Showing posts from March, 2015

Retrospectives on our hike around Lake Superior

Going Full Circle in retrospect

1.         Thinking back to five years ago it seems so logical now, in retrospect, that we walked in a circle and that each day was an unknown - that is we were not on a trail, a path, a road - we were not going to something, we were going around, encircling, encompassing, coming to know where we were - here on earth, on this planet, in this north country.
We were moved my majesty that was apparent, but also hidden. I always felt that when people asked how far we walked they asked the wrong question - it should be - "what did you see?"
I was always a meanderer. At the Audubon Center I resisted trails for many year saying that trails led through, between, but not in. When I went off trail I was someplace, on trail I would be going someplace.
Of course, I value trails, the North Country trail, the App, the Muir, Santiago, etc. Great trails, great adventures and I have followed trails in parks, wilderness, Kate and I even wrote a guide to the best tr…

Ruffed Grouse

Ruffed GrousePOSTED ON MARCH 10, 2015  Blog for Last Thursday I cross-country skied on our trails thinking it might be the last time this year.  It was below zero and there was still a nice amount of snow on the ground, but the forecast was calling for temperatures to rise into the high 40s or even 50s the next week.  I’m glad I went out that day, because four days later the snow was melting rapidly with a daytime high of 55F. One of the pleasures of cross-country skiing on our trails is trying to decipher the messages in the snow.  The longer the snow has been on the ground, the more messages you will find.  What I’m ‘reading’ are the tracks made by birds and animals as they meander and crisscross our property.  While most of the tracks belong to mammals, large and small, occasionally I find bird tracks. In our woods there are some wonderful three toed bird tracks that wander in and out of the thick forest and parallel to the ski trails.  These are the tracks of the ruf…

Flight - Kate Crowley, photos by Mike Link

WINGIN’ IT By Kate Crowley Photos by Mike Link Ever since human beings have become cognizant of their place as terrestrial beings, I believe we have envied birds; to be free of gravity, to soar above the troubles of the land below, to lift up and be able to move three dimensionally in the same way creatures of the sea are able is something we’ve only been able to imagine.  And imagination has pushed us so hard that we have gone from ancient fables (Icarus and Daedalus) into rocket powered vehicles that lift us into outer space.  It is such a brief period of time in human history that we have been able to imitate birds with our flying machines, yet it has become almost ordinary for the millions who fly across the planet daily.

My first airplane flight happened almost 60 years ago.  My mom, who had gotten her private pilot license a decade earlier, wanted my younger brother and I to experience flight, but since my dad had insisted she give up flying, we boarded a larger plane, a Northwest a…

Grey Whales

GOING NATURE’S WAY By Kate Crowley photos by Mike Link Bird migration is something I have talked about more than once in this column, but we know that insects (Monarch butterflies) and mammals migrate too and the ones I have wanted longest to see are the Gray Whales.  Every year these magnificent marine mammals make a journey from the Arctic regions to the Baja California coast of the Pacific Ocean and then back again, following the seasons.  It is a journey they have been following since time immemorial.

There are distinct reasons for this annual 10,000 mile round trip migration and like the birds it relates to abundance of food and more importantly, the reproductive cycle.  It is in the far northern waters that the whales find the most abundant food – amphipods – which are small crustaceans and tube worms in the bottom sediments.  As a baleen whale, instead of teeth, they have long, fringed plates hanging from either side of the mouth.  While lying on their sides they draw in water and …