Thursday, September 25, 2008

Before starting in on the week’s happenings, I need to say hello to Annette Cozzi. Annette is the mother of Annie who works on the front desk. Annie says her mother really enjoys the blog so, “Hello, Annette. We are having a beautiful fall day today and wish you we here.”

One of the great things about running a resort is that you get to share special moments with your guests. This is a picture of Dave and Donnie Harvey who celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary with us.

Bruce and I have known them every since their sons worked for us about 25 years ago. We took a trip hiking in Nepal with them in about 1988. Since then we have gone to Bali, Tanzania, and Turkey with them. Of course, there have also been many trips up to Gunflint. They always come to fish and spent three days out with Dennis Todd. Their picture has appeared in several of our brochures with impressive strings of fish. I think they limited out on everything during this trip. At any rate there were two baskets of fish fillets to go back to Indiana. Take a minute and join us as we celebrate the marriage of two wonderful people.

It is getting to the end of the season for our birds and ducks that fly south. The hummingbirds are gone from my feeder and everyone else’s. The feeders will be drained, washed and stored for next summer.

I talked with some guests who had an interesting experience with loons on Tucker Lake. Tucker is very shallow in some places. These folks were paddling through a shallow area that was in bright sun. They looked down and could see the loons swimming underwater. It was an adult and a youngster. The adult would catch a fish and give it to the youngster. It might have been a fishing lesson. At any rate our paddlers watched the underwater activities for over an hour. The wife is especially enamored with loons so it was really exciting for her.

So now we have a picture of some fat old lady (me) feeding the ducks.

A couple weeks ago I told you how the mallards were just starving as they prepared for the long flight south. After lunch Bruce and I went down to the dock to get a picture of the mallards eating out of his hand. It didn’t work that way and I became the model. Anytime we walk down, the ducks are right there hoping for a handout. They all march up ready to eat out of your hand.

Kind of hanging on the edge of the mallards were four ducks I didn’t recognize. They were smaller and gray with white beaks. A few minutes with the front desk bird book helped identify them as immature American Coots. Even if they had been mature, I would not have known them. It is the first time we have seen them on the dock.

Yesterday there was a single merganser hanging out with the mallards. Usually we see flocks of 10-15 mergansers at this time of year. They have a very distinctive way of bobbing through the water and all diving together. Who knows why this one was alone.

Even as we think about all the birds and ducks flying south, many of them stay with us all winter long. One of my favorite is the Gray Jay. We used to call them Canada Jays but I guess the politically correct name had been changed to Gray Jay. They are also known as Whiskey Jacks and Camp Robbers. I recently read an article about them and found out some interesting facts. The Gray Jays mate for life and build their nests very early in the spring. The eggs hatch early and the young can survive temperatures down to zero and even a snowfall. We think of the birds as voracious eaters but actually they are getting food to store in caches all over the woods. It must really take a lot of food to keep these (or any other) bird alive during our winters.

Next week I am planning on including a few pictures from Sheryl and Bonnie’s canoe trip. They had a great time and are just bursting with stories to tell.

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