Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Minnesota in summer

The Northern Lakes Raceway (Hwy 35) is the fastest way out of the Twin Cities to peace and quiet. After a side trip over to Spooner, WI, to visit Dad's grave site, we drove to Duluth. As we cruised the highway through Duluth, a deer ran out in front of our truck and bounded across the interstate. From there it was north to Birch Lake...

Birch Lake borders the portion of Minnesota called the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. The BWCA is said to bring peace to your heart, renewal to your spirit and quietness to your mind. For me it is coming home...back to where I belong.

This is the view from the dock that I looked out on for the past week. If this photo was larger, the bald eagle's nest would be visible. Last year we watched two baby eagles, Puff and Jeff, feel the air currents as they spread their wings in preparation to leave the nest. Mom and Pop were always attentive coming and going with food and encouragement. Sadly, this year, there were no baby eagles to watch. The heavy snow last May fell after eggs had been laid. Mom eagle never left the nest even when she was buried in snow, but the eggs did not mature.

Charlie and Charlotte, the resident loon couple, were not successful either. In fact as we canoed our end of Birch Lake, we only saw one adolescent loon with its parents. However, late one afternoon, while sitting on the dock alone, I watched and heard a loon batchelor party. After much verbal calling and apparent discussion over where and when, five adult loons congregated within the view of my binoculars. After much circle swimming, they began taking turns diving. When one would dive the other four would look under water until the first one surfaced next to the group. What on earth was going on underwater? I suspect some loon show-off moves.

Despite the lack of eagle and loon babies this year there were an abundance of ducklings bobbing around the lake shore. The water was perfect temp for swimming so swim we did. I had been warned about the size of the mosquitos this year but the mammoth dragon flies took care of them. All in all it was another refreshing visit home. God is Good.

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