Hello Clam Lake! (At Home Edition)
After last weekend’s warm weather it got a bit on the chilly side as the week went on. Friday was brisk with a light skiff (very light) of snow to be found here and there and so the rest of the weekend went. It was COLD. This time of year the weather seems to be all over the place. At least the last of the winter snow banks seem to be gone. Amen!
THE WEST FORK WATERWAY ASSOCIATION held their annual Board of Directors meeting via teleconference, due to Covid-19 concerns, on Saturday, May 9th. The West Fork Waterway Association is a not for profit organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of the historic West Fork Waterway which runs from Day Lake Dam to the Highway 77 Dam in downtown Clam Lake. The West Fork Association assists the Township of Gordon in the funding expenses related to the maintenance of the Highway 77 Dam. Through their efforts this historic waterway will be preserved for future generations. If interested in becoming part of the Association or want more info visit www.clamlakewi.com/wfwa. The West Fork Waterway Association is a 501(c)(3) organization so all dues or contributions are tax deductible. The Annual Membership Meeting will be held in June, again, via teleconfernce.
POSTPONED: The officers of the Clam Lake Community Club have decided to postpone Clam Lake’s 4th of July fireworks until a later date due to Covid-19 concerns. This is to ensure the community’s safety. I will keep you updated.
REMINDER: Non essential travel is not recommended at this time with seasonal home owners asked not to return during our lockdown. Thank you to all for keeping our community safe!
TICKS: I’ve heard several accounts of people getting ticks when out and about. They always seem to be one of the first biting insects to make their appearance. Remember to check yourself and your pets for these carriers of disease.
DUCKS AND SWANS: Different varieties of ducks have been spotted on the lakes. Some are normally found in Wisconsin, others not. One unique sighting was of a Common Golden Eye on Lower Clam. These birds often stop for a quick visit/rest before heading to Canada to nest. My swans are in “high trumpet” this spring. I have had to call out to them to pipe down as the evening gets late. Lights out guys!
SPRING FROG REPORT – LOVE IN THE POND: Driving down Clam Lake Road one goes past Beimdicke Pond and is greeted with a chorus of male frogs singing their little hearts out hoping to attract that special someone. Since Jan Sharp knows of these creatures I asked her whom we were listening to. Top on the list (and the loudest!) is the boreal chorus frog whose sound is like someone scraping their fingernails on a comb. These tiny frogs have a unique feature – they are able to freeze solid in the winter without harm. Next come the wood frogs who sound like ducks quacking. And, of course, we have the spring peepers whom are just starting on their joyous love calls. All in all quite a symphony and a sure sign of spring! Good luck with the ladies gentlemen!
PILEATED WOODPECKER UPDATE: Over at the Clam Lake Cemetery Brian Eder noticed a tree that looked as if it had been gone over with a drill. Holes of various sizes went around in a spiral rotation. Wood shavings littered the ground below. Jill Markee, Brian’s sister, sent me photos wondering what it might be. I immediately contacted Diz (local man of the woods) and Jan Sharp (local birder) to discover who and why. They both concluded this was the work of a pileated woodpecker whom had had a feast of ants and grubs. Contrary to popular belief, the woodpecker did not kill the tree. Upon inspection, one notices that the top of the tree is broken off leaving it’s heartwood doomed to rot. Over time, the tree became a perfect habitat for carpenter ants whom promptly moved in.As the tree rotted internally it began providing a wonderful feeding area for a woodpecker. By the time the woodpecker happened upon it this tree had been dead for several years. The larger holes show the soft rotted heartwood inside. What an interesting sight to see! (As a side note – the tree has since been taken down.)
Until next week…..thank you to all that are staying home, staying safe and may we all stay healthy!! We can do this together!!
Pictured is the work of the pileated woodpecker at the Clam Lake Cemetery. Photo courtesy of Jan Sharp.