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Thursday, December 31, 2009


Thursday, 9:00 AM. 13 degrees, wind W, light. The channel is obscured by lake smoke, and light snow is falling with a current accumulation of 2”. The sky is overcast and the barometer predicts partly cloudy skies.
There are of course many environmental factors that can affect wildlife populations. Snow depth is a strong factor in deer survival, deep snow keeping deer “yarded up” in heavy cover, limiting access to browse and thereby causing starvation and limiting fawn production. It also makes deer more susceptible to predation. Bad weather when fawns are born or are very young limits reproductive success. Overpopulation of any species can damage and limit food supply and increase disease (overpopulation has been a possible factor in chronic wasting disease, which has been limited to the southern portion of the state to this point). Interspecific competition for food can be a factor, but is not in the case of Wisconsin deer, which currently have little competition for their food sources from other animals. Snow depths in recent years seem little changed from the usual in the northern portion of the state, and recent spring weather, although cool, does not seem to have been extreme.
That pretty much leaves predation as the suspect in the decline in the northern deer herd. The 2009 statewide deer season harvest, according to the recent DNR figures, is the lowest in twenty-seven years, and was particularly low in the northern portion of the state. The decline has been rapid, a thirty- percent decline from 2008, which was itself a twenty-percent decline from 2007. Which predators might be most suspect in such a rapid decline? There are quite a few. Since the reintroduction of the timber wolf a few years ago the Wisconsin wolf pack has increased exponentially, the DNR estimating there are now 700 wolves in Wisconsin (given the inability of the DNR to accurately predict the decline of the deer herd, one might wonder at its accuracy in estimating the size of the wolf population, which one might suspect may be even larger than estimated). It is estimated a mature wolf will kill about fifteen adult deer per year, a considerable predatory factor. Less appreciated is the fact that an adult black bear will take on average four fawns a year, and the Wisconsin bear population according to the DNR is approximately 36,000. Bayfield County has the highest population of black bears in the state as evidenced by its annual bear season kill of over 300 animals. One amateur trail camera outside a local bear den allegedly recorded a sow bringing fourteen fawns to its cubs this spring, although this is hearsay. Then there are bobcats, which can bring down an adult deer, as well as coyotes. Coyotes may or may not kill a lot of deer, although they certainly harass them. During the 2008 season I seldom saw deer tracks in the snow that were not covered with coyote tracks. This year, amazingly, I heard no coyotes howling at sunset, and prior years they were absolutely raucous, and I saw few tracks in the snow. Since wolves kill and drive out coyotes in their territories, I am wondering if locally we have had a big increase in the wolf population, although I personally did not see any while hunting. And, although the DNR denies it, there have been a number of pretty creditable reports of cougars in the area again this year.
But, of course, the main predator of deer in Wisconsin is man, and hunting seasons have proliferated to the point where it seems the deer seldom get a chance to rest or recover. The archery season starts early, then there is a youth hunt, the regular gun deer season, a muzzle loader season, and a late doe season. The recent deer seasons have concentrated on the taking of does to reduce herd reproduction, with virtually unlimited doe tags available in many management units. The goal of the DNR has been to drastically reduce the size of the Wisconsin deer herd, and it seems they have been quite successful. Next I will offer some probable reasons for this, and attempt to analyze the current situation.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Wednesday, 8:15 AM. 10 degrees, wind SW, calm to light. The channel is wrinkled and there is no lake smoke rising from it, so the surface water is getting cold. The sky is overcast and the barometer predicts snow.
Those of you who have been following my blog for a while know that I have often written about hunting in Wisconsin: grouse, goose, and deer hunting, and about hunting dogs. I am actually much more of an outdoorsman than hunter, and like to look at nature from a scientific and esthetic standpoint more often than from that of a sportsman. With these factors in mind, I would like to explore the 2009 Wisconsin gun deer season. This is a rather lengthy topic, and I will break it into three separate blogs, this being the first. I will first give my impressions of the season and those of friends and acquaintances: then some further observations and DNR statistics and policy statements; and in the final discourse my analysis. Part One:
I enjoy deer hunting but have not always been that serious about it. I hunted regularly as a young man but had not hunted for maybe forty years until starting again in Bayfield in 2004. I have shot two deer since then so you may rightly consider that I am not the best of deer hunters but I spend a lot of time in the woods and am a better than average observer of nature. One can rightly suspect that those hunters who shot a deer will consider the season pretty successful and those who, like me, did not will consider it an unsuccessful season; this will tend to prejudice any analysis.
Here are my observations and those of my fiends and acquaintances. I saw only two deer all season, and got a shot at neither. I hunted almost every day and I saw some deer sign (buck rubs and scrapes, trails, droppings) but not enough to indicate a robust deer herd in the two areas I hunt. Except for opening morning I heard very little shooting and none of that close, and saw virtually no other hunters in the woods. In the apple orchard country where I have my stand, and know a number of people, I heard of no deer being shot during the gun season, and in the past this has been prime deer country. The orchards are surrounded by thousands of acres of pretty rugged terrain. In the sugar bush area which I often write about, I saw only one deer. However friends in this area shot three bucks and a doe, so there certainly were some deer there. This is a more mixed habitat area, with some small farms but also several thousand acres of county forest, some of that being dense cover. Several Bayfield neighbors got bucks out in the depths of the pine barrens were one has to go in with an ATV, but I saw no other deer hanging in Bayfield, and one group which usually has half a dozen deer hanging by opening weekend had none.
Friends hunting in other parts of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, for all intents and purposes most of the northern one-third of the state, saw few deer and were unsuccessful. Friend Paul, a very serious hunter and retired DNR naturalist, hunted in the southern regions of the forest with a large group and they never saw a deer.
Other indications of a depleted deer herd are that few fawns have been seen this year by any of my friends, and I remember seeing only two. I have seen few road kills of deer all year, and Joan and I have remarked on the small amount of deer we saw all spring, summer and into the fall. It seems pretty obvious that deer numbers are way down, although there are some deer being seen and showing up on trail cameras now that all the seasons are over.
Next: why is the deer herd down, and what does the Department of Natural Resources have to say about it?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Tuesday, 8:15 AM. 1 degree, wind NNE, but turning SW, light. The channel is wrinkled and shows no signs of freezing. The sky is mostly clear and the barometer predicts partly cloudy skies.
The roads in Bayfield, except for Hwy 13 and a few other heavily traveled routes, are all covered with inches of ice and are treacherous to walk on. My Yak Traks are indispensable now, and although it perhaps looks silly, I carry a steel pointed cane for extra stability where it seems necessary. Actually I rather like walking with it in hand, it is useful for grabbing a branch with the crook end to bring it closer for examination, or to retrieve something out of reach. In any case, walking in Bayfield these days is like traversing a glacier, but maybe minus the crevasses.

