Saturday, March 10, 2018

Book proofs were received, reviewed, and returned

I received, reviewed, and returned the proofs for my new book. I could not believe I caught a type on a graphic element I changed. But that is why you have proofs.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Giant Snow Blower

Our county road commission has the big equipment. There are three operational branches of our road commission. The main branch is in Munising with the others in Grand Marais and Limestone. In total they take care of 611 miles of roads. My favorite piece of snow removal equipment they use is the giant snow blower. They use it to cut bank the snow banks along the sides of roads. People have different names for the equipment including snow-go machine and bank eater.

In 1922 the first practical highway snowplow developed in the U.S. was designed and built by Edward Levy, Superintendent, City Public Works, Munising, MI, Alger County.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Lake Superior Ice Bergs

We had sunshine again yesterday in Grand Marais, so Lois and I decided to go on a beach hike.  The ice bergs are beautiful!  Also, two deer pranced by when we returned to the car.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Sable Lake Ski

Before it warmed up yesterday, I went skiing in the sunshine with friend, Dianna Bell.  Since temperatures had dropped the night before, the surface of the snow froze up.  We skied from the parking lot at Sable Visitor's Center, across the fields on top of the snow to the road and over to Sable Lake.  Then we skied across the lake to the canoe camp site, back to the boat ramp, down the road, and cut over to cross country ski trail A and back to the parking lot.  It was a great adventure.

Ice covered trees...

Grand Sable Dunes....

Canoe camp site...

Saturday, March 3, 2018

All about Fishers

While on our adventure the other day, Jamey spotted some fisher tracks. 

I was not very familiar with this animal, so I decided to do a blog posting.

The fisher is a small mammal native to the boreal forests in Canada and the northern U.S.  It is a member of the mustelid (weasel) family. It is closely related to but larger than the American marten. Although it is also called a fisher cat, it is not a feline.

Males and females look similar. Adult males are 35–47 inches long and weigh 8–13 pounds. Adult females are 30–37 inches long and weigh 4–6 pounds. The fur of the fisher varies seasonally, being denser and glossier in the winter. During the summer, the color becomes more mottled, as the fur goes through a moulting cycle. The fisher prefers to hunt in full forest. Though an agile climber, it spends most of its time on the forest floor, where it prefers to forage around fallen trees. An omnivore, the fisher feeds on a wide variety of small animals and other things. It prefers the snowshoe hare and is one of the few animals able to prey successfully on porcupines. Despite its common name, the fisher rarely eats fish. Fishers are generalist predators. In addition to preying on snowshoe hare and porcupine, they are also known to eat insects, nuts, berries, and mushrooms. Since they are solitary hunters, their choice of prey is limited by their size. Analyses of stomach contents and scat have found evidence of birds, small mammals, and even moose and deer—the latter two indicating that they are not averse to eating carrion. Fishers have been seen to feed on deer carcasses While the behavior is not common, fishers have been known to kill larger animals, such as wild turkey, bobcat, and lynx.

Fishers are most active at dawn and dusk.  They are solitary, associating with other fishers only for mating purposes. Their hunting range varies from three square miles in the summer to eight square miles in the winter. Male and female fishers have overlapping territories.

The reproductive cycle of the fisher lasts almost a year. Female fishers den in hollows of old grown threes, giving birth to a litter of three or four kits in the spring. They nurse and care for their kits until late summer, when they are old enough to set out on their own. 

Fishers have few predators besides humans. They have been trapped since the 18th century for their fur. Their pelts were in such demand that they became extinct in several parts of the United States in the early part of the 20th century. Conservation and protection measures have allowed the species to rebound, but their current range is still reduced from its historic limits. In the 1920s, when pelt prices were high, some fur farmers attempted to raise fishers. However, their unusual delayed reproductive cycle made breeding difficult. When pelt prices fell in the late 1940s, most fisher farming ended. While fishers usually avoid human contact, encroachments into forest habitats have resulted in some conflicts.

Mount Rainier National Park,
Holly Kuchera, shutterstock 792320092
Mircea Costina , shutterstock 781656943 and 781656952 

Friday, March 2, 2018

Another Winter Picnic

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to go on yet another winter picnic with Lois and Jamey Fite.  We bushwhacked into a river east of town, looked for a down log to sit on, and gathered fire wood.  It was a beautiful trek in and a terrific picnic spot. 

Snowshoeing in....

There were several HUGE white pine trees!

The river was beautiful...

There was a lot of dead wood in the area, so it wasn't too difficult to gather enough wood for cooking.

Beaver likes swimming in the river -- even in the winter!

To gather more wood it was necessary to put the snowshoes back on.  The snow was around two feet deep, but some of the drifts were three or four feet deep.


I didn't take photos of all the food courses, but we had shrimp cocktail, chips, organic food coop chicken legs, organic food coop multi-colored carrot slivers, potatoes, and green beans with almonds.

A man with his dog...

While snowshoeing out Lois found a cool beaver stick....