From the North Woods, Good morning all:

Wisdom Of The Week:

“Bad is never good until worse happens.” — Danish Proverb

Actually, the events of this week should really have me start with the old line I once heard in Kentucky; maybe wild turkeys are wild due to all the whiskey. My body is bruised and battered. Last night I took the bandage off my elbow and things appear better there. However, my toes are still taped together.

During the night I woke up a couple of times as a heavy rain and a thunderstorm blew through. The cabin has a metal roof, so while a soft rain sounds mesmerizing, a heavy rain makes it seem like being inside a kettle-drum. This morning especially I do need my coffee.

Some of you might remember that I had, as a winter project, the patching of an eBay purchase, a 40-year old folding Folbot 2-passenger kayak. Earlier this week the two sacks containing the boat were opened and about 2 hours later sat the finished product; all 17 glorious feet of it.

A short loop in the bay proved two things, the boat was very seaworthy, and I could handle it. Next was the all important maiden voyage. Since there currently are no ice bergs on the lake I felt it safe to cross the lake to the south shore – between 2 and 3 miles of open water. The water and wind were a bit rougher than expected but all went fine. However, since white caps had started to show I decided to leave the kayak and manage the return paddle the next day.

The captain’s log shows that the next day the water to still be quite rough. In fact I was watching my winter’s project get beaten to a pulp on the dock it was fastened to. The shoreline on the south side of the lake is basically a large, smooth, rock formation jutting up out of the water. It was onto this that I planned to pull the kayak. One step out and I realized I had made a huge mistake. Between the water and lichens growing on the rock surface it made as if I were standing on well oiled ball-bearings. That adventure resulted in my elbow patch.

By the way, the taped toes resulted getting out of the kayak the next day. I misqueued the exit process resulting in a broken/sprained/ruptured/whatever toe.

Many a family has that one relative, who, although nutty, is also loved. Thursday we had ours drop in totally uninvited and absolutely unexpected. And who you ask is this character? None other than Jonathon Livingston Seagull (or maybe his cousin once removed—since they all look alike) is who.

Late afternoon our little group was enjoying a lakeside Social Hour in front of our cabin. It must have been our laughter which attracted JLS. Initially Paul was the one who noticed a gull the size of a Tom Turkey landing on the cabin roof. Steady footing on a well pitched metal roof when relying on webbed feet can only mean a quick downward slide – off – and directly into the garbage can below.

So far only a ‘whoops’, but hang on, it quickly got much better.

As our little group started yelling Jonathon Livingston Seagull, in a bit of panic, flapped around and then flew directly into our front window’s most excellent reflection of the lake.

At 24 inches tall, JLS thudded hard on the deck, and now hopelessly embarrassed, he started flapping again and this time flying directly at our niece, Molly. Up until that very moment Molly had been resting comfortably in the hammock. She changed instantly from being somewhat sleepily bemused by everyone’s banter to being terror struck. Jonathan flipped (or tripped) over her hammock and then bounced beak first into the adjacent tree.

Here sat a very large and very stunned gull right in our midst. Most of us screaming (some of us were actually laughing). Above the noise we were making we could hear that bird, it was screeching louder than the nine of us combined: “Keeyow, keeyow, kyow—kyow—kyow.”

Finally Jonathan got his bearings and flew off. Eventually, Molly too, peeled the rolled layers of her hammock off and gathered herself out of her cocoon. Way too late I began looking for my camera. Paul never did find his 40-Magnum.

Make it a great week. For you bird watchers, here is what’s new this week. Yesterday a Common Tern put on a fish catching aerial diving display about 30 feet from where Marcia and I were having a bite to eat. This was shortly after we confirmed that the woodpeckers drumming on a nearby Birch tree were in fact a pair of Hairy Woodpeckers.

Oh yes, yesterday news spread that a bear was seen by several people while wandering around some of the cabins on the south end of our lake. Doesn’t he know that if caught the Ontario Wildlife Management people will trap him and move him to the north end of the lake. Wait a minute…..

Cheers,

Dirk

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