Friday, February 12, 2016

February 12. 2016 Winter has arrived!

Winter has finally arrived in the valley!  We have finally gotten serious snow and the cold too.   It was a while coming.  I went almost to the very end of January wearing nothing more serious than ankle high hiking boots on my feet!  That is unheard of.  It is for me ~ anyway!   Usually the snow is too deep and my feet get cold.  Neither is fun in hiking boots as a rule.  So ~ I now have trails to break again and get my skiing back underway.  It has been blowing so much after all that snow, I haven't bothered to break trails ~ only to have them all drift in again before I get to go the next day.
Along with the snow fall ~ we get the wolves coming out of the woods to hunt where it is easier going.  Tuesday afternoon, just before 5 o'clock, we saw one going by our driveway on the MVR.  It didn't come up the driveway anyway, which was good.   When I went down there later, he had been marking territory.  Further down he left a good pile in the road.   I started out on my early morning walk with Betsy this morning.  Just past my driveway, he had peed on that same snowbank ~ high up again ~ and just past that, left another pile.  So ~ I knew he was around.  So did Betsy.  Her nose works.   I got a ways down the road ~ Betsy busy playing snowball without a care in the world ~ out of the woods comes the wolf.   I watched it a minute and then turned around and headed for home.  No sense looking for trouble.  I kept watching over my shoulder tho.  A minute later, it was back out on the MVR diddling around.  It finally went into one of the neighbors' yard.   There is a little cat that hangs out there and has managed to avoid all the predators and not starve for at least a couple of years now.   They say a cat has 9 lives.  Well ~ that one must.  I emailed and Facebooked all my neighbors that the wolves were back.  One had seen two of them on the road yesterday at 12:30.  So, yes, it is the season!  Be vigilant if you don't want your dog eaten time of year.   But then, that is pretty much the case year around up here.  I don't think there is a month of the year I haven't seen them.
You will notice by my photos it is also the time of the year for nice ice.  I took this one this morning when I was out and about.  Sometimes, it is nice to find those details.  See the fiery colors in this one. The sun was shining directly on it so it was sparkling!   The one up above is a "bigger picture" style.  This neat ice formations hanging on the trees were too neat!  I took that on the way home from Grand Marais and doing errands.  Days like today, -10 with a sharp wind, my fingers don't hold up too well. Doesn't take them long to freeze.   But, the ice is worth trying for.
I took this one of the neat ice hanging off the old Hovland dock today too.   They were pretty neat a few days ago.  However, with the cold, the bottom drops had gotten a lot bigger and they were reflecting nicely in the water.   I always, always, enjoy the ice formations.
Also, now that we have "winter" again ~ the Hovland ladies are going to get back in to our group that likes to go snowshoeing.  We have our first outing on Thursday next week.  We will definitely have plenty of snow to go tramp around in now.  Then, we go have coffee in Hovland or at one of the homes and visit for a bit before getting on with our day.  We have snowshoed to some pretty fun places in the past winters.  This year, between the damage ice storms did to all the trails and woods in the area and also the fact the warm weather kept many water areas from freezing up properly, we have had a few less places we could go explore without working seriously at it.  Crawling over and under iced down brush on snowshoes isn't fun.  Neither is going through unsafe ice.  SO....we are going on an expedition where we shouldn't have issues with either ~ even if it isn't quite as exciting.   So ~ off to winter endeavors!


  1. We haven't seen a timber wolf in a few weeks but we definitely have a skinny brush wolf checking out our poultry area at night. Probably a female because of the smaller size. So far so good, but only because we've put substantial wire around all the pens down into the soil.

    Beautiful pictures, as usual, FoxyLady!

  2. Has the Lake finally got some solid ice on it? The wolves haven't shown themselves around here since last November. Haven't seen tracks either, thankfully.
    Enjoy the winter weather and those beautiful ice formations.

  3. Well ~ we generally do have the wolves around, not too far away. But, once they come out of the woods and start prowling the Moose Valley Road during prime walking hours for everyone with dogs up here, it's time to put out the alert. They haven't been in my yard yet, as far as I know. Deer are settled down again this morning so they aren't around for the time being, anyway.
    No, Odiie ~ no ice on Lake Superior in our area yet this winter. Not even any night ice yet. It is so windy all the time, it would be difficult for it to set. One of the guys in our photography group ~ "Frozen Photographers" ~ has been out in his dry suit swimming taking photos of the surfers, who are still out in these big waves. Mostly in the Duluth area. Last he mentioned, the water temp was 37 degrees ~ a lot warmer than the air temp. So, around here, we have very little ice structure to photograph this winter.