located on the Gunflint Trail, Grand Marais, Minnesota
Updated: 41 min 41 sec ago
Winter returned today. The forecast was for a “wintery” mix. To me that means sleet and rain. To the weatherman it meant 3 inches of snow! That was not welcome. I know tomorrow it will all be gone. Don reminded me that we got 20 inches of snow last April. I don’t want that either.
Birds are starting to really come back. We have some of the reddest purple finches that I have ever seen. Maybe they get redder just before mating. At any rate, they are quite beautiful. They are also very, very hungry. My feeders are always empty and the suet is gone.
We have been watching single deer wander across the lake one at a time. There have also been single wolves wandering around. I just hope that they don’t meet. Ice fishing ends in a couple of days so no one will be on the lake. It will be interesting to see if the deer keep out on the lake or at least away from the wolves. We will only be feeding them another week or so.
The staff has also noticed some does are heavily pregnant. They think that these does may have twins. It will be about a month before the young ones are born. I just think about how my back hurt during those last weeks of pregnancy. In fact, my back hurts just sitting here.
So I never got up to see the Northern Lights. Or, at any rate, when I did look, there was nothing to see. Interestingly, a couple days later we were watching the news. There was a program about several unusual natural events that were now happening. One of them was usually strong northern lights. Usually our northern lights appear as if they are lights from a city just over the horizon. We all know there is no city and these are just faint northern lights. So I am guessing that the lights Chris saw were part of this unusually strong display.
One of you wrote asking if I have pictures of northern lights. Unfortunately, I don’t. You are asking a person who doesn’t really take pictures. When we were gone to Tanzania and Paris for 3 weeks last fall, I look about 20 pictures. There is too much to see for me to remember to take pictures.
This last weekend was our Books in the Woods weekend. This year our writers were Lorna Landvik and William Swanson. We usually have about 30 participants who come for the seminars. It is very interesting because you get a chance to really interact with the authors. The group sizes are never more than 12. It gives everyone the opportunity to ask questions without being part of a multi-hundred group. The proof of the pudding is that several people made reservations for next year.
Speaking of reservations, summer reservations are coming along very well. Canoe trips will be really busy this year.
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We got back from the gift show on Tuesday. It is held several times a year at the Umaga Center in Minneapolis. We usually go to the March show because it features gifts for resorts. It takes us 4 days. The first two days are spent looking at all the showrooms and temporary booths. As we go through a list is kept of things we may be interested in buying. The last two days are spent placing orders by reviewing each place on the list. Things are always added and subtracted.
The one who knows the most about what we have is April from the front desk. She has reviewed our catalogs and orders from last year. Then she looks at what it left. It is nothing we could not all do but April actually does the job. Also she gives us the viewpoint of another generation.
The point of all this is to remind you to save your money. Plan to spend some time and money in the gift shop on you visit here. I am sure there will be something on the shelves that you just can’t live without.
Monday Mike from the front desk drove down the Gunflint Trail. Near the Tucker Lake Road he saw a large lynx. We never saw lynx here when I first came up. Within the last 5-6 years they are regularly seen on the South Gunflint Lake road. Also we have seen a dwindling population of snowshoe hares. I must admit that my garden and I do not miss rabbits. Squirrels and chipmunks are bad enough but rabbits can really make a mess of the garden. They especially like new leaves on green beans.
A couple years ago I put in this blog a wonderful picture of a lynx at the Gunflint narrows. One of our guests took the picture by being at the right place with a camera at the right time. Look back at the blogs a couple years ago to see this magnificent animal.
I was talking with Chris our bartender today. Last night about midnight he looked out his window so see some northern lights. He said that they just exploded across the sky. The lights swirled and the colors changed. By the time he got a jacket and went out with a camera, they were gone.
So, I have decided to look myself tonight. Of course last night was a clear sky and tonight will probably be overcast. Then there is the question of waking up without waking Bruce. That is almost impossible so we will both be shivering looking out the north windows. Next week if I don’t write about northern lights or have a picture of them, you will know that the whole thing was a disaster. Don’t ask what happened.
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