Ice Out = Nice Out

Today’s post is a press release from the office of Congressman Loomis Beechly, representing Minnesota’s 9th District – all the water surface area in the state.

Today, Minnesota Congressman Loomis Beechly, ?-MN, congratulated all Minnesota lakes and lake-area-residents on achieving a remarkably early ice-out status for 2015.

“Our ice-out performance this year is a huge improvement over the previous two years, when it seemed like the dang ice hung around pretty much forever,” Beechly said in a prepared statement.  “We were still worried about icebergs on the Fourth of July in 2014, so this year we’re all completely delighted that every Minnesota lake is ready for warm weather activities to begin almost a full week before April 1st!”

Beechly’s announcement is a key part of a larger marketing strategy launched by the Congressman with the aim of unifying what has been a haphazard tradition of uncoordinated ice outs happening across the state.

“In the past, every local official and municipal hoo-hah has had some say in when a particular town or village declares that the local lake has achieved ice-out,” Beechly explained.  “For some, it’s when an old junker they towed out there in January finally falls through the crust.  For others, it’s when you can see mostly water out there.  But for the most stubborn ones, every last bit of ice has to be gone before they’ll declare it.”

Beechly says this approach means the state sends a mixed marketing message to the rest of the world.

“In early June, a visitor from Texas consulting the DNR’s statewide ice-out map cannot be sure which kind of skis to bring to a Minnesota lake. By declaring ice-out statewide right now, I’m using the authority of my office to jump past the chaos being written into our story by well-meaning people who happen to have different feelings about the desirability of ice.”

In response to critics who complain that the Congressman is being “bullheaded” and “willfully ignorant” regarding actual environmental conditions outside his office, Mr. Beechly said “I accept the compliments and I’m grateful that people have noticed. It’s true, I’ve learned a lot by being a member of the House of Representatives.”

When does Spring begin for you?

44 thoughts on “Ice Out = Nice Out”

  1. It begins when you can see “green haze” – when a distant view puts all the tiny chartreuse buds together to create a green cast while each tree still looks pretty brown. It’s my favorite time of year, when all the good weather is ahead of us and there’s so much promise.

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    1. That’s just how I always describe it Linda. The lace work of the brown branches of bushes and trees covered in a mist of gossamer green silk is magical. My favorite time of year too, and the real beginning of spring for me.

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  2. Spring begins today for me. We have a gorgeous day developing, with sunshine and temperatures predicted for the 70s. After a harrowing trip, lbj is in Portland, staying at a home not far from my daughter’s bungalow. We will do what we can to make this day a good one for her. Having someone to show a good time feels like a gift.

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    1. You stole my thunder, Steve. 🙂 I was also going to say today.

      I’m just back from a delicious breakfast (the food on the train left a lot to be desired and theres only so many protein bars i can eat) and am regrouping before a short walk, then a day with Steve and Molly. The trip wasn’t all bad; the sights were beautiful.

      There are spring flowers blooming here and im jealous of my the huge rosemary plant my airbnb host has in her boulevard garden.

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      1. I’m glad to hear of others using airbnb. I have used it twice and have had good results. When I mentioned it to my daughter-in-law, she said. “I would NEVER stay at a stranger’s house or have a STRANGER stay in mine”. (maybe that’s why I’m not exactly welcome to stay with them.)
        Chacun a son goût. She had been traveling a lot for work and did put it in that context – when she was done with her day she just wanted a private place to crash.

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      2. Okay, I lied. My host does not have a huge rosemary plant. When I walked to Mt tabor park, I saw one that was taller than me. The one at this house is closer to knee height

        Lisa, it’s my first time using airbnb and I like it so far. I’ll use it again when I get to Seattle.

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        1. We stayed in an airbnb in Chicago a couple of nights last fall and had absolutely wonderful hosts. Learned about airbnbs from Jacque, and would definitely recommend them as an alternative to motels. Of course, do your homework before booking.

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  3. In the modern Neopagan ritual year, spring begins on February 1 with Imbolc–obviously, said ritual year was concocted by Brits, not Midwesterners, and some of the suggestions you see for ritual activities are downright hilarious in these climes. That means the astronomical beginning of spring, the Vernal Equinox, could be thought of as “Mid-spring”, just like the Solstices are Midsummer and Midwinter. My personal spring used to begin when buds showed up on the trees, but now that I have a garden plot, it’ll be when the soil is thawed enough to start digging…again.

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  4. I tend to look for little signs of spring. Spotting the first robin, the fuzzy buds on the magnolia tree, the slight yellowing of the forsythia bush. Snowdrops, eranthis and crocuses are among the early harbingers of spring – hardy little blooms that defiantly poke their heads up through barely thawed ground.

