Spring has sprung

There is heat in the sun and the first sign of spring was a dandelion pushing itself up between the cracks in the paving stones of my driveway. New green shoots of grass are growing up from the brown dead grass of last fall. The robins are in my yard and pulling at parts of dead lily leaves to build their nests. The buds on the maple and birch trees in my yard are expanding. The day lilies are shooting out of the ground.

I drove back from Kenora on Sunday afternoon, and many beaver ponds were ice free. Ice was receding from the shorelines of lakes that were visible from the roadway. And the ice was turning from grey to black letting everyone know that blue water was not too many days in the distance. Spring is now underway.

Another first sign of spring was the growling roar of the Harleys back on the streets.

On Monday, I travelled with my brother and Larry Fontana to check on the ice of Rainy Lake. We were not the only lake gazers checking the waters. Commissioner’s Bay was ice free as was Rocky Islet Bay. Parts of Sand Bay were ice free. Open water stretched from the five-mile railway bridges out under the Causeway. We agreed that we might make it to our cabins within two weeks.

This weekend the district will celebrate Spring Fever Days in Emo. It is the first major community event of the season and will then be followed on subsequent weekends with shows in Fort Frances, Mother’s Day, and garden center openings. Spring Fever is a festival of over 60 years and the event gets everyone excited and dreaming of owning a new boat, or garden tractor, or an all-terrain vehicle.

One might look at Rainy Lake and think that the water is low, yet the International Joint Commission water level readings put the lake near the high side of the curve for this week in April. Similarly, Lake of the Woods is also in range. However, both lakes show diminished water coming into the basins, and the outflow is being reduced to maintain water levels. The region is experiencing drought conditions. Normal May and June rainfalls bring the lakes back up to their summer levels. Lets hope that will happen this year.

Next on nearly everyone’s agenda is yard cleanup. I am amazed at the litter that has been captured in my hedges. I would like to have the yard raked and looking good before cabin season. But the first thing is to enjoy the celebrations in the district in the next few weeks.