Cottage season is coming, fast. With increased COVID numbers and resulting restrictions, it cannot come too soon. Isolating at the lake is something we were grateful for last summer, although spending time there is always a relaxing, “unplugged” experience, regardless of what is happening around the world.
Ice on the Lake
A few weeks ago we visited Palmerston Lake to check on our cottage. We took our four year old uber-adventurous grandson with us to show him what the place looks like in winter. He was thrilled to walk on the ice and climb on the frozen pile of leaves. He was disappointed however, that the snakes and frogs were still sleeping…
This Easter weekend, less than three weeks later, we visited again to begin the annual spring cleanup. The grandson stayed home to enjoy Easter festivities, but I couldn’t help reflecting on how much he would love to see the ice breaking up.
It always amazes me how quickly the ice leaves the lake every spring. The property is now snow-free even though we had to park on the road and wade through the snow last visit. By next week the ice will be totally gone!
Spring Cottage Chores
Even though we rake up most leaves in the fall at the end of each season, there are always some that are still clinging to the trees as we are closing up. That means there are still lots to rake up in the spring too.
That’s the downside of a heavily treed lot. The advantage of course, is the natural beauty and shade these trees provide in the summer months.
We use plastic bags saved from new mattresses to collect and transport the leaves to the huge leaf pile. These bags make the chore much easier, and fold up for storage between uses. Over the season the leaves break down, providing soil amendment for garden areas.
Unfortunately, a cold north wind was blowing off the lake during this visit, much to the annoyance of my arthritic hips. I paid for that in pain on return to the city. Once the cold gets in my bones, the ache is hard to dispel.
Gypsy Moth Damage
Last year I told you about the infestation of gypsy moths at the lake. Apparently it was a record year for them in Eastern Ontario, affecting not only deciduous trees but evergreens too.
We have been praying that our trees will survive this onslaught. While the deciduous trees don’t appear to suffer long term, (their leaves return each year) the growth of the evergreens (spruce and pines) is much slower. The needles take much longer to regrow, if they do at all.
I hesitate to cut the damaged tops off these pines and spruce as that would alter the natural shape of the trees, making them bushier and rounder at the bottom. Instead we will wait to see how much regrowth they put out this season.
COVID Affecting Cottage and Campsite Rentals
Last summer Canadians stayed close to home, visiting local cottages and campgrounds more than ever before. We were no exception. With the heat wave we experienced it was a no brainer to isolate at our family cottage. While visitors outside our immediate family were not invited, we managed to get our sons’ families to join us, albeit separately.
This season promises to be even busier for cottage and campsite rentals as we head into a (possible) second summer of isolation restrictions. I’ve heard that campsites are booking up fast as families know to expect availability shortages this summer. If you haven’t already, you might want to get on it soon!
As spring weather warms us up, we relish the fact that cottage season is coming!