The Finish Line

Since last weeks entry was titled: “The beginning of the end” and the weather we have experienced in the past 4-5 days, I think it is appropriate to call this one what I did. Things were quiet and temperate on Wednesday, Thursday we got some snow, Friday cool, but quiet and then mild and sunny yesterday and today. That is about as typical as the first week or so of “spring weather” gets up this way. For some areas, it is the greening of grass, or the opening of leaves, or maybe even the return of a type of bird or other animal. Nope, up here the ending of winter and thus beginning of spring typically has some snow, some rain, some sun and temps all over the road.

In all honesty, if one were to ask me, I would say that the first day of summer is when the leaves are all open. The grass has already turned green and the hearty flowers are already up and open, but for what ever reason, the trees are the last to take on their summer look. It will be interesting to see when all of that happens where we live now. Back in the high country, you could almost set your calendar to it. The final week in May is when the majority of the trees had filled out their canopy. Lake Linden was around 5-7 days earlier. I suspect we will be at least 10 days earlier, if not 2 weeks. That will sure be an upside, as I do not like when the trees are bare and there is no snow on the ground. 

Anyway, I do have some pictures to share with you this week. The first two are of the snow on Thursday. The storm sure gave some the fits, trying to figure out what it was going to do. On Wednesday, the call was for around 2-4″ to fall. We all then woke up Thursday morning to a winter storm warning, with 5-9″ and a lot of wind expected. Most areas ended up with 4-5″, although there were some spots that did pick up 6″+. The snow started a bit later than expected and that allowed the local schools to go to 1 pm and then let out early. A good thing, because by the time the buses would have been running, it was coming down pretty good and the winds were howling. 42 mph at the airport and 48 at Copper Harbor. This was the scene of the shop during the period of heavier snow Thursday late afternoon and here is a shot of the house when it was coming down even heavier.

It sound weird to say and felt even more weird to feel, but it was refreshing to see the snow fall! I sure have not lost my love of it and was kind of sad when it tapered off in the late evening. I did not even bother moving it. Friday was a sunny, but chilly one, with a high only in the upper teens. Little snow melted that day. Here is a shot of the drive way to the shop Friday afternoon

We then hit 50 yesterday with tons of sun and the same is happening today. So most of that Thursday snow is gone and the sun and mild temps are doing their work on the stuff that is left over from the winter. Here is a shot of Huck living and loving the sunshine yesterday around 1:45 in the afternoon. Here he is a few hours later as the sun was getting lower in the sky and things were starting to re-freeze.

The melting of the snow is starting the annual spring reveal. Nope, not of new cars or truck or some new fashion for the gals, just things that were buried in the snow the past few months. Some things are still buried, while others are still stuck. All of the trees in the background of this shot were bent over by our big storm the day before Thanksgiving and have been that way ever since. It will be interesting to see if they straighten back up to where they were, or if they will still retain some kind of a bend in them. Others were not able to bend as much as asked by the storm and broke. With the shrinking snow cover, I have been able to get back to take a look at a clump of large cedars that fell during that storm. This one was about 18″ in diameter, which is quite large for a northern white cedar. All of the fallen cedars will make great fence posts from the thinner tops and thicker, lower branches. The thicker part of the lower trees will make some great cedar boards. I already plan to make some shelves out of them for our closets.

Today the entire clan, dogs and all, hung out in the back yard, soaking up the sunshine. Nora and I did put a few things into the storage shed that did not make it in before the pre-Thanksgiving day storm. Grace has been climbing onto the roof of the shed for the past few months and even built a bit of a fort up there. The snow ate away most of her fort, so today she decided to get up there and shovel it off. No real need to, but she said she was having fun. Joy to my ears! I have a roof shoveler daughter! 

It’s funny how the warmer weather and sunshine just puts so much energy into us all. We all have been doing more, not just more outside. Today Nora went for morning walk with a friend. She checked out some of the places on the lake that our friends own. They all survived the high water and storms this winter. We are almost done with high wave season along the shoreline. So that will be good news for our friends. While out at the lake, they spotted a “Paper Cub”. It is actually a Piper Cub. A little two seat aircraft. The paper comes in from the fact that they are skinned with a fabric that was somewhat like paper, rather than the aluminum of a traditional aircraft. How do I know this? My dad used to them way back in the day and called them “Paper Cubs”. 🙂

About the only other main activity this week has been to continue to work in the shop. I got more things put into their place early in the week and then Thursday got lighting into the woodshop area. Just two 4 foot LED’s for now, but they provide ample light for what I need to do right now. Friday was a pretty bid deal for me. Way back in October when I was moving everything into the shop and looked at the complete mess I had and all the work ahead of me, my only thought was that I was looking very forward to the day when I got to doing my restoration of the cast iron tables on the bigger woodworking machinery that rusted while in storage this summer and fall. Friday was the day I restored the first table. It was my main table saw and was chosen because it is my main work horse out of all the machines that need to be re-furbished. I really had a great time listening to tunes and going through all the stages to get it back to looking like new. It started with a wire wheel on a drill to get into the miter slots in the table. Then the main surface started with 60 grit sandpaper. I went through 5 more grits of sand paper, ending at 440. Then switched to rubbing compound like one might use on a vehicle and ended with paste wax applied with 0000 steel wool. That was buffed out and the table looked like new.

The next machine will be the other table saw. It was in the worst shape, so I would like to get it cleaned up so that none of that rust finds it’s way deeper into the iron. 5 more machines after that and I will have a shop full of shiny cast iron machines! I still need to wire up my main table saw and plan to do that this week. I need a circuit breaker that I can only get at a building supply in Hancock and am going that way Wednesday afternoon, so it will have to wait until Thursday to be energized. Once it is, the shop will be functional enough that I can do most of what I need to do, so that will also be a fairly meaningful point in this shop construction.

For those wanting to come up and play in the snow. I would say that you probably have at least one week left to do so. Be aware that all the roads are free of snow and there are likely some thin spots on some of the trails, but still plenty of snow on the ground and the temps do not look to be warm enough to do major melting. Beyond that? Well, we will just have to wait until next week to make that call!

Good night from the Keweenaw..