Thursday, July 02, 2009

It's Family Time

It has been cold and rainy around here these past few days. I am getting tired of it but have no way to change anything. My knees are getting tired of working on it. Bruce just says the weather we get reflects the lives of our guests during the past year. Rumor has it that sunshine is on the way for the weekend. I’m ready.

We had a little bad news this morning. For the past year or so I have periodically reported the adventures of Gimpy, our fox with one bad lake. Perhaps even more than my blog reflects, Gimpy has provided lots of entertainment for those of us who live here. Last night a car clipped him on the road. Dave Schudy saw his body early this morning on the way here. I know it was just one of many fox but we all are going to miss him,

In the last week, we have made the transition into family vacations. All of a sudden there are families every where. The naturalist activities have overflowing groups. One of our new activities is paddling the voyageur canoe across to a pond on the west end of the lake for lunch. This morning Annie was fixing lunch for 20 guests.

Human families aren’t our only families. The mallard mommas are proudly bringing their flocks of ducklings into the lodge beach for corn. Did you know that ducks are one of the few animals that must feed themselves from birth? So we have cracked corn for the little ones at this time of year. Now I have to teach our guests to spread the corn on the shore and not throw it into the lake where the ducks don’t get it.

These mallard ducklings weren’t always around here. In the 1960’s a foundation out of Dundee, Illinois, tried raising ducks using the Future Farmers of America. It didn’t work out so well. Somehow Don Lobdell, who owned Rockwood Lodge at the time, got some of the baby ducks delivered to the Gunflint Trail. He spread them out to the resorts. We had a batch here at Gunflint. Every night a trail of corn would lead the babies into a penned, protected shelter for the night. There were new batches for several years. The descendants of those ducks continue to return each year. By Labor Day they are so tame that you can feed them from your hand. Last fall we had a picture of a fat old lady (me) feeding them from her hand.


Melissa said...

Bummer about Gimpy. He followed me out onto the lake ice this last January when my husband and I came up for a few days. He was a regular visitor outside our cabin. Hopefully another fox will learn the ropes around Gunflint Lodge!

Teresa said...

So sorry to hear about Gimpy ... we watched him on many trips out the window of our cabin. I have a photo but couldn't get it to past here.

Teresa Tuschl
Always An Adventure women's group
Appleton WI