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Sunday, May 17, 2009


Apple orchard in full bloom

One from the Pelican pair

In hopes of finding morel mushrooms along the trail, I set out on my bicycle around the lake to see what I could find. The sled dogs have had their fun today, running around the yard with their pals and were just fed. The little house dogs have been walked through the apple orchard, now in full bloom. Now it was my turn for some time to myself.

My trip around Oake Lake adventure uncovered no morels today. My guess is that it has been too cold. They need a few good days of heat to help them sprout up. Maybe later this week. I didn't return from my ride empty handed. I spotted a Pelican pair lazily paddling along and snapped a couple photos. An egret pair has also made our little lake their home this spring. In years past we've had as many as 4 pairs and as few as none. It depends upon the winter fish kill. This lake is not spring fed so, at times, it freezes out. Years ago, a neighbor on this private 500 acre wildlife lake, stocked it with 140,000 walleye fry. The number of ice houses on the lake in the winter tells the winter fish tale as does the return, or lack thereof, of the water fowl.

The red-winged blackbirds are the first to arrive, even before the ice goes out. Theirs is the first call of spring. Now, we are awakened at 5AM by the honking of the geese and the chirping of the song birds. Too bad they don't like to sleep in. Throughout the day we are updated of the goings on in the meadow just beyond the dog yard by the techno talk of the boblink. In the evening, we are lulled to rest by the soft cooing of the morning doves. If we're lucky after dark, along with the yips of the coyotes, we hear the owls conversing. Then it's time to make sure little Copper is safely inside as he would make a nice 12lb snack for some very large and hungry owl. This isn't as likely as when I see our neighborhood Eagle fly over head. He can't be missed, flying majestically over the lake, landing in the same Oak tree directly across the lake on most occasions. He comes to fish, every now and again, for his family living on a nearby lake in a nest high in a box elder tree. Copper isn't allowed outside to roam the back yard without a sled dog body guard or two. My hope is that with a couple menacing looking sled dogs about, the eagle will stay clear of the back yard.

The baby birds will soon be hatching from the dozens of nests in the blue spruce trees behind the house. When this time comes, I am very careful to make certain they don't all fall prey to a curious sled dog. Some years are better then others. I'm sure that the dogs can't wait for this spring adventure to begin!

The barn swallows have begun making a mud nest under the overhang on the back deck. We allowed this to happen one year and spent the entire season being dive bombed every time we walked out on the deck. So today, I made sure to give them the notice to vacate by removing the beginnings of their nest. They'll soon find a new spot where we can all live in peace.

Springtime on Oake Lake!

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