Thursday, February 28, 2013
Also.....first time here in about 3 years, I think it is now......I have a doe that didn't get bred. I had noticed one of the bucks tearing around here like he was nuts yesterday, tongue hanging out, the works. I kept an eye on him and how he was behaving, especially around the other bucks. It wasn't until just about dark yesterday, I saw him again, now following a specific doe....soon, mounting her. I guess by now, with all the deer I have watched for so many years, I have a pretty good handle on what is going on. Well, he is still guarding her from the other bucks this morning. .......which brought me to my next thought.....once a doe doesn't get bred on time......and has her fawn really, really late.....does she ever get back on schedule again? I am curious. I know one year some people just over the hill from me had a fawn born in the fall. It went through winter so tiny. Just a few days ago someone else was telling me about the tiny fawn they had hanging nearby.
Am expecting my husband will be back from Thunder Bay within the next hour, if all goes well. He had to go visit the farmer up there and get another load of alfalfa to keep all our friends happy until snow melts and green up happens. That first big load we got in November was really exceptional this year and the deer sure have appreciated that. I believe it is the nicest we have ever had. Plus, it is nice in the fact they eat it up. We usually have huge piles of stems left to clean up in the spring. Oh, there will still be some....but, a lot less.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
The last two mornings, not having curtains in our bedroom, the bright moon woke me up at 5:00 a.m.
This morning, it was 4:30. Sunday, I had a place scoped out and was ready to do the sunrise bit if the wind wasn't howling...which it wasn't...so, off I went. Next morning was a repeat of another place I had checked out. This morning....well, there were still a couple of places on my list......so, since I was awake, what the heck. Off we went. Toby has been right there, ready to go each morning. Mind you, the dog sort of looks at me as I pet him on the way by to get critter food each morning. He doesn't stir until I am done and ready to take him for a walk. He has been ready early all three mornings.
Both yesterday morning and this morning......I had some good color. Yesterday was the most brilliant of the three mornings. Today was the actual "red sky in morning, sailors take warning......." kind of bright red sun morning. I took closeups of the sun and color in the sky immediately around it....really giving an intense look and they sure have taken hits on my site. So, I will show you one of those too.
Speaking of such....I may take a class, one of these days...just to learn some new tricks. I would like to learn the one where you are able to take something ugly out of a photo and replace it with some weeds......or something to that effect. I have taken photos of critters in the yard, a number of times, where it would be soooo gorgeous....and there is a septic pipe, or electric box, or something in the photo. I would take them out and have it perfect! We shall see.......
Friday, February 22, 2013
Anyway, when asked, I suggested we try this river bed that goes up to a deadwaters area which used to be a heck of a nice place to snowshoe. I have taken my dogs, previously, when the snow was not so deep and sugary. Toby couldn't have managed this.
Speaking of Toby.....I was sneaking around getting ready yesterday. No outside clothes on when I went into the basement to get the snowshoes.....very quiet about getting the camera out and packed....etc. I thought he was napping contently in the basement. I had given him some pats when I was down there. Anyway, time to go. I sneaked quietly out the door and walked down the driveway to catch my ride. Off we went. Well, he later found out he was home alone with my husband and that I had gone without him. He was miffed and had to sit around and pout for a few hours.
The above photo is where we first came out of the narrow river bottom into the more open area leading to the deadwaters. This was the first beaver dam, now washed out. It had been a heckova pond at one time and it pretty steep coming up it as you can see.
Anyway.....the ladies were worried about me freezing and thought we should go right home and get some dry duds. No way.....we were far enough up and into this expedition.....I was going. I told them if my feet started to freeze, I would let them know. We didn't go as far as we probably would have because of this issue. But....don't we need a little excitement in our lives?!
Anyway, we all have had a chance to see what this area now looks like and decided to go back...before my feet did decide to freeze.
We got back to the vehicle....and guess what. My boots are frozen in my snowshoes. The newfangled snowshoes we were all wearing have plastic buckles on the harnesses. They were big ice balls frozen solid. I had to take my boots off to get in the vehicle. Then, when we stopped at the little store for beverages and visiting, in I went in my sock feet! Wet sock feet....remember! I left tracks of wet feet across the cold cement floor. By the time we left, my feet actually were cold because it isn't all that warm in there. Home again we go after a fine outing.
