Monday 6 comments

The Big Mushroom

Yesterday while out walking in the Bird Sanctuary, we saw a couple of Giant Puffball mushrooms growing along the side of the road.  We debated whether we should pick one or not.  I took a good look at them and didn’t like the bug holes in the bigger one.  When we got back to the cabin, I looked them up in my mushroom book and saw that they’re another choice edible mushroom, with no poisonous look alike.  So I’m thinking, we should’ve picked one of them. 

Later in the afternoon Jim was mowing the grass and lo and behold, there was a perfect puffball growing right across the road from us.  He picked it, I examined it and we determined we’d have some of it with our supper.  P8290001
This is a medium to small one….around 7” or so across.
P8290002 I sliced it up, trimmed off the outer edge and pan fried it in a little butter.  This was the freshest, tastiest mushroom I’ve ever had.  It smelled like the button mushrooms you buy in the store, but tasted 100 times better.  We’re having the other half tonight and will keep our eyes open for more.  These are seriously good mushrooms!
Sunday 6 comments

Pond Stars

Over the last week, we’ve been on all the regular dirt roads and have seen a deer here and there, but that’s about all.  The main wildlife action is right out our front window.  All that water out there has been very inviting for many birds and ducks.  There’s one duck that  hangs around and I’ve yet to identify it, but it seems to get along okay with the beaver.

P1080014 This morning I saw a great blue heron out on the little island.  I grabbed my camera, went outside, zoomed in all the way and got this picture.  Man, they really have great eyesight.  I tried to get closer and like always, I scared it away.  But I did get it’s picture and when I was editing it, I noticed another bird in the background.  I have no idea what it is.
P1080030 Yesterday, to my surprise a pair of swans landed on the pond.  There’s no way of knowing if they’re the same two that were here this spring.  It doesn’t matter, it’s just nice to see them stop by.

This morning while I was watching the beaver and the mystery duck, I noticed a kingfisher perched on his favorite fishing spot.  I’m always trying to get a good picture of one of them (and I’ll keep trying).  I caught this one just before he slammed into the water to catch a minnow or something.

And finally…I love all the cool spider webs that appear at this time of the year.  P1080026

So there you have last week’s wildlife moments from around the pond.


Row, Row, Row Your Boat

The last time the pond was as high as it is now was in 2000.  Back then if Jim was going to use his hunting stand behind the cabin, he had to row, row, row to get out there.  The other day, he decided it was time to get the little boat and oars out again.  So he fires up the ATV, ties the boat rope onto it and drags it down to the pond.   Unconventional?  Nah, anything goes around here.

boat launching

Good old Barney and the other 2 beavers have continued working overtime and are doing a good job of keeping the water on their side of the dam.  We had lots of rain again last week and now it’s impossible for Jim to walk along the side of the pond without the water going over his boots.    Here he is on his 2010 maiden voyage to the other side of the pond.P8200008

Here’s a picture I took the day after the big rain.  Usually at this time of the year, the Moose River is so low, you can walk across the rocks and the flow is only on the left side.  Moose River-2The water is still high, but nothing like this.  Anyone got a kayak?



Yesterday we took our morning walk in the Bird Sanctuary.  This is a really cool place.   It’s a 4000 acre wildlife area with lots of hiking trails, birds and wildlife.  This is the same place where we had the badger encounter earlier this summer.Wildflowers in the bird sanctuary.We were driving back home and there on the edge of the road I could see a badger sticking it’s head out of a hole.  Like always, Jim stopped and backed up so I could get a picture.  I was so glad it was on my side of the road.  This time I had the security of the truck, so there was no danger, no hissing or snarling.  
badger in bird sanctuary

I’m starting to notice lots of changes around here.  The hummingbirds are  still here, but most of the pretty summer birds have moved on.  More of the winter birds are coming to the feeders now.   There’s still a goose family hanging around the pond and a couple ducks with them.    The beavers are repairing the old lodge which makes me think they’re moving back in after years of being empty.

Young Hairy WoodpeckerHere’s a young hairy woodpecker trying to figure out the finch feeder. 

Fall is just around the corner.  I feel like we’re getting a slight preview today.  Much cooler temps, wind from the north and very low humidity.    I wish I could send you all a package full of it to enjoy along with me.  It’s perfect!


Overtime for the Beavers

After hearing and seeing the rushing water last week, yesterday Jim went out to see what the heck caused it.   When we look out at the pond in front of our cabin, there’s another one…or I should say there used to be another one… to the northeast.  We always figured that’s where the beavers lived, but apparently they didn’t take very good care of the dam by that pond.  This is what that pond looks like now.  Be happy you can’t smell it…P U !

P8073292 It also explains why they’re working ferociously on maintaining the other dam.  One of them tried to gnaw down this tree, but gave up.  Hopefully they’ll be happy with all the little alder brush growing on this side of the dam.

They’re really amazing animals.  I’d love to have seen how they got this big ol’ water soaked log up from the bottom of the pond and on top of the dam.  It’s got to be 5 or 6 feet long and I can’t even guess how much it weighs.


He’s such a busy beaver and Mother Nature’s  engineer.

Tuesday 7 comments

Another Choice Mushroom

Yesterday we were driving down a gravel road when I saw this oak tree along the side of the road covered with orange mushrooms.  We pulled over and took way too many pictures of it.   When I got home I looked it up in my Mushroom Field Guide.  P1070645They’re called Chicken Mushrooms or Chicken of the Woods and are choice edible mushrooms.   The book says they taste just like chicken.  Okay, I’ve heard that line before, but we’re actually thinking about trying these.  They sound totally safe and there’s nothing in the world Jim likes better than chicken!  


The other night Mike stopped over to see the blob but he wasn’t able to tell us what it was.   He’s seen this before and knows it’s some sort of egg sac, but that’s about it.  It’s all washed away now.   Thank you Toodie for identifying the big ol’ caterpillar.  Don’t know why it was here.  It’s not like we have a tomato crop out front or anything.
Yesterday one of the other beaver dams up stream from ours must have sprung a leak.  Jim was outside and could hear  the sound of fast running water.  He went down by the dam and the water was just pouring over it and over the little bridge we have to cross the creek.  He came back to get me and the camera and by the time we got down there the water had gone down some, but it was still way higher than most of the time.  Usually it’s just a trickle under the bridge.P1070684Good thing the beavers out in our pond are such hard workers.   They were out in the early evening doing their repairs on the hole the water cut into the old dam.P1070677It’s really a strange sensation to be standing on the other side of the dam and being just about eye level with the water.  Sure hope it holds.