Monday, December 28, 2009

12/28/09 A TRIP TO CORNY

Monday, 9:15 AM. 16.5 degrees, wind W, variable. The channel is crawling and there is a bit of lake effect snow blowing about. The sky is mostly cloudless. A new high literally “blew in” on strong winds twenty minutes ago, but things have since calmed down. The barometer predicts sunny weather.
Yesterday, tired of the weather keeping us Bayfield bound, Joan, Lucky and I got in the pickup and toured the winter wonderland countryside, everything frozen in place. We decided to take a ride out to Cornucopia, a tiny village on the lake twenty miles from Bayfield. Hwy 13 was pretty much snow packed and frozen, so the four-wheel drive was very welcome. “Corny,” as it is known locally, has a few village houses, a marina and fish store, Fishlips tavern, Ehler’s General Store (a true treasure, offering everything from nuts and bolts to home made pizza), a post office, three churches, including a little domed Russian Orthodox settler’s church, and our favorite restaurant, The Village Inn. In spite of being over fed these days, we decided to have lunch there, and were not disappointed. Their fish chowder, made with fresh caught lake trout, is outstanding.
We went home on Hwy C, which traverses the Barrens, to Washburn and thence back to Bayfield. The Barrens are always interesting, and were at the height of their beauty yesterday with great gobs of snow clinging to thousands and thousands of pine trees.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Sunday, 9:00 AM. 25 degrees, wind ENE, calm. The channel is trying to freeze, the sky is partly cloudy and the barometer predicts snow.
It wasn’t the city that plowed out the end of our driveway, it was neighbor Sherman, the ferry boat captain. The ferry did not run on Christmas Day, so Sherm was doing some snow plowing, and we got included. Sherman was Santa, and the city was the Grinch.
Lucky and I walked the beach yesterday afternoon and the Sioux River Bay is freezing over, this year it’s mostly pack ice, last year it froze in glass-like plates that looked like enormous fish scales. Every year it’s different.
Last night Joan and I had the pleasure of attending the season's last Wassail Dinner Concert at The Old Rittenhouse Inn. It was a seven course gourmet dinner with the Rittenouse Singers, a local group established for the express purpose of the dinner concerts, singing every imaginable Christmas carol. I would guess there were 80 diners in the three adjoining dining rooms, the singers winding about through the tables. It is a totally unique and enjoyable experience lasting the entire evening, and in our case was complimentary from the Bayfield Chamber of Commerce in recognition of my past year’s service as President. Thanks, Chamber!! It may be freezing outside, but there's an abundance of warmth inside.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Saturday, 8:00 AM. 28.5 degrees, wind ENE, blustery. The channel is roiled, the sky overcast but the barometer predicts clearing skies. However, the wind is just now shifting to the S, and big flakes have begun to fall.
We have had a tough bout of winter weather, the roads are icy and snow banks are piled high. Joan and I went to Explorer’s Point Restaurant outside Ashland late yesterday afternoon for their Christmas Buffet. It was very good and not expensive. The long recession has brought restaurant prices down, but that in turn has stressed many businesses.
I received an unexpected Christmas present; the city plow comes around the corner and usually shoves huge drifts of road snow into the end of my driveway. Yesterday the driver must have thought better of it, and plowed it out. I do believe I heard a HO! HO! HO! and the jingle of bells, and it wasn’t from my rooftop. Now that's stress relief!
With the succession of storms the birds have been very busy at the feeders, but I don’t think they are overly stressed because it has not been very cold. With all the shoveling I have been doing combined with the Holidays, I have probably doubled my caloric intake of late. I don’t think I am very stressed either, but am a bit stiff and sore.

