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March 21, 2019 - 7:11 a.m.

I spoke too soon yesterday.  When I was in town, I saw one lone Canada Goose fly over Callander along the shoreline.  I actually heard it first.  It was likely a scout but it’s going to be a while before any waterfowl should return.  Way too much snow and ice, they’ll starve to death.  This is the time of year they start to build their nests but they need open water and grasslands which even in this welcomed current thaw isn’t going to be available.  I also saw a chipmunk cross our road in front of me as I was just about to our house.  Spring is definitely on the way but we will still have pretty cold nights this week so it’s looking like a slow melt which is a good thing.  Dan only has 5 treeline markers left on the ice and they are the closest ones to shore.  Mainly because they are in the sand vs the ice but he should be able to pull them this week.  Not sure what’s on our agenda today as we both have a case of the lazies.  There is lots I could be doing but I’m just not that ambitious right now.  We are definitely enjoying the peace and quiet but I’m thinking it’s time for me to get busy again.  I’m getting bored.  Lol.

March 20, 2019 - 6:18 a.m.

First day of spring!  Yes!!  We’ve had a few great days with above zero temps with plenty of sunshine.  We are experiencing a slow melt, if you can call it that.  Basically things are just softening up.  It has been a brutal winter, the most snowload we’ve seen in 20 years and from what’s being reported, lots of roof cave ins around the area this winter and now reports of flooding.  I am certainly not surprised and pity anyone with a basement this year.  All that snow needs to go somewhere as it melts and if the ground can’t absorb it fast enough, oh boy.  As cold as it was this winter , I don’t believe the frost line went very deep just due to the snowload insulating the ground which could very well be a saving grace for many.  I’m willing to bet though, the insects that typically hibernate in the soil  are going to be bad once the warm weather arrives.  Not looking forward to fly biting season this year.  I haven’t seen the chipmunk since last week but am seeing the squirrels out and about.  I saw one blackbird who arrived early but nothing else just yet.  I’m figuring everything will be a few weeks behind when they do opt to return.  Going to be a while before the ice starts to break up but the police are cautioning people about venturing onto Lake Nipissing right now.  Due to the enormous snow load, the slush is forming and is very deep and lots of vehicles are getting stuck.  Use common sense so you don’t end up stranded.

March 18, 2019 - 7:24 a.m.

Looks like it is going to shape up to be a lovely week ahead.  Not much precipitation in the long term with plenty of sun and just above zero temperatures.  This should hopefully melt some snow which is still ridiculously piled high.  Slow melt is preferred.  Going to be a bit before we can start the spring property clean up but it’s coming.  I have lots of “to do” things on my list, including some painting, spring cleaning and purging but all in good time.  Today I have some office work to get done but life is going to be pretty boring for a bit.  Hope everyone had a chance to drink some green beer and get their Irish on the weekend.  Dan and I didn’t do much.  We had a visit with a few neighbours on Saturday night and just vegged yesterday.  I think Dan is still recouping from the long winter season and taking it easy is on his agenda for the rest of the week.  Don’t blame him.

March 16, 2019 - 7:31 a.m.

It started out being a mild day yesterday and ended with winter returning with a vengeance.  We lost a lot of snow off our roofs as it was continuously sliding off yesterday.  Sure makes a racket when you’re not expecting it and scared me a few times.  I saw the first chipmunk of the season running around.  My guess is the poor thing’s home was flooded.  I only saw it briefly and am sure it’s found digs elsewhere because it certainly won’t be out and about today.  The wind and snow started late in the day and dropped the temperature to -8 this morning but the windchill factor is quite evident as it’s still blowing pretty good.  It’s currently just windy and overcast but the snow is due to end this morning and it’s suppose to be sunny with -1 tomorrow.  So tired of this, bring on spring!  There was still one lonely ice hut being used last night as we saw the lights out towards Lonely Island.  I wouldn’t have wanted to be out there all alone on the lake last night.  Fishing is now officially closed for the season so my guess is they’ll be pulling today now that everything has firmed back up on Lake Nipissing.  I cleaned all day yesterday.  Washed the floors, some windows, washed all the bedding, did a good job but it’s not my traditional spring clean just yet.  Soon, when I can open the house up during the day time.  That’s when I go room by room, cleaning, purging, organizing for another season.  There was a lot of flooding locally yesterday.  Lots of water in basements and some streets flooded.  Moose Creek finally started flowing but think it was more snow and ice melt than actual run off.  First time this year we saw Moose Creek actually resemble a creek vs just a snowcovered pathway.  Patience people, it’s coming.  Few more weeks and winter will be a distant memory.

March 15, 2019 - 8:12 a.m.

I was waiting to update my blog until I heard from friends in the Bay this morning (thanks Liz).  We received a pot full of rain yesterday but it didn’t really begin raining until after supper.  Once it started, it went on and on and on.  Even had quite the nice little light show for a prolonged period when the thunderstorms went through beginning around 9:00 last night.  It was still lightning when I went to bed close to midnight.  And rain.  Holy cannoli.  Got up this morning and Lake Nipissing is opaque in a lot of places.  Lots of standing water and Liz said some of the backroads in the Bay are water covered, especially parts of Main Street so careful driving out there today peeps.  I went to town yesterday and just due to melting (temp reached +3 - +6 depending), some area roads were already water covered along the shoulders from the snowbank melts.  I got sucked in a few times when I had to keep to the right due to oncoming traffic.  Slush everywhere.  I haven’t been down Greening Bay Road yet today but I’m sure it’s a great big slush pot.  The colder temps are due to return but all that’s going to do is turn everything into a skating rink.  Hopefully a lot of the remaining huts are taken off ice today and tomorrow while the getting is good.  It is currently +3 degrees but suppose to cool down this afternoon with the possibility of snow.  The property looks so messy (as it always does this time of year) and especially around the cedar trees by our house where I’ve been tossing birdseed all winter.  Nice little mess to clean up this spring.

March 14, 2019 - 7:52 a.m.

