Spring is Jumping Too
Moose Bay is now open.
During the night of May 3 and May 4, there was a
lightening storm with heavy downfall of rains. Thunder
shook the islands enough to make the final dead leaves
slip from the branches of the ash trees to a heap near
their roots The storm followed a day of strong, warm
winds from the south. Sometime during the night the
wind changed its approach and started to blow from the
northwest. On the morning of May 4th, I walked to
the ridge on the west side of this island to see what
the winds, rain, and warmth of the previous day had
done to the ice field during the night. The vigorous
sight below me made my heart pound in my chest..
Strong northwest winds had forced the solid
field of Moose Bay ice to lose her grip from the
mainland. That same wind was pushing that ice against
Honeymoon Island and the small island to the west tip
of Brush. The edges of the ice field were grinding
up against those islands and the field was breaking up
rapidly. An open space of water had already
developed between the long legs of ice touching those
two islands. There were mounds of frothy, broken ice
on both side of the opening. That fractured ice was
flowing toward Flag Island. Huge cakes of ice were
crashing against and sliding up the sides of Honeymoon
Island directly into her tree line. From the ridge, I
hear the shores of Honeymoon Island moan under the
weight of the thrashing and writhing ice floes from
Birds were taking advantage of the situation.
Many were heading north again. A small flock of
pelicans and cormorants flew low over the edges of the
ice. A pair of ravens and two eagles checked out the
moving ice from higher in the sky. All were looking
for winterkill fish and animals that had broken
through the ice in the fall and had been locked in
nature's icebox all winter. Now the ice was giving up
those treasures to the birds.
It was more action than my state in life could
handle. I blushed, cast my eyes to the ground, and
walked back to the peacefulness of the east side of
the island. As I walked, I heard the first
white-throated sparrow of the year gently announce
that spring had just jumped into Lake of the Woods. It
was the same message that a male grouse had been
into a log near the southern shore for weeks.
Near Mad Jack's house, I felt a draft from
Pierre's hot, sweaty body as he rushed by me in a
westerly direction. He yelled back to me, "Mad Jack
said I should video tape the action from the ridge.
He needs something to keep him warm during next
Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a blur. It
was Mad Jack heading toward the road in his kayak.
When I got into the house, I found this note on the
table, "I'm off to the main library to get some
different literature. All we had to read this past
winter are those romance novels Pierre found in the
trash cans after the Blueberry Festival last August."
That sounded like a good idea. Perhaps those
novels were starting to influence the way we observed
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