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A Winter That's Not a Winter

Reflecting back to 2023, I think wow, what an easy winter 2024 has been. If I had to summarize what I did all last winter up into one phrase it would be "moved snow".

stock photo: shoveling snow off the roof
Getting the snow load off the roof (past years)

This winter I can't say that. This winter I barely touched a shovel. This winter is not a "Northern Wisconsin Winter". This is not a "I live in the Lake Superior Snow Belt and need to keep plans flexible incase the weather comes in" kinda winter. This has not been the kind of winter where general conversations revolve around shoveling the roof and "getting that load off because more is on the way". This year has been a perpetual spring.

So spring like in fact, I'm worried my spring flowers will come up and trees will bud prematurely. To drive home the oddity of this winter season, I already tapped a couple maple trees in the last thaw cycle, yielding me my year's supply of syrup - in early February! Normally, I'm testing the sap flow around late March to April. Strange year indeed.

Glass like frozen lake
Glass like ice at season start at Wildwood Haven Resort

This year, the ice came in like glass, normally it's buried in snow and a pain to clear for skating...but not this year.

Unfortunately, we didn't have any clear nights when the Aurora Borealis was showing - it would have been breathtaking to see it with the almost perfect icy mirror.

Anyway, with the freeze thaw cycles, the ice is now an opaque soft mess - not the perfect mirror as in early season, nor the desired skating ice. Now, it's only ideal for light ice fishing.

dog on ice
Lego following the fish under the ice

Well, right now it's 20degF as I type this and they're forecasting a high of 13degF tomorrow so I'm being a bit hypocritical when I write about the warm weather as it's not today nor tomorrow. However, the warmth is coming to set more records in a few days.

With this all being said, and me, being my ambitious self, wish I could report on all the resort/campground work I've gotten done this mild winter. However, sigh, I've been a lazy log or I have been just waiting to move snow around like in previous seasons. "What, I can't plow? Well, I guess I don't know what to do then."

To my defence, a lot of what I'm planning for 2024 requires earth work so what I've been doing instead are silly projects to keep myself busy. One of my winter projects has been learning to make homemade cheese and in true wisconsin spirit, I now make my own cheese curds (not for retail). I know my "Outta-Stater" friends are laughing at me and the Wisconsinites are just thinking "oh yeah hey, finally you're joining the club, took ya long enough, egh?"

Yeah....even without the snow, winter can be long...

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