Black's Cliff Resort's Birch Bark Blog

The projects, chores, and life of a family-owned, Northern Wisconsin resort.

uncle dave boat painting


What should be happening at the resort right now..  Getting ready for summer.  Boat painting… raking.. working outside.

This pic is from the 50′s showing my grandfather Maynard and Uncle Dave painting boats.  I am not sure who the 2 people are on the left side of the pic.  Uncle Dave is there so it is probably a girl watching him work.  Looks like Shamrock is in the back ground out by the dumpster area before it was moved to where it is today



Instead this is what is going on…. lots of ice and 8 – 10 inches of snow predicted over night.  No boat painting….



Lots of remodeling going on.  Restawhile cleaned up with it’s new floor.  What would Maynard say about this.  Probably that the floor was to expensive and not bought on clearence… or is that what Craig is going to say when he comes home from Arizona.



Little bit of shopping going on.  Steve found this neat lamp at Gas Light Square for a good price and it replaces…



Ugly lamps at Bear Den.  These have been on my list for awhile now looking for the right lamp to replace.  Anyone wants these beauties see St Matthias Thrift store.

Latest things on the guys list, repairing Red Pine’s woodwork in the bathrooms and new counter in Holiday has arrived for the one that got water damaged last year.  The list goes on and on….

Uncle Dave pictures_Page_01


More of what should be going on but is not…  Uncle Dave sliding across the waters of Lower Kaubshine in a much warmer spring gone by. Is that a girl I see on the dock watching Dave ski?


Think your Monday is bad with the weather, try being Cliff today.  He is knocked over by it



Definitely not a day to be sitting on Lower Kaubashine waiting for the ice to go out




Mack’s Comment for the day “You said spring is here what the ____ happened?”



We do have one visitor at the moment.  The Pileated Wood Pecker has been happily munching down our suet

Even the maple trees know better and have shut off the taps for a few days



Temps soaring to almost 60 have got Cliff taking a big tilt in his chair.



The lake shore is finally showing signs of water.



We still though still have plenty of snow around the resort, and someone I know likes to play king of the mountain



Mack makes sitting on a snow bank so regal



Road to Eagles Nest still full of snow.  I have to remember to quite thinking the maple trees over there are the best.  Trudging through this snow has not been my favorite to check the taps.  The trees over by Eagles Nest have been very slow to wake up



Mack found these remains in the snow.  I am thinking an owl had dinner here last night



Our big sap container is out.  We store the sap in this container as we collect it.  We are still in slow cook mode, just cooking on our woodstove in the house.  When things really get going we get the outside fire and the evaporation pan going.  I like the more relaxed mode. The sap has to stay cool or it starts to ferment.  We learned that the hard way a few years ago.  Usually the snowbanks last til the end of the sapping season



Walking around the driveway is a muddy endeavor at the moment



The deer cooperated again this morning on the way to school.  They were coming off the lake a group of atleast 4.  I caught just this one straggler who waited and posed for me



Appreciate the deer for waiting before taking off so the deer paparazzi could snap some pics


Spring is springing.  The raft is slowly emerging from hibernation, Cliff got a rope tied to him for when he plunges, maple trees are dripping and ground is being spotted



The lake has a long way to go but it is showing signs of melting



Not rolling the boats in anytime soon but at least they are not covered in snow any longer


It has taken a long time for the maple trees to wake up but they are slowly starting to drip.



In the meantime while we wait for the snow to disappear for taking and painting, I played around with the sock maker and got some smaller socks made.  Not quite sure how to size them so they are just coming out all different sizes and colors.  I will have a basket of them for sale in the Looney Bin.  Just don’t ask me what size they are.  Best to bring a small pair of feet along and try them on




Big congrats to Emilie and Phillip who got engaged this weekend on their first trip to the resort staying in Birchwood.  Congrats to you both and for many more memorable trips to the resort through your life together

Just before they arrived Bill and Anne Scully were up enjoying their 30th wedding anniversary in Birchwood where they spent their honeymoon many years ago.  I remember learning about short sheeting beds from my mom before Bill and Anne arrived.  I am not sure they noticed.