Apparently we’re not keeping ice fishing hours anymore where we are in bed by 9 or 10 and up by 5.  Lol.  I’ve been doing a lot of catch up on my reading and finished another book around 12:30 last night (or I should say this morning).  We did a little catch up yesterday around the property but we certainly aren’t busting a gut on anything.  All the ice fishing equipment has been put to bed for the season and we thank everyone for their business.  Was a great season with excellent conditions and the fishing was pretty good and steady.  All the minnow pails have been cleaned and stored, the minnow tank bleached, all huts and peoplemovers in their designated spots for storage so now we wait for the treeline to loosen so it can be removed.  That may take a few weeks but it’ll happen.  With nearly 3 feet of ice, it won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.  Dan spent some time plowing and moving snow yesterday in anticipation of the rain expected today.  I did as much shovelling as I could.  Due to the weight of the snow, I didn’t do as much as I wanted.  The snow is 77% saturated, meaning extremely high water content and once we receive the 15-25 mm of rain over the next 24 hours, there are going to be major issues.  Dan even called Jim Andrews yesterday, our go-to road maintenance guy and asked him to punch holes in the banking along our road so the water run-off will make it to the ditches.  I suspect we will see ditches flowing by tomorrow afternoon and possibly overflowing.  The temperatures have been above zero since yesterday and suppose to be around 7-8 degrees today into tonight.  I shutter to think what all the ice roads are going to look like on Lake Nipissing as I’m sure no one thought to trim down the banking.  There’ll be a good 6” of standing water which won’t make it easy for removing huts and there are still lots out there.  I hope everyone has jacked their shacks a good foot and tied down vs using banking as it’s staying very mild through Sunday with plenty of sun coming for the weekend.  We aren’t suppose to get any bad winds for the foreseeable future so suspect a lot of people will be wrestling with the conditions scrambling to get their equipment removed this weekend.  Glad ours is all safely tucked away until next year.

March 13, 2019 - 8:05 a.m.

We are getting some serious snow this morning.  Thick accumulation flakes but it’s suppose to change to rain later this morning as the temperature rises and lots more rain on the way for tomorrow.  The temperature is nearly above zero already so we will get some major thawing today.  Going to be a slushy sloppy mess.  Could very well see some standing water throughout the region when all is said and done.  I still can’t believe Moose Creek hasn’t started to flow yet.  Likely won’t see any sunshine until later in the weekend but yesterday was beautiful.  Love the mild temperatures, for sure.  I’m heading back to the shop shortly to do a few things and I’d really like to do some painting in the house but with an asthmatic cat, not sure that’s a good idea.  I may need to wait until I can open the house right up.  Speaking of....probably a good idea to do my spring clean before painting as the winter has sure taken a toll.  

March 12, 2019 - 7:52 a.m.

I woke up at 5:30 this morning and went back to bed.  Didn’t wake up again until 7:30ish and still didn’t want to get up but here I am.  The sky was a beautiful brilliant red and they are calling for flurries this morning.  We actually got some snow last night which they weren’t really forecasting so need to do some shovelling possibly.  The weather forecast isn’t looking too great at all this week.  Warm front is coming in overnight and suppose to bring a mixed bag consisting mostly of rain for most of it.  Going to reach a high of +8 by Thursday so we’ll definitely see some thawing this week.  I’m glad all our equipment is off the ice as hauling huts off in rain soaked snow will be tough going.  Still many huts and bungalows out by Lonely and quite a few left on Callander Bay as well.  I didn’t end of making soup yesterday but I did make a new roasted chicken receipt that I won’t repeat as I wasn’t very fond of it.  Gato got the leftovers which he promptly inhaled late last night.  

March 11, 2019 - 7:16 a.m.

The storm was late arriving but it did arrive.  As a matter of fact, it’s making it’s presence felt as I update my blog this morning.  We did receive some freezing rain with a little rain and snow but we kept waiting for the shoe to drop yesterday.  Around 5:00 yesterday afternoon the wind began to pick up and we had a small bout of snow go through but that was it.  Things took a turn for the worse around 2:00 this morning (yes, I was up of course) and the wind changed direction to WNW and has been howling ever since.  We are getting some snow but I think it’s blowing harder than it’s falling.  Hard to tell just looking out the backdoor but doesn’t look like we received a huge dumping just yet.  Dan and I are both fighting a cold.  Make it through the entire winter and then start feeling under the weather once we become idle for a few days.  Think I might make some chicken soup since the day pretty much calls for it’s warmth and healing qualities.  There are cat tracks outside the door this morning so I’m assuming Gato was creeping around at some point.  Sorry I missed him but he shouldn’t be out in this weather anyways.  Now that the time change is in effect, he still wasn’t up by 11:00 last night.  He’s going to need to adopt our schedule now as I’m not getting up at 5:00 anymore.  At least not until it’s brighter much earlier in the mornings.  The long term weather forecast is up, down and sideways which is par for the course this time of year but I’m truly thinking winter is going to continue rearing it’s ugly head into April.  This is about the time of year Moose Creek starts to flow, water fowl returns and the hibernating animals start to reappear.  Not so this year.

March 10, 2019 - 6:24 a.m.

It’s back to waking up in the darkness thanks to daylight saving time.  Bummer.  Was liking getting up with the sun shining.  Although it won’t be shining today, it was absolutely beautiful yesterday and even went above zero.  Dan had a few hours work in the afternoon as he wanted to get the last of our equipment off the ice.  Just has to wait for a thaw to get the treeline out now but think it will be a while as the ice is so thick this year.  At least the markers are dark and attract heat so he’s usually able to collect them all after a few days of warm temperatures.  They are calling for a storm today.  We’ve already received some snow and freezing rain which is suppose to change to rain but the winds are going to pick up today.  Dan was worried about our last few huts being out there so as much as he didn’t want to, got everything to shore without much of a problem.  I went for a walk yesterday afternoon and that was about it for me.  We had Donna and Mitch over Friday night after fishing in the afternoon.  I caught one perch and that was all that came out of the hut.  Fishing is over at our hole for the year as we think everything is on the move now, heading to the spawning grounds.  Hard to know for sure but makes sense.

March 8, 2019 - 7:04 a.m.

