Mud Lake in Winter

Mud Lake in Winter

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


It has now turned cold.  A Wind Chill Advisory was in effect this morning with wonderfully bright sun.  While edging up to zero, the day still seems mighty cold.  The Sun has stayed out most of the day and just standing in the window has been nice.

Saturday, December 27, 2014



After weeks of mostly cloudy dullness, a couple of hours of Sun, and dimmed Sun,  today.  Just stood in the front window a while a took it in with the dog.  Snow flurries and the usual dull took its place after our trip to Beagle Books for the sale.  Bought an Ann Hood novel for tonight.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Quiet Christmas

It has been a quiet Christmas on Mud Lake.  The snow is almost totally gone, relegated to odd tiny piles that might of just had a touch more snow thrown in one spot, and some spots in the shady places of the woods.  The ice looks firmer today after a time below 32, but it might be risky after some days of very watery looking surface.  Fish houses are in trouble on the big lake.  The watery conditions have no doubt frozen some in place.  Troubles may lie ahead.  We here it costs good to get them out if they do sink late in the season.

Colder weather lies ahead.  This should mean some ground freezing again.  Many hope for snow.  The users of snow are the obvious ones, but many want some snow over the septic and pump lines.  Last winter was one of trouble for those who had freezing troubles below ground.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014



Things here have bounced around some.  We were snow covered with a fully frozen lake, but then some water covered the ice in spots and the snow was gone.  Now the snow cover is back, but bright sun is working on it.  Under that snow cover is a light coat of ice/sleet.  Many are hoping for more snow to insulate pipes and septics before the real cold comes.  Last year was trouble for many.  We note some hay bales can still be bought.

The red squirrels do not seem to be eating their pine cone piles.  These must be for deeper winter meals when the snow hides most of their buried items.  Again, each pile is near a tree that easily stands out from the deepest snow, unless the glaciers come back.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Ice Noise


Strange sounds in the air.  This afternoon I am sure I heard sounds through the woods from Fish Hook Lake that sounded like ice cracking.  They had the whale sound like nature.  Then I heard one sound like that from Mud Lake.  “Strange happenings” as Shemp said.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ice Over


Mud Lake is now iced over.  It shows a full light cover of snow on top.  One odd area in the bay shows some marks like someone dragged some thing , but the ice just has to be thin there.

Monday, November 10, 2014



Winter has come.  The lake has been slowly gaining its ice cover.  The water lily bay has had ice for days, then along the north shore.  With the big dip coming this week, the full freeze of the lake should come.

Some 15 swans passed through the other day.  They were in the weeds likely gathering to go South.  Some geese have hung around with them.

The first snow cover came and went, but now the temperatures tell us the snow is here to stay.  That will keep the temperatures down, too.  Today’s storm has the chance of only lightly contributing to things, but the forecasts do vary.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Winter Nears


The red squirrels have a number of piles of pine cones built for the winter.  There has been some gathering of the geese on the lake, but nothing like the giant gathering before they leave for the South, and the leaves are down.  Sure looks like winter, and on days like today, it sure feels around the corner.

As I write, it is snowing a bit more than an hour to the North, and tonight the local flakes might gather briefly.  The stiff winds have been of some help.  Yesterday the leaves were blowing themselves into the woods, eliminating the mulching with the tractor.   The birches are totally bare.  The tamaracks found a few miles away had needles last week, and they still might.  Will check tomorrow.  Plans are to get some planted here so we can extend the colored season as they turn after the rest.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Swimming Ends


As with the squirrels gathering their nuts, so the swimming season has come to an end in Mud Lake.  The water never did warm as is normal this year, now it has chilled.  The docks are coming in and craft have been put away.  The water lilies are slowing dying and then sinking to the bottom.

Of all things, some snow was mixed with rain yesterday.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Squirrels Planning Bad Winter


The yard has now picked up several piles of pine cones gathered by red squirrels.  Is Mud Lake like Camelot and the pine cones fall in neat piles?  We checked this out with a DNR/park agent at Itasca State Park.   Red squirrels like to gather pine cones in piles.  At first we suspected a neighbor was trying to play a joke on us as these a;appeared,. but no.  The squirrels do this.  We do not know if size and number indicates degree of cold expected, or just good pickings in pine cones, but these are big and located near trees that will more clearly mark them.



Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Fall Ahead

The signs of fall are clear.  Being Post-Labor Day weekend is one, but the trees have lost their summer tone, the geese are in v-formations, and the temperatures just have that fall cool to them.  The odd tree has a full turn of color, and some may just be dry or ill.  The larger groupings of geese are not around yet, but the groups in v-formation are getting bigger.  They remain in the dozen or so range.  The wind and coolness are heavy with hints of fall.

Of note is the rareness of the loons.  They have been around making their calls all summer, including a 3 in the morning, but now seem silent.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Fall Watch

Last night more geese appeared in that v-formation of fall.  They were in multiple groups, so not leaving today, but it is ominous.  Odd trees have that fall look, but the big sign is that as you watch the woods you can spot leaves falling in just small time spans.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Them Loons, Now Them Geese


The loons continue to have a daily life marked by their calls, but the fall goose migration has begun with its mass honking.  For the last two weeks geese have been arriving in their V formations and done their honking festivals to attract their kind.  This is a sign of the coming migration.  But that migration is hopefully months away.  It is too early.

On the other hand, the fall turning of the leaves has begun.  While tiny spots of yellow or purple can be found, the mass fading of areas to a light yellowish-green are all over.  This is early, too.  By Labor Day some full yellow spots can be found in most years, but it sure looks ahead of time.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Turtles on the Move


The turtles of Mud Lake have been in egg laying mode.  Here several sun themselves after getting back in the lake.


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Turtle Crossing


The annual turtle crossing has started.  Box and snapper turtles cross the lawn near the garden, then on to the lake.  We believe a deposit of eggs is now near the garden. 

We have also been told the red fox next door awaits these deposits.

It seems last year this trek came a bit later in June.


Friday, June 6, 2014

Summer Comes

Everyone talks of winter going and Summer suddenly making a show.  The lake is alive with activity. 

Fishing is heavy this time of year, but we are not seeing a lot being caught.  We do know of a wonderful bass being taken, but are not seeing the folk in the boats getting excited.

A loon is heard but not seen. He likes expressing himself around 5 to 6 in the morning.  We are not sure how local he is.

A goose family has taken up residence on the lake.  They have three goslings.  They like to stand on the edge of the road in the bay.  Every one is giving them right of way.  Two ducks seem to be hanging around down from the dock.  A nest is suspected back in the reeds.  A turkey walked by.  We keep hearing of beaver activity down the ways.

Open the door after dark and one can see the massively active insect life.  Turn on a light and clouds of gnats appear.  The heat!  The ticks are every where.

And with the rain, the garden is growing like crazy.  The beans and tomatoes are just shooting up.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Fishing Opener Eve


We expect the Sun to show itself soon.  The lake has been getting a bit more wet.  The rain came with its normal cloud cover and some Sun will be most welcome.  Could be a bit warmer.

The dock is in and only awaits the metal net to hold the catch.  Saturday at Midnight the season begins.  A more reasonable cast late Saturday morning is expected to begin our season.

Leaf buds have been spotted.  Two swans were checking the pre-season bites in the lake the other day.  They seem to have made a bee line to the river.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014



Following a day of neat cracking ice rumbling across the lake, today a new light layer of snow.  Water is around all the edge we can see.  The channel to the river looks open as the river seems fully open.  Spring is on the way.  Always hope.

That cracking ice reminded one of whales and or distant thunder.  One direction, then another.  What a day.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Twin Bald Eagles and Great Day


Two bald eagles were spotted on the North shore of Mud Lake today.  They have been singly seen flying over before, but now two stopping by.

A great day of melting, but the lake looks still frozen.  Some top water has been appearing and going each day.  Property on the North side has seen significant melting of snow and ice.  The South is more hidden from the bright sun and has more snow in the woods.

We also noticed that the image of Mud Lake has finally been updated in Google Maps.  The image appears to be from last summer, but it is definitely new.  East Fish Hook Trail still is mapped wrong.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Melting Away


As the lake shore opens up to grass, the lake is covered in a lot of water tonight.  Nice to take a trek down to the beach, but the wind is stiff from the South.  Geese were over head, but not landing on the thin water surface.  Noisy to be sure.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Buck


The big siting today was the first buck with antlers we have seen.  We have kept checking for antlers, but today is the first pair.

