Sunday, January 30, 2011
And they take to the Bondi trails. There are quite a few of our local neighbours who ski with us.
Trudy, Suzette, Paulette, Carole, and Jolanda joined Cheryll, seeking out the "least hilly" trails, up through Hidden Lake and Hawk Lake, a little sidetrip down to River Loop. We have trails that fit all levels of ability and ambition!
The new puppy, Taffy, had to check out the ski equipment. First time she's seen folks on skiis. She thought it looked such fun, she was all set to go with them!
There was no shortage of activity around the lake this weekend. Gloria send us these pictures, taken near Bigwin Island, of the Fish Hut city that has sprung up again this winter.
Don't have one? Well, you can snap up one, advertised on this sign stuck in
the snow at the lake's edge.
Need a way to get there? The 'boys' were whooping it up (without a helmet in sight... I guess they figure if they're just to-ing and fro-ing from the fish huts they are invincible... )
Speaking of invincible, there is another World Record attempt taking place, Feb. 15 when Nick Musters from Utterson attempts to break the world record for the most distance travelled in a 24 hour period on a snowmobile. He's promoting breast cancer awareness (will he be sporting pink ribbons on his sled? He's got plenty on his website!)
He'll be running a track around Bigwin Island. You can drop by and wish him luck, or make a donation, at the Norway Point Park access, off Hwy 117.
Friday, January 28, 2011
This is a quiet time at the bird rescue... Janice had just released two woodpeckers and a bluejay back into the wild, and the only birds in residence were a pair of white doves. These are domestic, and in need of a good home.
What it means is that you'll be able to see our availability, and book by simply clicking buttons... Which is not at all to say that we'd not far rather have conversations with you about your vacations, either by phone or by email.
So, heads up, and watch this space. If Nancy can just figure the system out, it is scheduled to 'go live' in mid-February.
Until then, you can always reach us the 'old fashioned' way, by giving us a call, an email, a letter. In fact, you'll ALWAYS be able to contact us that way. We firmly believe that the personal touch makes the difference.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Nature is amazing. Take our tiny, cheerful chickadees, who stay with us through the winter, no matter what the weather throws their way.
To keep from freezing solid, they grow more feathers. These feathers get fluffed up, trapping warm air next to the body. They can shiver to generate heat. They look for places out of the wind, deep in the evergreens, for their night-time perching. With no sweat glands on their legs, their feet don't freeze -- but you might see them pull first one leg, then the other, up into their warm feathers if it's getting too cold. Or, like this little chap, they can huddle down on top of those chilly little chickadee toes.
Since they can't store enough fuel for long, at night, chickadees go into a state of torpor, a deep sleep with drastically lowered body temperature, heart rate, and breathing. The result is a controlled hypothermia that can save a bird up to 20% of its energy. In fact, their body temperature drops by 10 to 12 degrees Celsius below the daytime body temperature.
Food is obviously critical -- the act of burning calories is what keeps the fire in these tiny birds' furnaces. To that end, they come to our feeders, one of our most frequent and favourite visitors. Chickadees carry away seeds, too, into caches. Memory is excellent -- up to at least 28 days after hiding the seeds, the birds will go directly there, no hesitation. Chickadees need about 10 kcal of energy per day to survive, so if you are going to put out birdfeeders, it's a good thing to be sure they are kept stocked up.
Mind, it's not just in winter that food is important -- the chickadee depletes much of its energy by feeding nestlings from six to 14 times an hour during the breeding season. February and March are the courtship months for these birds,who gather together in flocks during the winter, but separate into pairs for the warmer months.
They are a joy and a delight to have around, with their fearless bright eyes, and cheery call, taking on the winter, whatever it brings.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Trail 73 Open
Trail 74 North and South Open
Trail 76 Open
Trail 77 East and West of Dwight to Tally Ho Open
Trail 78 Limited
Trail 79 Limited
Trail D101B from D to the Shelter Open
Trail 65 North from the Shelter to Troutspawn Lake will be Open after the pass tonight.
All of the wash out areas filled in great.
Bob and Simon staked Oxtongue Lake Monday and Mike Munger helped them stake Penn Lake on Wednesday from South Portage to Deerhurst. There was too much slush to stake to Tally Ho as there was no traffic going that way. Will try again next week.
Dan West at South Portage Marine will be staking the Lake of Bays soon from South Portage to Dwight beach.
Last night I groomed up 74 North to Oxbow Rd. and knocked down the snow banks on Limberlost and Billie Bear Roads to help save the carbides when the roads dry up with snow. Hope this makes that part of road running a bit better.
