Not a Creature Was Stirring

Northwoods Journal

Friday, January 30, 2015

We have returned to the Polar Equator, our first trip up to our northwoods hide-a-way for the new year!  We are up for the Sno*Drift Road Rally Race once again.  We arrived mid-afternoon yesterday.  Due to ice, I had a “snow day” off work so we were able to get on the road by 9:30 a.m.  It took a little longer to get here due to a rain/snow mix most of the way.  The roads weren’t terrible but it was best not to drive too fast.  Also, when we stopped for lunch we opted to eat in so Mark could have both hands for driving.

We brought the dogs this time since our son works 12 hour midnight shifts, which would leave them home alone or unattended far too much.  The weather isn’t supposed to be nearly as cold as it was this time last year.  Also, Mark was smart and got our driveway plowed this year – Yay!!  It was especially nice because they got at least 6 inches of fresh snow overnight and the guy came back this morning to do it again.  So much nicer to be able to pull right up to our door rather than pulling our supplies in by toboggan!

Our freshly plowed driveway.

Our freshly plowed driveway.

It was 28 degrees inside when we arrived, which was great because it didn’t take nearly as long to warm the place up, and it was easier to unpack without my teeth chattering!  While I was unpacking, Driveway Dan the snow plow guy showed up to get paid, only charging us $60 which seemed like a huge bargain!  (Especially since he plowed it twice.)  After getting everything unpacked, we took the dogs for a quick walk up Stevens Spring to the ATV trail crossing.  It wasn’t nearly long enough for Daisy but we still had to run into town to get a few items from the store that I forgot – like milk – and then make dinner.

I put out the bird feeders right away but there wasn’t even the faintest flutter of a bird wing through our woods.

After dinner we played Sequence; Mark bested me two out of three.  Then I broke open a brand new jigsaw puzzle a friend gave me for Christmas.  It is a winter scene with a male and female cardinal.  It’s only 500 pieces so I will probably have it done by the end of the weekend.

Bringing the dogs meant there was NO sleeping in this morning.  Who needs an alarm clock when you have three beagles that know exactly when breakfast is supposed to be served?  We didn’t want to stay in bed too long anyway because Mark has a friend from work who was supposed to be arriving with his son and staying with us for the weekend.  After we got up, Mark had a message saying they would not be arriving until this evening.

So, we had a quiet morning.  The rising sun cast the most beautiful glow on the treetops.  I tried to capture it with a photo, without much success.

Beautiful northwoods sunrise.

Beautiful northwoods sunrise.

Morning sun glowing through the trees.

Morning sun glowing through the trees.

I put some bird food out on the platform feeder, hoping to see a blue jay or two, but not a creature stirred all morning.  Eventually we did spy three squirrels – two black and one gray morph – playing out in the woods.

Black squirrel playing statue.

Black squirrel playing statue.

The temperature was zero when I got up and never got out of the teens all day, despite the sun.

Baby, it's cold outside!

Baby, it’s cold outside!

After breakfast we ran into town again – it’s amazing the things I manage to forget to buy!  Also, Mark wanted his shortbread from the Baklava Shop. They still had fresh cinnamon rolls and he insisted I get one even though I am on this diet and exercise plan using the Lose It! app and have already lost almost 4 pounds.  The app gives me a calorie budget for the day and how I use them is up to me.  Needless to say, one of those cinnamon rolls required A LOT of my allotted calories!  The good thing is that I can “earn” more calories every time I log exercise!

The thermometer was stuck at 10 degrees when we bundled up to take the dogs for a short walk.  We don’t like to walk them too long when it’s this cold and the roads are covered in snow and ice.  Ruby has a nice pink parka but we don’t have booties for them and don’t want to risk them getting frosty paws.  Later in the afternoon, when Mark left to head to Lewiston to watch a couple stages of the race, I bundled up a second time and took them for a little longer walk.  The sun was shining and it was really pretty, which made the cold seem much more tolerable.  I took them all the way to Hungry 5 but unfortunately, just before we got to the intersection, I slipped on a patch of ice and came down HARD.  My right hand broke my fall, which hurt like the dickens considering the road is frozen solid!  And I landed on my right hip which is already janked up.  I’m sure I will be sore tomorrow!  I’m just glad there was no one around to witness my humiliation.

Down the frozen road I go.

Down the frozen road I go.

When we came back from our walk, I went back out with my camera to take a few pictures but there really wasn’t much to see, and no birds about.

Silent winter woods.

Silent winter woods.

Vibrant blue sky.

Vibrant blue sky.

Around 4 o’clock a lone blue jay discovered the food on the platform feeder!  It’s supposed to be warmer tomorrow, so perhaps the birds will be more active.  (On the way up yesterday, just south of the M33/M32 junction, we thought we saw a flock of snow buntings but didn’t get a good enough look for a positive ID.)  A short while after the blue jay showed up, a few chickadees and a white-breasted nuthatch arrived, so now my day is complete!

Black-capped chickadee - one of my best photos of one, thanks to the cold!

Black-capped chickadee – one of my best photos of one, thanks to the cold!

A chickadee in Chickadee Cove!

A chickadee in Chickadee Cove!

Mark will not be home until late.  I have kept myself busy melting snow for flushing the toilet – we have it down to a science now – and feeding the wood burner, and making a big pot of homemade beef barley soup.  Tomorrow will be more racing excitement!

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9 Responses to Not a Creature Was Stirring

  1. Wow! You got some sunshine, and the photos of the woods were really good! Liked the bird images as well.

    I’ve thought about attending the Sno-drift rally, at one time, I thought of competing in it. I’ve never made there though.

    Like

    • Jerry, you MUST come for it!! You would love it, and you would get some super photos! And you would fit right in, in your Subaru! 🙂 At most of the viewing areas, all the cars parked along the road are Subarus! It’s a fun time if you don’t mind walking up to a mile to get into the viewing area and then standing in the snow and cold. I felt bad for Mark, he had to go to the Lewiston stages by himself last night, but he said people were nice and he had a good time. The cars will come right by our place today. If you want to come next year, you are welcome to stay with us.

      I’m glad you liked the photos! No sun today but it’s a lot warmer.

      Like

  2. avian101 says:

    My days of loving the ice and snow are over! I had my share of that and it was 50/50 pain/joy. I’m sorry but is the truth! Nice pictures Amy! 🙂

    Like

  3. kathydoremus says:

    That sky really is a brilliant blue! Enjoy your weekend. 🙂

    Like

  4. tootlepedal says:

    I hope that you had no lasting effects from your tumble.

    Like

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