Storm Approaches


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Winter Storm Approaches

The Week's Weather Journal.

The Week Of April 27th



What a change! My departure almost five weeks ago was marked by a 360 degree ground loop in swirling snow with my van coming to rest on its side in the four feet of snow then on the ground. Scared the heck out of dog Abby sleeping peacefully in the back... no doubt dreaming of the warm urban home she was soon to visit. Now we are back. It's green, warm (60 degrees), and open and flowing water is everywhere. Ice sheets still float about the lake, ice castles hang on tenaciously to north facing rock shoreline, but the snow has retreated to dark forest recesses.


A light morning rain gives way to brilliant sunshine and the dampened earth swells as it warms. The west wind builds to a fury, pushing away the ice flows and sending waves of water to batter the rock ice. The recently reset Harbor entry buoy dances about in the rollers, seemingly happy to be back in its element. Is our small craft navigation season close at hand?


How easily we are fooled...lulled into one of Mother Nature's Lorelei songs for the unwary. To bed last evening relishing a day of warm sun and the sight of sparkling blue water in the Harbor and to the Lake's horizon...certain that winter had lost its hold. At dawn, a new reality! A chilling near freezing grey dampness prevails...and a Harbor full of ice startles eye and psyche. The radio hints of snow showers. An overnight veering northerly wind pushes mid-lake ice flows and the cold that lurks about them into our little sanctuary. Surely this is old man winter's last little laugh. Surely?


May Day. And what a day it was. Yes, the Harbor is still a frozen daiquiri, but the sky was clear, the sun warming, and the backing to the west wind, light and not as cool. A perfect day for virtual Maypole dancing on the town park, celebrating the vigorous blooming of life...especially meaningful to me this year. Chose to mark the day by removing the remnants of last year's flower box glory and loosening the black soil from its winter grip. Nothing so connects one with nature like digging bare hands in warm dirt.


Another beautiful spring day. A day to sit in the sun, listen to the wind sweep through the pine grove, and watch large and beautiful steelheads trying to leap the wier at the Lake Eliza dam. Yep, that's what I did...for an hour or two. Isn't life grand! It's time for the spring fish runs up the swollen creeks discharging into the Harbor. The even larger sucker run should start soon. The steelheads couldn't clear the six foot dam hurdle (DNR should install a fish ladder) but their many "almost" efforts were impressive. It's amazing that they got to the dam. Downstream from the dam, the creek blasts through the over 40 foot long large culvert under Pine Steet, discharging in an over three feet high waterfall into a churning pool next to Don and Pat Keith's log home. The fish somehow get up enough speed to get through the swirling pool, leap up into the pipe, and strongtail their way through the long dark tunnel of turbulent water. With spawning instincts that strong, it's no wonder that there are are more fish in the sea than mammals on land! I wonder if fish have heart attacks?


A gentle breeze, now backed around to the WSW, begins to move the slush ice out of the harbor. Much of the west end has cleared. Folks are out and about, soaking in the warm sun and exchanging stories of broken storm doors, depleted wood piles, roofs damaged, frozen water pipes, who's back...the usual early spring conversation fare. A few wildflowers begin to appear. Might be violets. Just below freezing in early morn, but in the mid fifties by mid afternoon.

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