A Good Day for Otters

The frost was heavy on the rooftops and grass this morning, but my windowbox flowers are still hanging in there. The sun is shining and the sky is clear, with the temps headed towards the fifties today. Perfect firewood weather! 'Tis the season to be putting up the firewood, so the logger brought the logs, the pile sits up high, and soon the chainsaw will roar. The splitter will go full throttle, and those of us who are so inclined (as well as those who aren't) will be stacking it in rows in the woodsheds. To some in our family, it is an onerous task, to others....almost a joyful one. Personally, I don't mind it, as there is something meditative about all that stacking...

Yesterday as I was cleaning at Diamond Willow cabin, I happened to glance out the window at just the right moment to spot an otter swimming near the shore. That is certainly an advantage of that cabin---the lake is so close that even with older eyes, I could see this little creature. I went outside for a closer look, and perched on the rocks at the edge. Soon I heard a commotion just a few feet down the shoreline, and four otters popped down the beach and into the water. I'd heard about a trio, so it was pretty exciting to see four of them. If they saw me, they didn't let on. They treated me to a show of swimming and diving in perfect arcs. Up they would pop, with their mouths full of something tasty. They would munch and crunch loudly through the morsels, making funny little noises as they ate. They stood straight up in the water, as though they were little periscopes. What a delightful show. Robert and Paul spotted them also, while they were busy pulling in the dock at Tamarack cabin.

This morning was so beautiful, we decided that it was time to take a boat ride, perhaps our last one of the season. We went over to see our friends' cabins on the Canadian side. Then we circled back, to meander the south shore. The kids saw a bird swimming in the water several yards over, so we cautiously got closer for a better look. We determined that it was a juvenile loon, as it had the coloring, and it didn't dive right away, the way an adult would. Greg whistled some loon calls to it, and it was looking around as though it expected to see another of its kind, rather than an aluminum boat. It looked fairly lonely, so I hope that it finds some company soon for the long flight south. I haven't heard any loons in a few weeks, so I had thought that they had all taken off.

The Minnesota Rovers are here this weekend, working on the Border Route Trail and the ski trails. They head out each morning with chainsaws and brush cutters, to help get the trails clear and ready for skiing and snowshoeing. It was a productive day for them today. They cleared on the Border Route, from Bridal Falls to the east, until they reached the boundary of the BWCA. Tomorrow they will tackle other areas, and I will make lasagna and fresh bread for them, as a thank you for all that they do. If you would like to learn more about the trail, the Rovers, or to learn more about the trail-clearing trips, be sure to visit their website, http://www.borderroutetrail.org .