Archive for May, 2015

A Good Week

May 31, 2015

Week 2 was really good!  The weather was less volatile so the fish were more predictable.  I believe it is safe to say everyone was pretty happy this week.  Reese’s 18″ smallie, Pete’s 39″ northern, Dave’s 24.5″ walleye and Doug’s 32″ walleye were all added to our Conservation Awards page (www.tallpinescamp.com). All species were SHALLOW (8′ or less was what I was hearing).  One guest was “sick of catching fish” by about Wednesday!Kenny released this beautiful 23″ walleye Kens 23 W

I don’t know how big this bass was, but Frank let it go and sent me a nice picture:

franksbass

Matt was back this year.  Here he is with his dad Doug and, yes, a crappie!

Matts crappiecomp

Not only did they see a crappie or two, they saw a bear out for a swim

swimming bear 1 swimming bear 2

John and Marie are back for their annual visit.  It is always so good to see them!  They brought Marie’s sister Beth who is quite the angler.  Here she is with a perfect 27″ northern (she and Marie look A LOT alike): Beths N

John makes beautiful things.  I have many of his creations.  This year I received a gorgeous trivet with what I consider to be his signature leaf motif

trivet It looks wonderful with last year’s rose

rose and trivet Thank you, kind sir. This week promises to be filled with good fishing and lots of fun.  We have many used guests as well as a sprinkling of new ones.  Yesterday was downright windy and chilly; today is sunny, still a bit cool, but less windy.  Everyone has ventured out and I fully expect good reports.  Potlucks kick in this week:  I think I’ll start with Carolina pulled pork–always a hit. Frank sent some beautiful sunset pics along with his massive bass pic.  Let’s close with those:

franksunset1 franksunset2

This one is my favorite.  It will probably show up at a sports show;)

franksunset3comp

One Down

May 24, 2015

Our first week went off without too many hitches!  The weather played the biggest role.  Water temps went from 54-58 on Saturday to low 40’s by Tuesday!  The dynamics were unbelievable!  It rained all day Sunday, freezing rained Sunday night, then snowed all day Monday.  The lake rose at least 2″ which is good, but wowzer.  By week’s end it was beautiful again, evidenced by sunburned Justin and happy campers.

Speaking of Justin…he made our big fish page again.  He holds the record for consecutive years–I believe this was #9.  You can see his handsome walleye on our Conservation Awards page (www.tallpinescamp.com, scroll down to the lower right-hand corner).  A total of 10 fish were added:  4 walleye of at least 24″, 2 northerns of at least 36″, 3 smallies of at least 18″ and 1 lake trout of at least 24″.  I know of a 13.5″ perch that would have made it, but the angler chose to take it home for mounting.  I’m not sure she knew about our offer to pay the price difference for a replica(?)  I know of a 41″ northern that was released as well, but I don’t have a photo (hint, hint).

Here’s a fun fact:  Dale caught five different species of fish during his stay (no laker, but a white fish).  He had fished Wabaskang before but not at our place.  Paul and his brother Bob have been here numerous times.  Paul’s Friday fishing included 32 walleye catches and 25 smallie catches.  He is quite the angler.  Here’s Bob with an almost-award worthy 34″ northern:

Bob Ever 34 N for blog

Paul took a photo of their snowy doorway:

Pauls snowy door

Don took this pretty pic of a sunset with snow in the foreground:

Don's snowy sunset

This week’s fishing is off to a phenomenal start!  Everyone reported good walleye fishing yesterday.  It sounds like the fish are back on track with their typical patterns.  Walleye are shallow right now.  Paul said some of theirs still had eggs but most were spawned out.  We’ll continue to hope that spring has indeed sprung:)

Well, my surprise door was quite the surprise.  Rebecca told me about paint that turns any surface into a white board.  The teacher in me was uber-stoked to go this to the fish cleaning house door.

door

Turns out the surprise is on me–it doesn’t erase:(  Something is wrong and I am not happy about it!  Stay tuned.

