Good morning all:

Weekly wisdom from deep within the north woods:

“Here’s your lesson in Bear identification; distinguishing the Grizzly from a Black bear. Climb a tree to escape the bear – if it follows you up it’s a Black Bear – if it shakes you out it’s a Grizzly.” ~ from our north woods everyman we’ll call Claire

Thinking summer, we got “trapped” by the weather. Starting yesterday it got cold, all afternoon and into the night the sky stayed an impenetrable steel grey, the wind howled, a stabbing drizzle rain pelted the windows— this morning little has changed. This makes my steaming mug of morning coffee (plus a fleece jacket with collar zipped to the top) heavenly.

It’s June 2nd – almost summer at Northern Comfort. I think it is a perfect morning for a large bowl of oatmeal topped with a few drops of local maple syrup.

Bunkie – Last week I detailed the work that was begun on the Bunkie. Sometimes things go very smooth and, so, here is your very first view of the newly squared and now complete with a small deck Bunkie project – ta-dah!

Visibility – Deftly Marlene opened a small package marked New Balance and announced it to be a belated birthday gift. Out popped a very light wad of fabric in the brightest of Day-Glo green and bits of reflective tape—my first man-bra.

Once on (this took a bit of figuring out since it’s a tad like a bib with a chest strap) it was amazingly comfortable and light. It really supports wonderfully. I immediately became aware that wearing it meant an end to any and all jiggling.

I assumed that I was going to be sent out into the woods to test various animals for color vision, but this was not so. It’s designed for me to be more visible on the roads as I am out on my walks. I’ve now been wearing it for a couple of days and the ‘notice’ thing would appear to be true. I’ve noticed that the burley logging truck drivers barreling past wave just a wee bit more – a couple even hit their air horn.

I am certain that there is a new bounce in my step. Thanks Marlene.

Animal Planet – It’s early enough for me to see the bats flutter by the window as they are beginning to head for their roosts. Even with the weather being cold and nasty the circle of life continues. The bats are out but so are the bugs and moths as both continue their aerial dance of life without pause—many will be back tomorrow evening, some will not, but the dance will continue.

This week a large Black Bear was seen on the access road to nearby Axe Lake. The beginning of the Axe Lake access road happens to be the turning point for my daily walks whenever I head north. On these walks I stay on the highway, nevertheless it’s not too unusual to see no vehicles for 10 or so minutes at a time. It might be wise to start carrying my canister of bear spray.

Yesterday morning I spotted a wolf print at the side of the road near our driveway. In all the years I’ve only actually spotted a grey wolf once (two years ago) and that was about a half mile from this spot. These creatures are very elusive and roam a large territory; kinda fun to realize that they’re in the area.

Make it a great week everyone. Success to all the moms and dads as they seek new ways to entertain their kids now that school is out.

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