Thursday 8 comments

Sooner or Later…

It had to happen.  Yes, we saw our first snowflakes of the season on Wednesday.  Nothing serious, compared to the wind and rain that pounded the country this week.  It’s been ugly here for days.  Today is the first day since Saturday that it hasn’t rained.  It’s cool and windy, but at least that may help dry things out a bit. 
Yesterday we took a drive down our road and in a 9 mile stretch, there was high water running over the road in 5 different spots.   The wind caused lots of trees to snap and of course some landed on the road.  P1090024 The first one Jim was able to drag off, but the next one was reason enough to turn around and take a different route.P1090025This bridge got wiped out by high water a few years ago.  If it hadn’t blown out then, it probably would’ve happened in this storm.P1090037The dam down by the pond is still holding, but there’s lots of water going over the top.    P1090073I took this picture of the pond this morning and I thought I’d go back and compare it to one I took in April.  Oh ya, the pond is lots bigger now.
October 2010P1090079  April 2010P1040408 The deer didn’t wait for the cover of darkness to come in for a snack yesterday.  They’ve had a rough couple of days too.PICT0119
Saturday 10 comments

Road Trip!

When we heard Charlene the Weather Lady say that Friday was going to be the last nice day we’d be having for awhile, Jim decided we should take a road trip.  So off we go over to Minnesota to check out a town we’ve seen on the news and on some other regional shows.   After arriving there we both were trying to remember just exactly why we thought this would be an interesting town to visit.  We drove around town, up and down the main street, all the time looking for something…anything interesting.   Nothing there, but on the other side of the highway was this big ski jump.  So we’re thinking, maybe that’s what all the hoopla was about.  P1090005But that wasn’t enough.  We thought there had to be more around here than a ski jump and a bunch of empty buildings.  So back to the highway and right there on the other side of the road was another town called Bovey.  On the main drag was an antique store/cafe.  Okay, this is starting to look much better, just the type of businesses we like.  The antique store had nice stuff and decent prices.  PA220004The cafe was wonderful.  It’s a mom and pop place with real homemade food.  Jim had the special of the day, a dish called Sarma, which is Serbian cabbage rolls.  He loved it.  I had a chicken teriyaki salad.  Both came with warm, homemade, whole wheat rolls that were excellent.
As we were getting back in the truck, we noticed a big marker in front of the Village Hall.  Always love reading about small towns claim to fame.  Well, low and behold, Bovey is the home of a very famous photograph.   Who hasn’t seen this picture?  My parents had it over our dining room table and it’s seen everywhere.  GraceWell, the photographer and the man were from Bovey.  Here’s the story of it if you’re interested in learning the history of this famous picture called Grace.
It was another good road trip through some very interesting areas of Minnesota.  On our way to Bovey, Highway 2  went through miles and miles of spruce and tamarack swamp.  On the loop back, the road went through the Iron Ore Range and past Hibbing, the home of Bob Dylan and finally to the top of Duluth, before going across the Blatnick Bridge and back to Wisconsin.P1090012
Sunday 9 comments

Lodge Cam Update – The Finale

Today Jim rowed out and brought back the Lodge Cam.  We got a few more pictures of the busy beavers, but that’s enough for this year.  Next year we’ll put it back out there but first we’ll need to do some modifications so it doesn’t get too much bird poop on it.  Since last Friday there were only a few pictures worth keeping.  (Again, ignore the time and date on these pictures.)


SUNP0004These busy beavers do most of their work at night and sleep during the day.  We see them cruising around just before dark and for about an hour in the morning. 

MissBeth asked me what happens when the water freezes.  I’ll try to explain how these beavers will survive during the winter.  They build the lodge in fairly shallow water and build a food bank of sticks around the outside.  The ends of the sticks will hang below the ice so they’ll be able to munch on them during the long winter.  The lodge sits above the ice and they’re able to swim around under it and cuddle up inside so they’re not always in the water.  I think they also move around outside the lodge if the snow isn’t too deep.  This is the first year since we’ve had the cabin that beavers will be living out there all winter.  P1080969 

The nice sunny weather last week brought out some not so nice critters.  This is a deer tick…the kind that can cause Lyme’s Disease.  They really are small and easy to overlook.PA140007 
This is just a harmless garter snake, but still, snakes make me stop in my tracks.  P1080958

Last night while watching the Badgers play Ohio State we saw a real badger cross the lawn.  Too bad the trail cam didn’t get a picture of it and really too bad my camera was sitting out in the truck!  Darn it all anyway!

Thursday 11 comments

Lodge Cam Update Pt. 3

Today we decided to go down by the dam and prune the alder branches that block our view of the pond.  I stacked them in the path and Jim decided to load them up in the boat and take them out for the beavers.  It also gave him a chance to see if we got any good pictures yesterday.   We were optimistic because last night,  just before dark we saw 2 beavers cruising around and then get up on the little bog.   

After checking the pictures, we could tell we had some minor technical problems.  So please ignore the time and date on these.  It’s hard enough changing the SD card while in a boat and it would be darn near impossible to reprogram  it. 

