely reach +5.  We had a little snow overnight so it’s keeping the lake nicely insulated and better for running.  Glad the hut heat is all off or we could have a bunch of moats around them.

February 5, 2022 - 6:92 a.m.

I truly don’t know where all this cold air is coming from but it can stop anytime.  It is currently -29 yet again this morning and downright frigid.  The good news is the warm front comes through today bringing it up to minus teens tonight and -5 tomorrow.  Fishing hasn’t been overly productive this weekend due to the really high pressure but it started dropping yesterday and things picked up a bit.  Hopefully today is a better day for our guests.  I zipped into town yesterday to drop some things off with a volunteer heading to Ottawa.  Regardless of the stance one takes with the Freedom Protest in Ottawa (and now Toronto), we can’t as Canadians and human beings, let people starve or freeze to death.  Dan and I donated a ton of blankets and bedding, hygiene products and a case of commercial toilet paper and garbage bags.  Snow shovels were also on the list of things needed and the fellow taking everything to Ottawa had half a dozen he was donating.  It’s amazing how clean the truckers are keeping everything as well as looking after the homeless who need a meal.  Some churches have opened up their basments to allow people to sleep and shower (thus the blankets we sent) and yesterday, some Polish immigrants donated an entire van full of homemade sausage, buns and bread.  It’s so lovely to see everyone come together, it’s just too bad it’s under such circumstances.  I watched a wonderful interview between Dr. Peterson and Minister Peckford who is the last surviving minister who helped pen and sign our Charter of Rights.  It’s extremely interesting if anyone wants to watch it on YouTube.  

February 3, 2022 - 6:01 a.m.

It has been beautiful with a nice February thaw flowing through in the past couple of days.  The temperature was above zero two days running but it didn’t mess with the lake conditions too badly.  We did get some slushy areas and Dan lost some banking but nothing too drastic.  We had a storm come through yesterday so lots of new snow but thankfully the wind didn’t howl or we would have had blizzard conditions.  Dan is running first thing this morning as we had a small group arrive overnight trying to beat the weather conditions in their area of Ontario.  The rest of our guests aren’t arriving until later today.  The fishing was on fired due to the thaw and low pressure system so hopefully that is still the case for the rest of the weekend.  We have our first big group of the season coming in today so it won’t be as peaceful as it has been.  Lol.

February 1, 2022 - 5:30 p.m.

I’m updating at an odd time because I’m kind of hoping for a lie in tomorrow.   Dan has headed out on ice a few minutes early because there is one of those pencil thin lines coming down the lake which will blow huts off the blocking and he doesn’t want to have guests in the peoplemover when it hits.  I’m hoping he gets back to shore before it does reach our area but he’s going to be cutting it close.  It was absolutely gorgeous today and hit +3 thus the thin band of cold air coming our way.  The thaw didn’t do much in way of messing things up on the lake because the snow was so hardpacked to begin with.  Seems I’ve adopted another cat over the past two days as well.  The orange and white one is hanging around and has been coming up around this time the last few days to eat birdfeed so I caved and fed it.  No going to see it starve in the middle of winter  and as long as it comes at dusk it’s good because Gato doesn’t come until after dark.  This one is somewhat tamer so with enough trust, I may be able to capture it and get it to Petsave in Sudbury.  We’ll see how it goes.

January 31, 2022 - 6:45 a.m.

I think the worse of the winter weather is now behind us and I hope I didn’t jinxed things by saying so.  All the frigid temperatures are hopefully a thing of the past.  It rose to -13 this morning and Gato spent the night sleeping on his blanket outside our door.  Wherever he took cover during this cold spell, he’s likely finding this weather much more enjoyable.  As we all are.  I finished my books yesterday, at least all the data entry.  I have a little work left for year end which I’m hoping to finish up today.  Covid seems to have even effected my office work.  It is lightly snowing out this morning and there is quite a bit of it in the forecast this week as the daytime temperatures are going to be quite mild.  Dan won’t mind pulling people to the huts quite so much now that he can feel his face again.  Funny, not funny.

