Saturday, January 20, 2007

A New Visitor

Once again we are having a beautiful weekend on Gunflint Lake. Although the temperature was just below zero this morning, no wind made walking very pleasant. Now it is blue skies and sunshine. I can hear the snowmobiles of fishermen as they zip by on the lake.

For those of you who envied my fresh trout dinner, you shouldn’t have. Bruce got skunked. Hopefully he will try again this weekend. Bruce also got checked for his fishing license by a game warden. Oops, that’s conservation officer now. This is the first time that Bruce has ever been checked. Apparently they had a nice chitchat.

When I was waiting for Eva and Tucker at the road last Sunday morning, I glanced toward Gunflint Pines. There crossing the road was a wolf. I couldn’t see it really well because my glasses were at home. I usually leave them home on really cold days. Even with my blurry vision, it had to be a wolf. The legs were too long for a fox. Also the tail curved up and a fox’s tail is straight out. It was the first time I had seen a wolf while walking on the road.

Later on Sunday I made some chicken stock from bones and vegetables. On a cold day it really smells wonderful throughout the house. I always put the strained out pieces for the animals to eat. The theory is that it’s better to feed an animal than fill a garbage can. Not to mention that we like to see who comes in.

So Bruce and I are sitting eating dinner that night. The animal feeding spot is visible from my kitchen window. Of course, in the dark it is still hard to see. An animal came in but we couldn’t tell exactly what it was. Pretty soon both of us have our nose to the window and our hands trying to shade out the kitchen lights. This animal was really jittery. We soon saw why. It was my wolf from the morning.

The wolf appeared to be about a year or two old. While not big, he seemed very healthy. His coat was good and he didn’t look skinny. We wondered why just one animal was coming in. Wolves live in packs so why were we getting a lone animal? Our only conclusion was that perhaps such a young animal was not big enough to get adequate food from a group kill. He must have smelled the cooling vegetables and come looking. At any rate, his visit was a first for us.

We went over to some neighbors for the night and left shortly after seeing the wolf. By the next morning, practically every scrap of food was gone including all the bones. I had put in at least 5 pounds of bones plus lots of vegetables. The wolf really had homemade chicken soup. I wonder if that is a comfort food for wolves too.

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