Friday, December 25, 2009


Christmas Day, 10:00 AM. 34 degrees, wind W, gusty. The channel is roiled with white caps, the sky is overcast, and I have shoveled 4”-5” of slushy snow form driveway and walks. The city plow just came through so I still have work to do clearing the end of the driveway. The barometer predicts more of the same.
Christmas is mostly known for its message of “peace on earth…” and rightfully so. But, second only to the message of peace, is the equally strong message of freedom. Freedom from sin and error, and freedom from all oppression of the spirit. In the words of St. John “ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” And, as Martin Luther proclaimed in the old hymn, “…the body they can kill, God’s truth abideth still…”
The concept of mortal freedom is a more secular idea, but it is a natural extension of freedom of the spirit. In fact our secular American freedoms emanate from our spiritual freedoms. Our Declaration of Independence states unequivocally, that “all men are created equal, and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights…” endowed by our Creator, not by the largess of kings, or dictators, or even the pronouncement of parliaments, for all these secular guarantors can simply declare these rights not to exist and place us once again in bondage. Our rights are inalienable because they are spiritual.
In that vein, the American Revolution and later our Civil War were natural and inevitable progressions from spiritual freedom to secular freedom. With these thoughts in mind, I propose that we celebrate, along with a traditional Christmas, Washington’s crossing of the Delaware on the evening of Christmas Day, 1776, which led to his first real victory in our war for independence, at Trenton the following morning; and thence on to a string of victories which eventually led to our triumph over the oppression of the British Empire. That victory rang the bell of freedom, and for the beginning of the end of tyrannies on earth. That struggle continues to this very Christmas, 2009.
In that spirit of the triumph of freedom over tyranny, I propose that we celebrate other past Christmases as well, those spent in the agony of the Civil War, those the Yanks spent in the trenches of France during WWI, the Christmas of the Battle of the Bulge and all the dreams of “White Christmases” during WWII, and those Christmases spent mostly unheralded in Korea and Vietnam, right down to this Christmas as it is being celebrated by our troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, and all the other places around the world where tyranny reigns or threatens.
Peace and freedom advance hand in hand, since one cannot exist without the other; and it all began over two millennia ago, in the little town of Bethlehem in ancient Israel.
May peace and freedom reign throughout the world, some holy Christmas yet to come! MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Thursday, 9:30 AM. The day before Christmas. 25 degrees, wind S, variable. We are in a white-out, the blizzard coming north laden with Gulf moisture. I have already shoveled 7” of global warming, more is falling and the barometer predicts the same.
We are decorating our tree today, circumstances dictating that it be done at the last minute this year.
Actually that’s O.K., since Joan’s family tradition when she was a little girl was to decorate the tree on Christmas Eve, and my family usually did not get a tree until a day or two before Christmas.
My father was a very gentle and kind-hearted soul, and living proof that you don’t have to go to church to be a real Christian. Consequently, our tree was usually purchased from some down-at-the-heels acquaintance of his who was trying to make some extra Christmas money. A few holiday libations usually resulted in a less-than-perfect tree at a somewhat inflated price, with maybe an extra fiver slipped into the pocket of a worn Mackinaw.
By the time I was sixteen, and for some years thereafter, I was a Christmas tree seller, my regular job at the Sinclair station morphing from pumping gas and washing cars to working on the Christmas tree lot. Those were the glory days of the flocked tree, a live tree adorned with gobs of gooey artificial snow. I can still see Eddie, the service station owner, standing in the commandeered carwash bay in flock adorned coveralls and WWII gas mask, turning out trees in a variety of colors, many of them quite livid: White with gold flecks, gold with white flecks, powder blue trees, green flocked trees (rather redundant) and even a few trees flocked so that they actually looked as though they were covered with snow. Whatever could be imagined was produced, and eventually sold. The market for kitsch trees was virtually endless: “Oooh, Honey, I want THAT one!” My duties sometimes included delivering the plastic-wrapped flocked trees in the station pickup truck. That was an envied job, as the truck had a good heater, and most deliveries garnered a dollar or two tip and maybe some cookies and once in a while a glass of eggnog to boot. As I recall, the trees could sell for as much as twenty-five dollars, a goodly sum at Christmas time, 1953. And, back in those days in Milwaukee on Christmas Eve you might still hear the old familiar song emanating from the Lutheran church:
