Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Frozen Shore

The white expanse of ice along the shoreline looks like waves at the ocean as they foam and crash on the shore.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Encased Beauty

There are SO many fascinating things to see on the shore as they become encased in ice, accentuating their beauty.

Monday, November 28, 2022


Lack of color conveys desolation. Though this scene I captured on my way to the grocery store isn't monochromatic, it still looks apocalyptic to me - am I reading into things? Am I keying into things that are used in cinema and TV to convey bleakness? Or is it also the obvious remnants of past destruction (the sawn off tree stumps left in the lake) that add hopelessness to this scene? Yes, it's a beautiful scene, and isn't lacking in color, but the heaviness of the clouds, the lack of warm colors and apparent abandonment of purpose speaks to me.

Sunday, November 27, 2022



Sinuous, flowing

Roots woven like tentacles

Draped on each other.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Cranberry Crazy

I've been crazy for baking with cranberries this week. They're so intricately linked to Thanksgiving - this is the season they're available, and when you have a lot of fruit, you bake with it and share your bounty.

I love the "Grandmother's Famous Cranberry Pie-Pudding" I began making when our kids were young. I have no idea where I got it from, but have stuck with it all these years. I think of a blondie with a tart, juicy crush of cranberry. I like to serve it warm, with cream or ice cream.

I also needed to use up some 'offensively ripe' bananas. I'm not a big fan of banana bread, so searched for a recipe that I might be able to stomach - and lit upon this deliciously moist combo of Cranberry Banana Loaf. Yes! I don't mind eating that.

And then I discovered a recipe in passing that I just couldn't resist trying - Cranberry Walnut artisan bread (I've still got to remember that I learned not to leave cranberries on the outside of the dough). Despite the burned fruit on the outside - so good!

So here is my trifecta of cranberry treats

Friday, November 25, 2022

Spot the Difference

 Some things are different in these 2 pics, taken a few days apart ...


One difference is VERY obvious,
another is secondarily obvious,
and a third is, well ... something we only noticed a few days later.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Stump, missing for 4 days, located after search.

A stray stump, which had broken free and run aground downstream of its home, was located 4 days after it went missing. Stump owners pieced together clues from photos they'd taken in order to determine the timing of its disappearance. Close inspection of the recalcitrant stump revealed it to be in good health, and ready to return when water levels allow. It is home to a native swamp rose (Rosa palustris).
 - Lakes Correspondent, Debbie Broderick

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Snow Sky

I had just checked the weather forecast, and found out there was no snow expected, when I noticed this angry looking sky. It looked so ... expressive!

And this is what it led to - nothing consequential, but an exceedingly bitter and windy temperament showering us with icy white 'gravel'.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Officially Old

On the day that my youngest sibling turns 53, I must declare that I have officially become old (there are 3 siblings in between). Actually, I managed to reach two independent mental aging benchmarks in one day!

1.) I officially succumbed to entering my credit card on a spammy/knock-off website


2.) I lost track of food leftovers in my fridge, and found out I was growing a fungus garden!

I've also received a bad report card on my joints, to the tune of "degenerative changes noted in all 3 compartments of the left knee. Worsening joint space narrowing in the medial compartment and patellofemoral compartments," and a re-do of carpal tunnel release surgery is in the works. Until then I've added wrist splints to my already over-the-top aging aids at bedtime ...

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Ups and Downs

Wouldn't you know it, I'd hardly had time to enjoy having full banks of water at the bottom of my yard when word came down that the dam repairs had failed, and that lowering had recommenced. 

Here's a photo of Dale and Linus standing on ground that just yesterday was under water; the normal water level usually reaches the base of the trees. And we're expecting a lowering of 3 feet again.

Here's the same spot, 2 days later: 

I wonder what it's doing to plant and animal life? What sorts of signals does this compressed period of extreme water level changes convey? Does it confuse cyclical responses and survival, or is it too short-term to be of significance?

I was expecting a bloom of invasive bladderworts in November, but I'm sure that having been out of water for a month, getting rehydrated, and then drying out again will prevent that from happening (and I can't get to those high and dry areas to check). What little bits of water remain are turning to fragile ice, which can't be conducive to flowering, either ...

I know that this time around, I won't be trying to access deep-sucking-mud kayak launching spots. I paid dearly by twisting my knee whilst trying to get unstuck a while back, so let's hope this will be the last time I have to learn this lesson --- but, ... it's so tempting to try ...

Monday, November 21, 2022


Q: When is a Walk-in care facility not a walk-in? ....

A: When they book appointments ahead of time, and don't have availability for walk-ins.

YES, this happened to us. When our Primary Care doctor didn't have availability for what seemed to be a bacterial infection, we were directed to a Walk-in Care Facility, only to be told that they had no available appointments until 7 that evening.

Words, names, purposes don't seem to have any meaning anymore: a walk in facility is "a medical facility that accepts patients on a walk-in basis and with no appointment required."

What is walk-in care if not to be able to walk in and be seen without an appointment???


Sunday, November 20, 2022

First Snow

This scene greeted us midweek, pretty much as expected around this time of year.

Even so, I had not yet put my kayak away, so I guess I wasn't really expecting it. And it's not sticking around long, so I might still get some late-season kayak time if I'm lucky ...

Talking about not being ready, a towel was left draped over the deck railing overnight and got a line of snow embedded in it. This is what it looked like when I brought it inside

And, I found an interesting pattern to aim my camera at before going back inside to put another log on the fire.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Lead Astray

We have known for more than 40 years that lead in fishing tackle erodes within the digestive tract of loons, enters their bloodstream and leads to their deaths.

