logo Blue Heron Bed & Breakfast
The Lakeside Bed & Breakfast
with the Million Acre Front Yard
827 Kawishiwi Trail
Ely, MN 55731


Jo's blog
Continued from home page
Virtual Tour
"Walk" through the whole place inside and out.
March 23, 2013 - This morning we woke to a fairy land, every twig is painted with frost, looks like delicate lace on all the trees.  The chickadees are singing their spring song, we've passes the equinox, the red foxes are mating, the crows have returned ... and we still have several feet of snow, night temperatures double digit below zero and day temps that barely make it up freezing.  It's my fault!  I foolishly put away my heavy down coat.  For several years now the ice has gone out by mid to late April....doubt it this year.  Even White Wilderness, our favorite dogsledder, is continuing sled trips - and at 50% off (!) as long as there is snow.  Every morning we find fox tracks - easily identifiable because they walk in a straight line..it is like a zipper line in the snow.  Even a coyote for a few days; didn't see it, but Sam-dog was howling and there were tracks bigger than fox, smaller than Sam and definitely smaller than wolf.  The deer are having a hard time getting around in the woods because the snow is so deep, we are seeing them more often by the roadside.  The geraniums I brought in last fall are blooming!!!  Bright cheery red in the midst of the dining room.  I'm starting to spend time with gardening catalogues - heaven knows I'm not a gardner, but it is a great lift.  Definitely cabin fever time. 
Feb. 27, 2013 - Our daily walks with Sam-dog are getting longer as it is practically balmy!  (mid 30's during the days) The last two days we were hearing the unmistakable calls of Pileated Woodpeckers nearby.  Also unmistakable is their 'thunk' as they excavate into a tree; sounds like we may once again have two new nests right nearby.  With three warmer days the snow is retreating and, much to Sam's delight, there is revealed the detritus of the past months.  Today he was rolling furiously in what turned out to be wolf scat.  Ordinarily after a single sniff he ignores wolf scat, but this particular one was irresistible.   We also saw tracks of a bunny - the first of the winter.  The full moon on Monday was awesome!  The stars were really bright plus the huge moon so that there were shadows
Feb. 12, 2013 - Snow snow incredible, lovely bountiful snow!  8 inches out here compared to 6" in town.  While shoveling for hours is not way up there on my list of pleasures - it is beautiful!!  and this afternoon the sun came out.  There simply are no words to describe the beauty.  Alas, clear skies means the temps will drop. 
Feb. 8, 2013 -  All day there has been a light lazy snow - big flakes just drifting down, utterly no wind at all, very mild temps.  Sam-dog is continually telling me there are wolves nearby.  We saw lots of deer tracks on our walk today.  They didn't move very much during the deep cold, - just like me!  The snow depth has finally reached the point where we need snowshoes on the lake; are my leg muscles in shape?  It is incredibly lovely; I know I say it and say it but it is!   
Jan 28, 2013 - The deep cold has finally passed.  But the skies were so gorgeous while the temps were low:  nights had glorious stars, and an awesome full moon, days were clear with sunshine and fascinating cloud displays way high up. This morning dawned completely overcast - we could be living in a cloud of cotton - and near zero.  I sent off our dog-sledders with warning of not getting overheated!  I have had an extremely fast recovery from retinal surgery early in Jan.  and am driving again!  My vision is still flawed by a big 'smudge' in the middle of the left eye but that in time may also heal.  Bill had to take his turn at instigating crisis with the alarm on his pacemaker going off....turned out to be a malfunction of the pacemaker but gave medical personnel a chance to practice their emergency techniques and took us out for two days.  Sam-dog had a wonderful run out on the lake yesterday.  He wore his booties for the first time this year; after protest ("Don't do this to me!")  he forgot all about it in the glory of free running.  Fish houses speckle Farm lake, but no sign of fishermen trying South Farm.  That fun starts in March on the rock ridges that underlie the lake.  Winter Festival starts this weekend - Tell the world:  we have snow!  wonderful snow! White fluffy snow!
Jan. 21, 2013 - Have been having multiple 'long-john' days.  Night temps going down into low minus 30's, day temps barely up into 20's.  Still that is a 50 degree difference!  Burning through lots of wood, feeding birds (and guests) frequently and enjoying watching it all through the window!  I never thought I'd reach the stage where I'd rather watch than get right out into the weather!  We've had dog-sledders and skiers who were all doing the 'hearty' thing and loving it.  The snow is wonderful and so, so white. 
Blue Heron got a wonderful review on the website heavytable.com (including appreciation and photo of Sam-dog; showing what discerning folks the food critics were).  Also I learned that for the third year in a row we will be listed as one of the 'Best Places to Visit' by MidWest Living.  This time we are included in the text of an article as well as a quote from me. 
Jan.1, 2013  - Happy New Year to all!  Last night, it was incredibly gorgeous, the moon was still full, huge and yellow and the stars like diamonds on black velvet.  We startled a curious wolf who was checking out our parking lot when we arrived home from a gathering of friends.  The temperatures were dropping and the lake making ice groaned and cracked! the wolves howled... what a wonderful place to be.  BUT this morning  it was -20', lovely sunshine but it barely warmed up, and it still is a wonderful place to be.  May you all have many happy days in 2013!
Dec. 29, 2012 - We've had two days of almost continual snow; lovely fluffy stuff lazily drifting down.  It is breathtakingly beautiful.  During lunch a trio of deer were slowly crossing the lake in front of our window.  There were huge wolf prints in the snow a few hours after this all started but none since.  We love to fit together the clues to the animal tracks we see on our walks: rabbits who never go out beyond the shadow of the overhanging brush,  otters who have tried out their favorite places to slide, squirrels who busily leave trails going hither and thither, foxes who know instinctively that  a straight line is the shortest distance - and always stick to it, and the tiny zipper like trials of mice and moles. 
The moon has been incredibly bright as it grew closer to full, there were shadows at midnight!  But alas now that it is full the snow clouds dull its shine.  The wolves were still howling; still gives me the shivers.