January 29, 2022 - 6:46 a.m.

Oh my goodness has it been cold.  We just had our last insanely cold night of the season (knock on wood) and it was -34 when I got up with a windchill of -40.  It is suppose to be yet another sunny day and rise to -14.  For the next two weeks it looks like seasonal temps with no colder than -25 one night.  Despite the cold, hundreds of people turned out to support the trucker convoy who were suppose to roll in between 1-1:30 yesterday afternoon.  Taylor James was out playing music to entertain everyone.  I attended but when word came down the truckers would be delayed, I had to get home.  As it turned out, the powers that be blocked off the roads so the truckers had no access to Pinewood where everyone and the supplies were located.  I was never so disgusted in my life.  They cited too much congestion even though they knew the convoy was coming for days.  I bet if it was the grand opening for the casino, this wouldn’t have happened.  The city of North Bay owes the truckers, the public and especially the excited children a huge apology.  All the support received along the highways in Northern Ontario and this is what they get from the city our Speaker of the House resides in.  Yep, something really stinks in our parliament.  Sorry for the rant.  It doesn’t matter if you support the convoy or not, since when did we start excluding fellow Canadians for their beliefs?

January 26, 2022 - 6:53 a.m.

OMG, another extreme winter’s night.  It is currently -34 and will likely exceed that before the sun comes up.  -40 with the windchill but thankfully it will warm up quickly today as it is suppose to sunny and high of -11.  We’ve two more -25’s to get through this week and then the temperatures are suppose to mellow out to something a little more reasonable.  I had a busy day yesterday and it seemed like I didn’t stop all day but it was worth it.  We had an excellent cabbage roll dinner last night, perhaps the best batch I’ve ever made.  I used my summer tomatoes in the sauce so that could have made the difference.  Dan is getting ready to go on ice and it’s just so cold I don’t envy him.  I suspect there were a lot of frozen items overnight but thankfully we didn’t experience any problems.  Knock on wood.  It helps that we don’t spare the heat when it gets like this.  When I got up through the night around 3:00, the floor of our house was sooo cold.  Definitely looking for some warmer temperatures.  Twenty eight degrees in Mexico would be nice about now.  Lol.

January 25, 2022 - 7:08 a.m.

It was a busy weekend for us and we have a few small groups in now so Dan is out on the ice looking after business.  The fishing has been great this year even though we aren’t on our usual spot.  I’ve housework and office work to do today and am also hoping to get some cabbage rolls made.  We have been following the progress and enormous support of the truckers convoy and think it is so wonderful to see Canadians finally come together for freedom and to stop the infringement of our rights.  The convoy made the Guness Book of World Records for the largest convoy in history and I read this morning there are 10,000 trucks from the States headed to the border.  If they aren’t allowed across, they will block the border so make your plans accordingly.  This is history in the making and the convoy is due through North Bay on Friday between 1-3 so if I’m able, I’m going with friends to show my support and definitely take pictures.  

January 23,2022 - 7:16 a.m.

I truly hope the long term forecast rings true.  We’ve apparently three more really cold nights and then things will start to warm up and hopefully that’s a sign of a decent February.  At least we’ve had a few days with some sun this past week which is more than we’ve had for months.  The fishing has been good but hearing mixed reports from throughout the lake.  Most operators were not able to get to their regular spots this year because the lake is such a shardy mess but they are doing the best that they can.  The lake isn’t much good for sledding this year either but the club still managed to put the trail markers very close to our huts.  We don’t mind because the sled traffic agitates the fish and it makes them bite.  At least that’s our theory because so many fishermen have told Dan in the past that when he pulls up to the hut with the sled, the fish suddenly start to hit.  I’ve experienced it myself so don’t believe it’s a conincidence.  It’s currently -24 and warming up to -16.  Think I’ll stay indoors most of the day and get some work done.

