Just last week I was lucky enough to spend a little quality time up at the cabin; just me and the critters. Although I didn’t actually get to do much fishing, I was able to get caught up on a few things I had been putting off. There are actually some advantages to spending time alone in the woods because the alone time seems to give me a little more incentive to work on the cabin.
As I drove those 300-plus miles those three magic little words would appear to me as if in a vision and those words, of course, were, “Road Work Ahead.” There are some who have suggested we should change the name of the summer season to the construction season. Most of us true Minnesotans take the summer construction in stride and just go with the flow, but there are a few that will ride your bumper in a work zone as if to say, “Here’s my 300 bucks, now can you speed it up?”
Some folks are always in a big hurry, which can even lead a person to have a case of road rage. An example of this was the time I was returning home from one of the fishing openers and the traffic in and around St. Cloud was backed up for miles. As I sat there slowly inching ahead with the traffic, this young guy in a Chevy Blazer passed me on the shoulder and as he drove by he gave me the one- finger salute as if it was my fault the 150 cars ahead of me were almost stopped. As this genius on wheels passed the pickup in front of me, he flipped him off also. Now, in my way of thinking you don’t do that to anyone who has the old Easy Rider Rifle Rack in the back window. As finger guy passed him, the guy in the pickup smoked his tires and jumped onto the shoulder and was fast in pursuit of the young dummy who thought he was number one. I don’t know if that guy ever caught him, but as fast as he was going I’m pretty sure he did.
The weather up north this past week was just about perfect with the exception of the strong winds which made fishing a little challenging. I was surprised to find the mosquitoes weren’t bad at all, especially with the amount of rain they had been getting. The flies were a little pesky, but even they were tolerable.
I spoke to one of my neighbors, Chris, whom I hadn’t actually talked to for a couple of years and he had to tell me about the wildlife we have around our area. He has put up trail cams around his cabin and also in the woods where he baits bear. After talking to him I found out we have a resident badger that seems to spend a lot of time walking back and forth between our cabins. He has also has pictures of two bears at his bait pile and another of the cameras showed five deer and even a wolf. When he went to check that camera he found a dead deer that had been killed and half eaten, no doubt, by the wolf. Chris said we also have a pair of fox roaming the area.
After I had absorbed all of this information it just confirmed what I had always felt, and that living in the north woods that close to nature is pretty darned awesome. When you’re lying in bed at night in the dark with the windows open you can hear the loons that reside on our little lake calling each other; that is a sound like no other. One night I awoke to the sound of something fairly good sized rummaging around under the cabin; I’d guessed it to be a raccoon, but after talking to Chis I’m thinking it may have been that badger.
I have on many occasions had a grouse jump up in front of me or run across my path. Over the years I have heard the wolves calling at night and in the fall you can hear bigger critters walking on the dry twigs and leaves that have fallen in the woods. I have also heard moose calling from a nearby slough; I actually only discovered that it was moose after describing the sound to my brother-in-law Lynn Johnson who resides in Alaska; he told me he has heard that call many times over the years.
There are so many sounds to be heard around a lake and in the woods and most intensify as the sun sets and evening gives way to nightfall. The bullfrogs seem to sing in unison and there are other critters that will join in as the night wears on. Over the years we’ve had the cabin I have heard many sounds that, to this day, I have still not been able to identify. This is what makes being close to nature so very special to me.
Until next time, enjoy the summer and get close to nature by spending a little time in the great Minnesota outdoors.
Please remember to keep our troops in your thoughts and prayers because they are the reason we are able to enjoy all the freedoms that we have today.