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So hows your winter?

Discussion in 'Open Forum' started by john hupfield, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. Andre Cloutier

    Andre Cloutier Firestarter. Wicked Firestarter.

    canoe related

    Is it the non-frozen water? I sure hope thats a light beer being hoisted..;)
  2. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Yes, this is what's known thoughout the Deep South as "blackwater", and some people will try to convince you it's from all the tannic acid in the water. But you're correct, Andre- the land here is practically covered with a sheet of beer and whiskey... Remember the old-timey song "Big Rock Candy Mountain", made famous recently by the movie "Oh Brother Where Art Thou"?... "There's a lake of stew, and of whiskey, too. You can paddle all around 'em in a big canoe..." Why else would Mike Cav come all the way down here?

  3. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    A Wild Guess

    The tortoise is revered by many indigenous peoples... symbolism differs from tribe to tribe, but I recall there are several groups of people who believe the Earth sits on the back of a giant tortoise as it travels through the Universe.

    And the people who revered the tortoise often used canoes of one type or another--- bark or dugout.

    Yeah, it's a stretch...

    Nice little babies, by the way... what species are they?
  4. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Hi Kathy,

    Good points, and I think about the cultural significance of tortoises frequently... I suppose that's part of their attraction. These are east African leopard tortoises (Geochelone pardalis babcocki; we also keep a variety of others from Africa, India, Madagascar and South America). Large breeding groups of each species, and we never get tired of the babies- very exciting every time they hatch.

    But alas, no, that's not the answer to the quiz. A hint for you and Dennis... the canoe connection relates to a connection between us and you guys. Oh, now I've made it too easy!

  5. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Maine has Leeches

    Son Brendan, victim of many a Maine bloodsucker, is not so sure about swimming and paddling in the southern reaches of the Continent....

    He spotted this word of warning last week.

    If the Alligators Swim with Caution, what should the Humans do?

    Attached Files:

  6. Kevin French

    Kevin French Paddler

    I added 3 canoes to the fleet a 12' fiberglass I pulled out of the dump. It needs minimal work. Bought a 15' fiberglass over wood ribs, a little more work and a 20' canvas over wood that's going to need a heap-o-work.

    It's going to a great summer of work.

    Still looking for a 17-18'a
  7. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    Michael's Cranes...

    Returning to Michael's quiz re a canoe-related item in his photos:

    The sandhills nest here (in Michigan's Upper Peninsula) in the summer, and they winter in Florida... and the places where they hang out tend to be nice places to explore via canoe.

    The come-back of the sandhill crane (and more-so the whooper) is a heartening story. When I was twelve, my sixth-grade class visited a museum on the campus of the University of Minnesota which features dioramas depicting all the Minnesota habitats and their wildlife. One is of a plains-area with a flock of sandhill cranes and a lone whooper (they are mounted specimens). My teacher told us these birds were rare and would probably be extinct by the time I was grown.

    Sandhills nest here in the summer, and my grandchildren have seen them alive, with their young (which are called "colts" whether they are male or female).

    In the end, my sixth-grade teacher was wrong about the whoopers and sandhills going extinct.

    Human beings can help restore old boats... and ancient bird species--- and alligators, too!

  8. Howard Caplan

    Howard Caplan Wooden Canoe Maniac

    Kathy and all who may be interested. Yesterday's NY Times Magazine had a huge article on the Whooping Cranes and the efforts to restore the species. A lot about the ultra light program here in Wisconsin where they leave every fall with 3 ultralights and teach the first year juveniles (hatched in Maryland shipped to WI Neceeda Wildlife Refuge in spring and trained to migrate in the fall) how and where to migrate.
    Years ago they attempted to "plant" a whooper egg with a nesting pair of Sandhills. This kind of worked except the Whoopers thought the Sandhills were their sexual partners and... well, I guess there was at least one hybrid bird as a result.
    Really good article if you can track it down.
    Different topic - yesterday Amy and I went out in seach of the Snowy Owls that have been the talk all winter. What I heard was when the lemmings are in a down cycle - I guess lemmings have a 7 year population cycle - we get many 1st year snowys down here as they are kicked out of the Arctic when the lemmings are down. We finally found one not too far from home perched on a snowy ridge and looking darn good. Also saw a Golden Eagle along with many red tails and roughed leg hawks.
    Amy thought it would have been easier to find the snowys a few days earlier, before the 8" we received on Saturday.
  9. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Sandhill cranes are one of the few crane species that is still fairly common. They exist in both the new and old worlds, and have a broad range across western North America, plus a winter population in Florida and its flyway north to the upper Midwest.

    The whooping crane, on the other hand, is still considered severely endangered. It’s truly amazing this species still survives at all. In 1941 there were only 16 known individuals; populations this severely bottlenecked rarely survive, and this the population still could crash easily today because of habitat loss, weather disaster, or low genetic diversity in the population. The total whooping crane population rose to 100 in 1987, around 250 in 1995, and 468 in 2004. Less than half of those in 2004 were in the wild. By the end of 2007, there were 355 in the wild and 148 in captivity. Those in captivity are a good thing- the genetic diversity can be managed, and genetic diversity can be re-introduced into the wild populations.

