Saturday, May 07, 2011

More Signs of Spring

The ice is going out everywhere. Magnetic is now clear and it is clear in front of the lodge. The east end of the lake is still full of ice. Jason and his crew are putting in the smaller dock today. We won’t bring the new, larger dock over until the ice is totally gone from the lake. On a still calm day like today, it is really tempting to put in the new dock. However, the wind could come out of the east and blow all the ice back down our way. It’s better to be patient.

This weekend is the Gunflint Green Up. People gather from all over the plant trees and release trees in the places burned from the Ham Lake Fire of 2007. About the same number of people are here as were last year – 160. Some people have homes in the area while others are just guests. It is a wonderful thing to see everyone taking possession of the forest and helping to improve it. Above is a picture of last night’s dinner in the tent behind our outfitters.

Birds are coming back in great numbers. Every day I see is different kind. Yesterday there were purple finches and chipping sparrows. Today a flock of grackles were outside my window. Every bird is starved and I fill the feeders on a daily basis.

Birds aren’t the only ones back. Bruce had a bear climb into his truck looking for minnow bread to eat. This happened last summer so we assume it is the same bear. One of the guests at the lodge reported seeing a momma bear and two cubs go past her cabin at midnight last night. I hope that they don’t find and food and leave soon. It is such a problem. We don’t want to the harm the bears but we also don’t want them around. Too many guests forget that these are wild animals. I have seen guests letting their children try to feed the bears – bad idea. We will see what happens. Every summer is different.

There are also many more rabbits that usual. One of the neighbors was driving down the side road. Fran counted 13 rabbits in about 1 ½ miles. We must assume that the rabbits are doing what they do best – multiplying. But where are all the fox and our occasional lynx? These rabbits should be tasty lunches for them. I hope that the rabbits don’t get into my garden lettuce.

Partridge are out drumming now. Drumming is the noise that males make when looking for a female to mate with. In the spring you can hear them any time you are outside. I spotted one up at Chik-Wauk on Wednesday. His drumming was so loud that he had to be nearby. He was right on top of a boulder but I didn’t get to see him actually drumming.

With the bedroom window open, I can hear the loons calling every night. It is a wonderful sound.

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