A recent presentation by a vulture researcher in South Africa has brought attention to lead contamination and toxicity in raptors. The tissue of animals killed with lead bullets become contaminated when microscopic lead particles shear off as the bullet travels through tissue, organs, and muscles. Vultures scavenge on carcasses, which they feed to, and subsequently poison, their own chicks. 

According to the the WHO, CDC and EPA, there is no safe level of lead in the blood. We have been phasing out lead in our gasoline since the 70s, yet people still hunt with lead bullets and consume a carcass that is unsafe for consumption - 'safely' avoiding eating the organ in which the bullet is embedded is not safe enough (and contaminated pieces are left for other unsuspecting wildlife).

Why are we still using lead ammunition when there are lead free alternatives for hunting? The New York Times stated in 2018 that "About 95 percent of ... ammunition purchased every year in the United States contain lead" (

Lead is a highly toxic metal; a cumulative toxicant; a dangerous neurotoxin. For all animal life.

A Norwegian study reported in 2018 found that "IQ scores have been steadily falling for the past few decades, and environmental factors are to blame ..."

Are we slowly poisoning ourselves with lead? Are we affecting the intelligence of the planet by shortsightedly contaminating our environment with toxins that hamper cognitive functioning and retard our brain's capabilities?

Lead exposure is preventable, and yet ... economics and suspicion prevail.

Friday, November 18, 2022

Bizarre Dentistry

The saga of wearing Invisalign braces and realigning my bite continues ... photos taken of my teeth at each visit show the appliances have been effective and the realignment is taking shape. Well, I knew that from early on, since the pain involved in using my jaw to chew and eat food is long gone. I was so happy to crush the last box of supplies, thinking my oft-extended journey had come to an end.

But no! After my latest visit and set of images, the next step explained by the dentist made me blurt out loud,

"this is bizarre!"

He cut down my usual full mouth, horseshoe shaped braces to just 6 front teeth, and told me to chew gum on my back teeth for a month! What? I've been diligently following the 'rules' to the letter and minute (wear the entire set for 22 out of every 24 hours), and now it's okay to just have them on my front teeth? And now I don't have to wear these partial braces 92% of the time, just some of the time, and be sure to wear them at night. And nothing on the back teeth? I feel quite insecure without them, and with no retainer in place yet. Oh, ... and don't forget to keep chewing gum!

Chewing gum is supposed to help my back teeth drop and dominate my bite while my front teeth are held in place with the abbreviated Invisalign segment.

But the plot thickens, of course ... I don't chew gum since most brands have soy in them, to which I have an allergy. Aha! The dentist hadn't thought of this wrinkle. Finding soy free gum was a little challenging, but I found one after a while of online searching. This one is soy free, gluten free, peanut free, sugar free, aspartame free (YAY) and vegan (probably also back teeth realignment free!!!!).

Believe it or not, it tastes awesome. It's Swiss made, called pür, but is not carried by most grocery stores. I can get it at Target, Walmart online, and in bulk from Amazon in a few different flavors.

Let's hope this bizarre treatment works.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Wind, hair, gum

Chewing gum on windy days with my hair untied has led to a few sticky situations. Before I knew what was happening, strands of hair had blown towards my mouth and got incorporated into the chewing gum! No wonder we keep our hair tied back when it's long - something new to learn about as I get older.

Hairy gum? Gummy hair?

Tuesday, November 15, 2022


The water level has been rising steadily over the past 4 days. It almost looks weird to see water at the bottom of my yard! Here are a few more round the lake images before I forget.

This rock is usually submerged and not visible to boaters

Normal water level conceals all the logs, stumps and sandy area visible in the foreground of this little island inside Bay Cove

This area is usually under water and accessible by kayak

The approach to the Brown Brook inlet is hardly paddle-able.

The unmonitored (no boat inspectors) boat launch is not negotiable

Yet another view of leafy covered banks usually under water

The channel into Bay Cove has narrowed substantially - these banks on 
either side are usually underwater

Monday, November 14, 2022

Amazing Invasive

Variable watermilfoil (Myriophyllum herterophyllum) is an incredibly hardy, resilient and adaptable plant - too bad that it's an invasive - hello! that's why it can be invasive 😏

We have beds of it, either on boggy shores,

dry rocky beds,

or as floating boggy mats within the waterbody.

Whatever the substrate, this amazing plant persists, no matter how harsh the conditions. During our water drawdown of about 4 feet, lasting for a month, variable watermilfoil has not died off - it has a terrestrial form that keeps it alive despite being out of water for so long.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Dry Cove

We've come to the end of our lake drawdown period, which began on October 10 for scheduled dam repairs. A month later, we're ready for refilling. We're getting extra water from a feeder lake that has been holding back for us, and all the feeder streams will carry this weekend's rain and runoff into our lake, too.

I took this photo standing in my cove, which is usually full of water. The area near the shoreline has dried out, but the darker area is soggy - silty and full of sucking mud. It makes walking difficult, launching a kayak impossible, and renders shoreline cleanup hazardous!

This is how our cove looked for a month, mostly separated from the main body of water by a cold, soggy, sloppy, and deceptively-firm looking mud bath. Our floating gardens and stumps have been resting on the ground; they look quite out of place and awkward in their beached state! The water pipeline that was installed in 2020 is visible to the right of our cove (marked with floats to deter boaters from getting too close).

It's been strange to see the lake bottom materialize in places. I'm surprised at how undulating and uneven it is - something we're unaware of when floating on the flat, even water surface in a kayak.

This is the head end of our cove, a dry basin, a leaf sink.

View from one of our usually floating logs that we maintain as a breakwater at the entrance to our cove.