January 21, 2022 - 6:05 a.m.

Oh heck no.  It is just stupid cold out this morning and you could really feel how extreme it was going to get last night.  Silly Gato came up around 8:00 with ice on his whiskers.  He managed to get most of a bowl of warm milk and a full bowl of kibble in him before he had to seek shelter.  Haven’t seen the other cat since the first sighting so wherever it is, I hope it’s surviving.  Man, is it cold and we haven’t had a winter with so many -30’s in a long time.  It is suppose to warm up to a balmy -10 today so I may venture to town for a few supplies before the shortages get extremely bad here.  The blizzard that came through here Wednesday had Dan all stressed out because he figured he had a real mess on ice.  When he went to get our guests Wednesday evening, he had a heck of a time.  He got stuck in the snowdrift on the way out, then when he arrived at the hut, our bathroom had been blown over and the peoplemover was stuck so bad it wouldn’t budge.  Dan managed to get home safely and then yesterday was dreading what he’d find when he went back on ice but surprisingly, everything was good.  We haven’t been able to run many people this year due to the current covid restrictions so that actually is working in Dan’s favour just due to the nasty weather.   

January 19, 2022 - 7:31 a.m.

It has been a busy week but I have to say, Dan is keeping up with things, gimp knee and all.  We both have our days but winter is what it is.  Gato finally made an appearance after six days but the funny thing is, I spotted an orange and white cat a little earlier in the evening.  It was eating birdfeed under our cedar tree which usually means they haven’t had a decent meal for awhile.  I was thinking perhaps this cat ran Gato off or seriously injured him but then he showed up a little later.  If this is yet another lady friend he’s dragged home, I’m going to let him keep this one.  The last 3 were all pregnant but they and their eventual kittens all adopted thanks to a hefty donation to the local animal no kill shelters.  Gato needs companionship as well as the warmth of another body in the winter now that he’s getting up in years.  I may need to spay her, if it is indeed a female.  He showed up Monday night but I didn’t see either of them last night and now that we’ve had this huge dumping of snow, likely won’t see them for a few days.  The snow started late last night and continued for most of it and I’m guessing we have a good 5-6” of fresh powder.  Dan said the path this morning was like floating on a cloud so should make our guests ride much more comfortable.  The temperature is just above freezing but a major cold front is coming through this afternoon which may cause problems with visibility as the winds will most certainly blow when the temperature drops to -20’s once again.  Looks like I’ll be shovelling this morning while Dan does the plowing.  Fun, fun, fun.

January 16, 2022 - 7:08 a.m.

The full moon although was on Friday night, is still full this morning and what a beauty it was when we first got up.  A brilliant orange it was but unfortunately the clouds have moved in and covered it.  The temperature is finally going to rise from a “freeze your butt off” to a “think I’ll go for a walk” day.  It never got above -30 pretty much all day yesterday but is suppose to hit -10 with some sun this afternoon.  It was just so deceptive yesterday with the sky full of sun but as soon as I opened the door, the steam just rolled into the house.  Was quite nasty cold.  I did bundle up and get outdoors for a bit but I wasn’t out for long.  Still no sign of Gato but I haven’t given up hope just yet.

January 14, 2022 - 7:28 a.m.

Frostbite within minutes.  That’s what the extreme weather conditions notice said last night for us.  Holy.  It is currently -29 in North Bay with a windchill factor of -42.  We’re marking a balmy -26.  Lol.  Dan banked huts yesterday late afternoon in anticipation of the wind coming up but it really didn’t materialize.  We did have enormous snowflakes around 1:00 this morning which came down pretty good.  It is a full moon tonight so of course, as usual, I got little sleep last night (likely the same tonight) and the cold weather will be drastic until the waning of the moon.  Going down to -29 again tonight and then a little bit warmer tomorrow night.  I doubt there will be many people fishing today in these obnoxious temperatures.  Just the diehards.  We still haven’t seen Gato since the night before the last freeze up.  I’m a little concerned he didn’t make it through the cold snap or that he’s injured.  The last time he disappeared for this long, when he finally made an appearance, he had a terrible limp which lasted several weeks.  He is pretty old for a feral cat (we’ve been feeding him for 6 years and don’t know how old he was when he showed up here only that he was full grown) and Dan and I know there will come a time when he just won’t show up for food anymore.  Fingers crossed he’s just out gallivanting.

