Sunday, June 27, 2010

Rain and Drought

This is a portion of an article from the Iron Mountain Daily News...

IRON MOUNTAIN - The forecast calls for showers or thunderstorms, off and on, through the weekend.

We do still need the rain.

Despite a wet June, the western Upper Peninsula is the worst drought-stricken region in the nation.
"The total precipitation deficit at Iron Mountain from July 2008 through May 2010 was almost 18 inches," said Kevin Crupi, National Weather Service meteorologist at Marquette.

The months of January through May were the driest on record at Iron Mountain-Kingsford, following dry summers in both 2008 and 2009.

The U.S. Drought Monitor reports extreme drought over most of the western Upper Peninsula, including all of Dickinson and Iron counties and the northern half of Menominee. The extreme drought extends into bordering Wisconsin counties, including all of Florence, Forest and Vilas and the northern half of Marinette.

It is the only region of extreme drought in the continental U.S.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Rain Thunder Rain

More rain and more rain. And last night thunder and lightning keeping the dogs wound up until midnight. We need new sand in their pens and I'm looking for a contractor to haul it. We have the sand, acres of sand. These last few rains have been forceful, creating furrows in our vulnerable driveway as well. It also slows up the loggers. We had such a long period of drought and we're making up for it now.
It's great for the plants and fields (not the farmers, too much already) and great for the dogs digging dens.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Summer Day

Today was a typical summer day, starting out with four dogs on a walk, inspecting all they found.
We cleaned pens, exercised every dog (free runs), mowed the grass that has grown from all the rain (no complaints), took another trail walk, changed all the water dishes, emptied the pools, gave meds, p.m. treats, etc....

Dogs in photos: Skinny (age almost 14), Sierra (14), Frita (10, recovering from surgery, and Medio, Skinny's 7 year old son, one of the fastest dogs in the kennel... unlimited energy.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Rain Rain

It has rained pretty steadily for four days. We dug new drains for some of the pens and the loggers had to suspend skidding the logs out for a few days. This spring has seen quixotic weather... one day feels like snow, next day so hot we can't stand it, dry, dry then deluges of water. The rivers are looking great again. But the pens are rivers too. No complaints, we prefer water to drought (compared to the 'big one' of the 1930's).

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Trail Finds

I love to find surprises on the trail. Wildflowers; gone wild domestic flowers; rusted tin cans, an art form of its own; an old farmhouse foundation; heavy equipment; a feeding deer. Nature touches everything with beauty in some form.

New Trails and Rain Deluge

We will have at least one, possibly two or more new trails this fall. The loggers
are taking out diseased or dying trees and some impinging on healthy trees. Following their logging they will grade the trails back to dog safe condition.

The plant life is loving the more than two inches of rain we've had in the past few days. This welcome rainfall should raise the river water levels a bit too.

Signs of the bears are still around, but they are not so boldly visible. The deer seem to be waiting for the loggers to leave and watch from the fields.t

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


As quickly as they appeared and stayed for one month, it seems the bears have
taken a powder and we are happy about it. They're out there, of course,
but not as close/visible. We did talk with the DNR and USDA and it is our joint opinion that we'll not bother them as long as they cause no damage (which they haven't). It's probably been their breeding pattern to stick together and hang around here,so hopefully they're now on the move. We will continue to be careful on the trails, to not surprise them. Bears that are moved are moved by a private contractor to thirty miles or more away. We don't think that's necessary at this time.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Enough already

Seems like I just look out the window and one or two are out there. We've been trailwalking with a radio and spray but I really don't want to encounter one of these
burly bears. The wild strawberries are probably tempting them , too, but summer has just begun. I think I will call the DNR to see if they can move them (three adults).

Sunday, June 6, 2010

This morning

Another bear in this morning. S/he came in at about 6AM,
looked around, didn't find anything and turned around and
went back into the hillside trail.

We're back to trail walking again,but I keep the radio on, the bell on the leash
and I sing, ha ha! I also mowed the trails today, but am keeping my eyes open.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Running Through

The bears have our attention. I saw this one late afternoon yesterday. We took away all the corn last night to remove attraction for them. We'll hold back on trail walks for a few more days, unless on a machine. We had a great soaking rain yesterday, finally.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Activity and Blossom Time

The first wild strawberries are ripe and red and I tried one this morning. The blueberries are plump and green. The pink wild roses are starting to flower. The blackberries are flowering. The logger is here cleaning up dead/dying trees, doing a very nice job.

Photos: Wild rose bushes, blackberry white flowers,
logging progress.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


We had a brief thunderstorm today, with a great downpour of rain, really needed it.
Loggers are working in the woods so the wildlife is skittish. Dogs are fine but a bit bored, even with their daily free runs, especially since I was gone to family events each day over the weekend. Quattro (or Copper) dug out this morning so we had a chance to haul even more boulders from the upper field. They could choose a cooler day to do that, please.