    As for the canoe-related item, Kathy, look at River’s t-shirt in the crane photo… we bought that shirt the day that we met you and Dennis in person for the time!
  10. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Golden Eagle Winter Range

    Thanks for the report of the golden eagle observation. It caused me to look up their range and I was happy as well as surprised to find out that our state of Wisconsin is in their winter range. I have never knowingly seen a golden, but will look closer at immature bald eagles to see if I may have been mistaking their identity as a juvenile bald when infact it is a golden.
    Myself and local folks have noticed an absence of bald eagles this winter. I like to put out fish entrails for them to eat in the winter. For some reason they are absent this winter.

    Otherwise, winter is very good here in the Northwoods. Ferdy and I are having a good hardwater fishing season and are starting to stockpile for our September Jag Lake Outing.

    Attached Files:

  11. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    I love the story of the whooping cranes and the ultralights-- sometimes the human species seems to redeem itself by working to correct past errors in judgment.

    We've had snowy owls show up in Marquette, too, Howard... although none at our place. We did have a barred, who staked-out a spot near the large feeder, hoping to catch a squirrel unaware. When there's a crust on the snow's surface, they have a harder time nabbing the critters tunneling beneath. I named this fellow "Shakespeare", because he is The Barred. (beating Denis to the pun)

    Michael-- We should have recognized the CCM logo on River's tee! But it's fun to find canoe-connections in just about anything!

    Dave-- Ahhh... Memories of last year's Jag Lake Adventure! And Ferdy's frying-pan rain-hat.
  12. Howard Caplan

    Howard Caplan Wooden Canoe Maniac

    I've gotten confused many times trying to decide if it is an immature baldy or a golden.
    Back in 2001 we paddled the Seal River in the NW corner of Manitoba. The Seal runs west to east and empties into Hudson Bay. As we neared the Bay, the northern bank had a row of stunted black spuce and behind it was open tundra while the southern bank was forested in stunted black spruce and birch.
    We paddled a rapid into a lake-like open area of river - a big wide stretch. In the distance I saw a boulder in the water with something on top. The binoculars helped to see there was something more then a pile of branches and as we got closer we saw it was a pair of Golden Eagles in their nest.
    I pulled out the camera and as Doug paddled around the boulder I snapped off several shots. We were lower then the birds as the boulder jutted up about 8 feet out of the water and the eagles never took their eyes off us. I was very concerned as they could of done us in with just a friendly peck. Although I couldn't see inside the nest, I assume there were young ones in there with them. Cool pics which are on slides and I printed a couple to hang and give away. I should get those and all my other pics in the computer - one day.
  13. Howard Caplan

    Howard Caplan Wooden Canoe Maniac

  14. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Thanks Howard!!!! I had no idea that Goldens came this far east. Now knowing the wing structure of a Golden, they should be easier to ID. Thanks also for reminding me about the Journal-Sentinal. Great newspaper! Need to add it to my favorites.

    Signs of spring are pretty sparse in the Northwoods. 13 below this morning when I got up. I understand from family, that Northern Illinois has had quite a bit of rain lately.
    I recall that when I lived there, it was not unusual to see crocus flowering by now, and Mr. Cardinal singing his heart out in the morning, hoping for a "date".:)
  15. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    It was 62degrees F yesterday afternoon, and raining steadily. This morning it's 17degrees F, and clear.

    But as I left work yesterday, I heard a familiar birdsong... hey, they're singing, which is an improvement... it was the first redwinged blackbird of spring! We have robins year-round, so they don't count.

    Later, as I drove by a marsh, I saw goldeneyes, coots, and great egrets. There is hope!
  16. Howard Caplan

    Howard Caplan Wooden Canoe Maniac

    40's through the weekend and a lot of rain. Our annual temporary lake called Canoe Lake is in our yard earlier then ever. Temps plunged last night and Canoe Lake is, alas, frozen. Warm up due on Friday and I anticipate taking Canoe Lake to the river this weekend for the first paddle of the year.
  17. OP
    john hupfield

    john hupfield fire starter/wood burner

    Wouldn't that be great. Push the canoe out on the lawn and Paddle-to-the-sea.
    Failing that you know people go to a lot of trouble to ice skate in their backyards.
    A little Brandy, some Hot Chocolate, pair of skates, and off you go.
  18. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    backyard white water canoeing

    Just got a new (old) canoe -- the dog and I couldn't wait to try it out -- the only water available was white water in the back yard --

    Attached Files:

  19. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Around my new (temporary) home, winter seems to have broken a bit. Lots of water activities, but I couldn't bring a canoe! Some of the "springtime" wildlife shown below... taken yesterday and last week. Hang in there, Greg... ice will be gone soon and during your next paddle, maybe some of these creatures will show up.


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  20. Bill P

    Bill P LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Winter? What's that?

    Here's some blue sky to cheer you all up.

    Some platypus live a little way upsteam, which are delightful to see in the wild.

    cheers Bill Purcell

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