Sandra brought Gruper his annual gift of a T-bone steak.  I matched it with a chunk of salmon for myself:

steak and corn

salmon

Sandra also left raspberries.  You know what they say:  when life hands you raspberries, make pie

pie

We had three more graduations in our family this week!  Our niece Jackie in Minnesota graduated high school.  She already has her CNA and has been working at a local nursing home while finishing school.  Here she is with her dog Molly:

jackie

Best friends and cousins Mya and Alysha (aka the little girls) both graduated from preschool this week!  They had a family get-together and each received a special cookie:

mya and alysha

We are very proud of all three of you!  Keep up the good work!

Until next week…

Our 12th Season is Officially Open

May 17, 2015

Indeed, yesterday was opening day of another season.  The weather was beautiful–perhaps too much so.  Folks were really struggling to find fish in their usual opening week places.  Gruper went out for a short bit and reported a water temp of 54!!  Let’s put that in perspective:  last year at this time the ice was just moving out which meant the water temp was in the low 30’s.  A water temp of 54 is more like mid to late-June temps which means folks may have to make some changes.  We had blue skies, no wind, and temps in the low to mid-60’s.  It was so nice!

beautiful opener

Usually opening day is crappy.  SO….we missed it by only one day.  Yes, today is horrible!!! It’s been raining since some time in the middle of the night; it is COLD; it is WINDY; and there’s a chance of sleet/snow tonight and tomorrow:(  I’ll need to cover my rhubarb tonight, and Gruper has just started a fire in preparation for tonight’s below-freezing temps.  The good news is that the lake should raise a bit and water temps should drop a bit.  I guess it can’t be all about me;)

Eldon and Sandra arrived Wednesday.  They love to get here early, hang out and enjoy the peace.  They really love Cabin 4, the original logger.  This year Murray had a new door and new porch floor ready for them!

4 door

4 floor

NICE!  We have really had some nice weather for projects (until today).  I finished painting 9 and 10’s porches this week. We have the happiest saw horses in town.  Doesn’t this look like a smiling beaver?

happy sawhorse

I have been working on a “special” door for a few days:

special door

You’ll see why it’s special next week!  I am quite proud of it.  Speaking of proud, we are extra proud of our niece Wendy and our nephew Jake right now!!!  Wendy graduated from Western Illinois University yesterday with her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Ed (yes, I tried to talk her out of it).  Jake committed to another six years with the United States Navy this week!  Here they are:

Wendy

Jakecomp

They are both terrific people and loving parents as well:)  We love you!!!

In other news, I have a report on the Canadian Girl Guide cookies.  I’ve always thought they had just one flavor of cookie, as opposed to our 10ish varieties of Girl Scout Cookies.  I told my friend Wanda, a Girl Guide leader, that I would bring up several different types of our cookies and trade her for their hydrox-style cookie (which is very good).  She informed me that they sell a mint patty in the fall and that she’d throw in some of those.  Let me tell you, folks, this mint cookie ROCKS.  I’m not a big fan of our Thin Mint; however, this Canadian mint patty is unbelievable.  It’s more like a York Peppermint Pattie in style–there’s a layer of minty goodness inside (the white stuff in this pic):

cookie

Yummy!

I’ll close with a picture from the much-more-lovely yesterday evening in hopes that this nastiness will pass soon:)

sun thru trees

Happy Mother’s Day

May 10, 2015

to all who qualify!  We hope you got to do whatever you wanted all day!

We laid pretty low.  Today was our last day alone for many months.  Murray had the day off, so we worked at our own pace today.  I put some finishing touches on the freshly spring-cleaned cabins.  Gruper continued work on some individual cabin projects.

The weather has taken a somewhat nasty turn over the last few days:  rainy, flurry-y, colder.  The nice weather last week afforded Gruper the opportunity to bring the docks over:

docks

I’m not sure why these gulls were too good to use a perfectly fine bench?

gulls

Anyway, both sets of docks are still at the main shore station because of the weather.  While the guys wait for brighter days they can focus on getting boats put together and ready for the docks:

boats

Our newest member of the fleet was delivered yesterday:  another G3 with a 40-hp:

new boat

The trail camera Gruper placed last week revealed little in the way of wild life (the critters disappear once we arrive).  This deer was the only critter

00dc

There were indicators of pre-season work, though.  Here are the guys hauling carpet to or from Cabin 11:

00dc

Those bedrooms were due for new carpet.  Murray did a nice job and added some base as well:)

new carpet

Here’s a nice new potluck table the guys unloaded:

00dc

Here’s the hard-working Toyota helping get boats out.  It started right up as usual.  Even funnier:  remember the old while trash truck?  It has been stored out of sight for two years.  Gruper started it right up when we got here too!

