We’re lucky enough to know our Gunflint Trail neighbors pretty well and we look forward to catching up with them at fire department trainings, carpooling into Grand Marais for English literature classes, or meeting up for some ice fishing on Seagull Lake. But wintering in a new location on the Gunflint Trail means we have a whole new batch of feathered or four-legged neighbors to meet.
Chickadees (along with Hairy and Downy woodpeckers, nuthatches, and blue jays) make for very faithful winter companions and keep the bird feeders full of happy flutterings. We love putting out bird seed by our winterized cabins so guests can enjoy the birds right outside their windows too.
And the ubiquitous red squirrel? Yep, they’ve found the feeders too. (Surprise, surprise.)
The fox’s been roaming around Tuscarora since early winter and while we’ve grown quite fond of him/her, we’ve resisted the urge to name it. Apparently, a steady supply of sunflower seeds and the occasional minnow, is enough to keep him/her hanging around for the foreseeably future. Fox’s favorite hobbies include sitting in the road/yard and staring at humans, hiding behind trees and staring at humans, and sneaking up behind you while you’re filling bird feeders or walking to the mailbox.
Caught in the act.
We crossed paths with another canine neighbor a couple weeks back. We first ran into the wolf running down the Gunflint Trail. As we headed up Round Lake Road, we found the same wolf running across the frozen Cross River.
Sometimes, we don’t see the animal – just the evidence that they were recently there. Here, it appears that an owl found a tasty snack (probably a very small four-legged something) hiding under the snow near Brant Lake.
We been seeing lots of otter slide marks along the Round Lake Road and the Centennial Trail, but sadly we have yet to put eyes on the actual animal. Otters have the most fun.
We’ve been seeing plenty of moose on our trips into Grand Marais too, usually in the Swamper Lake and Iron Lake areas on the Trail.
What “neighbors” have you been hanging out with this winter?