It seems like just yesterday it was summer. Since we have had such a mild fall I guess I just didn’t see the reality of winter’s arrival. Here it is December 1st and time to look back and marvel at all the wonderful things that happened during the second half of the year.

The early summer provided a great deal of activity on the lake. We had new families of Canada Geese and several duck families. With lots of rain the lake level was extremely high and we feared that the loons, who nest at the water’s edge, would have their nests washed away. Susan, one of my favorite frequent returning guests loves loons and really early morning kayak paddles. One early June morning she came across a loon nest with an egg! What a treat. It is so important not to disturb the nesting mom since she will abandon the nest. Susan carefully and quietly took the picture with a telephoto lens and then slipped silently away.

Our eagle’s nest that I thought was barren this year – well not so. The baby would have hatched in May or June. It was pretty quiet as far as eagle hatchlings go so I was not completely convinced that we had a little one. In August, Pam, our guest from Pennsylvania, took an outstanding picture of this year’s baby eagle. My friend and neighbor Fred captured a wonderful picture of one the parents soaring high.

In the middle of June we had our annual turtle nesting watch. What fun it is to see the snapping and painted turtles come up on the shore to dig their nests. Each snapping turtle lays about 20 – 30 ping-pong ball sized eggs over the course of an hour or so.

While we are careful not to disturb them, they don’t seem bothered by on-lookers. Normally the eggs hatch in the fall after an incubation of 2 to 3 months. If the eggs are laid late in the season, they may not hatch until the following spring. The incubation temperature of the eggs determines the sex of the hatchlings. Males result if the eggs are maintained within the temperature range of 72 to 82 degrees F. Snapping turtle eggs produce more females at incubation temperatures outside of this range.

By the end of September we had pretty much decided there would be not hatchling this year. BUT – fast forward to mid-October and our guests Haley and Cameron. They came to breakfast and announced there were baby turtles down by the boat dock. Well here at the Inn – wildlife sightings trump breakfast every time. So off we went. The kids were right. We decided to bring one inside for a photo op. So here are Haley, Cameron and Snappy!

Fred did a wonderful job of capturing our mid-summer wildlife. No, this is not a real bobcat. Fred is a Pixiebob breeder and has a new litter ready for adoption. you can learn more here.

The fall came and hasn’t actually left yet. We had wonderful guests who came to see the beautiful leaf show that graced Maine. A fall paddle is just the thing to get a close up view. Nick pictured here and his wife Judy (paddling in another canoe) came from Milwaukee for a great fall visit.

So now we prepare for winter. The dock and float are in and the lake is getting quiet. It is still a beautiful view from my window. It’s never boring here at the lake.