Saturday, February 15, 2014

Feb 15, 2014 It's a Long Winter.......already.......

It's only mid-February......and, it's been a long winter, already.  Mind you......I like winter.  I love walking the shore and watching all the new ice formations on a regular basis.  I do not like all the strong, nasty wind we have had this winter tho.  That.....having gotten pretty regular.  I  even gave up on one of my ski trails for over a week.  I would go out and snowshoe it after all the snow and wind, only to have more of same the next day.  Plus, we have had an extreme amount of -25 to -32 degree temperatures this year with highs of only -10.  This, too, I can handle.....if it isn't blowing a gale. doesn't seem to end.  We have all of the items that make "real" winter to the extreme this year.  I am ready for 0 degrees and no more wind.  At this point, no more snow either.....
Heck, even some of my ice formations have lasted a couple of months.  That is almost unheard of.  That, I am not complaining about.
The winter has given me more time to think about things that annoy me too.  One of the more recent items that was written up in the Cook County New Herald was the fact that groups like the Izaak Walton League are still fighting to keep a snowmobile trail from going in to the Fowls.  Really.....that little "Tilbury Trail" never hurt a thing.   Ok, so technically, it ended up being a bit over the new line for the BWCA wilderness .....big deal.  It was a small, insignificant trail.  A few locals used it.  The great and mighty conservationists would have us spend how much money and clear how much space for how many miles to prove a point.  Some conservationists!  They should have left well enough alone and let them use that little trail that is there from logging days.  It isn't hurting a thing.  As for the noise......or whatever else they perceive to be a problem.....well......I don't see many of them going in there anyway.  So....who, exactly, is going to hear the odd snowmobile going in to the Fowls?
It's all about their power....not conservation.  Heck.....we'll all be dead before they ever resolve it at the rate they are going.
Another thing that annoys me is some of the practices by the MNDNR lately.  We all know the moose have a big problem.  They are ending up dead.  Many aren't making it to their first birthday.  I have no problem with them trying to find out why.....what the issue is.  However, last year they captured and collared many baby moose and stressed mom and baby.  Now....that was stupid!  Did I say stupid.....I mean really STUPID!  They didn't even follow their own advice about leaving baby animals alone.  To go out there and stress out and mess with those moms and their new babies in the name of studying an issue just doesn't cut it.  What the heck did they think that was going to do but send some moms off never to pay attention to their kids again.   What the heck are some of these people thinking about....or are they?   Now, they are flying around in helicopters harassing them put 52 more radio collars on them for study.   Some are even finding out that wolves are a problem.  Imagine that.  I wonder if any of the wildlife biologists, these days, ever get out in the woods and pay attention to anything or if they just learn everything in college and then sit on computers and work with their models.  I sure am not seeing a lot of common sense in some of their practices.
Or...maybe I am just getting cynical in my old age.   But, I doubt that is the problem.  I grew up around here and have spent most of my life moseying around in the woods and observing things.  So many things have changed over the past....especially......last 10-15 years.  Things like ticks!  The ticks have just exploded up here.  As a kid....I saw probably about 3 ticks.  Now, they are all over ....and, more than one kind.  They are carrying way too many diseases.  I had even asked one of the biologists if they were checking moose for Lyme's Disease.  Some of them sure carry a lot of ticks.   I would still bet ticks are a big share of the issue.
When I was a kid....we didn't have grey squirrels here....or grey foxes.....or raccoons!  Now, we have a good number of all of them.  Things are changing.  Not all of the changes are for the better.  But, does that mean we quit using our common sense?!

 Back to the "long winter"......  I took some photos of ice pilings yesterday on my way home from town.  However, the few little bays where I live have had ice long enough for me to walk on now.  Toby and I did that today.  It was snowing pretty hard so I didn't adventure more than a few feet from shore.  But, we did have a nice walk on the ice of Lake Superior today.  That's the first in quite a few years now. 
Well.....we will see how the winter progresses.  We got at least another 4" of snow today on top of at least 6" on Thursday.  The fawns are in up to their shoulders now, off trail.   I saw one standing in the snow off the road I live on yesterday.  All that stuck out was its head and neck.  That is too much snow.  I hope we have an early spring this year....and no crusty snow getting to that spring!


  1. I don't know why it is but having power does seem to corrupt people. I guess it's one way of feeling important. Obviously, many of those people don't have much confidence or self-satisfaction in their lives other than the sense of power they can get . . . even if it's by doing things that are ruining our society and nature and the earth. Stupid, stupid, stupid . . . and a lack of common sense.

    When I first learned of the collaring of baby moose, I could see what would happen. And I am not an expert by any stretch. It's just plain common sense.

    Great pictures, as always!

  2. A woman was talking to me about it when I was in Grand Marais on Monday. You know, some of these things we learn and are taught from a young age. So, when people who should know better do something that really have to wonder. As I said, I am all for common sense trying to figure it out. However, messing with babies that young is not common sense. It is not worth learning if you have to kill the babies to do it.