Sunday, November 13, 2011

The End of Fall

Bruce and I are home from a long driving trip. We visited family, attended conferences, and checked out other resorts. It was 4500 miles of new things to see. My own bed felt good that first night. Now I am in the midst of putting everything away and washing clothes. Another pleasure is to eat some home cooked meals. Restaurants are fine but we get tired of them. With so much restaurant food, the bathroom scale was not my friend.

There has been some snow while we have been gone but most of it has melted. Last Thursday we had three parties check out after fresh snow. Two of them ended up in the ditch going home. This is a common occurrence after the first slippery snows of the season.

Here at Gunflint we are into that gray time between fall color and snow. Some of the smaller lakes on the Trail have already frozen over – Swamper and Iron Lakes are two of them. Gunflint Lake is nowhere near freezing. In fact this weekend one of our guests took a sauna and then plunged into the lake. He said the lake was warm but I don’t believe him.

It is deer hunting season. Bruce hopes to get out this coming week. Our traditional meal the first night after Bruce gets a deer is pan fried heart for him and liver for me. Meanwhile more interesting stories are coming in about other hunting experiences.

Perhaps the most unusual came from our neighbors. Father and son were out hunting one morning. Suddenly a doe came running at full speed in front of them. Before they could catch their breaths, eight wolves came chasing the deer. It was quite a thing to see. We rarely see wolves actually chasing deer. Many hunters tell me that these unexpected happenings are some of their favorite parts of hunting.

My rabbits around the house are still changing color. They now have white feet, white ears, and a white belly. The back is still brown but that should change fairly soon. Bruce thinks they would be good for stew but I keep saying that I am not cooking them.

Yesterday we had our winter hay delivered. Mandy always buys enough hay in the fall to get us through until next year’s crop comes in. Because our hay barn has only three sides, the deer often find it a great place to feed all winter long. As the picture above shows, Mandy is set on outwitting the deer this year. There is a wall of hay stacked to the roof. In front are obstacles to any feeding from that side. By spring we will see who won – Mandy or the deer.

As I sit here typing, the sun has disappeared behind some clouds. In the west it looks pretty gray. Perhaps tonight will be the night we get out first snow that stays with us all winter long.

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