Otherwise not too bad of a day at the lake.  The sun did finally break out for a few minutes near supper time.  Cleared some snow/ice off the patio.  Snow/ice on the roof is almost snow/ice on the ground.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Deer on the Roam


The deer crowd seems to have returned to the lakeside in recent days.  The search for food continues during this hard winter.  They are in separate groups I note.

The “Gang of Seven” consists of a mixed group of seven deer that roam together.  They have been seen right here and out to Highway 1.  They range from middling in size to small.  Only the small ones seem a bit slow at moving on when on the road.

The “Big Butts” are a well sized group of three.  One is a bit smaller than the other two, but food does not seem to have been short for these three.  No antlers noted.  One just does note the one massive size chunk that these are.  No rush on moving with these guys, to.

“The Lonely One” is all by him or her self.  No antlers noted, but the search through the scarcity is a lone job.  This one could fit with the Big Butts, but must prefer or was left all alone.

Bird life remains sparse.  You can hear them more than see them.  A wood pecker was chopping the other day.  I heard a crow one day.  Flying is an odd event to catch one of them at.  A few tiny ones passed through, but the tiny ones seem gone as they have for months.

Melting is turning big time.  The driveway is black now.  The roof is about green.  Bring it on!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Sunny Day


While the temperatures are low, very low, the sun is clearly gaining in brightness and power.  Some driveway melting is noted and just the heat from it coming in the window is obvious.  Once one leaves the driveway area, the impact looks negligible, however.

Even the cat has found it delightful to pursue across the floor.

Deer still seem more present.  They are in small groups of three or less.  They are certainly not around most of the day.  But, they are to be seen looking for sun and food.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014



Going out the channel to the Fish Hook River, we encountered some swans and ducks in open water during the Fishing Derby on Fish Hook Lake.





Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Daytime Deer


While we know that deer have been wondering around the property, we have concluded they are doing it only at night.  Lots of footprints marking their trail, but none have been seen for some time.

This morning we had two, maybe a third, deer resting next door.  The looked pretty healthy given the cold.  They stayed quite a long time down by the beach, in clear. sunlight, next door.  They seemed to be enjoying just standing in the bright sunlight, just like the cat ensconced on the couch inside.  Some nibbling was noted.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

More Brrr!


No blizzard here, as is in place to the West, but it sure can hurt to catch the wind on a wet face.  Of course those wimpish types out east would be falling over dead just walking out today at Mud Lake.  It is so funny to see those Weather Channel and local station types just die on screen standing in those blistering 10 to 30 degree temps.  And the horrors of mere 30 to 40 below wind chill.  It is my saga story of walking a mile to a Gopher basketball gamer in –100 wind chill some years back.  If course my parent's generation walked the ten miles to school in worse than that, and up hill both ways as I heard the other day.

I figure three inches of snow at Mud Lake over night.  It is snow on the move the last few hours.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Sunny and Warmish


A beautiful day outside at Mud Lake.  Clearing the 3-4 inches of snow took some time.  The snow is getting deep in places and harder for the small snow blower to throw up over the bank.  But one’s hands are not freezing today as one goes along.  Some drifting took place, but we did not get even near blizzard conditions as those west of us did.

We still have a lot fo snow to go before we reach last Spring’s mark.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Missed by Blizzard


Folks to the West had blizzard conditions today, but at the lake it was less.  If one did get the snow off the ground it could blow some, but lift was minimal.  Aim that snow blower the wrong way and the cloud of snow was pretty chilling. 

Even after the recent multi-tens below zero wind chills, today is was tough. The clippers seem lined up on their jet stream pathway, too.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Almost Warm


It almost made zero today, just tenths away.  A nice sun and some warmer air mass made it a nicer day than we have all been seeing.  Even the dog wanted to be out barking (not her thing) at something around the road of the place.  Deer on the move?  Not sure.

In town the cold is the only topic of conversation.  I suppose most of the places that is true today.  In Northern Minnesota, far northern, it may not be.

Thursday, January 2, 2014



It hit –37 last night.  The cold streak continues.

Some auger a hole ice fishing on the lake the other day, but no luck.  The ice was measured at about a foot.