Toby was very happy to see me and ready to go for his walk....which had to wait til I got out of my wet duds I had on. My legs hadn't gotten cold because the pants had instantly frozen. But, getting out of the cold, clammy socks did feel good.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
This morning, however....the deer want to come out and have some breakfast. A few have.....a quick one.....but; it's just so dang nasty out there. The snow is minimal, it's only -2 below 0...but, it's blowing a friggin gale out there. Mosty, it is a white out outside the window. The 2-3" of snow we got is blowing all over the place. It is snowing just enough to see.....when the wind lets up for a second. The little cups on the weather vane are just a blur they are going so fast. The deer don't like it one bit. And....they do tend to be creatures of habit.
This morning, I was stalling going out the door. There weren't that many deer and I just was not at all enthusiastic about going out. My husband said...."well, the screen blew out of the upstairs window. You probably should go pick it up before a deer steps on it." Didn't hear anything about him going out! Well....I figured that was true. Wouldn't keep too many bugs out if a deer stepped through it. So, out I went with the sunflower seeds to fill bird feeders and pick up that screen. About the time I got to the screen, Skinny Butt....creature of habit that he is....had finally come out too. He saw me picking up that screen and skeedaddled right back into the woods. Usually, by the time I get out of bed, he is standing at his spot by the basement door, spot cleared of snow, waiting for me to put his treats there. Well, I had to go over there to put the screen in anyway so put some cracked corn in his favorite spot. Then, I went about getting alfalfa out for the deer that were gathering. I didn't hardly dare to break the stuff apart today for fear all the good stuff would blow away. Most of it is still out there as the deer eat a few minutes and tear back into the woods. As I said....it's nasty.
Shadow and her family were out under her favorite tree for a while getting something to eat. A few others were too. Skinny Butt did come to his favorite spot and get some of his favorite stuff. However, no one finished anything this morning. That says it all, right there.
Next, Toby and I head out for our walk. He was prancing along, just as perky as he could be. It seems Toby is the only one, this morning, that doesn't mind the nasty wind. We headed down the county road so he could do his morning business and check out what was going on. By the time we were coming home, he was all of a sudden dawdling behind me so I turned to see what he was up to. There was the county grader, right there! What the heck......I darned near dropped my teeth. I don't think I have ever not heard it for at least half a mile before I saw it. I had no clue. I grabbed Toby and we stepped to the side of the road as he went by. Now, I really knew how nasty that wind was.
It is supposed to blow all day, too......I guess. If this keeps up, the adventuring dog won't be having any today! That's my story.....and....I'm stickin' to it!
Sunday, February 17, 2013
And then.....yesterday.......I was so perturbed! I was out there taking some of these nice ice and Lake Superior photos.......got home to look at them on the computer.......I had been taking all the photos with a chunk of sawdust on the lens. The upper left hand area, which didn't necessarily mean it would stay in the sky....which it didn't, left a big grey blotch in almost all the photos that couldn't be fixed. Thus, they are almost square, cutting off some good scenery....but, still have the best part of the photo. Sometimes, one is just so busy concentrating on the subject matter, they don't see the whole picture..........
So....back to chores......and wondering what the day will bring. Cheers!
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
After all the exercise yesterday moving snow, we had both our walks on the county road. Today, tho, after I had a few things done and the morning walk with Toby was done, I put on the snowshoes and off I went. I told Toby what I was up to and he went and laid down in the other room again, just like he understood every word. Boy, did I get my exercise. Except for an open area on a ridge, I was knee deep on snowshoes most of the way. In a couple of the worst places, I made several trips back and forth to fix it. Several times, I almost turned around and went back the way I had come....thinking; well, then that part will be all done well. However, then I still would have had to get there tomorrow to finish. I went all the way around and the ski trail is open. Tomorrow, I will go around again to finish packing. Possibly, by the next day, Toby can go again. But.....it might take one more to do it.
Of course, it was such a beautiful sunny morning, I had planned on taking the camera along. By the time I left, it had really clouded up. I have been out enough in that kind of heavy grey to know the pictures are for crap and opted to leave the camera home. About a mile out, the sun came out so nice again. Also, I came around a corner and there was a ruffed grouse head sticking out of the snow. The sun shined on its beady little eye so nice. There I stood, 3' away, looking at it looking at me. Finally, it exploded out of the snow like they usually do. I have had that happen so many times over the years.....never, ever, did I get to see it first. And.....no camera! Drat....drat.....drat!