I was finally able to get to town yesterday and was home by 2:00.  Dan and I went fishing around 4:00 but didn’t do very well.  The fish were biting so light, I could feel they sucking or nibbling but just couldn’t set the hook.  I’d get them on but they’d release it as soon as the least little amount of pressure was applied.  I did catch one little perch but that was work getting it but it promptly went back down the hole after I released it.  I don’t know where all the perch are this year.  Our hole usually produces constant perch but there hasn’t been that many this year.  We’re going to try again today with Donna and Mitch but not counting on having a fry tonight.  Dan thinks with the lack of oxygen in Lake Nipissing due to no thaws this winter, the fish just aren’t actively feeding right now.  Might be better next week if tributaries start to flow due to the warm up coming but the season is nearly over now.  Could be they’ve just started moving into the spawning grounds now also.  At any rate, the fishing isn’t even starting until late in the afternoon now that the days are longer and the sun sets so late.  We stayed out until around 7:00 and it wasn’t even full on dark yet.  Makes for a long day if you’re an operator as the guys want to be on ice by 6:00 and not off the ice until at least 7:00.

March 7, 2019 - 7:10 a.m.

Another extremely cold day yesterday.  It’s just so deceptive when it looks so beautiful outside with the sun shining.  I was going to go to town yesterday but then I got watching the testimony of Gerald Butts and that was that.  I won’t get political but suffice it to say, I don’t believe this scandal is over.  Just more questions to be answered now.  Dan had himself all in a tizzy yesterday when someone took an excerpt from my blog and posted it on a fishing board.  It was regarding Dan putting salt around some frozen in skis on the lake to help get them out.  This person said “it didn’t sit well” with him.  Seriously?  A bag of salt would be so diluted by the time three feet of ice melts it would be comparative to a grain of salt, if that.  I responded, which I normally don’t to ludicrous comments but seriously?  What about all the salt on our roadways that eventually ends up in our waterways.  Salted minnows?  Garbage down ice hut holes.  Human waste?  I think this lake (and many others) have much bigger problems.  I just can’t believe how angry and disrespectful social forums have made people become.  I know I’m guilty of being caught up in the moment when in discussions on Facebook but I am usually cognizant of other people’s opinions and I certainly do my research.  People need to settle down.  Lol.

March 6, 2019 - 7:42 a.m.

I’m late this morning.  I stayed up late last night reading and the book was good enough I finished it.  It’s a bright sunny day in the neighbourhood but cold.  Brrr, wind chill -35.  Hopefully the warm up trend begins today because I’m ready for some nice spring weather.  Of course, a quick thaw would not be a good thing right now but warmer temperatures are needed.  Looks like that is going to happen slowly over the next week with temperatures in the minus single digits for the day time highs this weekend.  Lots of snow to get rid of before the wildlife starts to return.  I read an article this morning that North Bay has started snow removal in the city ahead of spring weather to help ease flooding but they can’t remove it all as there could be freeze ups of the drains if the temperatures plummet again.  Frankly, I don’t know where they are removing it to, there’s just no room.  We had the window installer come yesterday and unfortunately, they broke one of the windows.  It cracked during installation, likely due to the cold but it is temporarily installed until the replacement is available in a couple of weeks.  Should be warmer by then so hopefully no repeats.  I did office work yesterday and am heading to town today.  Not sure what is on Dan’s agenda.  He certainly doesn’t need to go on the ice if he doesn’t want to, which he probably doesn’t in this cold.  He should be heading to warmer climes about now.  It just looks so deceptive outside.

March 5, 2019 - 6:11 a.m.

Dan and I had an easy day yesterday.  Did a few things and I was hoping to fish in the afternoon but Dan was napping.  I didn’t dare wake him up.  He needs a few days off.  Today I’ve got office work and Dan is heading on ice.  Our neighbour Mike called yesterday to see if Dan can pull his hut off after this weekend as he broke his foot.  Mike still wants to fish one last weekend so hopefully the weather next week won’t make the hut too difficult to pull.  Have a warm up starting Friday and it’s much easier pulling when the path is hard packed snow.  We have new windows coming for some of the cottages this afternoon.  I would rather they come in the morning so I can fish this afternoon but it is what it is.  Lori is coming in this morning to clean and I have office work to do.  I have my year end books done but need to get them to our accountant.  My computer is acting up once again so need to figure that out as well.  Still things to do before the season ends but there are lots of huts coming off the ice now.  Operators have had a great season this year with the ice being so thick.  Dan told me yesterday it’s 36” so yep, it’ll be around for a while this year.

March 4, 2019 - 6:35 a.m.

Dan and I had a day off yesterday.  The first in a long time.  I did the cottage laundry but that was about as ambitious as I wanted to get.  Friday and Saturday were both extremely busy days for Dan.  He winterized the cottages we aren’t using anymore on Friday and then he and Mitch pulled off the huts we aren’t using anymore on Saturday.  We were going to fish ourselves yesterday but Dan needed rest as he has been running on empty.  His stress levels have gone down but don’t think he’ll truly relax until the end of the season when everything is off the ice.  Soon.  The weather was nice and mild yesterday but we are still getting cold night time temperatures in the minus double digits.  March came in like a lamb so am pretty sure we’re in for a few more blasts before winter comes to an end.  I certainly hope all the water fowl don’t make an early appearance this year because with the amount of snow and ice on Lake Nipissing, I don’t think the ice will be off until at least May.  They are already warning about flooding this year which I’ve said as much.  I read an article yesterday we have 175% of our usual precipitation so high water this year for sure.  Moose Creek should be nicely dredged once the flowing starts but it could be a while.

March 2, 2019 - 6:34 a.m.

Dan is getting ready is head out in a few minutes.  Our guests said they didn’t do well yesterday but there could be a number of reasons for that.  The winds are straight out of the east this morning and the pressure was high and rising yesterday.  I asked Dan to see what kind of jigs they are using this morning and to make sure they are fishing a foot off the bottom.  Hope they do better today.  Dan was a busy boy yesterday.  He winterized the cottages we aren’t needing anymore and then spent a couple of hours on ice yesterday afternoon finally getting our supply hut dug out of the ice.  That last thaw wreaked havoc on a lot of huts as they all sank, water came up and then we had a flash freeze when the blizzard came through.  In the 20 years we’ve been here, Dan has never had a hut freeze in.  Guess there’s a first time for everything.  He had even performed due diligence and jacked and raised everything so I imagine there are a lot of huts stuck on Nipissing.  I did some cleaning and laundry.  It was a nice day and felt a lot like spring when the sun started to shine.  Just beautiful out there yesterday.