Dec. 21 - Incredible sunshine!!! temperatures hovering just above zero.  Birds mobbing the feeders. Wonderful snow, trees are all lightly dusted, it looks like a senic post card.  Tomorrow is the day I get out the Christmas decorations and make us festive.  Also baking cookies.  There have been no raccoon tracks, so maybe the 'coon went elsewhere.    
Dec. 14  - We are back!  The train got into the Twin Cities just in time for the horrendous, record-breaking snow storm.  After about 15 minutes on the freeway - including an interminable out-of-control spin/slide that only ended with a crunch against the between-lanes barrier - we found a handy motel  and holed up for the day and night to enjoy a hot tub and kind bed.  Driving was still so bad the next day it took us 4 hours to make a two hour destination in Duluth.  All's well back here, and are we ever glad to be back home.  This week we had a guest report seeing a red fox exploring the front yard via our web cam.  Wonderful, I haven't seem them in several years.   And a huge raccoon apparently took up residence; Sam-dog took  him/her on in a mighty fracas on Wednesday evening.  The raccoon came off second best thanks to Sam's very thick coat.  Much as I appreciate wild life here I do hope that this critter has decided to move on to new territory.  I'm getting caught up with the heap of paperwork and looking forward to our first winter guests.  
Nov. 24 - Lovely blue skies today - well, most of the day.  It is SO incredibly  lovely!  We are so lucky to live here!  Temps got up to about 20' by noon today and then started dropping again.  Wind has stopped.  The lake froze over in weird and wonderful patterns.  We dearly hope it won't snow more right away as a layer of snow on the first ice guarantees it does not freeze well and we contend with slush layers all winter.  Got out to town where it seems a different world.  Bill & I are preparing for our holiday away...to the Pacific NorthWest where they have had horrendous rain and snow and wind storms.  If that keeps up not sure wel'll be able to do the hiking we'd planned in the Olympic Penninsula.  Blue Heron will be 'manned' by Doug and Suzann Bartley as they wait here for solid ice so they can return home across the lake.  
Nov. 23 - Snow started late yesterday aft.... there was as much as 10 inches this morning.  Wet and heavy;  the ground is not frozen yet so we can't plow - Bill used his big Ford to go up and down the driveway so we at least have tracks in case of emergency.  Too much snow for our little snowblower.  He & I shoveled narrow paths to the wood shed, bird feeders and cars...just the essentials today.   The lake is not yet frozen and it is windy!!! so the freeze will be leave an uneven surface.  The wind is still blowing strong and it has started to snow again.  
Nov. 13 - Almost time to change to the winter photo of BH.  Highs are in the low 40's at best.  Snow overnight and not melting.  The water level is up to normal.  Usually the power company lowers the water level before freeze up so that we don't have floods come spring melt.  
Nov. 8 - Odd thing going on with the lake water...appears to be clear current going west to east - the flow is ordinarily the other way.  Little ripples on the surface as if a river.  And the level is going up.  The only explanation I can think of is that they are letting more water thru the dam - must be lots more to creat a current like this.  It has been terribly low, and levels have come up at least 6 inches.  I need to look into this.  Pine Grossbeaks have appeared at the feeders - they don't usually show until it is far colder..is this a forecast?  It was sunny this morning, nice to see after the past week of dull, dull and duller.  But now clouded over again.  
Nov. 4 - This is the third day with morning lake ice lasting into the afternoon, water temps have dropped to 40'. Snowbuntings gone, replaced by orange hunters.  We sort of hunker down here; using 'our' trails instead of going out along the road.  Not a lot of gunshots so far but that's unusual.  Sam-dog astonished me when he knew just what to do when I held out his orange vest!   He was tracking some beavers - I think, based on the evidence they left behind.  They've been busy the last two evenings, two more pointed stumps along the sun-rise trail.  We are beginning the annual cleaning -- head to foot here in the lodge, room by room.  Wish my house were as clean.  
Oct. 28 - Snow! staying on the ground, temps hovering right at freezing.  Snow Buntings - skads of them - along the roads, skittering, swirling, surging in flocks of 30 or more.  We didn't get the outdoor furniture in in time - hate to put it away wet, but not much choice now.  While I think/hope it will warm up again ( e.g. go up to the 40's) I am watching the lake for signs of freezing; hoping that it will not happen for several weeks.  The last guests of the season leave tomorrow.  Over the last 3 days Bill & I drove down to LaCrosse for my annual check-in/testing with the allergist.  I've had SO much improvement I do not need the 3 x day antihistamines I've been on for almost 5 years.  Along the way we obseve the gradually changing trees as we head south for 7 hours.  Up north even the tamarack have lost their needels - that is early.  Bill and I are getting geared up for a trip to the Olympic Penninsula and the Columbia River Gorge...got to be sure our hiking boots are waterproofed!  Temps there next month should be about what they are here this month.  
Oct. 18 - Blessed rain!  so badly needed.  There have been numerous small fires this month but the Forest Service jumps on them right away - new policy.  I am awaare of the long term consequences of building up of fuels - burt right now this seems the best course.  All the leaves are gone, two days of wind earlier in the week completed any stripping.  The tamaracks quickly moved for yello/green to yellow to bronze and now rust; they too will start dropping.  We have been enjoying the fruits of Sall's gardening efforts recently; bags and bags of tomatoes waiting to ripen.  We got in the last lake water testing on one of the most gorgeous days last days.  Interesting to see how some of the measurements we take remain the same all through the season and other change radically.  There have been so many deer along the roads every evening... speeds over 30 mph are dangerous.  
Oct. 3 - Yesterday it was windy and the noise of a million trees with dry leaves was like being alongside a locomotive while it rained leaves!  Today calm, lake is mirror-still. Northern Lights the last two nights.  As the leaves come down the bedrock is beginning to emerge, something I consider just as beautiful as all the trees.  Our world is an intense gold-yellow now, much of the red is gone.  Sam-dog was into the Vet clinic for his annual - Chip looked up his dates and I was astonished to learn that I've had him for 10 years!!!!  I lost some years along the way. Oh well we both look/act younger than we are: He is  healthy and vigorous.   
Sept. 30 - The colors have been SO incredible this week.  Peak Peak Peak.  This whole week!  plan ahead for next year same time, last week of Sept.  Campfires every night this week, full moon as well!  What a treat!   I was out on the chain of lakes on Friday doing the last watersampling for the year; could hardly pay attention to the data the colors surrounding us were so intense, water so calm we did not need an anchor.  Today the first day with any wind the leaves are falling steadily.  All the very bright reds were gone by mid-week, now all the rest.  The water is 12 to 15 inches lower than optimal, hard on bigger boats but no problem in my canoes/kayaks.  First Junco's, Redpolls, lots of Blue Jay activity at the feeders.   Just the juvenile loons left now.  Lots of eagle activity.  We've been covering the garden and flowers every night; frosts were regular.  Have harvested all the basil, tomatoes, greenbeans and letuce now. The freezer now holds a year's worth of pesto.  Will now make green tomato jam.  Red peppers are really low in price and I may also make up red pepper jelly....do love that.  
Sept. 24 - The colors are so intense - wind for several days, of the white cap vairety, has limited canoe outings.  Great days for hiking.  Sighting numerous hawks as they begin their fall migration.  This morning for the first time in weeks there were NO Grackles at the feeders!  I guess they have all headed south.  Instead white throated sparrows, lots of chicadees, and nuthatches.  Odd that there are no Grosbeaks.
Sept. 19   It is SOOO lovely!  The predictions of a fizzled Fall color season missed it by a long shot!  We've gotten some rain, very welcome to the land but hard for those who are recreating here - 'cause its been cold each morning; mid 30's to mid 40's;need the wood stoves every morning now, and covers for the flowers every evening.  The fish are in a feeding frenzy!!! fill your limit right off the dock.  Hiking is glorious!  Either 'our' bear has denned or has given up challenging Sam-dog; at any rate no sign of him/her for about 10 days.  The hummingbirds are gone.  All in all it was a wonderful summer and it is sad to see it end.  
Sept. 9   The leaves are turning fast - lots of yellow now.  Early mornings have been about 50', but warming up each day.  This week a guest had a remarkable experience:  An adult loon with teen age - still fuzzy - chick was near their canoe.  Hawk overhead!  Adult loon screamed!  chick dove, hawk got no meal.  all in a flash. 
Town seems empty since the Labor Day boom - like a different place.  
Aug. 27  Each day this last week has been lovelier than the last!!  just mello mostly, one day a bit humid.  All evenings cool requiring at least long sleeves; mist off the lake each morning.  Guests are having campfires each evening - Sam-dog is there promptly if s'mors are in process.  The bird feeder population seems to be telling us that fall is arriving: the grackles are the most abundant bird..incredibly gorgeous but such an obnoxious call.  We are in the process of posting information about the upcoming photography workshop: Oct. 20 & 21.  Special lodging rates here at BH.  The BH staff is taking a holiday this week on a local houseboat!!!  Oh the preparations going on in the kitchen!  
Aug. 13   Just like previous years - first red leaves on this date.  also some yellow, not dried up, birch leaves.  The red ones are right outside my bedroom window and the yellow on the path to the lodge.  The weather has been awesomely wonderful; with rain only at night, crisp in the morning, lovely warm, not too hot during the say, and cool again by evening.  
Our little bear continues to visit and Sam-dog continues to say "stay away" - loudly.  In the nearby Eagles Nest area there was an incident with a nuisance bear complaint called in to the Dept. Of Natural Resources.  Neither the officers nor the family could scare the bear away with shouting or hand waiving...the bear, a small one who had earlier been found wounded and was subsequently treated by the bear center, behaved with no fear of humans, and was begging for food as if he had been hand fed.  The officers shot him.  I am so saddened that they did not try a loud air horn which we have often used as a deterent, nor pepper spray nor did they call the Bear Center...they went right to the most violent and final solution.  Actually I'm more than saddened, I'm furious!  Someone in the area must have been hand feeding that bear - bears just don't act like that other wise - and the result of their fun-with-bears is death for the bear.  One more lesson Do Not Feed Wild Animals!  As I write this I am just wondering if my feeding wild birds is also causing some harm further down the chain of events.   Am I being hyporcritical?  
July 30   Yesterday we all saw the great Blue Heron walking around in the grass on the shore right outside our windows. Usually one has to get up early to see them - at least since the eagles took up residence.  Our breakfasts recently are accompanied by hummingbird wars right along side the tables.  This morning there were 4 of them; zoom, zoom, zing, zip!  No matter that there are two easily accessible feeders - we all want this one!  This will intensify until they leave, generally after mid Sept.  
July 28  Correction - those were flickers not sap-suckers, the yellow under the tail fooled me.  AND we had another visit from the bear.  Was seen on the railing cleaning out our birdfeeders. That's OK with me and a thrill for most guests.  I've learned that bears vary tremendously in size and that 'our' bear is likely a yearling searching for a new territory of his/her own.  Since we are always extremely careful not to leave garbage accessible I'll be glad to share our bird feeders with this bear - who is reported to be SO cute.    The weather continues so wonderful, cool nights, warm days, plenty of rain so the woods are more lush than I have seen them in years.  
July 26   Starting yesterday afternoon we have identified at least 4 newly fledged yellow-bellied sapsuckers.  The are widely separated from each other across the property so presumably from different nests.  and are they loud!!!!  while doing breakfast dishes we enjoyed  watching a most bedraggled fledgling trying to dry itself off after a fierce downpour.  It was clinging to the railing right outside the employee entrance door; finally 'flew' clumsily to a nearby shrub and then started yelling for its parent.  Who did come bearing a mouthful of insects.  They are big birds and the youngsters are even bigger!  
July 14   Pretty calm here; more rain and lush growth, mosquito population declining somewhat, but still have to goop up.  Fishing off the dock successful for everyone who tries.   Baby birds begging at the feeders, parents getting tired.  No recent bear visits.  Scott and I are gradually going over every page of the website and getting it updated, lots of new photos on the way.  We've begun planning a photography workshop here Oct. 20/21.  I'm looking forward to improving what I can do with my camera.
July 6  Bear came back in the evening. First seen in driveway again, then up on the deck eating out of the bird feeders.  A guest got snaps and video of our bruin.  Appears to be a bit small for a yearling, but too big for a cub.  May be looking for territory after Mom shoved him/her out.  We'll try to get visuals up on facedbook, technology is baffling to me; but I can ask others.  No activity at all around the eagles' nest; they may be taking ayear off from raising youngsters.     
July 5  
 Saw a bear cub in the driveway this afternoon;  mama must be close.  We'll have to be careful about using screen doors now.  The roadsides are all enlivened with wild-flowers:  butter and eggs provide the yellow, clover the purple, Indian paint brush the dark orange and fringes of white from several others.  Yesterday's hail wiped out are carefully nurtured seedlings.  The earth is soaked already and yesterday's downpours added more.   Fishing from the dock is good!    
June 30   Loons calling from both lakes this morning.  Sam-dog barking -wolf/bear- last evening...didn't see but I believe Sam.  White caps on the lake the last two days, warm air but water is SO refreshing.  The whole staff experiencing the relief of not offering dinners, loved it but it was hard, with year number 72 coming up I'm guarding my energy.  
June 24  We have seen both the Farm Lake loons and the South Farm family each having a  single chick.  Yesterday and today - finally without rain.  Turtles are into egg laying along the road.  Year after year the foxes get them before the egg shells have even hardened.  Baby chipmunks at the feeders filling their cheeks so full you wonder if they can even run.  June specials continuing.  
June 17 Eagles harassing loons, they must have hatched their eggs.  Red fox in driveway, otter feasting on his catch on our dock.  Garden blooming.  Wonderful guests day after day.  
June 8 - Wolves spotted again close by, and  yesterday Sam-dog was barking his wolf/bear-bark several times, looks like the critter was wanting to circle around us and Sam was on it for hours.  The water levels have stopped rising and 'our' loon nest has remained safe.  Otter in the cove again, beavers at work on South Farm.      
June 1
- Have had to get a new computer with an updated program....pain, pain, pain.  took 5 days to find this page again.  The great news is SUNSHINE!!!  but know that clear skies (with fabulous stars) also mean cool evenings and even colder mornings.  The water levels are up beyond normal...lots of flooded docks in the neighborhood - am so glad I had my guys make floating docks.  It will take at least a week for the waterlevels to stop fluctuating.  A friend brought back photos of our nearby loon nest - still above water, thank goodness.  The loon is diligently sitting on eggs, only about 3 inches from the waterline - so not much room to spare.  That nest has been there since I was a kid and this is year 72 for me.  Wish I could report better news for the eagle's nest..I am still hoping we will see an eagle brooding - they are there but not sitting.  I guess that something happened to their first clutch of eggs.  
May 25 - Neighbors report wolf in yard and moose crossing the road.  
May 21 - Yesterday we had a full day of rain, at times, very heavy rain.  The USFS says that the fire south of Ely is now completely 100% out with 1 1/2 inches of rain.  The landscape here at the lodge is a blend of incredible greens, everything looking lush - but interesting, no puddles, it all soaked in.  A guest saw a pair of wolves while on her run down the road toward the So. Farm Trail. 
Yesterday Bill and I attended a rally for those of us who do NOT support the amendment to the MN constitution which would make same-sex marriages illegal .  It was a wonderful experience and a time of renewed friendships with, as Bill says 'the usual suspects' - those of us in the area who are reliably liberal-progressive.  I was astonished to learn that 30 states have such laws!!!  We hope/pray that Minnesota wst. ill not be the 31

