Greetings. I hope this entry finds everyone in good health. The Dee’s are all doing fine. None of us has been out of Jacobsville in over 2 weeks. Some of our friends have down here have done the same, so it is nice to not have to worry about keeping our 6 feet from them. Out of habit, I think it is still happening more than not. I was thinking, when all of this is over, will it be difficult for us all to be able to start acting normal? 

I also wonder if some of the things we took for granted will be more appreciated. Like just being able to go to the store without worry. Or for some, just being able to get some toilet paper. I cannot believe there are still shortages of the stuff! To the best of my knowledge, the store we typically shop at never ran out. I also wonder if we might end up being friendlier to each other. After such a long time of not being able to socialize, will we be more accepting of folks we do not know, or folks that are different? I sure hope so. 

Enough of the virus talk. The snows are a melting up here. Our ground is now nearly bare. The only spots with snow are the ones where snow piled up, either via mechanical means or naturally. We were all out today doing some yard work. Mostly picking up branches from the wet and heavy snow we got two days before Thanksgiving. All of the smaller branches are down and we will get to cutting the larger ones in the next week or two. Many of them either have diameters of around 5″ or more and/or are 20 feet long or longer.

The ice rink is almost gone. Some of the corners have fully melted and we have pulled up the plastic there. The main field has around 1-2″ of granular snow on it. It was interesting how the solid ice turned to what is more like chopped up ice or granular snow. About the same consistency of one of those multi-colored crushed ice treats you could get from the Good Humor man.

The buds on the bushes and some of the trees are starting to swell. I know they will not be opening for at least a month or more, but it is a nice site. As I mentioned, all of our family is excited for the main green up. The yard is really beautiful, as are all the fruit trees and the woods. It will really be neat when all of the fruit trees are in bloom. The weather does not look too great this week, otherwise I think we would be putting the fence in, so the dogs can all run around freely. They have been getting out with us. Nora takes a daily walk of a few miles with her friends and takes Bleau. Huck would love to go, but we do not want to overdo it with his joints, so I usually take him on a shorter walk when the girls are all on their longer walk. 

We did get some snow Friday night. Our temp during the day on Friday hit 54 degrees and we had brilliant sunshine, so I was doing work outside with no jacket on. By around 6 pm, a cold front came through and dropped our temps to around 38 in less than a half hour. Rains started up around 8:30 and at around 1 it changed to snow. We awoke to around 1″ of fresh snow Saturday morning. Not something that got any of us very excited. Snow at this time of the year is just not very welcomed, even by the most hard core lovers of snow. Not unless it is a ton of snow like we were getting 13 years ago. The big April dump of 2007 started on the 3rd and ended on the 7th. For those of you that are unaware of that storm, or had forgotten, we picked up 43.5″ of snow. The Phoenix Farms Coop Observer just up the road from us reported 57″ of snow and the observer in Painesdale came in with 64.5″.

I remember riding, or trying to ride the day it ended. I met up in the higher terrain of Keweenaw county with the regular riding crew we had back then and all of us getting stuck within around 1/4 mile of where we started! All very accomplished deep snow riders on deep snow sleds! My arms and pretty much the rest of my body were about as sore as they have ever been. 

Back to present day. The snow this past Friday night was really more of a nuisance than anything else. I did not even get to see it come down (my favorite part about getting snow), as I was sleeping. Here is a shot of the front of the house while I was out letting the dogs do their morning business. The sun came out late morning and by the end of the day, all that had fallen had melted. At least all that was exposed to the sun.

On her walk that day, Nora and her friends spotted some wolf tracks in the snow. The location was only a few hundred yards down the road from the driveway for the shop. I am for sure going to get a hunting trail cam setup so that we can see all we are missing in our woods. Our friends down here have one and showed us some of the pictures they got this winter. They put two deer killed by vehicles in separate incidents out there and enticed animals to come. Among the those that showed up were flying creatures like crows, ravens, eagles and even a horned owl. The land based animals included coyotes, fox and wolves. 

While the snows are melting off into the ground, creeks, rivers and streams, the smaller inland bodies of water are still frozen. We do not dare go onto them. In fact, we do not go on any of the small bodies of water down here, mainly because they are all quarries and I do not trust the nature of the ice on them. Plus, in the event of trouble, it would be extremely hard and a long way for help! Nora passed by a quarry that was just starting to show some open water and took this shot of it.

I mentioned how I was outside doing some work Friday afternoon. That work included dropping the snowblower off of Big Red and attaching the loader. The tractor is not without an implement hanging off the front for very long, so it always looks to be naked to me in that situation. I know, it needs a bath! I am waiting for things to dry up a bit more, so in case I need to go help someone in the area, the washing will not be for nothing. I can report that the loader is on and Big Red is ready for summer duty!

Gracie is still doing a great job at keeping herself entertained. Lots of tree climbing to read a book this week. She did have a bit of correspondence with classmates this week, as the teacher put something up on the classes digital communication software and both Nora and I noticed how happy she was to read things and communicate with her classmates, but also how it reminded her of how much she misses school and being able to be with all of her friends there.

I decided to give her a little reward for being so great and not complaining. She just LOVES to read and has been reading lots of novels and some educational books. So I decided to put an end to that nonsense and get her something that would really suit her better for life down the road. I picked up a set of three books that contain every Calvin and Hobbes ever produced! I had a few of the smaller books and she loves reading them, but did not realize there was actually an edition that contained every single comic Bill Watterson produced. Needless to say she polished off the first book in an afternoon. I am looking forward to reading them too. It was my favorite comic when it was out and still is. Wish something like it would come out.

We also finisned the table for Grace and her friends pallet house. I think it turned out pretty good, especially for using a few scraps of wood we found in the garage. Looking forward to building some more stuff!

I guess this about covers it for this week. Probably going to be another slow week, at least I hope so! Stay well everyone and…

Good Night from the Keweenaw..