March 1, 2019 - 6:36 a.m.

I can’t believe it is already March.  I’m not going to ask where the winter went because it’s been long, snowy and cold and is still thriving.  It does however, look like it may just come in like a lamb.  They are calling for a possibility of flurries this morning but clearing early afternoon and the temperature fairly mild.  We are currently at -12 which beats the heck out of the -25 temperatures we’ve had this week.  We have check outs and ins this morning but Dan doesn’t have to run until late morning so can have somewhat of a leisurely morning.  Well, at least a few extra hours.  The poor man is exhausted both mentally and physically.  He’s certainly been a trooper this winter, never stopping or complaining and I’d say he needs a well deserved break.  It’s coming.  The ice is so thick, I’m guessing it won’t be going anywhere in the near future but they are calling for spring to appear rather abruptly this year.  Straight from the freezer into the oven so to speak but pretty sure we’ll get a few more blasts beforehand.  I stayed up watching the emergency meeting in the House of Commons last night but couldn’t keep my eyes open past 11:00.  Everyone just kept rehashing the same chain of events over and over but there were a few good arguments and I was impressed by a couple of MP’s.  Both sides.

February 28, 2019 - 7:01 a.m.

This cold weather can disappear anytime.  Another morning waking up to -25 and bitter cold.  Poor Dan.  He’s headed out with our guests who did exceptionally well fishing yesterday.  I took Halo to the vet in the morning and turns out she has asthma bordering on pneumonia.  She was given antibiotics and steroids and the vet is calling me today with instructions on management which involves an inhaler.  Marble, who died last spring and is the same family of Halo, had the same issues.  The vet told me as they are feral cats, the asthma likely runs in the family and is exacerbated by the house being closed and dry all winter.  I steeped some water on the stove yesterday and couldn’t believe what putting a little moisture in the air did.  Guess I should have been doing this all winter as the house was a lot warmer for it.  I have two “decorative” little humidifiers I have been using during the long months but obviously they just weren’t cutting it.  Halo is resting much more comfortable today and seems to be bouncing back.  Due to me missing a window left open in the bathroom of one of our cottages by our guests, we had the bathroom freeze up.  Karen while cleaning found the issue so Dan and I spent an hour getting that sorted.  It didn’t take long and thankfully no broken pipes but Lynn received the full wrath of Dan over that faux pas.  Can’t get these cottages winterized soon enough.  From 3:00 on, I was glue to the tv yesterday watching the North American leaders imbroiled in scandals.  I guess greasing palms is a criteria in our political system.  Sad day for Canada and the USA but maybe this will help change the level of corruption in our governments now, though I doubt it.

February 27, 2019 - 6:24 a.m.

Bbbrrrr!  It’s cold this morning as it was all day yesterday.  The wind was bitterly cold yesterday and poor Dan and Mitch were working on ice for most of it.  They managed to get the one hut freed that was concerning Dan so that was a relief for him.  The supply hut and one of the on ice washrooms are stuck in the ice so Dan had to go to town yesterday for salt.  He dumped a ton of it around the base of them and covered the salt with snow to leave overnight.  That’s the problem when we have the big thaws and flash freezes.  Even though everything was jacked, everything still sinks into the ice.  Hopefully he can get them both out with little problem today so the poor man can rest easy.  I told our guests yesterday morning that the fishing likely wouldn’t be very good yesterday due to the storm but they seemed happy enough.  They caught lots so good to know the fish were still feeding.  Hydro, or rather a sub contractor, showed up yesterday to replace the new hydro pole they just installed a few years ago.  The pileated woodpeckers got at it and even nested in it last summer.  They hear the humming of the electricity and think it’s bugs.  Hydro is going to replace the wooden pole with a fibreglass one this time around.  I’m going to ask them to leave the wooden one where it is so the woodpeckers will hopefully nest in it again this year.  They are an endangered species and I know they had at least one baby survive last year so that’s worth keeping a good nesting pole intact.  All they did yesterday was drill a huge hole into our bedrock (which is now covered) but it made a mess.  I hope they don’t take too long to bring the new pole as last time is was a good two months after drilling before the pole showed up and having a big hole like that open is dangerous.  Gato was up last night meowing for food but Halo, our indoor fur baby is sick and has been for a good week now.  It seems to be the same thing that Marble had last year so this could be something generically inherited.  Being that they were both feral, we don’t know their history.  I’m hoping to get Halo to the vet today but she really doesn’t travel well and I’m terrified she won’t make the trip as she stresses and hyperventilates.  

February 26, 2019 -6:31 a.m.

Well we survived the storm intact.  The wind was nasty all day even after the sun came out.  I went outside to feed the birds and that was enough for me.  I ended up doing some house cleaning and washing the floors.  Dan was biting at the bit just itching to check on the huts as it was so windy, we couldn’t see them from shore.  The wind finally eased enough around noon for him to venture out.  I lost sight of him once he was about a half mile off shore as it was still blowing snow on the main body of the lake.  He said there were eight foot drifts around some of the huts and most were sitting in water.  The thaw before the storm melted all the banking which of course formed moats around the huts.  There wasn’t anything he could do yesterday as it was just too windy but he and Mitch are going out to jack them today.  The huts required for today are high and dry with the heat on and holes drilled.  It’s bitterly cold this morning at -33 with wind chill but it’s suppose to be sunny today which should help a tad.  I certainly don’t envy them working out there today.  There are branches down around the property of course and Dan dispersed the snowbanks quickly once the wind settled down around 5:00 late yesterday afternoon.  Jim Andrews came and dug out our road which was completely drifted in.  I haven’t heard of too many accidents in our area but there were lots of road and highway closures.  I wasn’t surprised at the horrific pile up on the 400 by Barrie.  That stretch is treacherous at the best of times and can’t understand why they didn’t close the road.  Today I have some shovelling to do as soon as our guests check in.  They are due to arrive around 7:30 and hope they don’t run into any problems on the way.  Lori is coming in this morning to clean a couple of cottages and I’ve got some office work after I shovel.  Another fun day in paradise.

February 25, 2019 - 6:51 a.m.