January 13, 2022 - 8:13 a.m.

I just looked at the forecast and am not looking forward to the next two weeks.  It’s going to be cold.  Especially tonight and tomorrow night when it will most likely hit -30.  Then rest of the time we’ll be blessed with night time low’s in the minus mid twenty’s.  At least there is a little bit of sunshine here and there in the long term.  We’ve maybe 16 hours of sunlight this entire month, if that.  A little sun first thing in the mornings when we do see it appear and then it has been clouding over by 10:00 in the morning I’ve never seen anything like it.  I just might need to invest in a sun lamp if this keeps up.  I have been pumping vitamin D everyday but still, I’d like to feel the sun on my face, even if for only 20 minutes.

January 11, 2022 - 7:29 a.m.

Well we managed to get through what was most very likely the coldest night of the year.  It is currently -32 with a wind chill of -40 although when the temperatures drop that much, it doesn’t really matter.  I’m sure all the humidity has just been sucked right out of the air as well.  When it gets this cold, we spare no heat.  Everything was cranked up yesterday in the house and just before bed, I actually turned the heat up in the bedroom once more.  So glad I did.  Thankfully, the extreme cold was just for the night and although the rest of the week will be mostly in the low -20’s during the night time hours, it will be much more bearable.  Funny enough it’s suppose to be a high of -2 tomorrow.  I hope everyone stayed warm last night and there aren’t too many problems starting your vehicles this morning.

January 10, 2022 - 7:38 a.m.

Don’t spare the heat tonight folks.  After a fairly nice weekend with warmer temperatures and even some sunshine, it dropped to -20 overnight and isn’t going to get much warmer than that today.  The wind was pretty strong at times yesterday while ushering the cold weather back in but it’s suppose to drop to the -30’s tonight.  I’m hoping that it doesn’t get that cold but there are always a few bad cold spells during the winter.  I won’t be spending a lot of time outdoors today that’s for sure.  I am hoping to fish sometime this week and Wednesday looks to be the nicest day so I should probably get some chores done between now and then.

January 8, 2022 - 6:19 a.m.

Bbbbbrrrrrrr, with a capital B.  Woke up to -29 this morning and the house is so cold, there is snow on the inside of the windows.  Not frost.  Snow.  How is that even possible?  It’s suppose to be -6 with snow or flurries today which means the temperature will rise quickly but they weren’t predicting it be this cold until tomorrow night into Monday.  Looks like we’ve 3 nights of nastiness now and then the rest of the week should be nicer.  At least the fish are biting so that’s always a good thing.  At least they were yesterday, today’s another story.  I forgot to post that there was a little weasel or mink (I’m thinking mink because they change colour in the winter) under the maple trees next to our house this week.  It was so cute.  Pure white on it’s entire body except for a small black tipped tail.  It was peeking at me from behind the tree and when it saw I was getting closer, it took off running across the beach heading towards the creek.  I don’t know what it was after up around the tree.  Do they eat squirrels?  I know they can be pretty vicious.  Still, whatever it was, it was adorable.

January 7, 2022 - 5:55 a.m.

Dan and I are both a little stiff this morning.  We spent the day yesterday moving snow.  Quite a bit of it actually.  The stuff on top was fairly light but there was a substantial amount of hard pack and some ice underneath.  Would have been great for making snowmen for sure.  Sorry.  Snowpeople.  It is suppose to get extremely cold by Monday night but looks like it’s going to be a nice mild weekend around the -5 to -10 mark.  Likely see a lot of fishermen out and about.  I’m heading to town today and have a lot of running to do so I hope the roads are good for travelling.  I haven’t heard anything to the contrary and by the time I wait for it to warm up a little bit, I’m sure it will be fine.  Ugh, Walmart, here I come.

