Saturday, August 15, 2009

In loving memory of Roscoe
1994 - 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009

Back from the North Woods

I can't believe it has been so long since my last post! It has been too long indeed!

We vacationed to the North Woods in July, and had another unique experience. Every year is just a little bit different. The lake has a spirit of its own and we have seen several of its faces. This year it showed us yet another. Whitecaps dominated the surface and we were unable to take the boat out until Friday of the first week.The weather was cold, blustery, and rainy with temperatures reaching the low 40's at night and barely touching the 50's and 60's during the day.

The second week was much better weather wise with partly sunny to sunny skies and daytime temps in the upper 60's. Nights were still cold as the temps dove back down to the 40's, but it was great for sleeping! Finally, we were able to get out on the water and we caught over a dozen beautiful small mouth bass to bring home to savor throughout the balance of the summer, and perhaps even into the fall.

Bass fishing is by far my most favorite! The thrill of that strike and the experience of bringing in even the smaller bass is something I will enjoy for a long, long time! I love catching the larger ones but, even the little guys can put up a good fight!

Both my honey and I love it up there! We do a lot of fishing - mostly along the shoreline - but we are happy just to be there and take in all that nature has to offer. We love to stop and smell the pines, go for a hike, or even take a dip in the cold waters during the heat of the day. But we REALLY enjoy spotting wildlife!

The lake is teaming with loons, and various species of duck. The loons will sometimes hang around us as we sit anchored in our favorite channel. What a wonderful call they have! A pair of loons even staked out our little bay one night to mate by the light of the full moon! Have you ever heard loons mate? Interesting, to say the least!

Deer were plentiful as usual. But the 3 or 4 pairs of eagles that we normally see were somewhat scarce this year and I suspect it had something to do with the weather, as other species that are typically seen in abundance were suspiciously not present this year. We did not see any beaver, muskrat, or foxes as we usually do.

We have been going up to the same lake for about 5 years now. The first two years, we were gifted with the sight of a white wolf not far from our lake! How exciting! We look for the wolf every year but have not seen it since. And never have we seen a wild moose.

Our camp has been visited by a bear or two for the last three years in a row, but we have never seen them personally. However, as we were leaving the cabin for the last time this season, a black bear slowly lumbered across the two lane rural road about 200 yards in front of our car. I was blown away!

Our trip had been cut short by the death of our beloved dog, Roscoe, who was approximately 15 years old. As we left the cabin, I carried with me a terribly empty feeling, and secretly hoped to see a black wolf in the wild before we left. Why a black wolf, you may ask? Because Roscoe, being a shepard/lab mix, had a very wolf-like appearance, and I had hoped for some sign from him that he knew how much he had meant to us, and how broken hearted we were to have lost him and not been there with him when he died. I had decided that a black wolf would be a good sign.

That was when the bear came along. At first glance, my heart skipped a beat thinking it might be the wolf I was waiting for. It took only a second to see that it was not, but it was a gift just the same, and I accepted the gift with reverence. I feel blessed anytime I see a wild animal.

During our trip home, we contemplated going back in the fall as we often do, but I realized it would be too difficult to get away. Autumn is such a magical time and I will make time this year to enjoy it wherever I may be. I hope you will, too.

Do you have any photos of wildlife that you would like to share? If so, please send it to me at the following email address: and I will post it here on my blog.