Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spring has Sprung!

Well, it looks like Spring is finally here in April. Although it still gets down around freezing at night, daytime highs are soaring into the upper 30s and even into the 40s! A week after digging up our frozen waterlines and running water from a sprinkler over them, for many days, one of the lines finally thawed and I was able to unhook the emergency waterline. Our friend Chuck helping me untangle a halibut longline. Note the lack of snow on the tress and roofs. Although we still have maybe 2 feet of snow on the ground outside the lodge, the snow is melting fast and we have bare ground in some areas under the trees.
With the arrival of spring we are finally gaining five minutes of sunlight a day and there are more birds showing themselves. There are lots of robins around, we hear varied thrushes calling at all times of the day, and there is even some bare ground (not bear ground, although we're keeping our eyes open for them, too!) showing.

There have been some Trumpeter Swans moving through the bay on their way north.

The river otters disappeared for a couple months, but lately we have been seeing our group of up to eight animals swimming around the bay and romping around on the dock (and leaving their calling cards).

The bald eagles seem to like the longer days and have been very active and chatty.

We've been seeing more deer down on the beach as well, although with the snow melting, they seem to be moving farther back into the woods.

Spring has brought a lot more floatplane activity into the bay--there was one week when we had 5 planes come in, although most went past us and in to the state float at "town".

The Goldeneye are still around, although they will leave soon for the summer.

This eagle's nest at the bottom of the diagonal snag is still filled up with snow.

Spring also means it's time to start packing our things up and getting ready to head back to Sitka. We took advantage of one dry day to clean the chimney.

Emily (our neighbor Christine's Boston Terrior) out enjoying sunshine and a hike to the lake.

Spring also brings more vessel traffic. The USCG buoy tender Maple came into the bay for some R & R for the crew. They stopped by with a box of fresh produce for everybody in the bay (all four of us!).

The Thompsons stopped by on their way to the Sitka herring fishery in March.

Kate Thompson trying to fill her daddy's shoes (or Xtra-tuffs).

Our friend Chuck flew in to visit for a few days.

Chuck and Rick heading out from the salt chuck, which has a narrow entrance, so must be negotiated at high slack. Chuck Norris was once here, kayaked into the salt chuck, and had to be rescued because of the strong current pushing against his bulging Texas Ranger muscles. How Many Chucks Can The Salt Chuck Chuck?

What would you do if you went fishing for halibut and only caught a Pacific true cod? (We ate it!)
This is a Sunflower Star (the world's fastest starfish) that we threw back from the longline. You can see Jen's reflection as she photographs it.

Harris Air came to take Chuck back to Portland and civilization (not necessarily in that order).

Chuck is allergic to cats, so I'll put an extra space here before these Cat Snaps. By the way, even though Jen never thought it would happen, Feral has fully recovered from her traumatic fur loss after our Fleas In Paradise episode. Maybe her plunge through the ice accelerated the hair growth.

Feral out for a stroll before all the snow melts.

Licking her chops after enjoying a nice deck herring.

Kitty aerobics. Look at that full belly of fur (and mice)!

Feral doesn't even consider this snow.

A deck herring is nice........

But a little cod is even better (or at least bigger)!