Spring on a NH lake

It’s been a slow, weird Spring in this part of New Hampshire. The mild Winter gave way to cool and wet April and May and it did not warm up. Even on our lake, south of the White Mountains, we had two snowfalls in April. On May 16 it snowed just north of here, and northern Maine got 6 inches – a record for this late in the season. Now we are getting 80-degree days!

The lakeside woods were not green until a week ago. Many migratory birds passed through in March – various duck species, a pair of bald eagles. Now the summer birds are here: a pair of loons, Canada Geese (the first with chicks), a Great Blue heron, dozens of swallows swooping over the lake surface, and all the usual suspects at and near the bird feeder – blue jays, cardinals, yellow finches, orioles, red-wing blackbirds, many sparrows and a pair of mourning doves.

We have beavers at work this year; some neighbors report trees felled. Last week we called the NH DES Dam Bureau because the water level was a foot above normal, despite a couple of rain-free weeks. They discovered that the beavers had blocked the large culvert beneath the road that crosses the lower end of the lake, and almost no water was crossing the lake dam! Now the water level is almost back to normal, and our docks are no longer submerged –  just in time for Memorial Day Weekend!

Summer weekend people are arriving, and the lake has woken up. Fishing boats, canoes and kayaks have appeared, and this weekend they will be joined by pontoon boats, jet skis and water skiers.

So we rejoice to see the trees finally leafing out, and some nice sunsets appearing. Memorial Day weekend may be the start of summer for some people, but this year for us it’s the welcome start of Spring!


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First Month

On June 2 we have been here a month. Unpacking is 90% over – the pile of boxes in the garage has less than 10 remaining. Most rooms are not only habitable but also partially decorated. There is much still to do, but our pace of doing it has slowed considerably!

DSC_0208 DSC_0198And there has been time to reflect. The most obvious joy is what Marian calls “the million-dollar view” of the lake. All the trees have now leafed out (and the oaks have broadcast their pollen!) and all is green. Fishermen are on the lake daily, and kayakers are often out in the evenings and on weekends.

The “summer people” have begun to arrive – good crowd over Memorial Day weekend, with fireworks (legal in NH) off the beach at dusk. Neighbors to one side cleaned up their yard and opened their house, but won’t stay here until their kids are out of school. Locals say some Memorial Days are warm enough to swim, but not this year as the cool end of a long winter refuses to move away. Plenty of showers and thunder this week. But I did get to cut the grass for the first time! Paul and I both kayaked, and he fished off the dock. A Heron visits our beach, as does a pair of Geese with their four babies. DSC_0195 DSC_0210 DSC_0205

As we slowly discover the local villages, we are even more delighted at the area. Pretty places, often with historical areas full of beautifully preserved 18-19th C. homes, inns, town-halls, churches. And we still have all the “modern conveniences” of big-box stores 15 minutes away in Tilton.

We have attended a small Congregational Church a few miles away, and like what we find there – pleasant, faithful and energetic people. I was asked to preach there on my third Sunday to give the Interim Pastor a break, and was well received – even if I felt a little rusty after two years away from the pulpit!

So the house, the lake, the area, the church are all big “pluses” for us. We are glad to be here, and look forward to the summer and fall (it has been a bit chilly so far!)

Settling In

It’s been a good week. Paul and I drove to Long Island, had a wonderful dinner with friends, and stayed with an always-gracious couple. Next morning we picked up a one-way rental truck, and spent 3 hours loading the last of our “stuff” – ladders, canoe and kayak, ACs, garden tools, fire-pit, and (best of all) the 16ft stairlift that allows Marian easy transport between floors. We took the ferry back and were home by 7pm, when a neighbor helped us haul the stairlift in; Paul spent the rest of the evening installing it! Next day we completed the unloading and dropped off the truck near Concord.

The rest of the week has been given to opening boxes, which is a little like Christmas after some of them have been packed for 18-24 months. Of course there are some things we still haven’t found! Marian has been decorating, and we now have a few prize pictures hung, collections displayed, and some books in the bookshelves!

Memorial Day weekend brings more people to the lake, and boats on the water:  kayaks, fishing boats, and two pontoon boats (no jet skis yet!). DSC_0190

Thunderstorms at lunchtime today gave way to a perfect afternoon with no wind and a mirror-like lake. DSC_0189

Tomorrow I preach at a local Congregational Church, whose interim pastor took only two Sunday visits to ask me to fill in for the holiday weekend so he and his wife could take a break…

We discovered a dirt back road a mile away that takes you up to a ridge facing west across the Merrimack Valley to the hills of NH, and the Green Mountains of VT 50 miles away. What a view! A glorious golden sunset over the lake completes the day! Thank you, Lord, for such beauty!