May 18 - Fire outside of Ely yesterday afternoon was put out with the full array of everything the USFS and 4 local fire departments could throw at it.  A downed electrical line was the cause.  All area communications: radio, internet and cell phones were all out - the towers that all those systems share were in danger so everything was shut down.  The southern part of town was evacuated smoothly and quickly.  Meanwhile out this way we could smell smoke but could see nothing.  So those of us living outside the town were quite lacking in accurate information and swimming in rumors.  
May 14 - First hummingbirds!! orchids in the bog,  Sam-dog arguing with a mallard pair who would like to next in our creek.  Male goldfinches arrived - the females always come first.  Fire danger has gone back up to 'extreme'. 
May 13  - Wild strawberry blooms and forget-me-nots peek thru at ground level;  My daffodils and red tulips brighten the weed-choked garden;  Tree clouds of juneberry blossoms float along the road sides;  Fishermen's motor boats break the morning stillness;Woodpecker's thunks and ratta tat's punctuate the birdsong; my nose drips - its allergy season again. 
May 10 - Saw a handsome red fox only about 10 ft from the lodge yesterday morning, sure adds pleasure to doing dishes.  Watched an eagle circling from my office window as well - great distraction.  So many spring birds on the feeders: purple finches in abundance, 3 prs of rose breasted gross beaks, numerous pairs of evening gross beaks, several blue jay, scads of pine siskins and ubiquitous LBB's.  I have the duck identification book out constantly, so many I don't know who may just be passing thru. This will be a great day to start washing windows - who knows what we'll see.  
May 4
THE LOONS ARRIVED!  Loud commotion and joyous yodels telling the world they were home!  YES!!!  I was so relieved.
We have green up as well.  tree frogs and peepers!  Went birding on Wed. morning and saw one of the local heron rookeries, all very busy building/rebuilding.  On coming home there was 'our' blue heron balancing at the very top of the tallest spruce!  New birds seen:  kingfisher, flicker, white throated sparrow.  Oh welcome back spring!

April 25   While we were gone there was one more snowfall so we came home to dirty snow still clinging along the road.  Our cultural immersion was memorable, for the culture but also for the incredible ability we developed to get thoroughly lost.  We have completely lost our city-driving skills. However, it was lovely being 'south' in the Twin Cities where the lilacs were in bloom, all the trees leafed out, grass was green.  Driving north as we came homeward there was less and less green, and barely any here at home.  BUT there is a tinge of green on the tamaracks and the aspen, and I could hear barred owls, saw-whet owls.  The tree frogs must have gone back into the mud, no sound from them.  Today we leave to spend 5 nights at a friend's cabin on a near-by lake; taking lots of warm clothes, and rain gear - but a get-away is still a get-away.    
April 18,   They guessed right about the snow.  Plus, it rained for hours before changing to snow, iced closed the doors on the north side.  The good news is that the lake is back up to normal height, and most of the snow is already gone.  It was the birds that suffered:  Driving home on Monday  it was dangerous because all over the roads were Robins!  Looking for worms that weren't there, the snow had covered their normal feeding grounds.   In the late afternoon several robins persistently 'knocked' at my windows seeking shelter, I could feel their desperation.  I put an apple thru the Cusinart along with a piece of bacon and Bill smeared it on hunks of wood which he put under the decks hoping they would shelter there.  And they did.  On Tuesday morning early a robin knocked on my bedroom window again.  There were 8 robins sunbathing all together in a dead-looking birch outside my window, orange breasts all plumped and facing the sun.
Wonderful sight! All the window ledges on the east side of the house show evidence that they had served as perches.  How long does it take for that much in bird dropping to acummulate?   It is supposed to warm up again tomorrow.  On Thursday I'm off to celebrate my son Christophers' birthday, could he really be 48?  Bill has arranged a cultural immersion weekend for us:  Madama Butterfly, a play at the Guthrie and a SPCO concert.  
April 15,  Near freezing still at noon.  The radio says there is a 'winter weather advisory' in effect with 6" of snow predicted!  We'd all like the moisture, but snow?  Truthfully we've had snow on Memorial Day but with all the early spring we are just in a different mode:  somebody put their snow shovel away!  It wasn't me!!  The purple finches are mobbing at the feeders fighting the big grackles for rights;  lots of bird song. A friend on Fall lake, about 5 miles NW, says they have loons, I haven't seen them here yet.  The water went up about 6" this week, grateful for that.  
April 10,  Spring has come to a halt, little to no green-up.  Each day has been sun-rain-snow-sleet, all-4-seasons-in-a-day for a least a week now - well, not summer.   Birds are scarce.  No frogs peeping; and dry- so very dry.   
Lots of wind suddenly, more like normal.  The sounds of the trees in the wind are more like summer, but there are no leaves...I always thought the summer winds were so much louder than winter because the leaves collectively made such a loud rushing sound.  But the sound is there now, just no leaves.  So it might be that during winter the trees are so brittle and stiff they do not move as much, and now they are limber.  Any other hypothesis?
A neighbor is experiencing a rash of porcupine damage on his pines...they normally do not live up here.  I have quite a number of young pines I've been zealously nourishing and am so proud of.   

