Friday 9-29-17

Greetings and welcome!

It has been a crazy week this week. That happens between trying to make a living and get outside chores done before winter.

The gnats were unbelievable this week. I was outside making firewood and was under attack. I ended up wearing ear plugs and close fitting safety glasses to keep them at bay. They finally were a little better when it cooled off after the mid-week rain. Much to my delight they should be done after tonight when we get a hard frost and temps in the low 30s. That will be our first frost, and a lot of people will be happy when it kills off a lot of bugs.

The fall colors are strange this year. Some of the earliest stuff has come and gone, but there is a lot on display. Still I am surprised at how much green remains out there, in my travels anyway. I have been to Wausaukee and Crooked Lake this week. I have found that it varies a lot from area to area, so don’t look at that as an area-wide report.

I saw a graphic on the morning news that showed us before peak, but across the Forest Co line they were rated near peak. It has been such an abnormal year for temperature and moisture that I think that it affected the colors too. I am not sure what to expect, but my guess is that with October two days away they should be really going off soon.

I had an interesting conversation with some beekeepers this week. They are expecting a tough winter. They said that the hives have already kicked out the drones, which is earlier than normal. They also said that the proplolis in the hives was way more than normal. That is a glue like substance that they use to seal cracks and protect the hive. According to the old school folks a heavy propolus in the hives means batten down the hatches for winter.

That is just one more sign that I have been seeing that it is a very unusual year. Another sign is that the river is still high. I checked a little while ago and the Peshtigo is still running at about a +6″. Normally it would be about a -2 or -3 today.

I took pictures on the river last Saturday, something that I have never done. Unfortunately last Friday we had a very strong storm that stripped any vulnerable fall colors from the trees. The river still had some color and the people had a blast in the unusually high water.

That storm was not in the forecast, but it wasn’t a big surprise because it was super humid and almost 90 degrees out. When I went to Wabeno Fri night there were actually a couple of trees down and the road was littered with pine needles and branches. We saw a lot less action here, but the big ugly clouds had a lot of lightning & thunder, and were intense enough that I was outside looking at the clouds for rotation.

This morning I looked at a longer term forecast model and cold weather is about 10-14 days away. The GFS is showing a pretty big storm coming through the area about Oct 11, and behind it a pretty big cold wave. According to the upper level temperatures it will be cold enough to snow anywhere in WI if there was moisture there, and a couple of days behind it will be below normal too.

I recall the year that I made the photo van to take out onto lakes and do pictures at snowmobile races. I was outside painting it late into the night on Oct 9th, because to was going to get cold and snow on the 10th. It did snow, and we had 6″ that day. It did not go over 50 degrees after that. All indications are that we are in for an early start and maybe a tough winter.

There are a couple of events this weekend. Here we are..

Toys for Joy Ride @ Prospect Lodge Sat.

Crivitz Harvest Festival and Craft Show- Crivitz High School 8:30-2pm Sat.

Have a good weekend and thank you for visiting!



Thursday 9-21-17

Greetings and welcome!

I have been one busy guy this week. I have been tackling a lot of projects that I need to have done before winter hits, and making a dent in my firewood too. I’m pretty sore so I am starting with computer stuff today.

First up is events. This Saturday is the Soup & Chili Fest at the Silver Cliff Picnic Grounds. That is always a very popular event with people. Normally it is next weekend, but this year September has five Saturdays, and the event is held on the 4th Saturday of September. That is why it seems early this year.

Also on the event list is the 1st Annual Laona Fall Festival. It is  Saturday 9-5 at the soup kettle park.

Something else of interest this weekend is that Kosir’s will be running raft trips Saturday (Noon) and Sunday (10am). The fall colors on the river are getting pretty, so it will be a scenic ride. The water level will be amazing too. It was about a +4 yesterday, but with yesterday’s thunderstorms it is now heading for +8 and the slope of the graph is nearly vertical. We will have excellent water levels this weekend. So.. call Kosir’s and get on board for some unusual fall colors rafting. I will be there taking pictures again.

I got kind of excited about it, and I don’t have any fall colors rafting pictures, so I made one for the occasion. I cloned some fall colors from Tuesday at Boat Landing 11 into a May 29 rafting picture and it came out kind of cool.

The fall color show is coming right along. Most of the early maples are going off, and those can be some of the most colorful trees. The choke cherries are changing along with sumac, the underbrush, and a couple of other tree species. Here are a couple of more pictures from Tuesday & Wednesday..

Earlier in the week I was out brush cutting an area that did not get cut at all this summer. I want to store my boat there for winter, and the weeds were chest high or better. Much to my surprise the ground didn’t have grass on it, the ground had moss on it. I guess that it was indeed a wet summer.

It also surprised me Wednesday when I checked the freshly cut spot and found that the maple sheltering one side of it had dropped its leaves and was almost done. Monday there were none, Wednesday they were down. That was quick.

Fall preparations include a lot of wrenching on stuff and brush cutting, but the focus is on firewood. I always tell people that firewood is the Gold’s Gym of the north. I have worked my way into noodle arms a couple of times this week, saying one more cart then I can quit, and then doing 6 or 10 more. I know that I will be in a lot better shape on the other side of the 6 or 7 cords that I will put up in the next week or so.

