Ice Out on the Moose Pond

The kids and I ride out to the mailbox each morning at 6:30am and wait for the school bus. In some ways, the ride marks the passing of the seasons of the school year. The sunny spring mornings are by far the most ripe with possibility and cheeriness.
This morning we saw a mangy moose as we were pulling out of our driveway. If she is also pregnant, we sure hope she makes it. Her fur looked so patchy and unhealthy and she seemed to0 tired to move out of the way. We sat in the truck and stared at her as she looked down on us. “Geez Mom, she’s bigger than the Jeep.”
Then we saw a wolf who also wasn’t alarmed by us. Not skittish—because we are right in the middle of his territory? (I saw that wolf later closer to where the moose has been lingering….but can’t imagine that he’d take on that car-sized animal alone.)
On the next curve we saw that the moose pond completely thawed. There is nothing more calming than still waters. What a day!

Red Squirrel

Last month we were visiting when we saw a “city squirrel” and Andy said; “What was that? I think I just saw a possom.”

We’re used to the little agile chattery guys that we fatten up at the bird feeder. Denali stalks this guy on tiptoe until her eyes are at feeder level. Then she tries to sneak her foot up on the railing, and he scampers to the tree and scolds her. She backs off and they start over.
Full grown, the average red squirrel is only 8 inches long, with an additional 5 inches of tail. As spring turns to summer, he will loose some of his bright orange color and his ear tufts.
We think he looks as if he may be evolving before our very eyes—developing opposable thumbs to hold his sunflower seeds.

The Return of February

We’re having such beautiful sunny February weather–zero degree mornings, sunny 32 degree afternoons. Bright sparkle days—we say this because it keeps us cheery about the winter days EVEN THOUGH IT IS APRIL 10TH!!! The lake has frozen solid again-so the kids can’t go poking logs through the otter holes as they were 2 weeks ago. We got almost a foot of snow—and we’re glad for the lingering moisture. We’re also madly filling up the bird feeder for all of the little guys that accidentally came our way during the beautiful May days that we were having in March.

Today our favorite UPS driver, Bill is bringing 60 cases of dehydrated food, and we’re getting ready for your first staff members due to arrive in a couple of weeks. We have shiny new canoes and we’re ready for fishing opener!!! Just a couple of 60 degree days away. Here’s hoping for April tomorrow!


“Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.” Doug Larson

I borrowed this quote from my friend Sue Prom who runs with me on this far end of the Gunflint Trail.
During the sunny 65 degree days, it is hard to wish for the soggy rainy spring that we need to fill the Cross River and soak the woods. We’re looking forward to the canoe season—-the yard is free from ice, the staff positions are almost filled, the days are light and we’re excited to share the Tuscarora bunkhosues once again.

Sled Dogs

Mary Tilden,three friends , and six dogs spent the weekend sledding on Round Lake and in the nearby woods. These beautiful dogs were delighted to pull as much as possible!
This year the Jonathon Beargrease sled dog races were cancelled due to lack of snow in Duluth. (Duluth is getting socked with a blizzard right now–due to get more than two feet of snow by tomorrow–but too late for the Beargrease). The Gunflint Trail hosted sled dog races this weekend–and many folks showed up to race, cheer, and enjoy the festivities. A new winter tradition for the Gunflint Trail???