April 4,   Days of sunshine, chilly (days about 40' nights still freezing).  Have spotted 'our' eagles, they appear to be sitting on the nest now.   Have seen a few more Junco's, Purple Finches and several varieties of sparrows - the Little Brown Birds I'm rarely able to sort out.  The lake water is exceptionally clear.  Part of the reason is that it has been almost continutally calm so bottom sediment is not stirred. The water levels are painfully low, easily 8 inches down vertically .  The beach area where we put canoes in is over 2 1/2 ft further out.   Beavers have constructed a very large den on the shore accross from us.  What a great opportunity IF we had a telescope, I'm going to have to search for a used one.   The drought continues - I admit to growing anxiety about our vulnerability in case of wild fire - even with our external water sprinkler system.  I had Handy-man Jay remove trees that had grown up on the south side of the lodge,  I love their shade but they were overhanging the roof.  We have reviewed our fire-wise precautions and the evacuation plan.  All serious stuff, but necessary and wise.  Hopefully not used.  
March 25  The lake is fully open!!  last night's wind pushed all the loose ice into our bay but there was little of that, it is 'chuckling' as it sloshes in the waves.  Yesterday we could hear the whole lake tinkling as the small icecrystals bumped together - lovely sound.  It remains at only 20' now at noon, but some of the maples have huge buds.
March 24  Unbelievable!  first mosquitor reported!!!!  snow geese, a rare sighting, hooded merganzers out on S. Farm.  The floating docks are no longer ice-bound, big patches of open ice in the bay.  There is an almost constant mist coming off the remaining ice,  makes us look like some mystical scene in a movie, but the birds are so loud they spoil the effect.  I'm betting the ice will go out later today or tomorrow.  I've been giving Sam-dog his annual Spring trim, about 4" of thick, snarled winter hair to come off.  He gets impatient after only 10 minutes or so so it is a job done in stages making him look - ah - unusual is the kindest thing I can think of.  As soon as the underhair, now revealed, gets wet it'll curl and he'll look like Sam again.  
March 23   first Junco!  Red-Winged blackbirds are filling the air with their peculiar song.  Robins seen now.  The ice continues to thin..one day of wind and it would be gone, but meanwhile we watch hourly.  Saw a beaver out on the ice and Sam-dog wanted to get to it...and took off across the rotten ice.  Good dog that he is he stopped when called and came back.  
March 22 Increbible Spring.  Two WOLVES in the driveway this morning.  They saw us, we saw them: full stop.  The songbirds are so loud it is getting hard to distinguish between them.  Owls last night, just heard not seen:  Barred and Saw-whet another possibly Great Horned, not really good at owl calls but who ever it was they were having a busy night.  
March 17   It was 40' this morning at 7 AM!!!  The ice is black - meaning it is full of water; not to be trusted.  Heard Robins this morning when I came down to the lodge (they have been seen in town);  the Woodpeckers have been drumming for weeks, Chickadees singing their
"cheeseburger"spring song.  The squirrels are frantically chasing each other.  Along the road we've seen flocks of Snowbuntings - who pass through each spring.  Looking next for the also transient Juncos.  I think I heard  Canada geese overhead last night.  It is an exciting time to be here!!! 
March 16   Spring is arriving quickly!  Only traces of snow left.  Our neighbors in the water access only cabin moved over to BH this week as the ice had 6" of water on top of it, and multiple spider cracks - some other local lakes were going out.  They spend the ice-transition time here at BH in a barter arrangement.  Wednesday Bill & I and the dog and cat had a picnic in the sun out on the dock - surrounded by the mushy ice we were warm and dry.  Redwing blackbirds reported the marsh in nearby Winton, the early birds!  A wooly bear caterpiller reported on the portage (bare ground) to Lake One.  A moose with her calf were spotted on a farm 1 mi So. of Ely along highway 21.  Trumpeter swans were reported in the open water along the Fernberg Trail outside of Winton.  All this and it is not even muddy!  Oh but we need rain!  
Feb. 26  last evening Sam-dog was barking madly - seemingly from out on the lake - where he never goes by himself...odd.  Early this morning ravens swooping thru the trees by the beach.  hmmm???? they are after something.  Bill & I dashed into clothing and went out on the lake.  Wolf kill!  maybe 100 ft. from shore.  Wolf left when we walked out but stayed on the other side of the bay in the bushes.  Eagles and, ravens weren't upset by our presence.  They all must have been working on the carcass all night because it was mostly bones now.  We dashed to the lodge and called a halt to breakfast preparation and staff and guest all trooped out.  Have photos made by a guest with a long lense - will post shortly.   Still snowing!  
Feb. 25.   SNow, SNOw, and more SNOW!  three consecutive days of light almost all day snow had put about 6 inches on the ground and a foot more is predicted today and tomorrow!!!  That will give us close to 2 ft., minimal for our area in a typical winter but never-the-less most welcome.  City-friends have been delighting in the mild winter while those of us living in the wilderness only see more drought next summer.  The eagles have begun to spend time on their nest,  there was a wolf kill close by and they jointly made short work of the carcass.  The first load of our wood for next winter has been delivered and now starts the hand work.  But being out side is a joy these days.  
Feb. 19  Wonderful skiing.  Overnights temps are still dropping to -20' all week now, but it warms up quickly and most days are clear and sunny.  The skiing is good.  Hidden Valley trails  in v.g. condition while lake skiing/snowshoing and walking is a treat.  
Feb. 11  The Eagles have returned!!!  saw them for the first ime on the 10th, seen by their nest this morning!  playing news catch up: About a week ago it was really warm, above freezing;  Bill remembered that it was 15 years ago that it had been -60', and this year we had puddles on the road.  But the very next day it turned cold and has stayed cold!  it has been -30' morning after morning when the forcasters blithly predict -3'...and in the Twin Cities it has been melting!  but c-o-l-d here.  this morning -25'.  The birds who usually squabble at the feeder are all crouched down over their feet and tolerating everyone feeding simultaneously, even the normally irrascible female evening grossbeaks!  A few siskins for the firs time and one lonely goldfinch.  The snow sculptures in the park are the best ever!!!   and due to the continued cold they have remained in almost perfect condition for the last week.  It was warm when they were carving them (like carving mashed potatoes a friend said) but perfect now!  and the ski trails continue to be at peak!  
Feb. 1.    Last week our chamber of commerce - getting things ready for the Ely Winter Festival and the international snow carving contests - put out a call for snow, there is not a whole lot on the ground...and Ely responded!... bags, coolers, pick-up trucks.... lines of folks bringing snow to the park to fill the 12'x12' forms that are used to create the big blocks of snow used by the professional cnow carvers.  We will have a winter festival!  Oh yes, the Hidden Valley cross country ski trailsare absolutely tremendous - the best in the state!!!  
Jan. 20.  COLD!  It was -37' yesterday and -40' this morning and another clear night coming...so tomorrow mornings temps are likely to be even colder.  You've hear the expression "a three dog night" - this is what it refers to, you need three dogs to keep warm; but for us one dog plus one cat did the trick. This is the sort of weather that tests our cars, our fortitude, our long johns and our down coats.  But it is SO incredibly beautiful!  No wind, bright sun, the nails in the deck and roof are popping with a sound that sounds like a rifle shot, the lake ice grumbles and then shoots back with its cannon sound.  A friend who lives off the grid reported that it was 28' in the house when he woke this morning!!!   Bill is getting up and feeding the fire during the night to be sure that doesn't happen to us; I've resolved to cease complaining when it is 60' in the house in the morning.  The birds are ravenous; chicadees by the dozen when they normally are pretty singular here.  It is hard on plant life; extreme cold without the insulating cover of snow.  I'll be needing to replace garden plants and even some shrubs.   Wednesday after an early morning meeting in town my car  would not restart - got a lift from a friend to my next appointment, then other friends who jumped the battery and drove it to the station - new battery needed.  I probably could have gotten by with an occasional jump start - but  why take that chance - its only money.  
Jan. 11, 2012  SNOW!! wonderful snow for the last 3 hours steady!  and the forecast for the next two weeks is that it will get cold again.  The full moon this week was stupendous!  Awesome!  wonderful!  (get the picture?) AND I just received word that Blue Heron will be featured in the Feb. issue of MidWest Living.  Last year the dining room, this year the B & B - somebody likes us!  
Jan. 8, 2012
- We've had two warm days with the snow's top crust getting soft during the day - which means it refroze overnight as nights were at 0'.  Each new temperature change brings changes in the snow surface.  So there are numerous different kinds of snow out there.  Wasn't it the eskimos language that has hundreds of different names for the varrying snow conditions?  The many different textures make for very interesting observations and some challenging walking.  The chicadees are fooled into thinking spring is here and are singing their spring song!  Today finally some sunshine.  
Jan 3, 20012- New snow blew in with the new year!  Dosledding in particular is wonderful, skiing too.  We had been walking out on the ice without snowshoes but now find there is enough snow that the extra support of the snowshoes is necessary.  A New Years' day walk showed huge wolf tracks coming out from the island, but nonegoing in.  I concluded that the wolf is a lone one and that it spent the night on the island.  We'll have to be particularly aware where Sam-dog is now as that is unusual wolf behavior.   Also saw tracks from an otter enjoying himself sliding down a bank to the ice and then going back up again.  Actually it could have been several otters.  Fox tracts, bunnies near the shore and what must have been a New Years Eve gala for the mice.  Clear nights have been rare in December but that usually changes during January.  
Dec. 20 - We've been hiking out on the lake regularly.  There is about 4 inches of snow on top of strong clear ice, easy walking; should be wonderful skiing.  Sam-dog runs like a mad-dog!  He can't get enough of it.  I'm still astonished that he doesn't take off on his own since he is free to go all day - but he waits for us.  There continues to be lots of wolf track.  I finally got some decent photos of birds at the feeders with snow in the background.  I plan to use them on the home-page live camera website link you can connect on to see what we see out our windows.  Watch for them and you too can see the view from our windows at any time.  I wonder if the camera swiveles far enough to see the stars?  let me know if anyone tries it.  
Dec. 11 - bright sunshine and nearly 20' after a week long run of days that started at 20 below zero and barely warmed up.  The good news is that the lake ice is wonderful!  More good news is that Bill came thru the implantation of his pacemaker with flying colors - and looks and sounds SO much better.  Thank you for all the prayers and positive energy sent our way.  Last evening we were at one of those local concerts that make bold why I love to be in Ely:  a two hour program of excellant local music and dance.  Loved the "Largemouth Brass Quintet"  made up of: a gal who is an EMT and winters as a dog musher (on the french horn), a trumbone playing owner of a mens clothing store, another trumbone who is radio station announcer (and who formerly ran the now defunct movie theater), a tuba playing lawyer ( who had on his elf hat and ski boots), and two trumpets: a music teacher, and a retiree who formerly was a translator of Russian!  Does that give you some Ely color?  Next up was a local gal who'd had a career as a New York nightclub performer - she rocked the house!  then she was joined by two guitarists, one previously had a career as a country western singer and the other one of Ely's best know contractors (and my neighbor).  We were thrilled by the performances of our colleges' present and former music directors - piano and vocal.  I could go on and on.  The ballet was astonishing,  Our young girls trained to perfection!.  What a gift to the young people and to our community.  Every seat in the auditorium was taken!  not to mention it was the Arts Association's 25th anniversary.  
Dec. 2 - Big Bird day!  Pine Gross beaks and Gold Finches both showed up - that means its cold!  Was below zero all night and the lake was making ice again.  Sam-dog exhausted from trying to bark that giant out of his territory.  
Dec. 1 - It has been 0' at 7 AM and not warmed up till after 10 AM.  At these temperatures the lake is 'making ice' and groans and grinds, incredible sounds like giants in their bowling alley.  Sam-dog does not know where the sound comes from and diigently tried to bark it away.
  Bill exchanged the canoe paddles for snowshoes and took out the car emergency packs.  We are ready!  
Nov. 29 - Wolf adventure - Sam-dog, Bill and I were walking the old logging trail along So. Farm, Sam staying right on the trail without exploring all the woods - a sure sign of wolves in the area - he smells them.  He suddenly darted off on a scent trail, was gone too long for my comfort and I called him back, it took longer than I was comfortable with so I used the sure-to-be-obeyed command: Home!  as Bill and I turned around the wolves started howling and seconds later Sam popped out onto the trail. The sound came from about 200 yards away, 5 or 6 wolves - on the move.   Lovely singing, were they disappointed?  We made it back to the car in record time.  
Nov. 27 - It's been cold!  snow and ice have remained, they may be here to stay; wood stoves have begun to be operated continuously.  I've succumed to the 'cooking' bug - in the fall I haul out all the old favorite soup and stew reciepies and well as desserts.  Our refrigerator is bulging!  Yesterday Bill was a model in Ely's annual fashion show... he cleans up pretty well.  Actually he looked spiffy.  I'll post photos if I can figure out how.   The door decoration Heidi and I donated to the Hospice Festival of Trees has attracted some bids - it is so very simple and modest in comparison to many of the very showy offereings.  We are still working away at the fall cleaning, every time we think we are at the end >>>>  not.  
Nov. 20 - 2 days ago we woke to ice across the lake. Surprise! Our neighbors from across the lake who live here at Blue Heron during the transition time (several weeks till the ice is firm enough to walk on) got caught on the other side... but crashed their way through, last boat through till spring.  Staff member, Scott, was up on Basswood deer hunting and came back in just yesterday and also had to break ice all the way back - a long, cold day.  But today even though it is barely 10' outside the sun is shining and it is lovely.! Yesterday we celebrated Bill's 37th anniversity of sobriety!  a very special day.  And finally the end of deer hunting season so we finally can walk with Sam-dog down the road and feel safe.  
Nov. 16 - snow!! about 4 lovely inches!  staff member extraordinaire Heidi and I completed decorating the door decoration we donate to the local Hospice/Respite.  They then offer all the decorated wreaths and trees at a Festival of Trees, a fund raiser for them.  I'll post a photo of our creation on Facebook soon.  
Nov. 14 All the Tamarack needles are down now.  Just bare tree skeletons that look like acres of dead trees.  
Nov. 12 - lovely sunshine, but the ice is still along the edges of the lake even as it gets to about 40'.  Last evening Bill & I finished the baby quilt we jointly made for chef Ted's much anticipated daughters' birth.  Should be any day now; we are proud we got it done in time. Bill came up with the idea as many of our typical activities are not possible for him right now; so with me teching he pieced the design and then I made the sandwich, put a ruffle around it and finished off the edges.  I took a photo of him napping under the just finished quilt that I'll post on face book.  
Nov. 11- Shore ice extends out about 20 ft still a 11:30 AM, last night's snow is now melting. It is about 10' this morning, could get as 'warm' as 40' - so much for the accuracy of forcasts. There has been ice in the quiet coves well into the afternoons all week. Tried to clean out the chimney's this morning and had to abondon the task as there were a number of risky factors: wind, ice on the roof. Why, why does it get left to the very last minute?  Is there some universal rule or force that brings on procrastination???   Heard one last loon while walking our trails this week.  Had critters up on the decklast evening - critters with hooves.  Could the deer be that hungry?

