Lake coming out of hibernation

Victoria Day was overcast, with a cool breeze blowing from the northwest, as I wrote this column from the sunroom of our cabin.
The original forecast had called for more sunshine, but even the day was great for being at the cabin.
I lit a fire in the wood stove that morning to take the chill off and soon the cabin was toasty warm.
Through two fishing trips in the rain on Saturday and Sunday, my boat finally was drying out. The fishing did not yield great success, but we ate freshly-caught fish for supper on Monday.
We didn’t catch any walleye, but the “northerns” and the bass made fishing lively.
The Northern Pike were found in shallow waters near sandy bottoms with weeds. They were expensive, taking away two spinner baits.
On Sunday, my brother-in-law and I found the bass in a narrows that opened out into a huge section of the south arm of Rainy Lake. They were stacked up along a 75-metre stretch of shoreline.
My brother-in-law, using a smoky-coloured grub, caught the bass.
On Saturday evening, our friends from Tucson, Philip and Carole Greif, joined us for supper. They had spent four weeks travelling north through the U.S. Midwest to reach the lake from Arizona.
Leaving last August, they made their way home via northern Quebec and the Maritimes. It was an 8,000-mile journey that took almost 60 days.
Needless to say, hey had plenty of stories to tell us.
Two fishermen, clad almost in winter gear, were fishing a shoreline across the way from the cabin on Monday. I suspect they chose this area of the lake to be out of the wind.
Meanwhile, a spruce tree creaked in the background. Almost a decade ago, the wind almost toppled it, but it became caught up in a white pine and now rubs against it when the wind blows.
The woodpeckers have discovered the spruce over the winter and regularly you can hear them batting their heads on the roots at the ground.
We haven’t heard partridge on the island for several years, but they have been drumming for the past two weekends. But the red squirrels have been noticeably quiet this spring even through they are scurrying about.
We think a pair of mallards is beginning to build a nest just off the path up from the dock. Our pair of loons has returned for another summer and Friday night entertained us with dances.
Two bald eagles also have returned to the area and removed the fish guts we had put out for them Saturday afternoon. They regularly soar overhead looking for free meals, and they appear almost instantly when fish guts are set out.
The tops of both the white pines and red pines are crowning out with cones. The blueberry plants are blossoming out, as well, and now we’ll cross our fingers that they will receive the sun and moisture needed to produce another bumper crop.
There were more lights visible on the lake this weekend. While fishing Saturday and Sunday, we saw lots of boating activity.
The lake is slowly coming out of hibernation.

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