Good morning all:

Weekly Wisdom from the Canadian North Woods:

”Nothing like a dynamic, heart pumping, high-energy workout with a DVD of Leonard Cohen’s poetry; narrated by the bard himself, eh?” — a local everyman we’ll name Claire

I have no idea why, at 3:30 AM, the Loons at our end of the lake decide to form a full blown choral group. The whole area echoed with the loud yodels and tremolos, and this lasted for some time. I finally got back to sleep—at 5 they realized that I had gotten a bit too comfortable and so started up all over again. Since it was now early light I got up. I am so ready for the coffee to finish brewing.

Not a new anchor – Last Saturday, along with the many errands we stopped at a yard sale. I glossed over the 1500 pairs of salt & pepper shakers and honed right in on my find of the day; a 1969 model chainsaw. Rounded and curvaceous, she’s a beauty. To top it all off the engine had great compression and turned freely. And, they agreed on my offer of $10 Canadian ($9.36 US for those keeping track).

Neighbor Bob has had a career as a forester for the Ontario Park Service and chainsaws were his survival. He got interested in my find. His cabin has a series of sheds and we walked to one to get some tools. As he unlocked the door to his chainsaw shed it was as though I was looking into the prop room for the movie, Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Six saws of all sizes placed carefully side by side, one cleaner than the next.

For the next three hours my new find was gone over. The idle was adjusted, the bar was cleaned, filters blown, and fresh fuel added. Not only did it start, it started readily! Bob got it where it would start on the FIRST PULL!

Then it was time for a starting-of-the-chainsaw lesson. A method frowned on by safety experts, but used by every proper logger was going to be taught to me. I was going to become a member of the ‘in’ circle. Like casting a fishing rod or swinging a golf club, the trick is to do it in a smooth and seamless motion. Bob held my beauty in his left hand and as he flung it out his right hand pulled the starter chord and instantly moved to the accelerator—VROOM. The saw sprung to life. Now my turn.

Marcia said I looked “awkward”. The reality was that, for a magic instant, my body formed a perfect “S” in space. I felt extremely positive that my feet did not leave terra-firma. The saw was flung as I was taught. However, instead of pulling on the chord my free hand circled overhead and then chased my flaying machine. The engine never did turn over!

The news gets better. Monday, along with about 200 farmers, Marcia went to a nearby farm auction. Her one purchase was a much-needed Weed-Whacker. We had purchased a brand new one when we first set up shop at the cabin; however, “made in China” is not all its cracked up to be. By the second use the unit gave up the ghost. Any reputable repair shop that I’ve gone to looks at my, still almost new, unit and then they smile and shake their head.

Here, for just $5.00, she got an old Kawasaki machine which I got running in mere minutes. Now, after some minor adjustments, it too is a single pull starting machine.

Fishing – Last week I related the story of catching a Smallmouth Bass in a net. It turns out that this momma Bass (not Momma Bass the singer) has her nest at the edge of our dock. A carefully assembled pile of small rocks hold her eggs and she is parked close by to protect her brood—hour after hour, day and night. My interpretation of her bumping my leg as a sign of endearment was so wrong.

Marcia has been using the dock to practice her casting technique. At one point the line uncoiled unexpectedly and formed somewhat of a bird’s nest. Rewinding the line became a bit of an all consuming task. Unnoticed was that her favorite Red Devil lure, the one at the end of the fouled line, slipped of the dock directly over momma Bass’ nest—BAM, she went on the attack! Moments later, I scooped the now caught (again) fish in the net and Marcia armed with a pair of needle nose pliers removed the lure. Momma Bass is back (again) on guard duty—24/7.

Mainly as a prevention technique to avoid catching poor momma Bass for a third time, Marcia decided to practice from the kayak somewhere in the middle of the cove. Personally I think it a fine idea to get used to fishing from a jittery kayak. However, just like our trips into the North Woods, Marcia just loves to pack anything and everything even remotely connected to the task at hand, in this case fishing. Rather than have you say; “oh that Dirk, always blowing things out of proportion,” take a close look at the photo, go ahead and click to enlarge it. Now truthfully, how many kayaks have you seen go floating by looking like this. Lewis and Clark carefully logged all the gear they took on their two-year cross country voyage and required catching enough fish to feed an expedition of 31—they had less!

Pontoon – the docks are in. Marcia spent the better part of a day cleaning the boat. Yesterday I checked all of the electrical connections, bulbs, etc. After uploading this post I’ll set out to fire up the engine. That will be the final piece. We’ll then pull her out of her winter storage spot and over to the landing for launching. Summer must finally be here.

Spotted – this week: American Goldfinch, Mallard Duck, Hairy Woodpecker, Great Blue Herron Alder Flycatcher, and a large flock (hundreds) of Canadian Geese in full V formation heading north to their breeding grounds. The Ruby Throated Hummingbirds are plentiful and this week got into doing their dive display. These displays take place near the feeders and have a flight path shaped like a U. Here the males rise about 15 feet on either side of the invisible U, seeing two birds do this simultaneously a foot or so apart at high speed is pretty amazing.

Make it a great week everyone.



Comments are closed.