Saturday, December 08, 2007

Moose and Deer Sightings

It is time to check in with all of you again. After being away for six weeks, it feels good to just do ordinary tasks at home. Of course, life continues to march on. Christmas is still coming and the lake is still waiting to freeze over. Bruce and I appear to finally be over jet lag.

The picture below shows him with his grandparents – us.

Another part of our life is driving up and down the Gunflint Trail to town or Duluth. On Thursday night we were returned from a day trip to Duluth. We were in a little rush because it was the night of Shari and Bob Baker’s Christmas party. This is always a fun time. At any rate we crossed the North Brule River and started into the left turning curve. All of a sudden there was a moose in our lane. By this I mean a MOOSE. From our SUV we were looking up at its rump. In fact Bruce and I were so hypnotized by the size of this rump and the length of the legs that we never took time to see if it had antlers. Bruce figured it must have been a bull because it was so huge. Luckily we were able to get into the left lane at a reduced speed and move past the animal.

This should be a warning to all of us who got complacent last year about moose. For whatever reason last winter, very few moose were seen while driving the Trail. Generally, you can consider “moose country” to be from the South Brule River to Swamper Lake. In our last two trips we have seen 4 moose within that area. Others have also reported seeing moose there. That does not mean they can’t be other places. A friend coming up from town saw one by the Trout Lake Road, another hotspot of moose activity, plus other moose further up the Trail.

Take a few minutes longer to drive the Trail by going a little slower. Also get your passengers trained help watch the road. The passenger watches the right ditch and the driver watches the left ditch. Finally, everyone looks for tracks on the road. Tracks are another good indicator that game is active in the area.

This picture shows the view from the top of our driveway just a few days ago.

See how the lake is almost frozen across? Well, if you took that picture today, it would all be open water. The lake did not freeze over the next night and the wind came up. When the lake does not completely freeze over, all it takes is a light, steady wind to take out all the ice. Last night is was 10 below. Because there was a wind, the lake did not freeze and we still have open water.

This last picture tells you why we live in the woods.

It was taken this afternoon about 1:30, 2:00 p.m. right out my office window. I was just stepping into the office to get a book. After quickly calling Bruce and visiting Lisa, the camera was the next thing I grabbed for. In case you can’t easily count, that is a ten-point buck. He was pawing at the ground to eat the leftover leaves from my iris garden. He was magnificent.

I don’t think that deer can see through a window clearly. We were moving around and taking pictures but he just stayed put. It is times like this that the digital camera really comes in handy.

So there we have the most current activities at our house. Hope things are just as exciting at your house.

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