Feels Right

Welcome to November! Just one month from the start of the snowmobile season! Nora and I were having a chat this morning and I commented on how, now that is is November, it just feels right to see snow falling and snow on the ground. Snow in October up here is certainly nothing odd, but the amount of this October’s snow and the persistence of it on the ground certainly was. That did not seem too normal and was even a bit worrisome to me. Not for me, but for those that put up with how our winters are and are not the type to enjoy the abundance of winter we get! A cold and snowy October could lead to a cold and snowy November and that would lead to the rest of winter and would have added another 4-5 weeks onto what is already a particularly long winter for Midwest standards!

However, despite the fact that we got more snow last night and this morning and it is white, windy and cold out there today, the week ahead looks to provide some wonderful, mild autumn weather that could extend into the weekend as well. That will be a nice break and allow folks to both catch up with any last-minute outdoor chores, but also to just get out and enjoy without having to bundle up.

We did get snow this past week. It started Monday with a fairly respectable storm and came in pieces off and on most of the week. The drive to the school for Nora and Grace was a snowy one, with snow falling pretty hard and a few wet and slippery inches on the ground. It continued to snow through the morning and Calumet ended up with around 5-6″ of fresh. That snow actually hung on through all of the week and has been added to.

Here in the banana belt, we got snow too, and it accumulated as well. We picked up 2-3″ of snow and then it tapered off by mid morning. I did take my first front of house shot for the season and then proceeded to forget to upload it! Getting into the rhythm of updating everything on the site is always a bit of a challenge. 

I’m always amazed at how the change in the weather seems like such a non event for the dogs. When Huck and Millie were just young pups, they did get excited when we got a big dumping. However, the arrival of the snows at the beginning of the season seems to be a non event, not just for Huck, but for Bleau and even the sled dogs!

Our Monday snow did not stick around too long and was gone by Tuesday. That was not the same for Calumet. The snow did melt some, but by the end of the week, it was still there. Calumet had a playoff football game at home this weekend, so a bit of field clearing had to be done. With the artificial turf that was installed around 14 months ago, the clearing works very well and allows for a nice clean field.

I am not sure what the rest of you did for Halloween this year. Up this way, the trend over the past several years has been to have organized trick-or-treating areas. Many of them had also become inside events, so that the weather we typically have for Halloween would not be an impact. Those were all canceled and to tell you the truth, I do not know if there were door to door trick-or-treating done or not. Grace has seemed to outgrow the events that are more for the younger kids, but Nora and I are fine with her dressing up and doing stuff with kids close to her age for as long as she wants. This year that meant getting together with her friends from the Jake area and going to a stretch of homes that wanted to do something special for just them. We then all got together for a bonfire at our friends Lisa/Tim (the folks with the yurt) a little later in the day. The bonfire was also a cookout for dinner and then after the sun set, we all took a walk around the woods and fields. We stopped a few times and Lisa told some ghost stories. All the kids had a total blast and so did the adults! After the spooky walk, we returned to the bonfire and some more stories were told, including Gracie reading one from a book.

I’d have to say that it was probably my most favorite Halloween since becoming an adult. I sure hope that we can try it again next year. We were blessed with some great weather this Halloween, with temps warming into the low 50’s and no precipitation. 

That mild weather hung on just long enough and then at about the time we were heading home, the front came through and temps dropped around 20 degrees in around an hour and we woke up to snow on the ground and in the air this morning. In addition to the the snow and colder temps this morning we also had some very strong winds. A quick visit to marinetraffic.com revealed that there were two 1000 footers anchored up just off shore of the White City beach. So after breakfast and a shower, Grace, Nora and I headed over to have a look at them. Both of them were huddled up very close to each other and both of them were also unusually close to the shore. I wanted to get a closer look at them, so we shot back home and I grabbed the DLSR camera from my office, along with the zoom lens. With that setup, I was able to snap some shots of the ships that gave a bit more detail. These ships are so huge, it is just amazing to think the lake is so rough that they chose to take shelter. I suspect the fact that they also would have accumulated ice due to the spray and cold air was a big factor, as were the 29 sailors lost just north of Whitefish Point almost 45 years ago.  

One of the things I like to do is to stand in front of the big picture windows we have in the living room and just look around. Yesterday morning, we all were looking out of them when we spotted this interesting sight. It was both interesting and entertaining at the same time. Something I had never seen before and learned a bit from it as well. What’s that? You did not see anything in that last shot other than a crabapple tree, a bench, bird feeder, truck and tractor? Don’t feel bad. Have another look, this time zooming in on the center-right part of the tree. See it now? It’s a partridge.  However, there was not just one partridge in the tree, but 5! Each of them was busy eating the dried up fruit that remained on the tree. Each would go out as far as they could on a limb to reach the fruit and would end up bouncing around as the wind blew them on the end of those thin limbs. The irony was that one of Nora’s brothers left Monday after being here for almost a week to bird hunt!

So it’s November and that means that the snows will be flying more regularly in the upper Midwest soon. Which also means that I will be starting up my forecasts soon. With the next 7-10 days looking snow free, I think I will just wait for the next 7 to 10 days at least before I start to produce my snowfall forecasts. I do have some news to share as far as updates and additions to the site for this season. The trail cam is finding a new home. It will be located at the Dreamland Bar and will be pointing to the entrance to their main trail behind the bar. This will be a much more interesting view than the old one, as well as much closer to me, should it need some repair. It will also be a live streaming camera. 

I also will be planning to have a camera back in our old neighborhood near Mohawk. Actually this one will be in Allouez. It will have a snow depth stick and will also be live streaming with a light for night viewing.

This past week, the problem with the map for the NCN and Northwoods directory not showing correctly was fixed. So gone is the window that would pop up and ask if you were the owner of the page, as well as the maps details grayed out and the text “for development only” gone. The 5-10 day forecast graphic will also be changing a bit. I am going to be adopting the method I used this summer for that graphic. I feel that it will remove much of the confusion and criticism that the old method did. I also have a fairly large addition planned, but since it is not ready to go, I will refrain from talking about what it is. However, if I can get it going, you will know for sure what it is.

I guess that covers it for this one. Have a great week everyone!

Good Night from the Keweenaw..