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
wie treu sind deine Blätter!
Du grünst nicht nur
zur Sommerzeit,
Nein auch im Winter, wenn es schneit.
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
wie treu sind deine Blätter!
Thanks for the little tree again this year, Andy and Judy!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Wednesday, 8:15 AM. 24 degrees, wind SW, calm. The channel is dimpled and sparkling, the sky blue with a few high, wispy clouds, harbingers of an advancing front. The barometer predicts sunshine. A “perfect ten” day.
It was a very clear but dark night, and the LaPointe harbor lights across the channel on Madeline Island evoked the Holidays.
The ice covering lower Chequamegon Bay south of Washburn is visible as a white band above the blue water in the photo. Beyond the ice is the Ashland shoreline, and beyond that the Penoke hills. We’re making a last trip to Ashland before the Holidays this morning.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Tuesday, 8:15 AM. Wind W, calm. The channel is sparkling in the morning sun, the skies are mostly blue and the barometer predicts sunshine.
The sun has started its long return journey north (figuratively speaking) and although the winter is full ahead of us, the days will be lengthening and we will have many beautiful winter days such as this.
The ice on lower Chequamegon Bay is now barely visible looking south from the higher ground of Ninth Street, and I am sure is visible from many hilltops. It will however be weeks or longer before the current-driven waters of the islands channels are frozen.
I have been thinking about the little green aliens supposedly stored with their crashed spacecraft in an air force hanger in Roswell, New Mexico. I don’t know if we shall ever evolve into chlorophyllized beings, but I am pretty certain mankind is destined to be little. I find that everything is being miniaturized to the point that anyone with hands and fingers larger than those of a small child will soon be unable to survive and reproduce in this 21st Century technological age, and tiny will become the norm. Viz.,I am almost unable to change a camera battery or even turn it off and on now because the components have all been miniaturized beyond my ability to manipulate them, and sometimes even to see them unless held at arms length. Of course, my difficulties may primarily be a function of the aging process, but I prefer the former theory.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Monday, 8:30 AM. 21 degrees, wind WSW, calm. The channel is dimpled, the sky overcast with snow clouds, and the barometer predicts snow. We have 2” of new snow.
Late yesterday Lucky and I went to the Sioux River beach for a walk. There was not enough snow to put on snowshoes as it is very windswept. No ice is forming on the beach bay or island channels as yet, although the river and adjoining slough are frozen.
We have kept the home fires burning brightly and need to order another cord of wood. I called D&M loggers and left a message to that effect. They deliver dry aged mixed hardwoods cut to stove lengths and split, at a decent price. A warm fire and plenty of books make the winter enjoyable. I just read Sarah Palin’s autobiography, Going Rogue and found it an interesting quick read, and am halfway through Unger’s biography of Monroe, The Last of the Founding Fathers, which reads like a novel, almost as good a read as McCollough’s biographies. Joan is almost finished with Dan Brown’s Deception Point.
Our night view off the back porch is greatly enhanced by the Edwards’ holiday lights. Very thoughtful to do that just for us, neighbors!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Sunday, 8:30 AM. 18.5 degrees, wind W, calm the channel is dimpled. The sky is overcast and the barometer predicts partly sunny skies.
The snow deposited on roads over the past ten days has gotten hard packed and slippery, in spite of the efforts of the city road crew, and I have been sliding about during our walks. I wore out my Yak Trax last year, and asked Santa for a new pair. He has obliged, but they were to go under the tree until Christmas morning. I pleaded with Mrs. Santa (Joan) and have gotten them early (the box can go under the tree).
There is a lot of different gear to put on to walk safely on winter terrain, but I like Yak Trax the best, and the upscale Yak Trax Pros really work!
Early in our Bayfield existence I broke an ankle on the slippery winter slope that is Wilson and Eleventh Street and I do not wish to ever repeat the experience. Thank you, Santa.
There was nobody, not even a neighborhood dog, out this rather sullen morning, and just when I thought there was nothing to catch my interest, I saw this tree on Eighth Street bedecked with dark spheres, like ornaments or perhaps popcorn balls. Of course! A black walnut tree, Juglans nigra! The squirrels will also have a good holiday, the presents on the tree rather than uder.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