Well we managed (so far) to get through the storm with power but since it is still raging outside, that may change.  Yesterday we started with freezing rain but it was eerily calm and quiet.  The freezing rain changed to rain as the temperature rose and we received quite a bit of it throughout the day.  Still it remained eerily quiet.  Our property roads and cleared paths all turned to slush.  Karen came in after church to clean and buried her car back by our shop so Dan pulled her out with the truck.  I managed to get all the cottage laundry done by about 7:00 last night as I was afraid we’d lose power once the full brunt of the storm arrived.  The winds started to pick up slightly around 4:00 p.m. with some light snow then around 5:00 heavier snow started to fall.  It wasn’t until around 10:00 last night that the storm kicked in to full gear and just kept getting progressively worse.  It howled all night and still is this morning.  Apparently the wind peaked here at a sustainable 94 km/hr overnight.  Most of our house windows are covered in snow and the cold front has definitely arrived.  Wind chill is -21 with a risk of frostbite but we won’t know if there is any damage or the full extent of the snow accumulation until things settle down and we can actually get outside to assess.  It’s currently a whiteout on the lake so we don’t know how our huts managed but are assuming we’ll hear of damage sustained to personal property over the next few days.  I know there were people on the ice last night because we saw the lights on in a bungalow but we can’t see anything this morning so hope everyone is ok.  Silly people.  Both ladies were going to try to make it in for cleaning today as things were suppose to be calmed down by now but I’ve already contacted them to cancel.  The sun is suppose to be out later this morning and the winds diminished but for now, we’re hunkered down, safe and warm, as we hope everyone is.

February 24, 2019 - 5:56 a.m.

Now we just sit and wait.  Dan was preemptive and tied down all our huts yesterday afternoon.  With the wind event due to hit this afternoon, he wasn’t taking any chances.  I think southern Ontario will get the wind much worse than us but who knows what Lady Nip will throw at us.  The mixture of precipitation isn’t going to be fun either.  No one is fishing this morning which is likely a good thing.  Getting them on ice within the next hour would be one thing but getting them home is another.  After the last storm nearly had the peoplemover air borne, Dan’s not taking any chances with such precious cargo.  I don’t think the fishing is going to be any good anyhow as it dropped off yesterday afternoon and pretty much shut down.  I’ve made sure all our lights have fresh batteries and I’ve candles also just in case the power goes out.  We had a group of gentlemen coming in first thing tomorrow morning but they’ve been kind enough to wait until Tuesday.  They likely won’t be able to travel tomorrow anyhow.  Dan is heading out on ice right now to drill holes around the huts to keep them high and dry so when that is finished, he’s done all he can do.  We can hear the winds gusting out on the lake and the freezing rain has already started but due to change to rain as the temp rises and then snow once the flash freeze gets here.  If it’s not one thing, it’s another.  I’m reading stories of snowloads wreaking havoc all over the north and can’t imagine the weight on the ice right now.  Fingers crossed the power doesn’t go out and the winds aren’t too severe.  Hunker down everyone, stay safe and don’t travel if you don’t need to!

February 23, 2019 - 6:24 a.m.

I forgot to mention yesterday that I caught a ling while fishing on Thursday.  It did go in the bucket as Mike wanted it.  The one group that checked in yesterday for the afternoon fish said they caught 29 fish which included walleye, perch, a herring and pike so quite the variety.  Busy weekend and Dan is currently on ice making sure everything is ready to rock for the 6:30 run.  He’s a little concerned over this next weather system coming through tomorrow into Monday.  Last night they were calling for a severe blizzard but they’ve toned it down this morning.  Still going to be windy with freezing rain, rain, snow but we’ll need to see how things progress today.  You can bet Dan will be keeping his eyes on things and will plan for the worse.  We have people in Monday but am thinking Tuesday might be a better check in.  It was pretty mild yesterday with temps rising above zero so quite a few fishing outside.  Today is suppose to be mild as well.  You can tell we’re edging towards March as we’ve begun to get some nicer weather but winter is still going to kick the can a few times, I’m sure.

February 22, 2019 - 6:28 a.m.

What a great day yesterday!  It started out with snow removal as we had another dumping Wednesday night.  Dan plowed and I shovelled.  After Dan cleared everything, he zipped into town to get a badly needed haircut.  Finally.  I did laundry, cleaned house, cleaned out the minnow tank and went for more bait so I was busy.  I finished up just before 3:00 and then decided to go on ice with Dan.  I fished while he got the huts organized for today and then he joined me.  Our neighbour Mike also joined us for some fishing.  It’s likely the first and only time I’ll fish this year so I was happy Lake Nipissing gave up her bounty.  We all did well and managed to get enough fish for a fry but I had already made some beef stroganoff so the 3 of us had that when we got off the ice.  Dan and I will eat the fish sometime today.  Glad to know I’ve still got it as the fish were biting really light yesterday.  I think fishing should be good today as it’s very mild and the winds have calmed down (was pretty windy yesterday afternoon).  Had some check ins last night, have more this morning and this afternoon so Dan will be busy all day getting everyone organized.  Temperature went above zero yesterday, it felt like spring and currently -4 so going to be another good day.

February 20, 2019 - 6:40 a.m.

The full moon has nearly set and now that its officially over, we should see a change in the weather.  Although the sun was shining yesterday, it still felt brutally cold.  It’s only -14 this morning so the warm front is already coming in.  The big storm system in Southern Ontario shouldn’t affect us but if it does head our way, I hope it is short lived and has no snow in it.  We don’t need anymore and we’re all ready wondering how on earth we’re going to get our huts off the ice at the end of the season.  Dan and the boys went fishing yesterday afternoon and did pretty well.  I opted to stay on shore and watched the House of Commons all afternoon.  Don’t get me started on that.  Today I have an appointment this morning and am doing a few errands since I’ll be in town but I should be home by noon just in case some weather does start to come our way.  We are in for a busy weekend and then things start to slow down for us.  I can’t believe March is just around the corner already.  Time flies.

February 19, 2019 - 6:11 a.m.

