Saturday, June 23, 2012


If the rain comes 
they run and hide their heads 
They might as well be dead 
If the rain comes 
If the rain comes 

When the sun shines 
they slip into the shade 
and sip their lemonade 
When the sun shines 
When the sun shines 

Rain, I don't mind 
Shine, the weather's fine 
The Beatles. 

Some of you may have heard we got some rain up this way. The worst was about 120 miles Southwest of here by Duluth with nearly 10 inches (25cm). We only got  about 4 inches (10cm) all within a 24 hour period. For about 12 hours our communications in the Northeast corner of the state were cut off from the rest of the world because the washouts broke the cables and fiber optic lines. No 911, no phone outside the local exchange, no internet (except satellite), and no cable anything. It made for a quiet morning at work so I cleaned my office which doesn't usually happen in the summer. We have a new waterfall on the way to town that only flows when we get heavy rain. I took this on the way to work.
But by the next day as they were assessing damage down Duluth way, things had pretty well settled back to normal-ish around here. The creeks had subsided to a nice flow.
Soon after there was the usual morning commute to town and the 5 or 10 vehicles that constitutes our "rush hour" along with the occasional bald eagle was back to normal. this is what my morning commute looks like on a normal day.
If you click on the pic you can see "the little town that time forgot and the ages cannot improve" toward the left in the distance about 6 miles (10k) in the distance. The light was nice so I pulled over and shot it before getting back into the car and heading to work. It is probably one of the prettiest commutes in Minnesota heading toward town with the Sawtooth Mountains in the distance. They were allegedly 10,000 feet tall before the last ice age. When time travel becomes affordable I'll check that out.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Travels and Wildlife

This past weekend I had a whirlwind tour quick trip down to the Twin Cities. I went down on Thursday evening and ran through a really exciting hailstorm about halfway down there. What made it exciting was that the air conditioning in my care decided to stop cooling and I had to have the windows open at 70mph. I didn't dare close them all the way or I would pass out from the heat, but that let some of the hail into the car. I had slowed to about 40 at this point because visibility wasn't so good and it looked like marbles on the road.

The reason for going was due to my brother's treatment for his prostate cancer. You might remember mine was last fall. He was just carrying on an old family tradition. He is doing fine, thank you. After we got back from the hospital at 4:00 pm I thought I better try to get the AC fixed. It was predicted to be in the low 90's for the weekend and I would surely melt. I had forgotten that the Big City holds all kinds of available services 24 hours a day and they all want you to use their offerings. To make a short story even shorter I  called a place at 4:30 and by 6 I was driving in the cool again for less than a hundred bucks! Here it would have been two weeks for the appointment and then another week for parts. It's all about trade-offs.

Speaking of deer, I stopped by our friend Andie's on my way out of the metro area and had a lovely breakfast and conversation the likes of which I rarely encounter. Andie lives in the midst of hardwoods and lakes and while looking out where her deck used to be 9Her house is in a serious remodeling phase) I thought I saw a rabbit. Well it was a pair of ears, anyway. Turns out to be a fawn with its spots wandering around. A minute or so later the mama deer comes along keeping an eye on her curious child. So the first thing I do when I get back home, after bidding farewell to her cuteness Andie is check my critter cam and found this on it.
Of course I also caught this critter on a picture in that same spot 2 days earlier in late afternoon.
Yes, that is a wolf about 100 feet from the house.

On the way back home I stopped in Two Harbors for a bite to eat. There had been a classic car show in Grand Marais over the weekend and there were still some stragglers heading home. This '57 Chevy Bel Air convertible was  pretty one.
 The Killdeer hatched its eggs and I got a shot of this one resting. It is about the size of my thumb.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Angry birds

Last weekend the Cooker, Stitch, and an interested party took the horses down to our arena to refine some of their skills with the horses. Everything was going well until a noisy Killdeer decided everyone was too close to her nest. When she made her nest she didn't realize that the arena was subject to rural renewal and that it was a multi-use area. She was not pleased. We put orange traffic cones around her little area so the horses and riders would not interfere with her motherly duties. She is part of the wild 99% who are struggling to keep their homes and their way of life from extinction. This is her defending her nest, which is just a hollowed out spot in the sand. Note the eggs to her right. (click on the pic for enlargement)
Last year a fox got to her nest before the eggs hatched, so you have to admire her persistence and never-give-up attitude. We will be careful, but she will have to defend her nest against everything else. I hope she has better luck this year. Now we can ride by without disturbing her too much.
I took a walk in the woods along the creek and amongst the cedar trees just to see if anything had changed. Everything is as it should be and the woods is still intact.