    Having lived in Minnesota since 1972, my spring illusions have been dashed so many times that I tend to not feel secure that we’re not going to get another snowstorm until July.

    My annual rite of spring is switching from shoes to sandals. Once that happens there’s no going back, and this year, that could happen very soon.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. What a timely post, as we had three inches of fluffy snow last night! Out here, spring is heralded by snow storms and stockman’s warnings to protect calves and lambs. The tulips under the bay window are a couple of inches tall. We are to have high’s in the 60’s Saturday. Who knows what the weather will be next week? Geese and robins are back. I guess it is Spring. We worry about the trees, though, when the buds start swelling after a warm spell in February, followed by a real cold snap.

    The most unmissable reminder of Spring in town occurs when the wind comes from the south east, wafting the pungent odors of the newly thawed sewage lagoon all over the city.;

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      1. Yes. It was really bad the time somebody in town dumped hundreds of gallons of antifreeze down the drain, and nothing in the lagoon would decompose as it is supposed to, since the antifreeze floated at the top of the lagoon, keeping oxygen from aiding with the decomposition of the the contents below. I understand we are to have an indoor lagoon in the next couple of months.

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      1. When I was in college at Concordia in 1976, American Crystal accidently released rotting sugar beet detrius into the river. All the tap water was smelly for about a week.

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  6. First load of laundry out (done).

    Rhubarb emerges (yup).

    It’s here. That is my story and I am sticking to it.

    Steve-I did have to turn my furnace back on, house got below 50- sigh.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. It is odd being in a genial climate. When I was a Midwesterner two symbols of spring were the blooming of cherry trees and the appearance of daffodils. Both happened here two weeks ago, giving us weather in March that a Minnesotan hopes to get by May.

    mig–my apartment furnace has not turned on since some time in January. That’s the good news. The bad news is that this is partly due to climate change. After two years of winters that seemed intent on killing me, I’m a mellow dude who is grateful not to be fighting that old fight.

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  8. Good morning. There are some very early signs of spring including the matting calls of some kinds of birds. Also, an early thaw can create the impression that spring has arrived. For me, spring is finally here when I see the first crocus in bloom and robins are roaming around searching for worms and collecting nesting materials.

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  9. I agree with Lisa and PJ — that chartreuse green haze that you only see in early spring — that’s the ticket. It’s so nice having longer days and having more sun. That alone makes me feel a sunnier disposition.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Spring begins for me on the first day I open the lakeside door to free my winter-logged kitties. They know it’s time somehow, darting from window to window and behaving restlessly. Generally, 50 degrees is their launch date, but I’ll never figure out how they know it’s that temp!

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    1. OT: Testing a new avatar after getting my very first pair of glasses. They’re bifocals and I’ve tripped when going down any stairs many times already from looking down through the up close lower part of them!

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  11. Morning all. I’m from a warmer part of the country that has a prolonged and lovely spring, so I don’t really think much about spring here. Seems like it’s winter one day and summer the next. I guess for me the first day of spring is the first day I can wear my zorries (flipflops) without my feet turning blue – which means we hit spring a couple of weeks ago!

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  12. OT There are plans to create a community produce garden in Portland. The problem is that this ground is overgrown with thick tangles of blackberry brambles. Not to worry. Goats happily eat stuff that humans don’t want to touch, even with gloves on. A squad of 17 goats is cheerfully clearing this land.

    Liked by 6 people

        1. I think it would be fun to be on the goat audition panel…

          A.d now I have a goat rendition of “I Hope I Get It” from Chorus Line in my head…..

          “Who am I anyway, am I my bale of hay? That is a picture of a Capra I don’t know…”

          My project for the evening is set.

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    1. Hi–

      Saw Killdeer two days ago and heard them calling that afternoon. So there’s one sign. Red Wing Blackbirds are another.
      Saw Turkey Vultures in Indiana on my drive and wondered if they were coming or going…
      That green haze… it is wonderful.
      I get all ‘goose-bumpy’ when the first planted oats field gets a green haze on it.

      Liked by 4 people

  13. The S/S John G. Munson loaded up taconite pellets and should be locking down to the lower lakes in a day or two. First cargo of the season is always a sign of spring for a Duluthian.

    Liked by 5 people

  14. Thanks! Yep, been a good day: started the day at Hillside Hide-away in Lanesboro, then headed to Winona for a visit with friends there.

    There are so many false springs, but I do love the Green Haze. Another way I know it’s really here is, as others have mentioned, birds. The herons and egrets return around mid-April. And when I hear the white throated sparrows on their migration through here to farther north, I feel more confident.

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