Mother Nature finally brings us winter
I love how Mother Nature reminds us that she is in charge.
Normally by the time the first day of winter arrives,we’ve had at least a couple weeks of winter-like weather already, at least in my neck of the woods, which is the Eastern Upper Peninsula. That certainly wasn’t the case this year in mid-December, with nothing but bits of snow here and there and fishermen still heading out in boats instead of snowmobiles and four-wheelers.
My partners and I had joined the boating crowd, too, just to say that we’d done it, and we also tried some combination snowshoe hare and grouse hunts before the snow was flying. We thought white snowshoe hares would be easy to find in a snowless forest, but we were humbled by the few hares we saw who must have known they were vulnerable and didn’t wait for us to get close enough for shots. The grouse – well, they humble us as only partridge can.
It felt a bit strange being out there in mid-December without any snow, but busting brush is sure made easier without having to fight snowdrifts, too, especially when it’s deep enough to require snowshoes, as it should be by this time of year.
Add a few weeks to the calendar, and winter has caught up – almost. We have plenty of snow now – although not nearly as much as we normally would – and the ice is coming in fast. Within days of it forming, guys were tippy-toeing out on it, and within a few days of that, they were taking out their snowmobiles and four-wheelers, too. The only guys still on shore are those who fish deep water with shacks for spearing herring.
While most southern Michigan ice fishermen are still hoping for the best, some of them are sneaking out, too. At least for now, Mother Nature is cooperating and letting ice fishermen get out to enjoy the season.
Let’s see what she brings next week.