Nov. 4 2011- This morning there was still ice along the shore at 10AM.  The days have been sunny but day-time termperature hovered in the low 30's.  As it gets colder the lake sounds different - deeper, the wave sounds sort of 'slosh', not crash.  I react quite viscerally: That friendly and familiar lake is dangerous now.  As I have gotten older (working now on 72) I am a lot more careful about going out into many situations I'd previously jumped into.  Fools rush in....  
Oct. 30 - more close up wolf howling, just behind the cabins that are across from us - same place as the last few days, many incidents in the last 3 days.  For them to be returning to the same spot indicates they had a big-sized kill - probably a moose.  I have to admit that I'm not quite ready to out out there and take a look-see.  If my notes are correct we've been hearing from this pack since the 12th.  They must have been tracking/worrying at this animal all that time.  
Some of you inquired about Bill's pacemaker - his blood wan't clotting well so the surgery is dalayed until Dec. 7.  
Oct. 27 - The wolves are out there howling this morning, awesome!!! Sam-dog hid, smart dog.  It has been snowing on and off this morning, roofs are covered; about 20' again.  Big flocks of snow buntings skittering along the roadside.  The Tamaracks are uniformaly deep gold.  After this weekend we will take in the rafts & deck chairs.  Staff begin their winter dispersal next week... sad.
Oct. 18 - There are lazy big snow flakes drifiing down, the temp at 11 AM is 20'.  This is the 'golden' season of the Tamarack:  green gold, yellow gold, rose gold, rustgold and - next month- rust; Tamaracks go through all those wonderful changes.  It seems to me that there are far more tamarack now than even 10 years ago.  Last week the birds began arriving back; a big flock of evening grossbeaks are here now; saw snow buntings last evening!  We've got the winter's wood all put up and the sauna wood undercover.  A few more chores and we'll be ready for the winter.  
Oct. 12 - We've quickly gone through the 'yellow' stage of leaf color and they are now historical compost on the forest floor.  Just the tamaracks left to complete their changes.  The weather continues very mellow, in fact unbeleivable.  Water level in the lake is w-a-y down; need rain!  The fire is some 80% 'contained' with rain in the forcast.  Still we've never had a day of smoke!!! The birds are gradually returning, saw purple finches and junco's, nuthatches and more chicadees.  A bear visited the bird feeders last evening, and perhaps also a wolf in the yard:  Sam-dog was howling a very primitative howl the likes of which I've only heard from  him once before.   We've got all the wood for the lodge & house cut and split and under cover, now the sauna.  A number of aspen have come down over the summer so they will heat the sauna this winter.  Last will be kindling and we will be ready for winter.  Bill is to have a pacemaker/defibulator put in this coming Monday.  Hopefully in a few months he will have regained some energy.  
Oct. 6 - Last weekend Bill & I rode up
about 2 hrs on the Echo Trail.  Incredible!  So much red maple there it has become like New England.  And the oak lends a deep undertone of rust, it is one of the fee area around here where oak has proliferated.  We picniced at Meander Lake and Sam-dog tangled with a Piliated wood pecker who clearly didn't want him around.  I'd not seen such behavior before.  The reds have mostly fallen here and the yellow predominate, a unique rose-gold.  Awesome.  The warm weather continues as does the fire.  Today's wind can't help things there.  they have 'out' side well protected but the wind is blowing up from the south east.  Yesterday driving in late the smoke clouds were again impressive; but we still smell nothing!  I pulled up in the driveway to a doe browsing along the edge and a chorus of wolves in full throat.  That's why we live here.
Sept. 28 - Incredibly beautiful, the colors of the maples around the lodge change the color of the light in the lodge to a warm rose.  The maples between the house and the lodge turned Monday night.  The lake is deep blue and the contrast is - well beautiful.  Take a look via our web cam on this page.  Days are still warm and canoeing/hiking are the best ever.  Sam-dog is hard at work keeping bears from our bird feeder, he who seldom barks is sending out his warnings to the hidden visitors to stay off his property.  So far they have.  The bears are hungry this year with no blue berries and no hazel nuts.  
    Newspapers in bigger cities are fanning the 'conflict' over management of the fire: I want to state here that we are SO grateful that they acted as they did in setting the back-fires.  Without them we (and a whole slew of resorts along the Fernberg trail) would be blackened ruins.  Those outside 'experts' talk as if fire really could  be managed... the actuality is that it can be managed only to a small degree; the realities of weather are not in human control and clearly we are unable to accurately predict either.   Our time of tension and alertness is not yet over as there is more dry weather and wind predicted.  
Sept. 23 - SO beautiful,  the maples are pretty well all turned and the birches beginning to provide the yellow background.  The backroards are being opened as the fire crews are taking control of more areas.  The rain was just in time and we think that the maples leaves will hold for a few weeks instead of dropping off as we'd expected them to.  
Sept 20 - The fire is now 23% contained and they have secured the NW perimeter which could be of greatest danger to us here.  Still no smoke here!  Sunday was a day of blessed rain and today will be too!!  
The maples are now incredibly gorgeous!!!!  walked yesterday and kept tripping because I was continually looking up.  This coming will be the weekend to be here I think.  But generally it should last for another week.  COME NOW!  
Sept. 15 - The trees are changing daily - red. crimson, scarlet, majenta, red-orange and orange.  SNOW yesterday.  and it stayed on the ground for a couple of hours.  temps in the low 20's erly this morning - our basil is done for but the rest of the garden seems fine.  It is going to be an incrdibly colorful fall.  
Sept 13 - We are in no danger from the fire, we don't even smell smoke, though we do see it.  The fire is about 10 miles away and moving south.  Evacuations and closures have affected a small town south and east of us.  I'd suggest NOT using Highway #1 coming to Ely, they will be using it for USFS vehicles.  We receive daily updates from the USFS and can be in continuous contact with them.  
Sept. 10 - the dry weather continues - wonderful for guests!  The USFS had the fire undercontrol several times and then it gets away.  The smoke is all going south along the NorthShore but my allergy to wood smoke is still triggered and I sound like I'm really sick.  Bill and I have had several lovely evenings out paddling.  We've harvested our first tomato.  
September 2 - rain, blessed rain!  not enought to put out the fire which we figure is about 6 miles from here, started by lightening.  Yellow birch leaves are dropping.  
Aug. 27 - last evening there was a fire not far from here in the BWCAW - could see the black smoke billowing up.  The Forest Service planes began scooping water up from Farm Lake and going over the fire area, went on steadily for about 2 hrs.; entertainment for our dinner guests.  A change to white smoke signaled that they had it under control.  But - just in case - I turned on our external sprinkler system this afternoon and gave everything a good wetting.  When you get here look up on the roof and in the woods surrounding the lodge, you'll see this clever system.  It uses lake water, pumped up via a compressor and will wet down the grounds and building.  In case of a forest fire advancing on us we can turn it on, evacuate and it will keep the place wet for 24 hrs.  The Forest Service will come by and replace the tanks if longer is needed.   Another increeibly lovely day.  Aug. 26 - warm again, and sunny.  first yellow leaves on the birch,  ferns are browning.  very dry.   
Aug. 21 - 37 degrees at 7 AM !!  no mist on the lake, it must have cooled off a lot!
Aug. 20 - 42 degrees at 7 AM,  needed a fire in the dining room for breakfast
Aug. 11,  Since the State of MN got its budget problems resolved and is back operating we have been swamped.  Wonderful to see the schedule fill in day by day.  We started clearing more of the trees and brush between the lodge and the lake - our view was almost completely gone;  my handi guys have to schedule this work for when I'm not here because it is just SO painful for me to cut trees.  The new flowerbeds at the entrace to the driveway are finally completed and it is just what I'd hoped for.  We saw Norther lights for the first time in ages this week, but always the clouds moved in shortly after dark.  The multiple fires in Ontario must finally be under controll.  I had day after day of asthma attacks.  
Aug. 3, 2011.  4 young eagles playing in the air currents over our parking lot this morning right after breakfast.  Guests saw a bear yesterday swiming between islands in South Farm.  
July 28 - can't believe that the month has gone by so quickly.  Eagle chicks now flying from tree to tree and are often left alone by the adults.  The deer have nibbled all my petunias from half of one of the flower boxes by the sauna, clean off!  But only half the box.  I think they have figured out that if they move any further the motion detector light will be triggered.  So I'll move the box with the petunias.  Our second new floating dock has been launched, but still needs to be attached to the others by the correct hardware.  Guests took to it right away, lots more room for sunbathing and great platforms for swimming with easy out and in.  We had our first airplane land here several weeks ago...that is what it was all about - a dock sufficiently far out that the airplan could bring in dinner guests.  Loads of computer challenges this last month had me gritting my teeth!    
July 4 - checked on 'our' eagles yesterday,  chicks must be about 8 to 10 lbs. now.  bounding on sides of the nest, no room for the parents in the nest.  chicks begged when we vocalized to them, but no parents around.  Waited at the nearby camp sight and after about 15 minutes a flock of eagles came over the horizon.  Saw 7 total eagles together, one adult broke off to sit guard over the nest; the rest lazy played in the air currents all over the lake, no signs of territorality or aggression.  One of the eagles was a juvenile, maybe 2 or 3 years old.  It was as if Mable and Fred and John and Judy from down the river came over to play....  neat.    
June 30 - there is a Phoebe nesting under the upper deck, sings his/her heart out every evening!  And they eat mosquitos!  
June 28 - First day in a while without rain.  Water levels are all up, Kawishiwi Falls is thundering.  A guest left us fabulous digital photos of 'our' eagles.  I'll  try to get them posted along with the page I've developed about eagles soon.  Oh, dear I've committed in public now!  Oh,  we are now on facebook.
June 20 - The eagle was eating a fish perched on a rock about 3 yards offshore in view of the din rm windows this morning when staff came in.  He's really getting to feel at home.  Sam-dog was napping only about 75 ft away.  
June 18 - The lupines are all in bloom along Kawishiw Trail, we've been seeing deer in their glossy glory munching amoung the purples.  An employee who lives about a quarter mile away had a bull moose in his yard this morning.  Lots of eagle sightings.
June 7 - recovering from nasty case of bacterial pneumonia.  The trees are lush green!  have seen the eages hunting, they must have hungry chicks! Sound & Light Show last evening, more predicted.  Repair crews have been kept busy restoring electricity lately.  I think we are now safe to plant.  
May 25 - have been gone for a week and "lo!"  it is Spring.  Trees mostly leafed out, June Berries in blossom.  It is good to be home.  
May 14 - Fishing Opener and it is 31' and blustery!  first rosebreasted grossbeak, first humminbirds.  Tiny buds on the trees will now have to wait.
May 12 - The Dining Room at Blue Heron has been selected by MidWest Living Travel Guide 2011 as one of it's "Best Places to Visit"  
May 9 - a wet Mother's day.  First loons, the eagles are sitting on their nest!  First May flowers.  The deer are SO skinny it is painful to see them.  
May 4 - glorious sunshine!  daffodiles in bloom.  The deer are grouping on all the roadsides seeking green grass.  Sam-dog is busy keeping them off (well, trying) the septic mound and the shore. Time to start spring chores.  The oak floors in the dining room have been refinished - now for the vommon space.  It takes as long to clean up as to sand it all.  
May 2 - today it is only 20' at noon, and snowing lightly,  where is spring?
May 1 - the ice went out yesterday!!!  but it is still barely above freezing and very blustery.  Want to launch the canoe and go check on 'our' eagles.
April 23 - 2 fresh inches of snow this morning - gone by 2 PM.   Can see lots of open water now.  Predicted to be near 60' tomorrow.  
Bill & I are leaving tomorrow for a week.  Celebrating my son's 48th birthday (!) and then going on to a conference about Minnesota Waters.  