Well I tried to sleep in this morning and made it to 5:50 before giving up.  The super moon is just amazing this morning as it was last night.  It’s certainly bright to say the least.  It is peaking tonight and after that, the weather, temperatures at least, should be a little nicer.  It was cold last night and is currently -29.  Our southern friends visiting right now aren’t use to this climate and a piece of Todd’s skin on his neck that was exposed actually was getting frost bitten.  He could feel it hurting and when he went inside, it started to swell.  It’ll be okay but is a lesson not to mess with Mother Nature.  We had 3 boys from Erieau drop in just for a few hours of fishing.  Dan took them out around 2:00, which is typically the downtime for the fish to feed but by the time he got them off the ice just before dark, they had a keeper so lucky them.  We may join the gang for this morning’s fish but I’m thinking I’d rather wait for the afternoon fish when it’s warmed up a bit.  I have some things to do on shore anyhow.  The truck convoy from Alberta made it to North Bay yesterday and stopped in town briefly.  They are due to arrive in Ottawa today but I don’t think the PM will be around.  I think he’s in hiding ;)

February 18, 2019 - 6:19 a.m.

Another busy weekend under our belt.  Not many more left.  We have a check in today and a very busy weekend coming up and then things slow right down for the season.  We generally don’t run past the last weekend of February due to Moose Creek beginning to flow but that isn’t an issue this year.  We still have an opening for the March 1st weekend we would like to fill if anyone wants one more kick at the ice fishing can.  Our guests this midweek are actually friends and I don’t know how serious they are about fishing but Dan and I are hoping to get some badly needed R&R in this week.  I have the cottage laundry to finish up today as we still have occupied cottages this morning but I did everything I could yesterday.  The fishing was slow all over the lake this weekend from what I’m hearing but most of our guests did all right.  At least there was enough for their fish fry’s.  I might even get out for a bit this week and drop a line.  I can’t find my fishing license because it’s in our tackle box and Dan doesn’t remember where he put it.  I may have to buy us new ones although I’m pretty sure our lost ones are good for another year.  Pretty bad when you own a resort and haven’t had time to fish until nearly the end of the season.  We’ve been booked up all season though so guess that’s a good thing.  Full moon tomorrow night and as the weather usually changes after it peaks, it looks like we’ll get some milder weather vs the cold stuff that came through this past weekend.  Hopefully that was it for the -30’s.  

February 17, 2019 - 6:01 a.m.

We were busy yesterday morning but because Mitch was in, we had a bit of a break yesterday afternoon.  Dan caught up on some sleep, I watched the news and ended up dozing off myself.  The big company group we have in turned out to be not so big.  I think it was partly due to Valentine’s Day being combined with Family Day this year.  There was suppose to be people popping in and out all weekend but that didn’t materialize.  At least not yet.  The truck rally has been delayed so isn’t due through North Bay until tomorrow now.  They are garnishing so much support on their cross country trip they’ve been doing more layovers than anticipated.  I watched all the speeches from the country’s premiers of Canada at the rally in Saskatchewan yesterday afternoon. I was going to go to Mattawa this afternoon but since the convoy isn’t rolling through until tomorrow, not sure I can make it.  I know there is a lot of controversy surrounding this movement but I do support our energy sector as well as my country.  Enough politics.  The fishing dropped off yesterday due to the storm that went through on Friday.  High pressure does it every time.  It is extremely cold with a wind chill of -33 this morning and isn’t due to warm up until the full moon.  Unfortunately the warm up will mean more snow.  Still have a few days of sunshine before that so enjoy!

February 16, 2019 - 5:27 a.m.

Although the moon won’t be full for a few days, it sure is beautiful this morning.  It’s big and red, or at least it was at 4:00 this morning.  Casting a beautiful moon beam over the bay lighting everything up.  As with every full moon, it has ushered in some weather.  It was quite mild yesterday morning but the snow just kept coming and then in the afternoon, the wind shifted from the west to the north and it’s quite chilly with the windchill this morning.  It’s only registering -11 but feels like -23 as it is still blowing close to 25 km.  It was peaking at close to 75 km yesterday, howled all night, it snowed for most of it and there is lots of drifting.  You can see all the snow dunes on the lake even though the sun isn’t up (because of the bright moon) so it’ll be tough running this morning until the path gets packed down.  Dan had a heck of a day yesterday.  Lots of snow removal with the tractor and then had to start running our guests around noon.  It was blowing Dan all over, visibility wasn’t good at all, was tough going through all the snow and the drifting around the huts is terrible as they are a good 8’ high.  Getting the peoplemover going when it’s full is difficult but using vehicles is out of the question.  Just way too much snow.  Mitch is coming in to help out today so between the two of them, hopefully they can figure something out.  Thankfully we have lots of ice this year because anything less wouldn’t have been able to handle the snow load.  I didn’t stop yesterday either but didn’t have the problems Dan had to contend with. Also I had some help as Lori came in yesterday and was a godsend.  She cleaned a couple of cottages for our noon check ins and then, bless her heart, shovelled the last cottage for me as I had petered out.  Or rather my back basically told me to screw off.  I’m hurting today but the physical work shouldn’t be too bad.  Although there is some shovelling to do again, it’s not going to be me.  Other than clearing a few spots to feed the birds, that’s it for me for a few days...I hope.  I took a video yesterday afternoon of the property and it really doesn’t show the snow we have in the capacity we have it.  We’ve at least 3 feet of snow right now.  Setting new records like crazy this year.

February 15, 2019 - 5:49 a.m.

This snow can just screw off anytime now!  It’s getting ridiculous!  This is our busiest weekend of the season as we have a large company group and Mother Nature thought it’d be cool to give us another dumping.  Dan is exhausted and spent most of the day on ice jacking and banking huts yesterday while I did a necessary town run.  There is so much snow in the Walmart parking lot I couldn’t find a parking spot close enough to the doors  that would prevent me from hauling a heavy weighed-down cart to the back 40.  Since I wasn’t wrestling with a cart, I didn’t go to Walmart and instead just hit the grocery store.  We’ll have to make do.  Dan will have to suck it up and use my toothpaste instead of his preferred brand.  Lol.  Poor guy though, he really is wrung out and was in bed by 7:00 last night.  Has been a long week for him and now he has this latest snow battle to contend with.  He said there are no decent “landings” by the huts anymore as the drifts are so bad even though he tried packing the snow down yesterday.  Mike came over yesterday to give him a hand and they ran the path to get it packed down as well.  Now we have another layer, snow is still coming down and they’ve issued another weather statement which predicts this will be a long snow event with another 20 cm and high winds (aka drift makers).  Going to be tough pulling in this stuff and don’t know that dragging the path will even help.  Need lots of constant sled traffic (or a plow which isn’t happening).  Dan is going to be a busy busy boy over the next few days.  And he makes it look so easy...

