Friday, January 27, 2012

Yarding UP

Usually the deer are yarding up way before now. The locals say it usually occurs around Thanksgiving or as soon as we get a heavy snow. They migrate to the area they intend to stay put at during the winter. But with the mild winter this year, they took their time. Steve has been getting pictures of deer on his game camera everyday until two weeks ago. Now nothing as far as deer tracks. They've moved out of the neighborhood for the duration of winter. But yesterday he did see what he is sure are wolf tracks.

There is a restaurant in Hulbert called the Happy Hour. They feed the deer once the hunting season is over. People, young and old, make a point of stopping at the Happy Hour, especially on snowmobiles in the wintertime, hoping one of the two tables by the back windows will be available.

I think one of them cracked the window at some point in time.

It takes them a bit of warming up to the idea that they have to walk forward - closer to the people whose faces are inches from the glass that separate nature and civilization. In the end I think their tummys have the final say!

We didn't lose all our snow. In fact, we still have quite a bit. Conditions for snowmobiling could be better, but die hards are making the best of it and have been passing the house all afternoon. Steve has been at the groomer barn all week helping with mechanical issues. Things seem to be resolved and Steve is currently enroute in the groomer from the Strongs groomer barn to Rudyard. The next couple of days we are due to get an inch or two of snow a day. This morning we awoke to a fresh new inch. Everything was fresh and white again. But that was then... I have windows open now and the birds are chirping like crazy. It sounds like spring! At this moment it is 39 degrees and sunny. If its not going to snow, we'll take it!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Lots of Snow - For Now!

This past weekend was a classic winter weekend. We weren't able to put on the snowshoes because we were too busy doing other snow activities, but soon we hope, providing the weather cooperates. Until then, we've been walking the road/snowmobile trail with the dogs.

On Thursday it snowed all day!

That meant it was time to groom the trails again.

On Friday, it was Steve's turn to groom, and I got to come along and take pictures.

Grooming the trail along M-123 into Trout Lake.

Us in the groomer... It takes about 6 hours to complete the 56 mile round trip from Rudyard to Trout Lake and back.

On Saturday, we got on our snowmobiles. Sometimes we stayed on the groom trails, 
and other times we went on the back trails.

See how beautiful the trail is and the blue sky?

Right now it is 33 degrees on our thermometer. The wind is gradually picking up. The trees are involuntarily throwing off their thick white coats. We are under a Freezing Rain Advisory overnight. That's no fun. Then rain turning to snow later in the day. We sure hope this doesn't affect our snow amount too much.

Changing the subject...
I've been feeding the birds suet cakes, suet from the butcher, mixed bird seed, and striped sunflower seeds. This past week I picked up a bag of black sunflower seeds. This enticed new birds to the neighborhood and I am thrilled. Usually I have my regular feeders of Downy Woodpeckers, those wonderful fluffy fearless Chickadees, Nuthatches, and, of course, Mr. & Mrs. Dove. My new customers are Pine Grosbeaks!

I say they are a rosy color. Steve says they are red.
I looked the Pine Grosbeak up on the internet and officially 
they are described as "rosy-red".
I guess we both win!

Have a colorful week everyone!

“Life is a big canvas, throw all the paint on it you can.” . . . Danny Kaye

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Winter Fun!

It seemed as though winter was never going to get here. So many activities we are usually doing by now have been put on hold. But little by little they are coming about.

Steve bought a sleigh for transporting luggage back and forth to the Grizzly Den throughout the winter. We decided to give it a test drive and have a little winter fun.

Bear and Ike are ready to go! Do you detect a hint of apprehension on Bear's face?

I was a little concerned that on this first run, Bear would jump out. It takes her a few times before she gets comfortable with an idea. So I jumped in.

We headed down the trail to the Grizzly Den.

We all had a blast! The trip back went even better as Bear finally quit squealing. Ike was a trooper and enjoyed the ride without a whimper.

Steve is out grooming the snowmobile trails. If I had to guess (as I didn't count them one by one) I would say 50-75 snowmobiles have gone by today. Our house is right on one of the major snowmobile trails in the eastern UP. It's a very cold day. This morning it was 13 degrees below zero. It has since warmed up to 15. I am contemplating whether I want to take a walk on the road/snowmobile trail or stay toasty in the garage on the treadmill. I think the treadmill is going to win.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Bear Den by the Grizzly Den?

This past summer we came across what looks to be a den of sorts underneath a tall pine on the Pine River around the bend from the Grizzly Den log cabin.

The den appears to extend far up into the bank of the river.

Nice and cozy as long as the river doesn't rise.

We took a walk this past weekend back to the spot to see if anything has taken up residence.

The view from across the river. I believe bear cubs are born in February, so we'll check periodically to see if there is any activity at this spot. It's nice to have the river between us and the possibility it could be a bear den. :)

Just in case one of these did decide to get cozy under the big Pine tree.

But as for my dog, Bear, she'll sleep anywhere!

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Winter Wonderland - Finally!

It started snowing yesterday morning and it hasn't stopped! 
Steve figures we have a good 9 inches of snow so far.

Yesterday afternoon we bundled up and went for a long walk with the dogs. 
I can't wait until there's enough snow to go snowshoeing!

Back by Steve's deer blind. And no, I didn't take this picture in black and white.
 But it looks that way, doesn't it?

Steve and I each have a large bale by our deer blinds to entice the deer to come out of the woods during the hunting season. Steve's bale is almost gone. This one is mine and reminded me of a manger of sorts. The animals made a tunnel through the bale on each side. I wonder what critter has taken up residency.

This is the scene today.

It will clear up for awhile. And then... pours down again.


Usually my dogs LOVE the snow, so I didn't understand why Ike was sitting in it, waiting for someone to let him in the garage. Afterall, there is a doggy door in the kennel that gives him access to the heated garage. But then I figured it out. Steve is working in the driveway, and Steve is Ike's favorite buddy so Ike must be keeping him company. Brrr!

This is Bear. 
She stopped looking for mice in the snow underneath my bird feeders long enough for me to take her picture.