April 20 - snow almost all gone.  Used our trails into the BWCAW the last two days,  lots of evidence of wolf activity over the winter, and far more trees down than usual in the spring.  The water is open about 4 to 6 ft along the shorelines on So. Farm.  Ducks are busy, mallards, merganzers, hooded merganzers (!) and bufflehead so far.  The road sides are practically crowded with deer.  A group of 8 at the end of our driveway, more at every grassy place on the way to town.  They are still in winter drab.  
April 18 - 5 inches of snow over the weekend and 20' temps.  The birds are mobbing the feeders and we are feeding 3 x a day.  Our little bunny is all light tan.  I've been putting out vegetable scraps and even some wilted flowers.  Today the sun is back but it is cold and no melting.  While on a walk back of South Farm Lake inlet we saw a covey of a dozen Hooded Merganzers feeding in the only open water around.  They are lovely in the Spring.  
April 13 - first blue heron and first mallards.  The heron was fishing in the trout stream that parallels Kawishiwiw Trail.  The mallards are splashing in the puddles on top of the ice off shore.  And still sunshine.  
April 12 - it was the last day of strolling on the ice - 2 more days of sunshine (wonderful!) have made it unsafe.  
April 10 - if the predicted rain comes today will have been our last walk on the lake, the top layer was 4-6 inches of slush and there were open holes.  But still we could see along the sides of crevasses that there is 3 ft of ice under most of the top crust - the fisherfolk were out in force in the middle of the lake.  I walked carrying a pole - been thru the ice before, don't want to do it again.  Sam-dog came home from a romp with guests almost  unrecognizable.  He was two tone, dirty blond on the top half, wet reddish dirt on the bottom.  I'll wait till he dries off - or it rains till I let him inside.  "Unsinkable Molly Brown" had its last performance.  A big chunk of Bill's life will change again.  
April 9 - the trees are full of birds, the air swells with their song.  From now on it will be a litany of 'firsts':  first red wing black bird!  first flock of Canadian Geese, first Grackle,  first Robin, first gulls.  Ice is softening, there are puddles on the top, but it is still very thick - we'll still be taking our daily walk.  We heard the ice groaning and cracking all day in the sunshine; the fissures are not cracks, the cracks are crevacess, the ice in the cove is all brown.  I think that is evidence of the water turning over.  There have been no eagles near their nest since April 2.  
April 4 - on this day last year the ice went out.  This year there is roughly 3 ft of ice on the lake, 18 " in the woods.  Today it was sunny with  intermittent snow and wind of about 30 miles per  hour swirled up snow devils on the lake.  Easy walking with the wind adding its push.  
April 2 - A wolf kill just around the corner in South Farm, our approach scared off the eagles.  There was a 3rd eagle, mottled as in 2nd or third year youngster.  The purple finches - whom we haven't seen for a while - were back at the feeders today.  Easy walking on the ice,  deep crevasses and new snow makes the surface less slippery.  Chickadees into their spring song this morning.  
March 31 - First Pussy Willows!! snow is shrinking perceptably each day - and has a long way to go.  Tonight is opening night of "Unsinkable Molly Brown" Ely's Community Theater Spring musical.  Bill is Shamus, Molly's father. And a fine Irishman he is.  Watch for photos of him in his gussied up tuxedo for the ball room scenes with the shamrock green cumberbund I made for him.  
March 28 - Wonderful sunshine,  extremely cold and windy.  Northern lights!  The rabbitt is muching the twigs of my wild roses outside the windows daily now.  It's coat is mottle white and tan, the change is coming.  Walking on the clear ice of the lake is both thrilling and tension producing.  I need to remember to wear cleats - now where did we put them after last year???  
March 20 - Yesterday Bill & I walked out over the ice (snow has been blown away) to check out the eagles' nest on So. Farm.  While we were admiring the cleverness of the eagles at concealing their nest and standing about 20 away the female (she is bigger) swooped over us and circled three times finally landing next to the nest.  I got photos!  I'm guessing that she was on watch very near by and that either the eggs are already  laid but the male sitting on them was not visible as he would have been snuggled way down in the next or they are very ready to lay eggs.  We are so thrilled that they have choosen to use this nest again.  First day of Spring today - yes, very wet snow sprucing us up again, 6 of our 8 guests are out dogsledding today.  Friday night we saw the incredible 'super moon' but Sat. was cloudy.  Gave lessons in wolf-howling as well - the wolves must have been giggling at our lovely choral efforts.  It is hard to let loose and really howl!      
March 13 - We've seen the eagles flying toward the nest on several occasions recently.  They may be checking it out as eagles often have more than one nest in their territory.  It is likely a mated pair as one is considerably bigger than another.  The femal is the bigger.  Also saw a red fox crossing in front of the lodge - have seen his tracks all winter and think he may have a den nearby.  First snowbuntings!  Temps slowly warming; i.e. getting closer to freezing.  Fresh snow.  Lots of fisher folk on the lake, looks like a village.  
Feb. 28 - Saw two eagles winging toward the nest on South Farm.  They stopped long enough to harrass the ravens.  Could they be 'our' eagles? Results of the dogsled race:  Our favorite came in 5th in the closest race ever - truly by a nose!  
Feb. 27 - Today we are overcast and at about 10' it's a perfect day for the local dogsled races!  Our favorite musher is running his 10 dog team. Guests here at the B & B this weekend are 'handlers' - the folks who harness and then hold the excited dogs while they await their turn to MUSH!   Major requirements are that they be STRONG and able to endure the incredible cacophony of 90 something eager dogs all wanting their turn now!
The Birds continue to mob the feeders.  The warm spell got us all out of the winter endurance mode and then BAM 30' below days again and again.
What ever mechanical things the ice did with the temperature changes it drained off all the slush and now the lakes are wonderful for walking.   
Feb. 17 - Unbelievable!  38' at 7 AM!! high of 50' yesterday!!!  All the snow is soft and shrinking; ice dams melting on their own.  Roads mushy - just like April here. Predicted to have a return of winter by the weekend.
Feb. 10 - time does fly - when you are shoveling snow?  and oh how we are shoveling day after day.  Ice dams proliferate, it is the topic of every local conversation.  Everybody has them - and a different solution as well.    Last week there was a wolf kill right out on the lake in view of the window.  At breakfast we noticed a whole lot of big black birds out there and another shape- got the binoculars and sure enough there was a wolf as well. Guests went out later and it had been a deer, probably taken during the night, barely anything left.  They later saw one of the wolves out on South Farm.  That's a story to tell back home. This morning it was something below -30' in full sun at 9 AM!  Yesterday Sam dog got stuck in the snow alongside the road,  fortunately we were there to give him a hand (he was emabrrased!).  This deep snow is really all hard on the larger animals, we've even had tracks across the deck - anything to avoid deep snow.  But the Snow Bunnies are out dancing every night!
Jan. 17 - snow, snow and more snow.  Wet snow last week caused the ice to sag and water leek up making SLUSH.  ugh!  We were helping rescue and resotore folks whose dog sledds got stuck in the slush, ditto snowmobiles.  Skiis and snowshoes carried heavy loads of ice.  Made lots of cocoa and passed out lots of cookies last week.  And the snow keeps on coming.  The birds are mobbing the feeders daily.  We are feeding 3 times a day, they are frantic.  Have not seen the Brewer bird since Jan. 5.  Maybe he/she relocated to a less busy feeder. Lovely female pine grossbeak hit the window,  fell stunned sitting in the snow, we got out the 'bird bonk' box and scooped her up.  After several hours inside she seemingly recovered but could not fly, back inside an into a bigger box.  The next morning she was frantic to get out of the box and was flying!  So another bird saved!  going to -30' by the end of today.  Windy too, it is the wind that is unusual.
Dec. 29 - The Solstice, full moon and eclipse passed under the clouds.  Christmas too.  Brewer bird has been identified by local expert as a Grackle, but I really don't think so.  This bird has none of the posturings of a grackle.  Sam-dog out for daily walks on the ice is so exuberant! Today he is barking steadily so I suspect strongly that a wolf is hanging about.  Sam doesn't bark for no reason.  Tell us what you think of the remodeled home page.
Dec. 15 - And colder still, incredible starry skies, but seldom higher the -20' in the mornings.  Pine Siskins. Red Pols and  Goldfinches return.  Pine Grossbeaks aslo, as they like to come when it is really really cold.  Lake ice safe now.  Our Brewer's Blackbird is still here!  We observed him fend off 3 squirrels simultaneously.  Bill Teft says it is a Grackle, but I don't agree.  It could also be a Rusty Blackbird.  Never-the-less he is surviving.  We see him huddled in the spruce out side the window, always less than a foot from another bird of a different species.  They are tolerating him.  We are rooting him on.
Dec. 8 - COLD.  long underwear time again
Dec. 1 -  The deer are gradually returning.  We are seeing a doe and two yearlings pretty regularly.  Our rosebushes and dogwook are their preferred snacks.
Nov. 29 - Ice is not yet safe except for Sam-dog.  Wolf and fox tracks on the Sunset Trail. The woods are quiet.  The Pine Siskins showed up yesterday - today there are dozens.  The lone Brewers Blackbird is hanging on trying to look inconspicuous among the Evening Grossbeaks.
Nov. 23 - and still more snow, with another 6" predicted over Thanksgiving.  Sun now setting at 4:30, sun rise aNov. 29 - Ice is not yet safe except for Sam-dog.  Wolf and fox tracks on the Sunset Trail. The woods are quiet.  The Pine Siskins showed up yesterday - today there are dozens.  The lone Brewers Blackbird is hanging on trying to look inconspicuous among the Evening Grossbeaks.bout 7:30 AM, those times will start changing by more than a minute a day as we go into December.
Nov. 22 - more snow, the ice in the bay has almost closed in.  Do look at what we see our our windows here by clicking on the bird cam (upper right corner this page).  Awesomely beautiful. This morning walking out in the snow after the guests left we marveled at the tracks in the snow telling stories of the night's activities:squirles who must have had square dances, mice and voles hurrying across the path to the next safe 'hole',  rabbits seeking goodies, a weasel and a pine martine crossing each others trails and best of all wolf tracks that looked as if it was out exploring the safety of the ice - it was, but I wouldn't go out and neither did Sam-dog.
Nov. 15 - A good 4" of snow -  the roofs are bandaged and the trees coated.  Wonderland.  So interesting to see the stories tracked in the fresh snow from over night.  We got most of the wood under cover before the snow.  The sauna sooths aching backs and in the end we feel very satisfied.  But why do we have this push every year?
Nov. 9 - A Sept- like day!  We are going out canoeing every day we can fit it in - for fear that each day will be the last.  Saw a brown-white bunny, they aren't fooled by the sunshine.  Wolf still leaving his calling cards in the driveway.
Nov. 3 - 3rd day in a row of early morning temps in the low 20's.  Ice on the cove, bird bath doesn't thaw all day.  Are we ready for this?
Oct. 23 - The Evening Grossbeaks are here in large flocks mobbing the feeders.  They jocky for space with the BlueJays.  One lone Grackle left.  First Goldfinches here, females always arrive first.  The Junco's are already moving on.  There is a wolf hanging around - at least one, but the pack is sizable now.  Also sounds that could only be a moose.  We are seeing the otters nearly every morning as they feed in the cove.  Snow clouds the last two days..as the temperatures are regularly below freezing at sunrise.  Great Sauna weather.
Oct. 11 - Trees bare now, leaves underfoot - love walking thru this.  Three young  loons practicing take off as we ate breakfast.  Evening Grossbeaks returned in large numbers, their songs wonderful to hear again.  Last crop of young squirrles have matured, their tails now fluffed out. Lake has begun turning over.  Hurrying to get the winters' wood put up along with the squash and last apples.
Oct. 3 - Incredibly lucious day!  Leaves drifting down, sky SO blue. The tamaracks are already turned!! way early - like 3 weeks.
Oct. 1 - First Snow Buntings skittering along the road, first Junco!  Blue Jay's are dominating the feeders.  Enjoying antics of young red squirrles as they callenge the Jays - and the older squirrles.  With the help of a guest we identified Brewers Black Birds at our feeders.

