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Sawbill Newsletter Archives: February 2002
Current Sawbill Newsletter | « January 2002 | March 2002 »
2/27/02 - We had a visit today from Lenert and Ann Kalberg, from Stockholm, Sweden. Lenert and Ann's son was an exchange student at the local high school several years ago. Lenert works for the Swedish Sports Federation. Part of his job requires him to attend the Olympic games. They stopped by to visit their son's former host family, Sue and Grey Jordan of Lutsen. Grey is the general contractor for our construction project.

L to R: Bill, Grey Jordan, Ann Karlberg, Lenert Karlberg, Sue Jordan, Cindy.

Clare Hansen turned 14 years old today. Cindy baked her an accordion cake. Clare has been playing the accordion for nine years. She celebrated by going bowling for the first time in her life.

14 year old Clare Hansen

2/26/02 - Tonight there is a full moon - and there hasn't been a cloud in the sky so far today. Its likely to be a bright night at Sawbill. I took this picture last night around 6PM, just as the moon was rising.

An almost full moon rising.

Construction continues to move along. The sheet-rockers arrived last week and have almost finished with the new part of the building. The roof isn't quite done yet as the crew moved indoors to work on finishing the ceiling. The eight sky-lights are installed and let in so much warm natural light. The shelves for the basement will arrive tomorrow so soon we can start moving things in. - Beth

2/20/02 - Our glimpse of spring two days ago was followed by 6" of snow yesterday. So much for the sun tanning - but it means more good skiing. And I got to plow for the second time this season. Cindy wasn't around to race against this time, so I had to battle the clock. I was on world record setting pace when I ran into some trouble moving the cars - one of them had a dead battery. After a quick delay to jump start it, I was off again. And then I got a little too close to the septic tank - and plowed the cover right off of it. The exclamation of "Oh Crap" that came from my mouth seemed fitting for the situation. Holding my breath, I ran over and hauled the cover back onto the tank. I finished up without further incident and while I didn't break the world record, I think I set a new personal best.

I watched speed skater Derek Parra set the new world record in the 1500 meter race last night. Thinking about it afterwards I tried to put it in Sawbill perspective. 1500 meters is about a mile - which means he could skate from the Sawbill landing to the Alton portage in one minute and 43 seconds. Amazing. - Beth

2/18/02 - Lots of people took advantage of the long President's Day weekend to do some winter camping in the area. There were over 20 cars in the parking lot this weekend - its unusual to have more than one or two on an average weekend. The lakes are great right now for skiing and pulling sleds. Some strong winds blew early last week and really packed down the snow. The traffic on the lake this weekend also created some good trails. Hopefully, the skiing will last a little longer. We've been luckier than most places in Minnesota this crazy winter and have had almost a foot of snow on the ground since around Christmas. However, warm temperatures have crept in the last couple of days and the snow is beginning to look a little sparse. But today was so gloriously warm and sunny I couldn't even get frustrated that the ski trail was melting in front of my eyes. The high today was somewhere around 45 degrees. -Beth

The construction guys have begun putting the new metal roof on the building and are overjoyed that the weather is being so cooperative. They were working in just t-shirts today.

Hans and Don work on their summer tans.

 

2/14/02 - We received the following e-mail from Jeffrey Yelich.

Your newsletter got me looking back in old travel logs and I found my sighting of a tailless wolf fishing for spawning suckers, May 6, 1998 at the inlet of Phoebe Lake. My log reads "as I approached the portage to Grace I could hear flowing water around the bend and passed by the carry so as to see the inlet. I saw what I first thought was a deer, then realized it was a wolf minus its tail and  I silently glided to within 20 yards. Standing on a little peninsula it was so involved watching the fat exposed backs of the countless suckers that a full two minutes passed before it looked around and I was busted. It streaked away and actually tried to scale a smooth rock wall,I could hear it's claws scratching on the rock. It jumped quite a distance up the wall, but no good. It seemed to pull itself together at that point and with a backward glance it turned away and walked with great dignity up the creek bottom. By this time the little boat and I had drifted into the peninsula which was strewn with fresh sucker carcasses, one can assume it was the wolf thou I didn't see it catch any."

It is possible its still around, I hope so. This last year was the first in many years that I failed to visit your area. We did a lot of the western rivers and its a good time, but I miss the long solo paddles. The jerky is in the food dryer as I write and the open water season is right around the corner (April I hope) see you then!

-Jeffrey Yelich

 

2/9/02 - I saw three timber wolves on my way to pick the kids up from school yesterday afternoon. I can't be sure, because they were moving pretty fast, but it appeared that one of them did not have a tail. A little farther down the road, I saw a small black critter scurrying across the road. I stopped for a better look and was surprised to find a star nosed mole. On the way home, we saw another mole running around on the road. We stopped and I captured it in my chopper mittens. These unusual creatures have twenty two fleshy appendages around their noses. Scientists have recently discovered that the nose star has six times the sensitivity to touch of the human hand. Star nosed moles live in colonies around swampy areas and river edges. They eat worms, insects and crustaceans. They are breeding this time of year, which probably explains why they are out wandering on the road. When we let him go, the mole tunneled into the snow with amazing rapidity. He sank out of sight like a stone with a shower of snow erupting from his burrow.

The Star Nosed Mole
Current Sawbill Newsletter | « January 2002 | March 2002 »

 


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