March's entry

It's safe to say that March has come in like a lamb. Weather reports around the first were predicting a snowstorm. We waited, hopefully, for the lion of a storm to show up. Unfortunately, it went south, as most of them have this winter. Hardly a flake came down. Our temperatures have moved into the low thirties during the day, and the mid-twenties at night. Despite missing out on last week's snow, we did get nearly three fresh inches on Sunday night. Greg was out plowing bright and early yesterday. We are maintaining about twenty inches of snow on the ground. The days are getting light much sooner.

The birds have been so fun to watch. I think that we go through more sunflower seeds in late winter than any other time. The flocks of goldfinches have been large and steady. I get a kick out of watching some of the females stake a claim in, not on, the bird feeder. They happily eat seed while chasing other birds away with merely a peck or two. I can hear them singing early in the morning now, too, which is the return of a very welcome sound. Soon the crows will come back to our neighborhood, and we'll hear their rough calls signalling that spring is on its way.

The birds fill our ears in the daytime, and the wolves are still singing at night. Greg heard them at dinnertime last night, Robert heard them at 11:00 one evening, and they still wake us up in the wee hours with their choruses. This is certainly the year of the wolf! I heard a report on the radio this morning that the wolf population on Isle Royale is up to 30, from 17 last year. The fellow reporting has been doing a study of the wolves, and he told of seeing (from an airplane) one of the packs attacking the alpha male of a neighboring pack. In about ten minutes, the attackers had killed the wolf. They usually do this to steal territory from a rival pack. One of the alpha male's companions had seen it happen. He went back to the rest of his pack, and it took about thirty minutes for the them to realize that something was very wrong. Finally sensing the danger, they all took off. It was an interesting story of communication and hierarchy.

Over the weekend, one of our guests had the opportunity to see two wolves while she was skiing alone on one of the trails. Just a brief view, and the wolves ran off. We discussed what to do if one sees a wolf like that in the wild. My experience was that the wolf ran away almost instantaneously when it realized what it was looking at. Joyce looked it up online, and sent me this link for more information. It was interesting to read (especially the part about a wolf rarely attacking livestock---I guess Moses and Jethro are safe), and so I wanted to share it here.
Greg continues to work at Cedar Point. I will take some photos soon to post here, as I am beginning to see progress. It is exciting to see a remodel in process like this. Greg comes up with some great new ways to use materials, and the result is often a surprise to me from what I have pictured in my mind. I am sure that this will not be an exception.
Trout season is still open on Gunflint Lake, until March 15. This morning I saw one snowmobile headed toward the east end of the lake. Shortly after, I saw a truck go by. Now for many of you in the Twin Cities and other parts of the state, this is a fairly common thing to see. But for me, it is extremely rare, since this lake doesn't usually cooperate. I gasped when I saw it, causing poor Greg to wonder what in the heck was wrong. I can only hope that the lake and the ice cooperate, and that the truck makes it back safely. We once had a game warden get his truck stuck at our landing in early March. It wasn't easy to get him back on solid ice.