12/19/09 O LUTEFISK

Saturday, 8:45 AM. 19 degrees, wind NW, light but increasing. The channel is rippled, without any lake smoke. Yesterday afternoon ice was forming in broad patches. The sky is mostly cloudy, but the barometer predicts sunshine.
Thursday evening was the free "Forever Ed's" lutefisk dinner at Maggies. We were there at 5:00 and got a seat and in the food line right away. The menu was the same as always: lutefisk, Swedish meatballs, vegetables, boiled potatoes, herring, salads and lefse. Desert was bread pudding. Ed Erickson was a local fisherman, businessman, mayor and character who passed away a few years ago and is thus remembered. I have learned to tolerate lutefisk, a considerable feat for a non Norsky. It may help that I drive a Saab. The meal was topped off with aqavit, the Norse firewater most helpful in thawing out bodies frozen in blocks of glacier ice. The event was ceremoniously closed with the singing of O Lutefisk, to the tune of O Tannenbaum. I will spare you the verses. Note: the more aqavit, the better the rendition.

Friday, December 18, 2009

12/18/09 HELLO AGAIN!

Friday, 8:45 AM. 16 degrees, wind W, calm. The channel is obscured by lake smoke, which is rising high into the atmosphere. Yesterday afternoon ice was forming on the channel in broad patches. The sky is partly cloudy and the barometer predicts the same.
For any of my loyal readers who have been wondering why I have gone blogless the last couple of days and have navigated to my new site, the following commentary was uncerimmoniously edited from my Dec. 17 edition:
"I heard again yesterday from Copenhagen the dire prediction that if the arctic ice cap melts (rather unlikely, actually) the oceans will rise, with devastating results. I normally try to resist commentating on this sort of stuff, but can’t help it this time, because it is such patent nonsense and an insult to the intelligence of each of us.
If you believe, or suspect that, the Arctic Ice Cap melting will raise the level of the oceans, please conduct this fourth grade science experiment for yourself: put some ice in a glass, then pour water over the ice to somewhere near the top of the glass. This will model the Arctic Ocean and its floating ice cap. Mark the water level with tape. Let the ice melt, and observe the level of water in the glass. It will be the same as it was before the ice melted.
When water freezes it expands, because of its crystalline molecular structure. The ice being lighter than liquid water, it floats. But, once it melts, it returns to its original volume as a liquid. As an incentive to the scientific process, you can conduct the same experiment with an extra dry martini on the rocks.
If we don’t think for ourselves others will think for us, usually to our great chagrin and detriment."
Since I write as a hobby and do not receive any monetary reimbursement, I feel (I hope understandably) that content should not be edited without my consent. This was done and I rebelled, i.e., quit. Now I am back in business, and promise readers I will not abuse my unedited communication privileges, although I cannot promise to be noncontroversial!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009