February 14, 2019 - 5:22 a.m.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.  We have no Thursday arrivals this week likely because, well, it’s Valentine’s Day.  Lol.  We do have a full house beginning tomorrow and it’s one of our busiest weekends.  We (mostly Dan) managed to dig ourselves out yesterday but it will be short lived as we have another storm due to hit later this afternoon into tomorrow.  Another 10-20 cm of snow.  We really don’t have any place to put it now.  I have got to get to town today as I haven’t done a really big run for a while and need to stock up on supplies as well as run a few more errands.  Going to get going ASAP so I miss all the snow but apparently the yellow vest convoy of trucks is due in the city today on route to Ottawa so don’t want to get caught in that either.  The fishing was pretty good for our guests yesterday and I think everyone was happy.  Check-outs this morning before I can get going but I’ve a few things to do prior to going to town anyhow.  Donna and Mitch are stuck at the Toronto airport after their flight home from Mexico.  They landed last night but the connecting flight to North Bay was cancelled and they’ve cancelled the flight this morning.  May be able to get on a later one but there is also the airport shuttle passenger van.  It’s one of those times when it would be really nice to have Ontario Northland running again.  Sometimes you realize just how isolated we are up here.

February 13, 2019 - 5:36 a.m.

Wild times peeps, wild times!  Quite the blizzard yesterday!  Can’t even begin to guess the total snow accumulation as the drifting is so bad.  Let’s just say we received our fair share and the snow is going to be around until July.  Lol.  Funny, not funny.  The storm didn’t start until 1:00 yesterday afternoon and thankfully didn’t come in like a hammer but once it started picking up momentum, it didn’t let up.  Dan left our guests on the ice all day but had a heck of a time getting them in.  He left them on ice until 5:00 but wasn’t waiting any longer.  He certainly wasn’t going to get caught in a blizzard after dark.  Thankfully he was able to cram everyone in as there was no way he could have done two runs.  Guests didn’t realize how bad it was and that’s likely a good thing.  Our neighbour Mike shadowed Dan the entire time he was on the ice and thank God for gps.  Couldn’t see squat pulling them in and the peoplemover was sideways for most of the trip back to shore.  Mike said he’s lived here for 58 years and has never seen it this bad on Lake Nipissing before.  We have but we’ve never run in it before.  Dan has already gone out to start some snowblowing with the tractor since we are in a bit of a lull but there is still more snow to come.  I’ll be shovelling right shortly.  Going to take a few days to dig ourselves out and no idea where we are going to put all this snow.  Dan isn’t even going to attempt to see what the lake conditions are until first light but suffice it to say, there is going to be major drifting.  The path will need to be run several times before even attempting (or considering) taking people out.  Dan had a hard time finding a landing area while picking everyone up last night and had to park 100’ from the huts.  It’ll be even worse this morning.  May not be able to run at all as it’s going to take most of the day to pack all the snow down.  People are oblivious and Dan tends to make things look easy.  It’s one thing to run a sled through all this snow, another to pull through it.  I just hope our guests understand but this is something out of our control.

February 12, 2019 - 5:51 a.m.

We’ve checked the weather this morning and looks like the storm is going to hit around 1:00 this afternoon at the latest.  They’ve lowered the wind forecast a tad but it’s still going to be dangerous on Lake Nipissing come this afternoon.  With wind gusts to 70 km and heavy snowfall, there will definitely be blizzard conditions for the entire region.  For those naysayers out there, you need to realize it’s not just about snowfall, it’s more about the wind.  There will be drifting and blowing snow which means transporting people is impossible as the peoplemover won’t make it through the drifts and the whiteouts make it impossible to see even with our awesome treeline.  Case in point, remember earlier in the season the truck that got turned around on the lake and ended up 6 km in the wrong direction before burying his truck just off our beach?  Sorry people but we don’t play that game. When lives are in our hands, we’d rather be overly cautious.  Dan is taking the guys out this morning (that were on route yesterday when I rebooked the arrivals due today) and letting them stay out as long as possible but I suspect they’ll be back on shore by noon.  The problem with Nip is the weather comes up so quickly, Dan needs time to transport so he’ll be watching the weather all morning, I’m sure.  All buses have already been cancelled and I suspect there will be only skeleton crews in the stores come this afternoon and tomorrow.  Can’t say how this will play out, just have to hunker down, wait and see.  Stay safe everyone and no travelling if you can avoid it.

February 11, 2019 - 8:39 a.m.

Sorry I’m late this morning.  I’ve been on the phone cancelling our midweeks as we are in for quite the event starting tomorrow at noon.  This will be the third Colorado low in a week but the one coming through tomorrow is going to be horrible.  We are expecting blizzard conditions with 80 km winds and a foot of snow beginning around noon tomorrow through Wednesday evening.  Unfortunately there is a group on route so they can at least fish today and possibly tomorrow morning but that’ll be it.  They’ll just need to hunker down in the cottage and play some cards.  Dan is preparing for everything today and making sure the generator is ready to rock as losing power is a distinct possibility.  I hope everyone with huts on the ice have the sense to tie everything down so we don’t get the debris flying around like the last storm.  I can predict Wednesday afternoon will be spent digging us out.  What a winter!

February 10, 2019 - 4:40 a.m.