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Young Eagle in nest May 2010

Nov. 22 - more snow, the ice in the bay has almost closed in.  Do look at what we see our our windows here by clicking on the bird cam (upper right corner this page).  Awesomely beautiful. This morning walking out in the snow after the guests left we marveled at the tracks in the snow telling stories of the night's activities:squirles who must have had square dances, mice and voles hurrying across the path to the next safe 'hole',  rabbits seeking goodies, a weasel and a pine martine crossing each others trails and best of all wolf tracks that looked as if it was out exploring the safety of the ice - it was, but I wouldn't go out and neither did Sam-dog.

Nov. 15 - A good 4" of snow -  the roofs are bandaged and the trees coated.  Wonderland.  So interesting to see the stories tracked in the fresh snow from over night.  We got most of the wood under cover before the snow.  The sauna sooths aching backs and in the end we feel very satisfied.  But why do we have this push every year?Nov. 9 - A Sept- like day!  We are going out canoeing every day we can fit it in - for fear that each day will be the last.  Saw a brown-white bunny, they aren't fooled by the sunshine.  Wolf still leaving his calling cards in the driveway.Nov. 3 - 3rd day in a row of early morning temps in the low 20's.  Ice on the cove, bird bath doesn't thaw all day.  Are we ready for this?Oct. 23 - The Evening Grossbeaks are here in large flocks mobbing the feeders.  They jocky for space with the BlueJays.  One lone Grackle left.  First Goldfinches here, females always arrive first.  The Junco's are already moving on.  There is a wolf hanging around - at least one, but the pack is sizable now.  Also sounds that could only be a moose.  We are seeing the otters nearly every morning as they feed in the cove.  Snow clouds the last two days..as the temperatures are regularly below freezing at sunrise.  Great Sauna weather.
Oct. 3 - Incredibly lucious day!  Leaves drifting down, sky SO blue. The tamaracks are already turned!! way early - like 3 weeks.
Oct. 11 - Trees bare now, leaves underfoot - love walking thru this.  Three young  loons practicing take off as we ate breakfast.  Evening Grossbeaks returned in large numbers, their songs wonderful to hear again.  Last crop of young squirrles have matured, their tails now fluffed out. Lake has begun turning over.  Hurrying to get the winters' wood put up along with the squash and last apples.

Oct. 1 - First Snow Buntings skittering along the road, first Junco!  Blue Jay's are dominating the feeders.  Enjoying antics of young red squirrles as they callenge the Jays - and the older squirrles.  With the help of a guest we identified Brewers Black Birds at our feeders.

