Good morning all:

Weekly wisdom from deep within the north woods:

“Hey Dirk, you’re an old Dutchman ain’t you, eh? Well, here’s what I think of your type; Wooden shoe, Wooden head, Wouldn’t listen.” ~ from our north woods everyman we’ll call Claire

I can still hear his laughter echoing between the pines, but then, what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and his friends. Feeling good, I’ll now enjoy my morning mug of steaming coffee. Marcia also got up early so I have company this morning.

The Canadian Shield – We’re heading back to Cincinnati next week. For a week and a half we’ll be in town and then head back. One of the most asked questions I get is; “what do you guys do up there, day in and day out?” The other one is; “all you see up there is water, rocks, and trees, how boring can that be?”

So, our camp – Northern Comfort – is located dab-smack on the Canadian Shield (Bouclier Canadien since we’re in Canada) or more commonly the Precambrian Shield since it was formed during the Precambrian Era – between 4.5 billion and 540 million years ago.

First off, when newly formed the area was very mountainous with heights reaching 39,000 feet (roughly 30% taller than Mount Everest). Mountains are shaped much like ice bergs in that both have substantial structures ‘roots’ below the surface. Over time as the mountains eroded away in part by massive ice sheets , and as the pressure of the mountains ease the ‘roots’ from below moved up to the surface. Hence, the igneous rocks that we see all about us every time we head out came from deep within the earth’s crust – and are a phenomenal source of minerals.

Every day, as the sun’s light plays on the rock outcroppings they take on new colors, new shadows, and new nuances. In short, they are stunning and always different. Add the boreal forest and its wealth of animal life to the mix and it’s more than stunning, it’s spectacular.

Animal Planet – This past week I’ve been walking with Marlene. One day we’ll walk our 3-miles starting from the south end of the lake; the next day a similar walk beginning at the north end.

Mid week I drove south at a few minutes after 7:30 am to start our walk. As I came to a spot where the lake is separated from a small marsh I had to brake hard. In front of the little Citroën 2CV crossed a pair of beautiful Otters (and didn’t want the little car to trip over them). Having never seen these animals outside of their watery world I was surprised just how large they were when you see them in a head-to-tail profile. They are beautiful animals, but too fast for me to take a picture and still brake.

On our 3-hour ATV ride last Sunday we stopped so that I could take a picture (grumbling from the other five). Suddenly Marcia hollered and pointed to a large Ground Hog storming down the trail straight for Paul’s Polaris. It was not until Paul started the engine and lurched forward that the little fellow saw the size relationship and dove into the shrubbery.

During another walk I heard – but did not see – a Long Eared Owl calling in the forest. Not too common and quite elusive, I was more than pleased just to hear it.

The other bit I meant to mention last week is about our Eastern Phoebes. Sitting by the water reading I noticed behavior I had never before seen. Two Phoebes took turns sitting on a branch, swooping down into the lake, and then, amidst much fluttering, fly back up to the branch to sit and preen. I did not realize that songbirds such as these little flycatchers feel comfortable enough to land in deep water.

Make it a great week everyone. A very happy Father’s Day and especially to Vince, Jason, and Tevita—you guys are doing a great job, keep it up (no pun intended).

The sun is breaking through and soon we’ll be off to town and a huge auction – two concurrent auctioneers filling the town’s hockey rink.
Cheers,
Dirk

One Response to “Bouclier Canadien”
  1. Pieter pastoor Says:

    Nice post – ain’t history grand. Happy fathers day

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