It has been fun writing the Bayfield Almanac blog the past two years, but this will be my final entry, as it is time for me to move on. I hope my poor efforts have helped foster an appreciation for the out of doors, landscape design, horticulture and native plants, and for independent thinking on matters scientific, political and social, as well as an appreciation for life along the byways of our great Republic. So, good’ by, and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all. Look for a sequel, Art's Almanac, at another blog site or on Facebook after the first of the new year...'till we meet again...ART ODE---30---.


Wednesday, 9:00 AM. 2 degrees, wind W, calm. The channel is calm, the sky overcast but the barometer predicts sunny skies. It did not get nearly as cold (-10 for Ashland) as the weather forecast predicted, probably because of the open water .

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

12/15/09 A GOOD GUESS


Tuesday, 8:45 AM. 0 degrees, wind WSW, light. The channel is obscured by lake smoke, and the sky is mostly overcast but clearing. The barometer predicts sunny weather. We have an inch or so of new snow, and it has been snowing lightly.
Bayfield City Hall is a nondescript old building, mostly garage space, with a few offices and a meeting room. For most purposes, it is all we need. Around the Christmas tree are Mayor Larry MacDonald and city office staff.
Pleasure boats are now all shrink-wrapped and consigned to dry land, but commercial fishing boats will cast their nets until freeze-up. I hear they are catching a lot of herring.
The “lake smoke” is steam or fog rising into the frigid atmosphere from the warmer water of the lake. It rises, often in great billows, condenses and comes down as “lake effect snow.” It is not a continual process, but seems to depend upon atmospheric humidity, wind, and probably other factors as well. I theorize that it is cyclical because when the surface water cools sufficiently it becomes heavier than the warmer water beneath it and sinks, the warmer water then rising to be cooled by evaporation, the process then repeating itself until the surface finally becomes cold enough to freeze and stop the process. Anyway it’s a good guess.

Monday, December 14, 2009

12/14/09 OOF PARTY


Monday, 9:00 AM. 15 degrees, wind W, light. The channel is mostly obscured by lake smoke, it is snowing lightly, with 4” of new snow on the ground. The barometer predicts more.
Mary’s OOF (Official Old Farts) Christmas party was its usual success, with most of the community’s seniors dropping in between 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM for brunch and libations (the moose family crashed the party but were welcomed by all).
The robin must have missed the last flight out. I suppose I have another critter to be worried about now, as robins don’t come to the feeder. Maybe it will get some sense and fly in the direction of the noonday sun.

Sunday, December 13, 2009



Sunday, 8:30 AM. 8 degrees, down from 10 degrees at 7:00 AM. Wind W, calm. The channel is calm but surprisingly no “lake smoke” is rising from it. The sky is mostly cloudy but the barometer predicts sun. We are headed for the deep freeze. Today is Mary Rice’s OOF Christmas Party, I will explain the name and report on it tomorrow.
The snow on the south side of the roof now hangs down three feet from the eaves, and like a shade almost obscures the view from the kitchen window. I suppose I will have to get out the roof rake and wade through the snow and clear it, Joan say she likes it but I fear it may damage the fascia. All things considered, we could use some “local warming.”

Saturday, December 12, 2009



Saturday, 9:00 AM. 11 degrees, wind WSW, calm. The channel is quiet and probably beginning to freeze, ice being visible on the Island shoreline. I hear that the Bay was frozen at Ashland yesterday, but will break up with the first north wind I am sure.
The big old black willows along Ninth Street between Old Military and Wilson are a perfect metaphor for winter.

Friday, December 11, 2009



Friday, 8:00 AM. –3.5 degrees, wind S, light. The sky is overcast, heavy lake smoke is rising from the channel, we got another 2” of snow last night and the barometer predicts sunny skies.
Yesterday evening was the annual Chamber Christmas Afterhours tour of local shops and was open to the public, which was a good idea. People were out and about and buying things, regardless of the bitter weather. Joan and I did some shopping and then had dinner at Maggies restaurant. I have been involved in Chamber Board planning sessions and am leaving for one now.