It is the day after and life is somewhat back to normal. We had a very quiet Christmas. Neighbors came for dinner. It was relaxed and pleasant. However, we still ate too much. I could hardly face food this morning or at lunch. Luckily it is just soup for dinner. I didn’t do a turkey so we do not have lots of leftovers. We didn’t miss the turkey since there were lobsters for dinner.
Christmas Eve we went to town for church services and dinner with friends. On the way home I took a picture of a tree right near the Birch Lake Road. My camera is not really good at night so you will have to imagine it. This is a 25 foot spruce tree that is about ¼ mile from the nearest electricity. Daryl Popkes and Tom Leddy dreamed it up. They got a neighbor with a cherry-picker truck to help string the white lights Tom had purchased. Since they were LED lights, not a lot of power was required. Daryl figured out how they could use a timer and a car battery to do the job. It is really a striking addition to the Trail. Our thanks go out to Tom and Daryl.
Due to warm temperatures and wind, Gunflint Lake has virtually no ice. We had some but the wind has broken it up. A night that gets down to below zero would solve the problem immediately. Keep your fingers crossed.
Of course, we have had lots of the resident animals visiting over the holiday season. For several years we have had a doe with a hole in her left cheek. She is back again this year with two youngsters. None of us expected her to be around for these past few years.
Fred and Fran saw a beautiful wolf when they drove down to our house for Christmas dinner. They have been seeing wolves regularly. Also some of the staff who walk our trails have seen large prints that look like dogs but couldn’t be. I have my camera and hope to capture one of these with the camera. Hopefully I will have better luck than the moose.
With open water we have also seen otter at the dock. Today there were three of them playing around. Just in front of the dock house there is still a little bit of ice. One of the guests watched as an otter brought a fish up onto the ice. It quickly became breakfast for the otter. It is a real bonus for all of us to see these animals right in front of the lodge.
Not to be left out are all the deer that have appeared as if by magic. Bruce put some corn out at our house and 6 deer appeared immediately. Someone dropped corn right at the front door of the lodge. This morning there was a deer feasting on the corn. Pretty soon they will be eating out of our hands.
It is amazing how many animals we are seeing. I don’t remember this many (except the deer) in years past. What a blessing they are.