Sept. 30 - Sun! welcome after 3 days of rain and wind. Color still fantastic.  I know I say it every year.  
Sept. 26 - Incredible color, more intense than anyother year.  This morning at 7 AM it was 28' .  Sam-dog scared away a bear from the deck.
Sept. 14 - the fall color is filling in all around us.  Chilly nights!  Campfires almost every night now.  Fresh bear droppings in the driveway!!  Sam-dog was telling us there was a bear around.  
Sept. 12 - maples are getting lovely,  lots of bears reported in town gardens.
Sept. 8 - first frost forcast for tonight.  Been 38' last three nights, but great days.  The ferns have turned brown - a sure sign of Fall.  Some birch and aspen are already golden.
Sept. 2 - tragedy sometime in the last 2 weeks.  We were no longer seeing the adult bald eagles.  A neighbor reported that they had seen and adult eagle dead in the nest - feathers flapping in the wind.  Have since seen one of the youngsters, big & lively but cautious, hanging around the nest.  
Aug. 21 - first red maple leaves!!! right on schedule.  We have an adolescent downy woodpecker with an attitude.  She takes on all the bigger birds.  One harried Evening Grossbeak, male, with two demanding youngsters, trying to feed them at the same time.  No sign of a female.  Eagles doing well.  Almost daily sightings of fresh bear poop and wolf poop.  
Aug. 11 - Breakfast entertainment: A BlueJay was sitting on one of the feeders. a Grackle came up behind it - Blue Jay didn't move over.  Grackle goosed the Jay!!! who jumped but didn't leave the platform.  Grackle retreated to a branch now waiting his turn.  Fresh bear poop on the driveway frequently now.  Full of undigested blueberries so they are absolutely gorging themselves!
July 30 - The eaglets are as big as turkeys now!  Blueberries just beginning to fade.  Almost daily sightings of a doe and two small fawns near the end of the driveway.
July 23 - Wonderful days.  The eagle chicks (like big chickens now) are feldged and speniding days at the campsite across from the nest.  The loon chicks are now diving.  We've been picking tons of blueberries and they just keep coming!  Raspberries still ripe too.  Wildflowers fully in bloom.  Revision of our air conditioning now complete and working!!!  Ted is coming back to the dining room starting tomorrow!  Welcome chef Ted.  We will now have two fine chefs to serve our wonderful dinners.  
July 1 - guests spotted the loon with a pair of chicks!  wild roses in bloom.  lots of reports of blueberries. Eating wild strawberries!
June 25 - Butter 'n eggs, one of jo's favorite flowers along the gravel road.  Picking wild strawberries!  even some blueberries over a month early.  The blue flag iris dominate the marsh - an acre of them!  Fishing continues good, one of the guests cast his line and hooked - a dragonfly - who promptly attracted a pike. 
June 20 - May flowers and Canada May flowers fringe the paths.  The young eagles are lusty, a young blue heron was spotted on So. Farm; loons and a beaver came right up to the canoe.    All just a five minute paddle away.  What a wonderful place to live.
June 7 - Fishing off the dock continues to supply Tasha and Derek with evening meals.  May flies are also feeding the fish.  
May 30 - Bunchberries all in bloom, wild honeysuckle, lots more strawberries.  And the sand flies arrived.  Lots of new warblers.
May 28 - Jo's Mom died this afternoon - just 32 days short of 103 years .  Peacefully .  Jo will have to completely recenter her life after 6 years of caregiving.  
May 18 - Humming birds arrived!  Chestnutsided warbler sighted.
May 14 - Rain wonderful Rain!  First Rosebreasted Grossbeaks, two Mallard drakes doing a courtship dance at the beach - Two Cooper's Hawks hit the windows this last week.  White Throated Sparrow is doing battle with his image in the window for hours every day!

May 9 - Mother's Day with sunshine! on our after breakfast hike - lasting only about 1/2 hr. - with guests using one of the trails from our parking lot we saw:  new tree cut down by beaver, shell debris left behind from the otters' dinner, wolf tracks, multiple areas where the bear had been foraging for grubs and along the shore clumps of mud and rotting vegetation that had been scooped up from tunder the water - probably a bear.  Derek reports that the eagle is still sitting on their nest, there may well be young ones in the nest, he just could not see or hear them.

May 8- Snow last night, woke up to a dusting on the garden and grassy areas.  Near 20 degrees last night.

May 5 - Woke to a thick coating of ice over all those lovely blossoms.  A Gosshawk hit the window breaking its neck.  Feel so bad.  Bird cam not working, some electronic glich.

May 3 - First strawberry blossoms, first June berry blooms, Tamarack are in bloom.  Chipping Sparrows back. 

April 21 - Eagle eggs must have hatched, we are seeing constant foraging flights over us.  Aspen and birch trees have green buds, maples are in full flower.  This is all over a month early.

April 16 - peeper frogs in full throat last evening.

April 14 - heard the first Loon.

April 11- Northern Lights!

April 7 - watching the eagles sit on their nest while camping on South Farm.  Just barely above freezing but awesome.  eggs should hatch by mid April.

April 4 - ICE OUT!  weeks early, surely a record.  Gulls, Black-hooded Merganzer, White Breasted Nuthatch, Juncos by the dozen.  The air is filled with birdsong; they are all exchanging stories of their winter vacation I think.  

April 1 - first robin, purple finches came a few days ago, Buffle Head and Mallard ducks.  Ice breaking up rapidly, should be gone in 2, 3 days.  Still warm and sunny.

April 30-  Woke up to more rain for the second day! What a joy. Things are really budding along up here. I also spotted a hawk owl yesterday.

April 27 - our new 'bird cam' is up and operating as of today!  When ever you need a dose of the northwoods you can see the lake, shore, trees, deck, sunset, sunrise, birds and of course squirles.  Look at the top right corner of the home page.  I gives you the link and the passwords.

April 25 - leaf out on the aspen!  First blue heron.  Still no rain.  The fire danger is so high it is positively scarry.  Our wildfire (outdoor) sprinkler system is now working, what a good investment that was.  

April 21 - Eagle eggs must have hatched, we are seeing constant foraging flights over us.  Aspen and birch trees have green buds, maples are in full flower.  This is all over a month early.

April 16 - peeper frogs in full throat last evening.

April 14 - heard the first Loon.

April 11- Northern Lights!

April 7 - watching the eagles sit on their nest while camping on South Farm.  Just barely above freezing but awesome.  eggs should hatch by mid April.

April 4 - ICE OUT!  weeks early, surely a record.  Gulls, Black-hooded Merganzer, White Breasted Nuthatch, Juncos by the dozen.  The air is filled with birdsong; they are all exchanging stories of their winter vacation I think.  

April 1 - first robin, purple finches came a few days ago, Buffle Head and Mallard ducks.  Ice breaking up rapidly, should be gone in 2, 3 days.  Still warm and sunny.

March 29 - visit from a bear last night, Sam kept him away.  Poor bear was only trying to cross over without using the highway.  

March 26 - first red winged blackbird! now the singing will pick-up.

March 25 - Last night the lake ice was booming and groaning - making new ice.  Full moon coming up.

March 20 - goldfinches are getting their spring colors.  Deer grazing on

the septic mound.  But cold weather returns.

* March 13 - long walk on the ice, black ice scarry looking but is 18" thick in most places, 15" in the chanel.  Marvelously crystalized.
* March 13 - just before breakfast we all saw a yearling wolf cross in front of the dining room window about 100 ft. away, Sam-dog wisely hid by the kitchen door.
* March 7 - guest had a close encounter with a deer fleeing a wolf on South Farm Lake,  the deer came within 3 ft. of where they were sitting.  Wolf angled itself away a bit.  Once in a lifetime!  No wolf kill in the area over the next few days so the deer got away.
* March 6 - guest saw 3 wolves on So. Farm while skiing before breakfast.  They've been singing nightly, mating time for them.  Both eagles have been sighted in the last week. Also mating time.
* Feb. 25 - more Northern Lights, wolves howling!
* Feb. 8 - Red Fox crosses the driveway in front of my car.  They are breeding now.  Lots of wolf tracks on the lake.
* Jan. 26 - Northern Lights!  incredibly bright in the east (!) and faint streaks in the north.  We had just come out of the sauna.  Fantastic.
* Jan 18 - spotted the local adult eagle again, just watching as we walked by, it sure had its eye on Sam-dog.
*  Jan. 17 - while enjoying breakfast with guests a BIG wolf walked across our view, stopped and sat a few minutes then went on into the woods.  Mild weather, lovely walking.  Incredible stars.
* Dec. 31 - cold,clear and crisp and a grogeous full moon.  A post dinner walk out onto the lake was the highpoint of the evening.  
* Dec. 27 - time for snowshoes now.  Hiked over the lake to the eagles' nest.  No sign of activity what so ever.  An overcast day, it was like being in an Ansel Adams photo.  
* Dec. 26 - the big storm of the last few days was a fizzle up here,  just what Jo predicted because the birds were still around - they always leave before a storm.  Today it is snowing heavily.  We are seeing more wolf tracks on the lake than deer tracks, one came thru the parking lot, triggering the motion lights, and was seen by guests

* Dec. 21 - temperatures have moderated and are rising!  New snow for Christmas.  Incredibly beautiful out there.  
Dec. 8 - another 20' below zero night - walking on the lake in the morning, Sam-dog is in heaven!
* Dec. 7 - YES! the lake is frozen over! should be walkable by the 9th
*Dec. 1 Lake still not frozen over, but coming soon.  snow for the last two days.   I think this time it may stay...we were walking on the ice this time last year!
* Oct. 10 - Yesterday was the best of a Northern Fall day!! and this morning we woke to an inch of snow on the ground!  10 AM still com.ing, wind blowing and 24 degrees.
* Oct. 6 - leaves are at peak color!  Maples still so red, birch so yellow!  the pictures don't do it justice.
* Oct. 3 - Aspen & Birch are finally turning, peak may be this coming week.
* Sept. 30 - first hard frost.  31' at 8 AM.  Young eagles feeding themselves now.
Sept. 9 - Red in the maple leaves arrived last night.  Young eagles soaring!
* Aug. 13 - Adolescent loons are rafting together, fall is about to arrive.
* Aug. 2 - Both eagle chicks (25 lbs at least by now) did survive and now have fledged!  They are hanging around the nest area, spending nights there, parents still feeding them.  
* July 10  - Loon chick hatched!  a very late bird, they lost 1st nest.
* May 27 - Trees fully leafed out.
* April 26 - Ice out!  On our first paddle we discovered that a pair of eagles had made a nest on an island in South Farm.  We, and our guests, have a front row seat.  Eagles typically use a nesting site for 50+ years.  

Map &

GPS Coordinates

N 47 53.475"
W 091 42.389"

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