I thought Taffy had big paw prints, until we crossed the wolf tracks near Springside cottage. They were enormous. Of course, wolves do have huge feet, to help them pad across the snow, but even so, these seemed larger than strictly necessary. Luckily, the 'wolf tracks at the door' in this picture belong to the dog!
Every winter, the water level in Lake of Bays is drawn down, to allow for the snowmelt that will come pouring into the lake come spring. Like now. One of the side-effects of this is that we have a lake with hills. Which reminds me of the old joke about getting a pair of water skiis for a birthday gift and spending the whole summer looking for a lake with hills. If you look closely, just in front of Taffy you'll see a long crack in the snow. That's where the ice has broken and dropped down. Taffy is standing on ice that is resting on the beach. From the crack, the ice has sagged down looking for the water level. Thanks to the shadow from the trees on shore, you can actually see that slope. Ideal for waterskiis! Later, as the ice retreats, we'll see our original beach -- the way the bay looked before the dam at Baysville jacked the water level up five feet back in the early 1900's.
Adjusting the lake levels is a tricky business. The loudest complaints come from those who have spent a lot of money building huge docks and boathouses, who think the water should remain at an exact level for their convenience. Downstream, the complaints come from those being flooded out by spring water levels. The quietest voices, but I think the most important, come from the trout, who spawn in very selective shallows in late October, and the eggs that hatch out now, in the spring. If the water level stays high in the fall, the trout will spawn just the same, but the winter draw-down that prevents flooding will cause massive die-off by freezing the trout spawn. To avoid this, the lake levels are drawn down in the fall -- to encourage the fish to spawn in what would normally be deeper water. Levels then come back up with the autumn rains, and are gradually pulled down again in spring before the big melt. It's a tricky bit of science, and if humans get it wrong, the fish are the ones who pay the price. You can always fix the dock... you can't always fix the eco-system.
Something to keep in mind...