I will be out there again later today, but then I am quitting for a few days. Why? Because even though tomorrow is the first day of fall, we are expecting a high of almost 90 degrees. Saturday and Sunday are expected to be in the upper 80s too. That will make the rafting very refreshing, but it is not ideal for firewood.

The bug of the week is the gnat. They are plentiful and can get a little aggravating with their flying into your eyes and ears. When I am stacking firewood I use Repel on my head, close fitting safety glasses to keep them out of my eyes, and foam ear plugs. I don’t like it much, but that is what it takes. The gators are still present too, and in quantity in some places.Bring the Repel.

We have not had our first frost yet, let alone a killing frost. We can thank that for the ample bugs. It does not look like it will come in the next week either. I am seeing low temperatures from 57 to 66 degrees, there is certainly no frost danger there.

Well I am off to get some lunch and then stack as much firewood as I can before the weekend heat wave arrives. Have a good weekend and thank you for visiting!



Sunday 9-17-17

Greetings and welcome!

We had some unexpected rain Friday night into Saturday morning. Thankfully it did not amount to too much.

I was surprised by the progress of the earliest maples since Thursday. That show is on. It wasn’t much Thu, but yesterday evening a trip to Crooked Lake found a lot of the earliest maples in full color or getting close to it. There is still plenty of green out there, but the big fall color show has started.

This morning’s rain was a good one. I would guess that we had in excess of an inch of rain. There was a little thunder and lightning and some good downpours. I suppose that I should have expected that with dew points in the 60s and 70s. The last couple of days have been very humid and there was a lot of available moisture. I will welcome the break from the humidity.

The bug of the week is the gnat. They like to fly into your eyes and ears, and they are plentiful. Usually they are a March or April annoyance, but it has been an unusual year and here we are.

The gnats were a pain in the wood yard, but I was thinking of bow hunters who want to stay still in their stands. Some of those guys must have had a tough afternoon. If it is any consolation, I have been seeing a lot more deer this year. It isn’t like 20 years ago, but it it better than the past few years.

Working in the yard this week I have been running into a lot of toads and frogs. There was a toad by the front step Friday night that was as almost as big as my fist. Probably a dozen times Fri night and Saturday I had them jump up from the lawn or be under stuff I was moving. There were a bunch on the gravel roads too. I guess that it really was a wet summer.

Time for me to get back to work. Have a good Sunday and thank you for visiting!


Thursday 9-14-17

Greetings and welcome!

The fall color show has started. Every day I see another splash of red or some trees getting lighter leaves as they begin the big change. Right now it is mostly the very early maples, but some other species are starting to get in on the act. The next couple of weeks will be a lot better for color, but right now you don’t have to go far to see a splash of red here and there.

I was not crazy last week when I though that I spotted one of the dark purple maples in fall color. I saw another about 2 miles east of Wabeno on Hwy C. Unfortunately it is on a pretty blind curve and they run a lot of logging trucks up there, so I did not stop for a picture.

Our weather feels more like June than September. We have been in the low 80s with clear weather the past few days. That is probably about 10 degrees above normal. Those low 80s are expected to continue through Saturday.

Saturday night and into Sunday we could see some rain as a cold front passes through and drops our temperatures back to more normal levels (low 70s). After some rain early week, next week looks like more of the above normal temperatures.

When we have high temps in the low 80s and some humidity and low temps in the mid-40s overnight there is a pretty significant (diurnal) temperature swing. That takes us below the dew point, and we have had some dewy mornings where everything is wet until the sun comes up and burns it off. It also make some fog at sunset as the temperature drops quickly. Here is a pic that I took last night about 30 minutes after sunset.

I was a little surprised that while taking that picture I was swarmed by mosquitoes. We have had some pretty cool nights, but apparently not cool enough to kill off the gators. I had the same experience later when I was at a dark spot and tried to take some star filled sky pictures. I haven’t done any of that with the little Nikon, so it was a  trial & error experience. It didn’t take much trial & error before I started losing blood and I bailed. Maybe I will try to dial that in at home before heading to my dark skies spot next time.

We have some events for this weekend.

First up there is a truck and tractor pull at Equity Park down in Pound Saturday. (Link)

Saturday Lakewood is having a Festi-Fall downtown with vendors, artists, food, and more.

There is an EAA Warbird fly-in and car & tractor show at the Oconto Airport Saturday. That is a little farther away than I usually have events around here, but it sounded like a cool one. They even have airplane and helicopter rides for $35-$45.

Crivitz is having an Octoberfest celebration Saturday. It looks like a big affair with three bands, German food and drink, and adult activities. They tap the first keg at 11am. (Link)

This weekend also kicks off a lot of hunting seasons. Bow hunting for deer opens Saturday, along with turkey, bear, grouse, rabbit and others.

Next weekend Sept. 23 is the Silver Cliff Chili Fest & Soup Contest at the Silvercliff Picnic grounds 11AM. People love that event with all of the delicious and unusual entries.

Well I am off to go and get back onto my fall outside chores. I hurt a wrist early week and have been on light duty for three days. That has been driving me crazy as I want to work of firewood, the house, the cars, the plow truck, the snowblowers, the snowmobiles, and more. I can’t stand it anymore, so I am going to go and try to be productive.

Have a good weekend and thank you for visiting!