The Adventures of The Roving Route #31
Thank you all for the warm welcome back. It will definitely keep us going as we get into this crazy cold adventure! We love all the questions and the funny stories so keep your emails coming! Like all that have spent time at Lake of the Woods (LOTW) know, this place is sometimes hard to describe or put pen to paper, so we hope the stories and photos we share do it justice. Before we go fully into everything, let's talk about our experiences so far in each of the seasons and why we are so excited to go into this winter.
Spring is a really special time at the lake as, like most places, it is the season of new life for both plants and animals. With its 14,000 islands, LOTW offers plenty of space to thrive. For us, this means we are lucky enough to have animals mate and give birth in our bay. This year we had 4 new fawns, 4 new ducklings, and a baby loon... that we know of. Our neighbours even had a doe give birth in front of their porch just last year!
One of the most unique birthing rituals around here is the smallmouth bass. Each spring, the female bass uses its tail to push rocks into a central area to lay her eggs. This causes an outer ring of disturbed lakebed which looks like a tracker tire. She will stay there and not leave for about a month offering some amazing viewing opportunities. From our front porch, we can usually see 4 or 5 tracker tires and often each female standing guard. Just ignore the actual tire in the photo ahahaha, a nest is just left of it.
As spring moves to summer and the summer residents return, we lose track of most except for the very friendly deer who like to hang around. Many people have some sort of vision of "cottage country"; the idea of a place for water and outdoor fun. We believe LOTW fits the stereotypical image perfectly. Summer days are full of watersports, gorgeous sunsets, and family adventures. You could even say that Kid Rock made a sub-par song about them!
While the animals seem to fade away during the summer, they come back in full swing during the fall. From the minks to the raccoons, every day is a new animal sighting. For the last few years, a large black bear has seemed to make its rounds of our area. Attempting to beef up for its winter hibernation, we saw the large bear a half dozen times this year including several close encounters when walking around the properties! Luckily black bears are nothing like their grizzly cousins (which we do not have) and are much less dangerous.
Each fall day also brings more changes to the leaves, blanketing the horizon with a kaleidoscope of reds, yellows, and oranges. Even vines that like to hide and slowly strangle the largest of trees want to be seen! The change in colours also marks the somewhat confusing change in the weather. The first snowfall in mid-October turned this place into an absolute winter wonderland! With half a foot of new snow, we figured it would be irresponsible to not let our inner child out and make a couple of snow people and their trusty snowdog! Can you tell which one is made of snow?!
It is very interesting to take a second and look back on your past few Halloweens. We went from one of the largest street parties in the world on Church Street to the ever unique Freemont Street, to finally, complete isolation in Kenora. As we all had to celebrate a little differently this year, we know it will be one we remember forever.
In Winnipeg, there is a common joke about buying your Halloween costume a few sizes too large in order to fit a snowsuit underneath. This year you sure needed that extra space as a fierce snow and wind storm hit us. With 90KM/hour gusts of wind, ocean-sized swells, Covid, and well the fact we are on an island, meant we, unfortunately, didn’t have any trick or treaters this year but we were prepared just in case!
November's weather was even crazier than October's. We had a day with temperatures as high as 17°C at 4 pm with it dropping to -6°C exactly 24 hours later. The last few days of prepping for isolation were a whirlwind of changes in clothing attire.
We have only dabbled a little bit in winters at LOTW, but once we got here and the fire was on, days were filled with snowmobiling, ice fishing, or quinzhee making. Derek spent a few winter days here during his childhood and we both came up for a February Reading Week during University. Other than our winter in Whistler, Jacki has never spent a Canadian winter outside of southern Ontario so she looks forward to experiencing more of what this area has to offer! While we know our winter days won't always look like this, the adventures that we will have along the way are worth it. If anyone has any fun stories from the fall or winter in LOTW we would love to hear them. You can send us a message on Instagram, our website, or just by email (email@example.com). One of the most popular topics people have been asking about revolves around how we prepared for our weeks of isolation so stay tuned for our next newsletter to find out more! If you know of anyone who wants to share in our journey they can:
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Cheers from Lake of the Woods, The Roving Route