00dc

We went to the “quarry” for rock today.  Gruper needed some for the driveway; I needed some for this year’s make it and take it (can you guess???).  Anyway, we were able to see the den Sandra and I found a couple of years ago:

den

Someone lives here as well:

dune hole

We haven’t seen the cool duck again (wigeon or teal).  We have lots of activity in our duck houses.  There are tons of golden eyes and mergansers floating around:

mergansers

We will continue getting ready for our 12th season.  We expect our first bodies Thursday, with more to come Friday and Saturday!  Wish us luck:)  Please stay tuned about the egg/poultry ban.  This link will give you up-to-date information:

http://northernontario.travel/sunset-country/new-restrictions-on-what-you-can-bring-into-canada

Ice? What ice?

May 2, 2015

Yep, the ice has been gone for about two days now!  The slowest place to clear on 1st Lake is the north end.  Here’s a shot from yesterday: what ice Clear as a bell!  You know what that means, don’t you?  Time to get ready to put the docks in: rampscomp I foresee dock placement on the next windless day!  Murray moves in (3rd year!!!!) this weekend and officially starts on Monday.  This would be a good opening-week job for the guys, I say! This week has been nice:  just us, beautiful weather, time to breathe.  Check out the weather stick (Paul E., this one’s for you): weather stick Freya had settled into a pretty good routine until a couple of days ago.  She was spending all night outside, then she changed her mind.  A trip around Camp revealed a set of big moose prints down near the boat ramp: moose track I’ll bet my girl saw something very big and scary–and she’s kind of a wimp–ergo the new indoor sleeping pattern.  Gruper put up a new trail cam over by the laundry facility.  Maybe we’ll get to see the critter!  Until then, this seems to be a safer place for sleeping: freya Grouse have been everywhere!  We tried to get this male to puff up but he must not have found us attractive enough: male grouse male grouse 2 We saw a super-cool duck yesterday.  We consulted our book:  it was either a wigeon or a green-winged teal.  He flew away before I could get a pic.  I hope he comes back so I can show you. Our island friends had a tough January:  Jen’s dad Ted passed away.  Jennifer spent her summers on the island on 2nd Lake when she was younger, and her parents loved it there.  At their recent Canada night dinner in Iowa–complete with blueberries and walleye–the family toasted Ted with a bottle of the coveted Black Cab: padellfords We were able to pay our respects en route to our first sports show of the season in Council Bluffs: sport showcomp We’ll see you guys again in August!  Hugs all around:) In family news, Mackayla turned 8 in January and Gavin turned 1 in March: Kay and Gavincomp Rebecca and I attended Grandparents Day in Mackayla’s 2nd grade room (we LOVE her teacher, who even let me volunteer in the classroom several times): grandparentsdaycomp I hosted our annual wild game feed one week before Canada departure.  We had corned moose, grouse tortilla soup, buffalo grouse dip, wild boar bites, northern pike ceviche, walleye balls, and blueberry stuff!  Mike and Dawn were able to join us–(Dawn is the butt-crazed pervert of a couple of years ago): wild game feed The following day, we were able to see all six “greats” together for the first time! all six greats Jack on the left turned 3 in March; Kay and Gavin; oldest nephew Danny holding Emma, 1.5; Alysha and Mya, who will turn 5 in July and June, respectively.  It was a great day of fun!  I’m sure I’ll be sharing photos along the way.

I am entertaining tonight and need to get to work.  The menu?  stuffed mushroom caps, bison/venison loaf, twice baked mashed taters, spinach salad with warm bacon dressing, funky dessert bars, and the coveted Black Cab;)