Yesterday was a lot better weather wise but unfortunately the fishing wasn’t very good.  I knew when the winds blew things were going to drop off but it’s not very pleasant for the fishermen.  There were plenty of fish being marked but they just weren’t taking the bait offerings.  According to all the fishing forums for Lake Nipissing, it was pretty much dead on the whole lake yesterday :(  I was in bed and asleep by 10:00 last night but woke up around 2:00 and that was it for me.  Laid there with my mind racing for a couple of hours and finally gave up the ghost around 4:00 and made myself a coffee.  I woke Dan up (unintentionally, I was being quiet, honestly) but he’s a god and had no problem getting back to sleep.  We have one group fishing this morning and everyone else is checking out so my morning will be busy.  I’ve cottage laundry to get done for our Monday check-ins so that to do as well today.  Karen is coming in this morning to clean a couple of cottages so at least I don’t have that to contend with.  Since I’m up and have a few hours to kill I’m thinking I’ll get started on some hearty soup.  Don’t know what kind but I’ll figure it out once I root around in the fridge.  Going to be a nice sunny day today with temperatures fairly seasonal.  Might get a warm up this week with some badly needed snow.  Gato was up and pretty adamant about wanting food so looks like he’s made it through the winter as the -40 stuff should be pretty much over now.  That the toughest cat I’ve ever seen in my life but then, he’s a northerner ;)

February 9, 2019 - 6:29 a.m.

Poor Dan had a heck of a day yesterday!  The winds were absolutely terrible and with the freezing rain/rain storm of the previous night, Lake Nipissing was a skating rink.  Transporting people was scary stuff as the wind kept lifting the peoplemover and Dan was actually having to tack on his trips to avoid being blown over.  They said the winds were gusting to 77 km but no one thought that was accurate.  The huts were rocking and one of our big ones actually was blown off its blocks.  There was debris flying everywhere and our on ice snow shovel went for a joyride down the ice.  No idea where it ended up.  The fishing was on fire during all this but now that the front is completely in, the pressure is really high, the winds still blowing about 50 km and the wind chill is in the 30’s.  It is suppose to warm up this afternoon to -19 with the windchill and the sun is going to shine but I bet the fishing has dropped off.  Dan is currently on ice making sure the holes are still open as they probably started to freeze over with the wind seeping in the huts last night.  Plus the lack of banking may be a problem until we get some more snow.  Most of the fishermen were totally oblivious last night coming in and I don’t think Dan was ever so happy to hit shore as he was after his last run last night.  Hopefully that’s it for the nastiness for the rest of the season.  Mother Nature has a way of saying “watch this” though...

February 8, 2019 - 6:09 a.m.

Wow, had quite the event yesterday.  The freezing rain started around 5:00 and was still coming down when we went to bed at 9:00.  Quite a bit of ice was covering everything but as the temperature warmed up overnight, the ice changed to rain.  It doesn’t appear slushy around the house and at least the rain dissolved a lot of the ice and softened things up so we can at least have enough grip to walk but Dan is worried about the huts as the winds are gusting right now.  He’s just heading out to make sure they haven’t blown off their blocking, or worse.  I’m sure they’ll be fine as the banking would have been rock hard after the ice storm.  Likely lost some of it but not all of it.  The fishing was on fire last night.  Flurry of walleye started around 4:00 but was over by six.  With the winds blowing WSW and low pressure, should be good again today but who can predict.  Guests checked in just before the storm hit yesterday and the rest are in today by noon but assume they’ll be a little late.  Also have guests checking out this morning so will be another busy day.  Dan’s on his own this weekend but thankfully we have good samaritans in the hood if required.  At least Dan doesn’t have to run in -40 as the temperatures will be fairly mild, currently -3.

February 7, 2019 - 6:10 a.m.

I forgot to mention in my blog yesterday that the same day I hit our snowmobile, Dan took the railing off the deck of one of our cottages with his tractor.  He has since fixed it as well as doing a lot of other piddly maintenance jobs yesterday.  Our fishermen need to go a little easier on us.  Lol.  And Dan needs to learn how to drive a tractor.  Just kidding, he’s mad enough at himself without me razzing him.  It’s all fixed so it doesn’t matter.  The weather forecast this morning is a tad confusing.  There is a special weather statement for snow, freezing rain, rain as the mild weather comes through for all of 12 hours but then there is also a “special weather forecast statement ended” so I don’t know what to believe.  You can bet your bippy Dan will be glued to his iPad today keeping a hawk eye on things.  It’s not the precipitation that is the problem, it’s the condition of our path and whether he’s able to transport our guests.  Most of the extremely mild, above zero, thawing weather is due overnight but the winds early tomorrow morning will hopefully firm things up for the morning run.  Considering the wind was blowing straight east for most of the day yesterday, our guests did well fishing.  Glen Hewson’s group of 4 caught 42 fish yesterday including a couple of small pike and a large bass.  The pike were released but they brought home a good feed of perch.  They had a competition going between the men and women so just goes to show when you’re diligent with your lines, a feast abounds.

February 6, 2019 - 5:53 a.m.

It seems my doom and gloom the night before last might have had something to it.  I went over to our little cottage yesterday morning to grab the laundry and the main door was open.  Seems the wind got a hold of it but thankfully it wasn’t blown completely open so as a result only the kitchen faucet was frozen.  Dan and Mitch took a look at it and were able to thaw it out with the hair dryer but we were seriously worried a pipe would burst once everything completely thawed out.  We dodged a bullet.  Guess I need to listen to my intuition more often and save myself some grief.  Dan spent the day on ice cleaning huts and I never stopped either.  I finished the laundry so Lori can clean a couple of cottages this morning.  I also emptied and cleaned the minnow tank and ugh of all ugh’s, cleaned out the “cat’s” room including their three litter boxes.  Did a little house cleaning but really need to give the house some major TLC.  Going to continue on with that today.  Our guests are heading on ice at 7:30 this morning and am just hoping they catch some fish.  Not quite sure how this inclement weather has affected the bite.  Donna and Mitch were suppose to be in Mexico right now but due to the freezing rain, have had their flights out of North Bay cancelled twice.  They are able to get out today but have an ice storm in Toronto to contend with.  I think they’ll be fine today as the storm will just be getting started when they are due to depart for Puerto Vallarta and Toronto does have much better facilities for dealing with the elements.  May have to de-ice the plane though.  We have more freezing rain headed our way tomorrow and possibly Friday so a little concerned about our guests arrivals.  We also have American guests due to arrive today via Toronto airport this afternoon.  What an awful week for weather...

February 5, 2019 - 8:38 a.m.

Another sleepless night for me last night.  Gravol didn’t even take me to slumberland.  For some reason, a feeling of despair or doom and gloom, whatever you want to call it, came over me and