Lake Life: The emergence

0328lake life soccer ball reappearsWEBBY LEE MILLER – GAZETTE COLUMNIST

It is always interesting to watch the snow in the final throes of melting and see what long-lost things emerge. A colorful soccer ball is growing in our backyard. Not certain how it got there, unless it blew in from Canada on one of the Big Winds. Along County 5, the grass is showing in much of the ditch. One notable exception is a 20 inch-high mound of snow sheltered from the sun by a deer hide. I’m not including that picture in this column.

West of Lake Elmo proper, just before the traffic circle, is a yard full of ornaments and decorations. The snow-person family has been embedded in drifts of snow all winter. But with the snow gone they look a bit out of place. Thank you for sharing them on our drives to and from work. We look forward to seeing them next year.

This is a time of hunger for many of the critters. The squirrels have polished off the crab apples … with a little help from a band of marauding robins. Out on Long Lake, the crows have started their annual hunt for frozen fish or other treats emerging from the ice. And a coyote occasionally makes a run up the lake. People may take little notice, though, thinking it is a dog.

Greg Hodges contributed a photo from Ft. Monroe, Va., of a snowy owl on a post. Mom was nesting on the ground, while Dad hunted. This must be the far southern end of their winter range. Though they would usually head toward the northern climes for the summer, this couple seems content to raise a family down south. I wonder if the youngsters will have the owl equivalent of a Virginia drawl?

Today, a lone goose reconnoitered the lake flying 20 feet above the ice. Likely the gray goose clan will be back by the time you read this. Enjoy the warmth … and ponder what aspect of 20 below you enjoy, and what keeps you living here.

Lee Miller lives on Long Lake in Stillwater and is a regular contributor to The Gazette.