Saturday, April 28, 2007

Day Trip

Andy and I ventured down to Long Island Lake to check out the impact of the Famine Lake Fire. It’s hard to leave this time of year--- with the 70 degree weather calling us to do all of the spring tasks at once, but we had a day ---and we were reminded how lucky we are to take advantage of our expansive back yard.

· We HIGHLY recommend early bug-free spring trips, when the only footprints were ours----and those of the wolves, moose, and deer.
· Denali finally became an expert at canoe etiquette for Labradors---as long as we put her in the bow of the boat.
· We were scouring the bogs for moose on Rib Lake and saw bounding deer instead---don’t know how long that will surprise us, but definitely didn't feel "normal".
· The south shore of Long Island was touched in just a few places---one badly burned point, one brown island as we entered the lake. All of the favorite campsites are the same---some views have changed slightly. (The photo was taken from the island site on the far east end of Long Island—note the eagle in the top right corner of the photo). We both felt confident after the day trip that folks won’t be disappointed---and needn’t avoid that route because of the brief September fire.
· The Loons are back in full force. The waterfoul were active, the birds seem to sing especially boisterously this time of year. It's great to be alive in the north woods!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Ice Out!

The last of the ice on Round Lake sunk in the rain yesterday. The weather has been sunny--+60 degrees. The locals say, no matter what the winter is like, ice out depends on the amount of sunshine we get in April. Apparently one week of warm sunshine goes a very long way!!!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Ice Out on the Moose Pond

The kids and I ride out to the mailbox each morning at 6:30am and wait for the school bus. In some ways, the ride marks the passing of the seasons of the school year. The sunny spring mornings are by far the most ripe with possibility and cheeriness.
This morning we saw a mangy moose as we were pulling out of our driveway. If she is also pregnant, we sure hope she makes it. Her fur looked so patchy and unhealthy and she seemed to0 tired to move out of the way. We sat in the truck and stared at her as she looked down on us. “Geez Mom, she’s bigger than the Jeep.”
Then we saw a wolf who also wasn’t alarmed by us. Not skittish—because we are right in the middle of his territory? (I saw that wolf later closer to where the moose has been lingering….but can’t imagine that he’d take on that car-sized animal alone.)
On the next curve we saw that the moose pond completely thawed. There is nothing more calming than still waters. What a day!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Red Squirrel

Last month we were visiting when we saw a “city squirrel” and Andy said; “What was that? I think I just saw a possom."

We’re used to the little agile chattery guys that we fatten up at the bird feeder. Denali stalks this guy on tiptoe until her eyes are at feeder level. Then she tries to sneak her foot up on the railing, and he scampers to the tree and scolds her. She backs off and they start over.
Full grown, the average red squirrel is only 8 inches long, with an additional 5 inches of tail. As spring turns to summer, he will loose some of his bright orange color and his ear tufts.
We think he looks as if he may be evolving before our very eyes—developing opposable thumbs to hold his sunflower seeds.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Return of February

We’re having such beautiful sunny February weather--zero degree mornings, sunny 32 degree afternoons. Bright sparkle days---we say this because it keeps us cheery about the winter days EVEN THOUGH IT IS APRIL 10TH!!! The lake has frozen solid again-so the kids can’t go poking logs through the otter holes as they were 2 weeks ago. We got almost a foot of snow---and we’re glad for the lingering moisture. We’re also madly filling up the bird feeder for all of the little guys that accidentally came our way during the beautiful May days that we were having in March.

Today our favorite UPS driver, Bill is bringing 60 cases of dehydrated food, and we’re getting ready for your first staff members due to arrive in a couple of weeks. We have shiny new canoes and we’re ready for fishing opener!!! Just a couple of 60 degree days away. Here’s hoping for April tomorrow!