Here we are going back to shore after repositioning it yesterday.  We would’ve waved if we knew we were getting our pictures taken.SUNP0009If you click on this to enlarge it you’ll see 3 beavers out on the little island.   Cool huh? SUNP0018

There were other pictures of the beavers chewing on the branch and swimming around, but this one was by far the best.
Wednesday 6 comments

Lodge Cam Update Pt. 2

Well, we went out and checked on the cam today and confirmed what we thought…it’s not going to work.  Here’s a picture it took of the lodge in the daytime.Lodge CamHere’s what we got at night.  Well, this isn’t good at all!  The cam is too far away, the beaver moves too fast to get a clear picture and well, this just isn’t going to work out.Lodge CamSo we decided to move it again.  There’s a small floating  bog out there that we call Goose Island.  At first we thought it was an island and the geese really liked sitting on it, hence the original name.  This summer with all the rain, it started to break up and move around.  Anyway, we see the beavers get up on this every evening and morning and it’s right next to the T-bar perch.  So that’s where we put the cam this time. Goose Island and T-bar camJim even went back and got a fresh limb to entice the beavers up onto to the bog.   This should work.   It may be a few days before we go back out for the card, but I've got my fingers crossed that we will get a couple good pictures.

When I loaded up the cam pictures this morning, I was surprised to see this big ol’ tom turkey pecking around in the field yesterday.    Tom turkeyWe haven’t seen the nice buck since Saturday night, but we haven’t given up on him yet.  He may be out running around looking for ladies.  

Tuesday 7 comments

Lodge Cam Update

In order to check the cam that’s pointed at the beaver lodge, we have to go out in the boat and that’s what we did yesterday.P1080915See all the branches out there in the water?  That’s what the beavers will feed on this winter.  I’m sure they’ll keep adding to it, but so far they have a pretty good supply.P1080917We pulled up to the cam and were disappointed to see only 3 sets of pictures had been taken.  One was when Jim first set it and one was from when we just arrived.  I carefully removed the card…sure didn’t want to drop it in the water and checked to see what we got on the other set of pictures.  All we could see were ripples in the water.  So I put the card back in and we decided to wait a few days before we check it again.  We’re thinking this may not work out at all.  We know the beavers have been working on the lodge, but every morning and night, there’s lots of steam rising from the pond.  Most likely the lens gets fogged up and it just can’t work.  But, how do you know if you don’t try?

With most of the leaves down, it’s easy to notice the ones that are left.  Yesterday we walked through an area that was logged this spring.  The poplar trees shot up straight and tall and some of them have leaves as big as a dinner plate.  Just look at the size and colors of these leaves….P1080909
                                               …that came from one of these trees.P1080910 Why are the leaves so big on such young trees?  Another mystery of nature. 

Sunday 8 comments

What a Difference

Last Friday (October 1) our new trail cam took this pretty picture.

SUNP0007-1So I thought I’d go out at approximately the same time and trip the cam to take a picture one week later. SUNP0014  
Amazing huh?  There’s hardly any leaves left on the trees around here.  It was a pretty fall, but in my opinion, way too short.

We keep moving the cams around and we’re seeing some new visitors around here.  A gray fox and a bobcat have had their pictures taken a couple nights in a row.PICT0127
SUNP0064And we’re always happy when we see the big buck’s picture.  It’s the time of year when he could make any hunter very happy.
SUNP0050This is the little guy we call Spikey.  He looks  like a Billy goat! PICT0114This morning we were sitting here looking out the window and noticed how much bigger the beaver lodge is compared to earlier in the summer.   So Jim decided we’ve seen enough deer pictures and it’s time to  move a cam out by the lodge.  He’s out there right now with a cam attached to a metal fence post, aiming it at the lodge.  Now, this should be interesting.

Tuesday 10 comments

Dam Cam

After getting a new trail cam last week, we decided to move the other one down by the dam.  Jim used a bungee cord and attached it to a pitch fork for easy maneuvering.  But mainly because we knew this was just a test to see if we could get a picture of one of the beavers working on the dam.  The first night we got a bad picture of a beaver swimming past the cam.  As the temperature dropped it caused the lens to fog up and we didn’t get any other pictures until after the lens cleared around 11:00 the next morning. 

So yesterday Jim repositioned the cam, moving it back some and aiming it right at the dam.  One problem.  The beavers sealed just about every leak in the dam and no water was coming over it, but  Jim changed that!  He made a small indentation in the mud, causing water to go rushing over it.  We think the sound of running water makes the beavers crazy!  Anyway it worked and we got pictures of this small beaver fixing the leak.

First it had to check out the situation.PICT0042

Then it swam off and came back with a branch to add to the mud.

It did a little more swimming around, gathered a few more branches, then turned and smiled at the camera!   LOL


It did some more repair work, but hasn’t finish up yet.   You can see on the right side of this picture, there’s still water running over the dam.  This may be a slightly confusing picture.  It was very calm this morning and the trees you see are reflections from the hill on the other side.  Ignore the temperature on it.  It was cool, but not 23 degrees.  More like 33 or so.
PICT0113Trail cams are really a lot of fun.  You just never know what’s lurking around out there.  Deer, raccoons, bunnies, bear, bobcats…and now beavers.

Monday 7 comments

Today’s Wildlife Moment

We were just getting ready to have breakfast when we heard a strange noise.  We both looked at each other with that “what was that?” look.  To me it sounded like the window in the storm door coming down.  Jim thought it was something shifting in the freezer.   It didn’t sound like anything was broken, so we continued getting the milk, cereal and juice out.  After breakfast, I went into the bedroom to make the bed and discovered what made the noise.  A grouse flew head on right into the bedroom window.  Smashed a big whole in the glass and ended up breaking it’s neck.  P1080847At least it didn’t break both panes of glass.  Poor thing…what a way to start the day.P1080846Good thing we were planning on going to Superior today.    I had some pictures I uploaded to Walgreens and wanted to pick up and we needed to do laundry.  So we took the window along and will have to go back again later in the week to pick it up.

It was the first time we took our laundry to the big city laundromat.  This one was really nice…it has lots and lots of washers & driers, TV, video games and free Wi-Fi.  Very nice & very clean.  I love getting 2 weeks of laundry washed, dried and folded in about an hour and a half.