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    May 2013
    from www.CustomCabins.com
    14663 Vosburgh Rd. Ely, Minnesota 55731
    email: info@customcabins.com


    Spring has finally sprung, though it came terribly late this year. Actually all of us in northeast Minnesota, Ely to be exact, wondered if it would ever arrive. This winter was referred to as "the winter that would never end".

    Here on Moose Lake near the Boundary Waters we watched as warmish air reacted with the cold temperatures of the ice on the lake. The result is what is called advection fog. We weren't afraid of the Loch Ness Monster appearing out of the mist, but it did create an interesting vista.

    A few days later, even as the sun was beginning to peak through the clouds at sunset, we could see open areas of water toward the far shore as well as some spots throughout the rest of the lake. Ice out couldn't be far behind.

    As it turned out, it wasn't, but too late for fishing opener which was May 11th. Of course the ice had melted enough so that it was entirely too soft for dog sleds and entirely too hard for motor boats or canoes. The actual date of ice out was May 14th. There were some rivers that were open, but for us and for a lot of other people on lakes around us, opener was a bust.

    But then, it seemed as though since the semi warm temperatures were so late that the early spring foliage and flowers felt they had to catch up with their calendar expected arrivals. Everything in the flower bed just seemed to pop up and bloom much more quickly than normal. It has been wonderful to see colors other than black, grey, and white.

    The loons were extremely unhappy with the late ice out. Loons are peculiar birds, and have a very difficult time walking. Unlike ducks, the loon's legs are set back further on their bodies which totally up sets their balance and makes it almost impossible for them to walk or waddle, if you will. In return, this makes them very adept swimmers.

    Well, they are used to arriving around the end of April or possibly early May, but because of the late ice out they had no water on which to land. They couldn't land on the ice because they would have been stranded. As we mentioned because of their body positioning of their legs and feet, they need a "water run way" in order to take off.

    After the ice finally went out, they did arrive and had a thorough bath to wash-off of all of their "travel dirt". Here a loon, accompanied by his mate, is preening. You can see him on his back with a foot up in the air and his head wrapped around to the side. It seems as though this one may be a contortionist because of the way he can wrap his head and neck around his body. Actually, the loons have various "oil pockets" on their bodies. By using their beaks, they can peck these pockets and spread the oil around their feathers in order to help keep them water proof. It is a constant behavior.

    And, after a good bath, there is nothing like spreading your clean wings in order to impress your mate.

    Early fishing has been good. It seems as there have not been as many fish caught, but the catching and eating quality 1-2 pounders has been super. Pictures to follow next month.

    Custom Cabin Rentals
    14663 Vosburgh Rd.
    Ely, Minnesota 55731
    218-365-6947 or 1-800-235-6947