Early Morning Beach Walk

Cloudy Cabin Sunrise

Il Mostro

I got up and out early this morning and walked the beach by myself. It was still and quiet out. It felt like my own private beach, isolated from the rest of the world and very peaceful. It was nice having the beach all to myself, even if I was not all alone. As I paced the sand I noticed deer tracks in it. These are not all that uncommon, but along this one stretch of sand it looked like the deer had had a party. There must have been a herd of them too, because there were deer tracks going every which way. Further along the sand, some kids had built a sandcastle of sorts and scrawled the message in the sand, “Made by the best sons in the word.” That’s their spelling, not mine.

There was little wind out and the water was reflectively still, reflecting the day’s cloudy sky, when I saw Il Mostro (The Monster), this year’s winner of the Trans-Superior sailboat race. It’s a big boat, one of the biggest in the race, if not the biggest one. Compared to some of the smaller boats in the field it really is a monster. It was headed down bound under sail, returning victorious from Duluth. It mustn’t have even waited for all of the field to finish, before it turned around and headed back down again. That must have been a little disheartening to the stragglers, as it passed them going the other way..

Finally, I saw cormorants, a common sight and a loon, a rarity on the beach. It was fishing not too far off shore. Occasionally diving and then resurfacing. Not too long afterwards, I got a text from Anne, “Coffee is ready.” I then beat feet back to the cabin, full for telling of all the sights that I had seen.

Beach Loon

Life and Death on the Water

Mother Merganser vs Gull

I saw a mature American Bald eagle snatch a gull off the water today. I was just sitting down for a little me time, me and the Internet that is, and noticed a down bound lake boat (Algoma Strongfield) out the porch window. I was watching the boat through binoculars, when the eagle swooped into my field-of-view and then down upon an unsuspecting gull that was floating on the water just offshore, in front of the cabin. On its first pass, the eagle nicked the gull, probably stunning it, because the gull just sat there. Then the eagle came around again, low over the water and thumped it again. On the third try, the eagle snatched in its talons, which did trigger a gull squawk and flew off with its prey. Harry and I ran down to the beach, to see if there was more to see, but to no avail.

They say that if you don’t have pics then it didn’t happen, but it did happen, I saw it. This is the second young gull this week that has become eagle food. After today’s snatch and grab all the immature gulls that had been lining the beach this week all disappeared for a while, but later in the day they began to flitter back. It’s still early August, but this far north the signs are already evident, winter is coming. Many of the mature gulls have already left for the season.  Time is running out for the young gulls still around here and many of them will not make it. I did manage to capture the pictured encounter between a group of mergansers (mother and her chicks) and an immature gull. I don’t know it the gull was actually after the chicks, because all of the birds were fleeing shore and me on it, but the mother obviously thought that the gull was too close. 

The Ugly Duckling

Trumpeter Swan Cygnet

“What’s with those legs? The look like they were put on upside down.” This was a question posed about the cygnet Trumpeter Swans the we saw in Seney last week. They really do look pretty goofy. Supposedly, they are attached about the same on the adult swans, but with all of their feathers, you can’t really see how screwy they look. Birds legs are often pretty funky looking.

We finished up the road work today. We moved five wagon loads of gravel, which at three yards or four tons to the load, sums to 15 yards or 20 tons. The lion’s share of thanks go to Andrew, Zackery and Caleb. We never could have done it without them. Harry, Anne, Dan and I also helped again. The road felt really good this afternoon, when we drove into town the road felt like butter. Anne, Dan and I had lunch at Wicked Sister and then cruised by the Soo art fair.

Now, it’s time to take a little dig at management. A second day of roadwork and again no orange barrels, tisk, tisk. We had gotten pretty good working as a team, but without orange barrels, how are we ever going to be able to take this show on the road? Also, Mayor Pete needs to learn that a request to move his truck forward four feet does not mean moving the truck forward 16′ or more and Mr. Bill needs to learn to stop throwing sand. I always thought that was the first rule of the beach. My shoes were full of it by the end.