Congrats to both couples!  Birchwood works its magic




This is how we go biking in Minocqua right now.  Winter is slowly loosening its grip but for Katie’s husband Bryon it is not fast enough and he is making his own snow biking trails.  Hats off to Bryon for enjoying this spring even if it is slow in coming



This is the picture of the morning.  After a harrowing trip to town, on terrible roads, in the F 250 to get Ben and Grant to school this was the best pic of the morning.   We have already had 5 snow days and come hell or Winter Storm warnings they were having school today.  No snow days left.  I was just happy to have a 4 wheel vehicle, as Lower Kaubashine was not plowed.

Mack needed to be dusted off before coming in the house this morning.  You  know it is snowing hard when you have to get the duster out on the dog.  Mack is not a fan of being dusted off



The winter has been hard on the deer.  This one seemed tired and in no hurry to move out of the way of my car.  I had to honk to get it to move.  They are looking a little rough and ready for fresh greens this spring



Grant snapped these pics out our car window this morning.  Deer find using the lake as a highway is easier than going through the deeper woods





The guys have been busy at Restawhile ripping out carpets and spiffing things up



Bedroom doors getting some TLC



Fresh coat of varnish in the bedrooms.



After much debate the few flooring for Restawhile was picked out.  Steve is happier with the quality of the flooring.  It is more like what we put in Shamrock and of course he got a good deal on it.  Anyone want to know about lament flooring and prices talk to Steve, he has been getting quite an education on installation, quality and price.




The Northwoods is slowly waking up to spring.  The snow is still deep in the woods, but not as deep as it was.  Hopefully with warmer temps today and later in the week we start to see some brown ground.  Of course tomorrow we have temps below freezing and possibilities of snow a few times this week



The maple trees have been very slow to wake up and start dripping.  Even with temps in the 40′s Sat and Sunday they barely ran.  The theory is the snow cover is too thick yet and it is keeping the ground temp to cold for the sap to run.  Hopefully they get going today

At one point this winter the bird bath was completely covered in snow.  This shows how much melting we have had



This pic is for Ted showing the bear in the front yard coming out of hibernation.  I am still not venturing out through the wet snow to get a closer pic.  I did get Ted a present for his porch this weekend.  He will have to wait to see….  Paper reading will be very relaxing on the porch this summer



Picnics are still a long way off



Sitting in the cedar swing is also just a dream at the moment



Steps to the beach are ice covered and hard to negotiate.  Summer still seems a distant dream



Cliff hanging on the ice.  Atleast there has been some melting and he is not knee deep in snow any longer



In the meantime the selection of fingerless gloves, grows and grows



If I still liked snow I could show you beautiful snow pics of the snow that came down last night.  Heavy and thick on the trees.  I could show you those pics, and if it was November, December, January or even February, I would, but it is March.  It is not just March it is the end of March…



Instead I prefer to look at cute dog pictures than at snow.  Sampson is much nicer to look at than snow.  He is Jake’s girlfriend Michelle’s dog.  Why do I post pics of Sampson and mention Jake and Michelle.  That would be because they shared their snowshoeing pics with me before the snow came and Sampson’s picture came with him and he is cute



Jake and Michelle ran into these crazy ice formations on the stumps in the woods.  They looked like ice mushrooms on top of the stumps







Thanks to Jake and Michelle for sharing pics with me of melting snow… not new snow.




With the “new” snow on the ground Steve and his box of tools were off to Bayview to see what he could do with the bedrooms doors.  Will Bayview’s bedroom door finally close and stay closed all night?  What will happen to Restawhile on Monday… stay tuned




Just in case you needed some new snow….




This is all you are getting.  No more new snow pictures til October

Thanks to Michelle, Jake and Sampson for sharing their mushroom pics.  Time to go back to school and finish out freshman year.  They have made it through Freshman Studies at Lawrence and are on to bigger and better things.