Lake Life: Wishing you a merry white Christmas

White-out conditions across Long Lake. (Photo by Lee Miller)

White-out conditions across Long Lake. (Photo by Lee Miller)

BY LEE MILLER – GAZETTE COLUMNIST

We now have about 8 inches of snow on the ground. It sort of crept up on us. Out on Long Lake, cross country skies and snowshoes have replaced ice skates. Monday’s snow was brief but intense, and we could hardly see across the lake or the circle. Winter appears to be here for the duration.

The Old Farmers Almanac, printed continuously since George Washington was President, predicts a cold and snowy winter: “Sweaters and snow shovels should be unpacked early and kept close by throughout the season. The good news is that the extra precipitation — which will fall as rain or snow depending where you are — will help with any drought issues left over from the summer.”

Out back, the wood duck boxes are developing a white cap, and a squirrel occasionally sneaks in and out. But I imagine the hollows in the oak trees provide much warmer winter nests. The squirrels make several daily jogs across the lawn to the crab apple tree, and a deep path is developing. They often stop midway to peek above the path and watch for other critters. At times there are three squirrels enjoying dried apples. What do you suppose they taste like?

The grandkids discovered a fun string of lights for sale at the big box store in Oak Park Heights. They are 40 feet of the old style mini lights, rather than the cold-colored LEDs. And they have a little control box that will display many different lighting sequences. Depending on the setting, it can gradually light the red, blue and green bulbs separately; make the bulbs flash like a neon sign; or remain lit. One setting will even run through all the dozen or so variations. Kind of fun to sneak out and push the control button and see what happens.

Someone has found multiple uses for fall decorations. The pumpkin scarecrow is now Old Saint Pumpkin. Stay warm and celebrate Christmas with friends and family.

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