Anyway.....when I did get home, 2 and 1/2 hours later, Toby was now ready to go. So, snowshoes off, off we went for Toby's walk on the road again...and he was a happy dog. When Toby doesn't want to go out in the woods with me, you know we have snow. And, he isn't a spring chicken any more so I don't make him go in that.
I will leave you with a recent sunset. It was a gorgeous one Monday night. I was out putting out the fox treats when it finally colored and I missed the best part. I ran for the camera and here's what I got. Looks like the woods is on fire!
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Since it was a nice sunny day yesterday, all of 15 degrees, the critters seemed to think it was a nice day to walk around and explore my ski tracks too. The fox could walk the one ski track just perfectly. It didn't sink in a bit. The deer, not so much. They did, however, stay in the general track/trail I had made.
Toby also liked it better because there was no fresh snow and he didn't get ice balls in his toes. He hasn't been wearing his booties this week because I can't keep them on him in that crusty snow.
That was how I actually managed to see the nest in the bull thistle the day before. Toby had stopped to chew the ice balls out of his toes and I was looking around while waiting and was standing right along side it. So, though I have a good eye for details, some things are so small they are easy to miss.
The last snow did bring a lot of deer out of the woodwork though. We had been having an average of 35-40 around. Now, it is usually closer to 50 with days that have gone over 60. That is a few. I know some on the shore finally quit feeding so I think a few have migrated up here since we have a mild winter. We are going through a lot of alfalfa. They sure do love that stuff and it is such good quality this year.
I start my day with my critters. I start the coffee. I talk to Toby. Then, out the "magic door" to feed Skinny Butt his favorite treats. Then, out the other door to fill the bird feeders with sunflower seeds. Shadow comes on a run when she sees me as she wants first dibs on them. Then, after getting her treats, we head for the bales of alfalfa on the trailer, under a huge tarp, by the garage. She walks right along side me over to get the alfalfa. She dearly loves that! With all the deer lately, I feed whole bales at a time now. She doesn't particularly like it when I cut the strings and the bales pop. So, she stands back until I do that. Then, she and the twin fawns start in on the choicest, greenest parts of the alfalfa while I distribute the rest. By that time, I have a yard full following me around. "Fancy's girl" always has to catch up a few times and get some bites of corn out of the bucket, as does Miz Spectacles. So, it is an interesting, pleasurable start to my mornings. Then......off for a walk with Toby. After that.....breakfast. I am usually ready for that coffee and some food by then.
The critters are a nice way to start off the day, for sure!
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
That's the way the ball bounces....unfortunately. You just can't always predict the sunrises or the sunsets. You can just look at what seems to be there that may do it and go for it. If you stay home, you may see a beautiful sky, but you won't have any nice scenery to put in the foreground. It was a lovely evening on the beach with Toby, at any rate. He was pretty relaxed as we had done our usual early morning walk....at -23 degrees below 0. We went to Horseshoe Bay and had a little expedition at mail time.
In the late afternoon, Toby and I headed out again for our afternoon adventure. That is when I started paying attention to what the sky was doing. It did look very promising. So, we got home, loaded the gear, and off we went. By now, it was up to 10 degrees. That beats -23 degrees all to heck. But, it is still pretty cold on the fingers. I haven't found gloves that I can work the camera with yet....so, thus.....freezing fingers syndrome by the time you get done. They barely had thawed out by the time I got home. Toby....on the other hand, went promptly to sleep on the pickup seat and really crashed with his nose tucked under his paw when we got home. All that play and no naps makes for a tired boy.
I will say, tho, that he is "so far, so good" after quitting the antibiotics. He is perkier and more playful than he has been in a very long time. He will be 10 years old mid-May. He was on the antibiotics for two full years. He probably will never not register positive on a Lyme's test again. But, as long as it doesn't flare up.....I guess that is the best we can ask for. He's a happy dog. :)
Saturday, February 2, 2013
I did go on Coastwatch, just two days ago, to check the lake temperatures. It is a handy site to have bookmarked for checking to see if it is worth going fishing part of the year. Most of the lake was either 34 or 35 degrees. I saw a spot by Pigeon Bay that said 33 degrees. So, it is close. Now....if the wind would die down for a few days......