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Along the Lakeshore: Dec. 18

Cold weather, heated walkways, fighter planes

The weather has settled in to be a bit more seasonable. Dave Eichorn says November was 2 degrees cooler than the normal November average, which translates into approximately 140 inches of snow for the winter. Our normal average is close to 120 inches. Weather forecasting is always a matter of averages. You can say it’s going to be the same tomorrow as it is today and you have a 60 percent probability that this will happen. Even with all the computers and the guys on television, the results are not strikingly higher than the aforementioned method.

I mentioned last week that the keepers of the lake level realized that groundwater was oozing out of every pore and the lake was refilling without a lot of rain. They have run the creek bank full over 14 days and the results are notable, using my hoist dock as a reference point. If they keep up the good work, maybe the lake will be down to 860 feet by New Year’s Day.

The group of six pairs of buffleheads has settled into Bentley Cove. The fishing must be good, as they’re very active up and down. They’ve been here about two weeks and will probably hang out until March if the weather remains as it has the last three winters. If we have a big freeze, they will move on to a larger and deeper lake where freeze-overs are less likely.

Mr. Lemon is enjoying the cold weather by hanging out on his living room cushion which is close to the pilot light on the gas-fired fireplace. This small little fire keeps that corner of the glass warm and he feels the radiation. On Dec. 2, we erected my plastic building for the Gem Car winter storage and installed the heated walkway mats. As soon as we turned on the switch, Mr. Lemon stretched out low to the ground, getting his underside warmed up. The mats work well and dry out the walk as well as melting snow and ice. A little juice from National Grid costs a lot less than treating a broken bone or two from a “slipperoo” on the steep walk. It also saves snow removal in a tight spot with not much room to toss the snow.

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