Taylor is out tonight grooming 73,76,65 to Troutspawn Rd. 76 and 74 South.
We are still awaiting Highland Rovers to make a pass on 78 & 79 with their smaller groomer before we go over it with the tractor. They are limited now but should be open after the weekend. That will be my next priority for early next week.
It looks like this will be the first real great sledding weekend in the area this year. Please enjoy and be safe.
Don't forget our Chilli Cook Off next Saturday at McCann Lake Camp on D101B between the Shelter and Oxtongue Lake.
For our new people on this list, here is the link to our Web Site with all the Club's info and Web Cam.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Sunday, January 16, 2011
This is January's full moon that is almost full. The Moon after Yule, it is termed the Wolf Moon, taking its name from North American Native lore. This is the time of year hungry packs of wolves could be heard howling near the villages.
Which fact caught the attention of our visiting deer, who were hanging out at the stable hoping to score some chicken feed as the moon lifted overhead. That's 'Sweetie', in the front. Her last year's fawn behind her, -- Phylis, named because our neighbour watched her arrival -- and peeking in between is 'Iris', who takes her name from the iris garden where we found her hidden when she was just a few days old.
Friday, January 14, 2011
Also on D101B just north of the Shelter we had a Beaver build a dam under the bridge. The bridge had to be dismantled to remove it and a new bridge built to replace it.
Since mid December we have been packing and opening trails and are in pretty good shape now. There are a few washout areas that need a bit more snow to fill in then we can change the status of the trails from "limited" to "open".
Trails 77 West from Dwight to Hillside, 78 and 79 are not open yet. Trail 77 has been packed but still needs more snow to make it worthy to open "limited". Trail 78 has been packed from Rebecca's Creek bridge north to D101B. South of Rebecca's Creek we need the swamp to freeze up before the tractor can go over it. We have packed the area with sleds and Highland Rovers will make the first pass with their lighter BR-180 groomer soon. They will also pack the swamp on trail 79 at the same time.
Trail D102B at the Deerhurst airstrip also has a Beaver dam issue. We are working with Highland Rovers to get through it.
We have switched the packer pan for the large drag on the tractor, and have been "grooming" for the last week.
Keep an eye on the MSR trail update site http://www.msrsnowtrails.com/conditions.php for up to date conditions for all of the MSR trails.
If you are out on the trails keep an eye out for the odd rough spot till we get more snow. There are also a few face slappers and could be the odd rock that got pulled up by the drag. Please stop and pick up anything you see and bend that slapper out of the way. Thanks in advance.
I will send out an update a few times a week to all of our supporting businesses, Volunteers and Club Members. If you don't want to receive these updates please let me know and I will remove you from the list. If you know of anyone else that would like this to be sent to just let me know and I will add them to the list.
Lets all do the snow dance and hope that the rain we had at New Year's was our "January Thaw".
Hope to see you at the Club Breakfast this Saturday morning at Spring Lake Resort.
Think SNOW ****** "
Monday, January 10, 2011
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Bijou, who is very fast through the obstacles, scooped up the Best Dressed Award.
But the biggest thumbs up today had to go to Roscoe and Piper, and their "person" Lowell. In between taking their turns working over the teeter-totter, weave poles, jumps, tunnels, etc., the dogs burned off some extra energy ski-joring with Lowell.
This is an old sport that is starting to make a come-back. To play, you need an energetic dog (or two), sled-dog harness, and harness for the handler -- dogs and people are connected by a line. A set of cross country skiis and poles rounds it out, and away you go!
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Monday, January 3, 2011
Erin writes: "Thanks again for the amazing vacation!"
It was a joy to have you here -- and thanks to you for sharing the photos!
The ice surface, under that tiny skiff of snow, is superb. Who could resist coming out to play?
Not Brian, who showed up to 'play', demonstrating his ability to spin and slide...
We cleared off the rink -- which saw a lot of action this evening under the lights from some of our neighbours. But we couldn't stop there. Dave and Meg cleared a Pie, where they could chase each other in a great game of "Fox and Goose".
Nancy created a spiral maze. When Justine was visiting today with her Mom, that was her favourite.
Nor could Brian resist the conditions that produced such a solid base on the ski trails, with just enough snow to take his sled anywhere. He took it to the top of the Lookout -- which is usually impossible in deep snow.
That's the thing -- there is always something wonderful to do outside up here come winter. You just have to be ready to roll with it (or slide with it?)