Bruce just called home. We are now into open water season! Traditionally we follow the stages noticed by our long time mailman Don Brazell in the 1950’s and 60’s. Don drove the Trail delivering mail for many years. He noticed that if the North Brule River was flowing freely on a given day then one week later the smaller lakes went out. In another week the larger lakes like Gunflint went out.
According to that plan, the ice should have gone out on Gunflint around the first of May. Yesterday the ice on Gunflint Lake was really black but there was no wind to blow the ice out. This morning we had a strong east wind storm. Rain was coming down steadily and the temperature was sitting right around 30 degrees.
It’s almost 11:00 a.m. now. It’s still raining and the east wind is strong. Ice is starting to accumulate on the branches of trees. Usually it takes a northwest wind to move the ice out. Well everything is different this year. That east wind just blew the ice out. Bruce said it just flew out in a matter of hours.
So start planning your fishing trip cause the ice is gone. The walleye season opens in Minnesota on May 14th. I can already taste those fish frying in our frying pan. Lake Trout will also be open in Minnesota. We like to grill trout fillets. There is nothing better than freshly caught fish for dinner.
Of course, there are many other signs of spring around. My bird feeders are emptied as soon as I fill them. Spring birds are back like red-wing black birds, ravens, crows, purple finches, etc. Everyone is hungry.
Also the last couple of days I have walked to the Trail (2 miles round trip), I have heard partridge drumming their mating song. They have been on the road. The other night Bruce and I drove home. There was a partridge right in front of us on the Tucker Lake Road. He fly off but not very far. We backed up a couple of feet and there was the partridge on a branch looking in our car window!
Ducks are also around. Many of them keep going north but the mallards are here to raise their broods. By the beginning of June we will have lots of little ones on the beach at the lodge.
When I was in town on Thursday, there was a loon in the bay at Grand Marais. I imagine that loon will be flying up here pretty soon. There is nothing nicer than to lie in bed at night and hear the loons calling. It is when I know we are really at home.
So you can go to bed tonight and imagine the waves splashing up on the shore of Gunflint Lake. It’s a bonus that those of who live on a lake get every spring.