Sunday, March 25, 2007

Coming Home

Bruce and I arrived home on Wednesday. As we turned in the driveway, right at the top of the hill, Freddy the Fox was sunning himself on a warm rock. He lazily turned his head to look at us and then stayed put as we drove down the hill.

Since we have been home several other forest creatures have come to visit. The deer are all over the yard looking for any tender shoots that might have appeared. Pileated woodpeckers have regularly flown by. Last night an owl was right out our front window hooting his greeting. I turned on the outside lights but couldn’t spot him. We even saw a wolf along the road.

After two weeks of restaurant food, it is time to shed those unwanted pounds. Daily walks are now on the agenda. Yesterday was just wonderful. The temperatures were in the 60’s. The road was dry and ice free. The air smelled fresh and clean. It just felt good to be outside. Today is not quite so nice was we are getting frequent rain showers. The lake level is low and we need the rain so I can’t complain. Actually, I love spring rains.

As part of our walk we stopped in at Cabin #24. Jason is remodeling this cabin. Bruce’s job is to build a fireplace. The two guys discussed when Bruce should start, the kind of fireplace, the location of the fireplace, etc. Then we walked down to the lodge.

One of the most obvious changes this year is the remodeling of the front lawn of the lodge. The present deck is going and will be replaced by a patio that is 35’ x 80’. Access will come from a large door on the east side of the lounge. That’s just before the wall that separates the lounge from Justine’s. We are finding that the bistro needs more seats. I think eating outside overlooking Gunflint Lake will be wonderful but then I’m probably a little prejudiced.

Those of you visiting us this summer will also see more trees. Lee is determined to plant lots of trees on the grounds. We have them coming in all sizes from 12 inches to 6 feet. Birch trees are going in to help define the path going west between 4, 5, and 6 next to the lake and 7 and 8 just above them. Ronnie Smith and the dock boys will be watering them all summer to help get over transplant shock.

One of my more interesting projects is with the white pine seedlings. For years I have planted these little 12-inch buggers with very poor results. A year or so ago I talked with a man whose family had run a tree farm. He told me to plant the seedlings in a special bed of sandy soil about 8 inches apart. For two years see that they get lots of water and are protected from nibbling deer. At the end of that time they will have a full round root ball. Then it will be time to plant them around the property. So in the spring of 2009 you may see tiny little white pines planted around.

It is good to be home. My own bed feels great. I am ready to get back to Kerfoot comfort food. Except for a canoe trip in August we plan to be around all summer. There are too many visitors coming for us to leave. Maybe we will see you. Be sure to stop by to say hello.

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