Thursday, March 26, 2015

March 26 2015 Walking Through Life

I started with this photo, which is where I walked with my two dogs on Tuesday.  On Facebook, this came out so dark.  It is a bit dark here too.......but, this panoramic view looking down this shoreline was so pretty with the nice reflections this particular day, I had to do it.  You just never quite know how it will show up on various sites when you post, which is frustrating.
This is how it looked when I hit the shore on this particular day.  It had been showing off and on signs of clearing off.......but, just couldn't seem to quite manage.  But, the dogs and I needed our adventure for the day, so off we went.  We have had three pretty cold days in a row again, 0 degrees and two mornings of 8 degrees, in a row.  So, ice has been forming on Lake Superior once more.  There was just enough gusty east wind to break it up on this morning and blow it in to shore and pile it up.
We headed off the beach to a little trail out to the point.  I had just started down the trail when two eagles started chirping up in the tall spruces here.  The trail is very narrow, not much more than a game trail these days.  So, a clear shot of them in the trees was pretty much not going to happen.........and didn't.  I saw them both fly and never saw them again.  This was one of the surprises, under the spruce and balsam trees, on the way out there.  It is always fun to see things start to appear out of the snow in the spring.  One never knows what one might discover on any given day........while walking along a trail or beach.  I found something else along the top of the beach.......that had to make one wonder what was going on!  Especially.......given the fact that I periodically go to this area and had not previously seen it there.   But......I will just have to wonder about that one, I guess.  It might not even be interesting......if one knew the "whole" story.   But.....I don't.  Have I got you wondering yet.....what I discovered!?

Back to the shoreline and some sunshine......trying so hard to get out from under those clouds!  It is starting to look like a beautiful day is going to happen.  But, you know.......I have walked a lot.......all my life.  I have thrown in some biking and skiing and snowshoeing.......well, you get the idea.......too!  But, any time of the year, and any can walk.  It is so healthy and good for you.  Plus, the dogs have always needed to have something to do too.  Walking the same old, same old.......every day, day in and day out, can get old.  But, that works too!  As for the dogs.......they enjoy seeing/smelling what happened since yesterday.  But, they also can get bored with doing the exact same thing.  So, this is a good thing for both of us to keep us inspired and healthy.  It is also rather interesting to see what a different day and weather can do for a photo. 
Of all the times I have been here......I think this is the first time I ever got any reflection in the water of this little point with its single tree.  That poor little tree takes quite a beating each year.
Now, the sun is out and it is really turning into a pretty day.  Just in time I came to the point with one of my favorite views of that little island.  Plus, the beautiful lichens are melting out of the snow now.  I was quite surprised to see a little arched ice bridge still  in place between the island and the cliffs here.  It was quite pretty but.........pretty much in the shade. 
Since I haven't shown him for a while, here's my inspiration each day.....Toby.  He is such a wonderful dog and has walked so many miles with me and the camera over the years.  He will be 12 years old in May.  He really loves all his adventures through life.  It is nice to enjoy simple pleasures.'s puppy!  Betsy is learning all about the walks and adventures and is thoroughly enjoying life these days.  She is learning all about putting on the clothes and grabbing the camera and off we go too.  This was her first time out on this, she's enjoying exploring.  She will be one year old the end of May.  I suspect we are going to walk a good many miles together also.  There is just so much to see as we walk through life.  We have to make the most of it.  :)
Here we are........back to where we started.  Sometimes, it isn't only "what a difference a day can make!"

Friday, March 20, 2015

March 20, 2015 Spring!?

This is pretty recent.  But, that is all gone now.  When this particular spot first piled up, I thought we would have it until June.  But, wind and waves can make short work of the biggest ice piles if the wind direction is right.  We didn't have the interesting ice of last winter............but, then that isn't all bad.  Maybe winter won't last until June this year either!
Here is a shot from that same period of time.  The ice was still on Lake Superior and I always enjoy hiking on the lake ice when it's in!  I also enjoy finding "things" in the ice.  I call this my "ice cobra."  I thought this was very cool coming out of a snow drift.
Here is one more shot from a recent hike on the lake.  I had planned to get this written up when I took them but things kept getting in the way.  It was a gorgeous day, for sure.
Now, here is that same general area yesterday.  The ladies snowshoe/hiking group did this area.  We were minus a few because they were on vacation.  But, we had a wonderful time.  The wind wasn't blowing, for a change.  When Lake Superior is this calm.......without even a ripple, it's a wonderful day.  That doesn't happen very often.  The day was gray and stormy looking tho.  The sun tried its darnedest to come out, but.......never quite made it.  After I had been home an hour or so, it snowed like a sonofagun!
Nothing but peace and contentment, right!  It really was a pretty day to be matter how gray it was.  There is just something about being out hiking on those quiet, peaceful days that makes one feel good.  It seems they are fewer and farther between all the time.  I swear, it really never used to be so darned windy all the time up here.  I guess that makes me enjoy that sort of day all the more.  You notice Betsy there, in the corner of the bay........well, she is starting to think Spring too......and play in the water........and the mud.........  Oh, the things she has to discover this year.  She will be one year old the end of May. 
Then, there are other days........that start out so peaceful..........and then, you get a rude awakening!  This morning was one of those.  It was mostly gray.  No wind.  The dogs and I headed out on a deer trail west of the house heading toward the big hill to the north of us.  The snow is hard these days, in the early morning, so we can walk right on top.  That means easy going for even older, stiff dogs, like Toby.  We had just really gotten going up the old field when the wolves let loose with their howls right on the east side of the house.  I'm not so sure they weren't over on the edge of the clearing there!  Loud!  That was one of those holy #*@% moments......I will tell you right now.  I, as most of you know, have been plenty close to more than enough wolves......too many times to count, with and without dogs.  But, I have never had them that close when they let loose with the howls when I didn't know they were around.  It took about two seconds to decide the dogs were going back to the house as fast as I could get them there.  That was way to many wolves for comfort when I didn't know which way they were going.  I got them back and Toby in.  Then, Betsy and I went back out......on the county road, to continue our walk as she hadn't done her business yet.  I wanted to be able to see what was going on where.  Anyway........Betsy and I continued, uninterrupted, the rest of our morning excursion.  Needless to say, none of our "deer friends" came around for breakfast this morning.  They know when to make themselves scarce. 
I imagine that there will be a few more of those kind of mornings to be had before Spring really arrives in the valley.  Quite a number of the deer have been dispersing lately to parts unknown where they spend most of their year.  I was up the hill a couple of days ago when it was cold enough to walk wherever even later in the day.  When I hit a spot in the full sun, I went to bottom...........but.....I never went more than knee deep.  For mid-March, that isn't bad.  Wolves, like many things......are opportunistic.  Hard snow means easy going and an easier meal.  So, I guess I will be on my guard for the next few weeks. 
Here's one more peaceful shot from earlier this week when I was hiking on another beach with the dogs.  The beach stones sparkling in the water were so pretty on this bright sunny day!  I had to take it. 
Spring is springing.........enjoy!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