January 5, 2022 - 7:59 a.m.

Winter has finally arrived!  There was doubt that it was actually going to.  The storm warnings have been up since yesterday and looking at the radar, we are going to be receiving plenty of snowfall today and it should be starting shortly.  This is just ahead of a cold snap which is usually the case.  It looks like we are going to be cold for a while and that’ll do wonders for making some good ice on Nipissing.  Dan measured yesterday and had 10” so I imagine by the end of the week there should be a solid foot at least. I spent yesterday cleaning the double unit, organizing it, seeing what was needed and what could be thrown out.  Am finishing that job today and was hoping to head into town later but think I’ll wait and see how the roads are tomorrow.  Dan put our treeline in for our hut in case I want to go fishing.  Since they changed the slotline this year to the nice eating size, and my back isn’t giving me the grief it use to, I might take it up again.

January 3, 2022 - 7:24 a.m.

There were lots of huts popping up all over yesterday but the general consensus is the main body of the lake is a mess.  There are piles of shards everywhere and the popping and booming the night before heaved quite a few pressure cracks that are visible from shore.  The ice is a mess this year but that won’t stop the fishermen.  I think there’s plenty of safe ice now that we’ve had a cold snap for a few days and it’s going to stay below zero all week.  Just be careful where you go because some cracks have formed that aren’t in the usual spot.  Tight lines everyone.

January 2, 2022 - 5:40 a.m.

I finally gave up the ghost and got up around 5:00 after a very restless sleep.  Everything running through my mind on what needs to get done between now and Thursday as it looks like conditions will allow us to operate.  I could hear the ice popping last night and there were a few really good cracks so we definitely made some ice overnight.  We have a mixture of frigid and mild weather forecasted for the next 2 weeks so fingers crossed there will be enough ice for us to completely set up next week.  For now, we are just going to put the smaller huts on.  At least that’s the plan.  A few huts showed up yesterday in our line of sight and suspiciously close to our spot.  We won’t know how close until Dan ventures out there tomorrow.  The rumour of a vehicle going through at Deepwater Point turned out to be just that. There are a few bungalows (we think) that were put out on the other side of the pressure crack towards Lonely yesterday and quite a few went out on Callander Bay so people were fishing yesterday with mixed reports.  And so it begins...

January 1, 2022 - 7:33 a.m.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  Hopefully everyone who celebrated last night isn’t feeling too poorly this morning.  Lol.  Dan and I had a quiet evening but did stay up until midnight.  Just.  I was so sad to hear of the passing of Betty White.  I think she became more famous in her twilight years just because she had such a wicked sense of humour.  RIP.  We are hearing various reports on ice conditions but know without measuring, our hut location is not yet safe.  There were two local huts pulled out just as far as Whiskey Island yesterday and that’s where they are sitting.  Several locations had pressure cracks open up yesterday in the thaw and we heard someone went through at Deepwater Point but we’re unable to get details just yet.  Keep in mind the ice thickness varies depending on circumstances and location so be sure to check with your operator.  This is a busy time of year so be patient if they don’t get back to you right away.  No news is good news.

December 30, 2021 - 8:09 a.m.

Well we had sun for about 5 minutes yesterday which I took advantage of and went for a little walk.  Today it’s overcast again with the threat of flurries and maybe, just maybe, a little more sunshine.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a gloomy season as the one we’ve been experiencing the past couple of months.  Yes we get snow and a mixed bag of weather but we normally get a lot more sun then we have this year.  Many of the operators on Lake Nipissing have cancelled for opening day due to unreliable ice conditions.  Measuring is finding lots of spotty ice where it’s mostly thick enough to hold huts but then you run into 2-3”.  We are giving it another week as there is some