Thursday, January 26, 2012

Love in Bloom?

I looked out the window toward the Elks yesterday to find two eagles on the ice! They couldn't have been more than fifty yards from the sea wall. I grabbed my peanut camera and found they translated to two specs. These little cameras have a perpetual wide angle lens that isn't worth a darn when it comes to birds. In my desperation, I held the camera to my binocular lens and the two kind of canceled each other out. Voila--a picture--of sorts-of the eagles.

I think they may be an item--as they took to grooming each other after the photo was taken.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

If You Break an Egg....

OK. Sometimes I get my old sayings pretty scrambled--but I think one goes..."If you break an egg, then go make an omelet."

Along those lines. We find ourselves iced in today. The ice can't quite reliably hold our weight. So--if you can't go ashore...make a snow man!

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Ice

For a time, we were able to keep a passage open to the shore. Now it's so many ice cubes.

Fissures form as the ice pack attempts to make its way to the dam. Treasure Island serves as an obstacle, so the pack cracks.

The ice is problematic this year. The last two winters were very bitter, but they were great when it came to walking ashore. The refrigerator door slammed weeks before Christmas and we were pedestrians until April.

This year, we have the variability of a mild winter. We have been chopping our way through with the boat. Now we have to hold a bit, hoping to get a bit more ice for walking. I threw the mushroom anchor on the ice pack--and it bounced! Unfortunately, I weigh a bit more than an anchor, so we have to wait. Of course, rain is forecast for this evening. Back to open water?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Eagle Strikes

Lots of action for what started as a clear sunrise to a peaceful winter's day. It was the great clamor that alerted my wife to this morning's events. She looked toward the Elks from the island to see--and hear--a great cloud of crows hovering over a black area of ice. As she pulled her binoculars for a closer look--up from the multitude rose a Bald Eagle with the remains of a crow--feathers still flying from the carcass. The crows followed for a ways--but kept a respectful distance. The eagle took his position in his favorite tree on the point near White Creek, complete with the remains of the crow, and the other crows retreated to our point deck tree to continue their noisy confab.
Then, after a short time, they all flew to the feathered pile on the ice where the deed was done. Here they formed a circle around the feathers--not picking at them--but as if in solemn observance they formed groups of four to six and began a long period of clucking. After a time, they all dispersed, and we have reclaimed our quiet winter's morning.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Ice is Here

Swans on the way to Big Island.

On the way back to Rain Creek.

Have you ever left your home for a long trip, or closed it for the Winter? If you do like I do, the last thing before you leave you'll take a last tour of all the rooms.

Sometimes I think the swans are the same. They almost never venture from the South Shore and Rain Creek--save for just before the lake ices over. At that time they take a tour of the "rooms" at Big Island and return. The last two winters they made their tour precisely one day before the lake froze solid. This time around they made the trip a couple of days early. Today, I held a 1/4 inch chunk of the lake's surface in my hand. However, I think we will be back to open water by day's end. I wonder if they'll be back?

The Coots are also confused by the sudden freeze. They have congregated on our shore side lot. I almost never see them out of the water--but the sudden icing left them with no other option.

If you look closely around here in winter--you will never find a dull moment.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


We now have two Bald Eagles working the Eastern shore between the Elks and the county ramp. One plucked something from the lake--couldn't tell whether is was a duck or a fish--and flew to the tree on the point halfway between the Elks and White Creek. We never get tired of watching them. Here's hoping a nest follows.