March 3, 2015 Just when you thought it was safe............

I took this photo, yesterday morning, of my yard critters sharing.  It was such a nice, peaceful scene.....had to do it.  Wouldn't it be nice if everybody could share!  However, I am still always amazed that more of the squirrels don't get stepped on.  With all my watching, I have only seen one squirrel get its tail stepped on by a deer.  Believe me, that squirrel got frantic and it wasn't going anywhere for a few seconds.....until that deer moved.
I do enjoy all my critters .........
However.........last night, 5:30, it was time to start on final prep for our evening meal.  Just before I do that, I go down in the basement and take Toby out that door and around the house we go for a walkabout before supper time so he can do his business.  He likes to sleep in the basement where it is cooler and does it a lot.  It is easier on him, in his older age, to go out the basement and come in on top.  I was just off the northwest corner of the house with him trailing along behind me......on our way to the windbreak on the north side of the house for a loop thru........when I saw a timber wolf by the compost bin!!!  Let me tell you, I and Toby did an about face mighty fast with him wondering what the heck!  I hadn't seen sign of one in almost 2 months up here.  So, to have one standing that close to the house and maybe 20 yards from me was a bit disconcerting.  I had actually just been looking around before I took him out as something had scared the deer and they had run east and south and were standing around the perimeters keeping watch.  But, they hadn't come back into the feeding area.  They had done so about 4:45 too.  But, I just took a quick look around and didn't see anything.  That is the time the bus brings the school kids home and they sometimes do a lot of hooting and yelling when they get home.  Wolf howls out of the kids aren't uncommon.  They're little.  What do they know.  With feeding the deer there would think they might get a clue.
Anyway, the wolf made its way off, probably the same way it came in....probably on my ski trail.  With more snow all the time and the wolves running on the ice........I just hadn't expected to see it there........out of the blue, with no warning.  I don't know why.  Since we had been having this "discussion" with the wolves about what belonged to who and what space belonged to who.....I was kind of thinking it was settled.  They had been staying away.  I guess it shows you should never let your guard down where they are concerned.
Won't happen again.......
Just recently, or snowshoe group got together, as we do once a month, and went snowshoeing.  We had a wonderful day doing that and Betsy got to have some social time with other people.  This was good!  She had as much fun as the rest of us.  Then, off to the store for coffee! ......and more socializing.  :)
Here is a picture of Betsy, yesterday, out enjoying the ice pilings on Lake Superior.  Toby, Betsy and I spent over 2 hours on the shore and ice yesterday.  It was a beautiful day and so was the ice.  The wind was a bit stiff........but, the sun makes all the difference.  We never know how long we have to enjoy that, we do so while the going is good.
Here is a shot from a different bay a few days earlier.  You can see Toby and Betsy are having a great time.  For an older dog.....nothing like a bit of hard snow on the ice for good footing and easy traveling.  It's always enjoyable to be out with the dogs.
This day, I had taken photos of the very fresh wolf tracks on the ice when I was out there.  Shortly after I got back and dogs loaded and left........two wolves came by following our trail.  Nice feeling.  I often wonder, for all the wolves I do see, how many I don't!
Since we ended up with dogs as much as wolves, I will end with one of Betsy at sundown.  I am in an icicle cave, looking out.  Toby was laying on the rocks on shore.  It was another one of those beautiful days with a gorgeous ending.
Since I always do things with my faithful companions along......I have to always be vigilant.  The wolves and I have quite this relationship.   Love to look at them......don't mind seeing someplace besides my yard.  I have never done anything to make them feel welcome there as they don't intend to peacefully share anything with anyone else.  So it goes.  Some days are like that!