The lake is now in full winter mode. Skiers and snowmobiles are out and about and the lake is well frozen (in most places). We also have a return of the eagle pair!Out on the lake, it is as white as it is blue in the Summer. The Sister Islands look a bit colder than in summer but they are still there.
The eagle pair is back on their nest tree although they won’t start incubating eggs for a month and a half or so. The nest tree is dead, for the most part, most likely from lightning strike. There is a gash from top to the bottom that seems the result of lightning and it started rotting along that line. The tree will probably stand for a number of more years but even if it goes, the DEC biologist who keeps track of eagles in NH says that there are plenty of other possible nest trees on Stamp Act. They can build a new home if needed. Talked with an ice fisherman who left a pickerel for them last weekend……
Other, smaller birds are also around. Near the shore, a flock of cedar waxwings was seen eating berries. As long as they can find berries, they don’t feel a real need to migrate so these guys really aren’t a sign of spring.
Walking around the lake, it is always amazing the tracks that you see. Coyote and fox often travel around but there are also other tracks that can be seen. These tracks seem to be headed toward the “little” sister islands. Often you see coyote tracks following deer. Not nice for the deer but perhaps nice for the coyote.
Most island camps and many shore camps are shut down and waiting for spring. A few camp owners come out and visit in the winter, perhaps having a beer or two in the afternoon sun or even spending the night. If you prepare for it, it is fine to go “winter camping”. The picture below has snowshoe tracks of someone at the lake.
Because there was rain before Christmas and after New Years, there are some places where the wind has blown the couple of inches of snow off. By Bass Island, some smooth ice is visible with little “snow dunes” on it. The second picture shows the ice working at the shoreline rocks but also some snow drifts that look like sand dunes on the desert. Being on the lake in the winter is always amazing for the things you see.