Ottertail Country

Ottertail Country
Ottertail South

December 30, 2008

Christmas eve festivities.


On December 24th, we went to Peg's mom's house. Rose, Bryn, Chris, Ashley and Hailee were all able to be there. The room looked quite festive, and Donna's children, neices and nephews and grandchildren were there.

The young ladies of the family.

Sandy Claws made a visit while we were there and brought everyone a Christmas stocking full of goodies..... I could not put all the photos on here, so I chose to put up those that I thought were visiting this site. If I missed someone, please leave a comment so I know you are viewing.... :-)

Adam, Kristi's husband.

And Kristi.

I could not get rid of those red eye pupils.....! But these two were having such a good time that I could not resist showing it.




Donna always gets that large size bag of goodies.......

Hailee and Phillip (Kent and Liz's son) seemed to have a good time. Phillip has a nice suit, no?

Of course we had to have a couple of games of table tennis after the main activities...

We had to work off that good supper.....


December 28, 2008

Vacation looking better.....


On December 28th I got the plane out, fired it up and got ready for some fun.

All indications were good, light winds, unlimited visibility, unlimited ceiling, full gas tank, eager pilot. 'Nuff said....

Here is Phillips in the grips of winter.

And the Phillips Chain running to the Southwest. Just look at all the lovely ice, just waiting for an airplane to be flying 5 or 6' above the ice.

Ice fishing villages were in evidence.

And that lovely land bridge area on Highway W.

I took a trip down around the Ottertail and to the southeast from there. I could see the tops of the hills around the Timm's Hill tower. The tree tops were frosty and the sun was making them shine. The hill country is always so interesting in the winter. On my way back, I noticed that the sun was reflecting off the cranberry bogs at Cranberry Lake. Those bogs have provided nice photos in all seasons of the year.

A welcome sight, as I was getting cold after 1 hr. 50 min. of flying in 20° weather.

The sunset developed quickly and this is how it looked as I was touching down.

And a few more views of the sky while I was driving home.


Suitable for a post about flying. Notice how far back the people are standing. That's because the wings are drawn flat on the sidewalk and extend that far away. This artist definitely must have a twisted up brain......


December 26, 2008

Photo workings


Alert!! Does anyone recognize these two artifacts? They have been around here a long time, look to be hand crafted of clay, and really should go to the maker of them. Please let us know if you recognize either of these and if you remember who created them. We did manage to get Tim's green ash tray to Lucy's new apartment, maybe she wants these as well????

You have all seen some of the photos taken by the Ottercam, located just outside the Lodge. It operates on six 'D' cell batteries, so I'm not too keen on buying more (about $8-9 dollars for a set). So I did some testing on the unit and determined that the batteries are connected in series, and so they provide 9volts DC to the camera. I bought a 120V AC to multi volt, selectable low volt DC converter. This provides 1.5, 3, 4.5, 6, 7.5, 9 or 12volts DC, all multiples of the 1.5Volt battery. This rig cost less than two sets of new batteries, so that's good. These photos will need blowing up to see the detail properly....

To test this device, I taped some cardboard to the end of the batteries that were touching the two ends of the circuit, thereby isolating the battery array from the case. Then I slipped the transformer wires between the cardboard and the battery case contacts. Much to my delight, the camera turned on, showed 99% battery power and took some pictures!!

O.K., out to the garage for supplies, including an old broom handle, some left-over copper tubing, electrical tape, screws, drill bits, drill motor...... I guess that's all. I sawed two pieces of broom handle, shown above, to replace four of the batteries.

I cut a short length of copper tube, which would become the new contacts.

I split the copper lengthwise, flattened it, bent it to 90° and drilled a hole in it. This well become evident below.....

Next I applied some tape to the sticks until they were approximately the diameter of a D cell battery.

So here it is, a replacement for two batteries, complete with copper contact on the end.

I put the copper wire from the transformer under the copper contact, tightened the screw and now I have two "double batteries" that fit in the case, held in position by the springs on the ends and the built up tape makes the sticks stay in the correct location once the battery case cover is back in place.

Hmmm.... now I have to get 120V AC power out to the camera. More supplies... step ladder, hammer, wire strippers, wire nuts, cable clamps and an old homemade extension cord. I wired this old cord to the wires for the yard light at the top of the gable end of the south end of the Lodge, ran the wire down the wall and out to the big wood stake that holds the camera. Woo hoo, no more batteries and I have 99% battery power no matter how long it's out there or how cold the weather. Who says you can't have fun on vacation in the middle of the winter???

I gotta go, Carlo


Late December


Turkeys seem to be everywhere! They are tracking the place up like never before.

Here you can see some tracks and wing marks of a roof walking turkey....

And another one here.

This photo is nice enlarged....

We got the tree up on the Friday before Christmas. Now it's time to get it down and out again.

Vacation has been better since my cold disappeared. Had the 'opportunity' to plow the road a few times, put wood in the boiler twice a day, keep the lodge warm and spend some time out there, as well. But the time is flying by and my vacation will turn back to suffering through days at work.... go figure.

I gotta go, Carlo


December 25, 2008

Another installment.


O.K., so it's the holiday season, time to play new "renditions" of old carols. I take great liberties with the melodies, chords, etc, cause I can't play them 'correctly'. But I have fun and Peg does not put in ear plugs, so....

The turkeys occasionally land up in a tree that is really to small for them to perch in properly. It's fun to watch them teeter there for a few moments and then flap back to the ground.

I have had lots of viewing of turkeys these last weeks.

On Dec. 16th & 17th, Rosie was here for a change of pace. She just finished all her school stuff for this semester and needed some sit-around time.

We cooked a big batch of spaghetti sauce. It was really good, if I do say so.

Later in the day Donna came down and we all ate spaghetti, garlic bread and corn.

And then the games came out and there was total concentration, except for me. I just sat around and loafed....


A good one for this time of year. Every letterbox drops 'Santa letters' directly onto his desk. Sweet!!


December 14, 2008

Days 3, 4, 5, Carlo's 2008 vacation.....


Ah, 'tis the season.... this is from a few years ago, a festive lodge indeed!

I hate to complain, but this is not working out the way I had planned. I mentioned the scratchy throat, well Friday I went to the bowling alley in Prentice (D's Burger &Bowl) to meet a few friends and plan an ice fishing trip for Saturday. Maybe I spent a wee bit too much time 'planning', but Saturday and Sunday were spent under a blanket in the recliner, with only trips out to fire the stove.... Doh!!! Cold go away!!!

This cold weather has provided plenty of opportunity for the above sight. I don't mind winter that much, but it has been consistently colder than I would like it in December. I need to get going on my planned vacation projects, including cutting firewood for the lodge.

This morning the turkeys visited and spent an hour huddled under the flowering crab tree. They fluff up the feathers on their backs, pull their heads close to the body, sit or stand on one leg and don't move. After a while it's like they awake from a long sleep and one by one they begin stirring and end up marching single file into the woods.

Til next time..... I gotta go, Carlo


I like this one. You get an idea of his distance by checking the blocks in the sidewalk and remember that he is actually on the sidewalk near those far-away cracks..... I wonder if he planned it for a certain time of day, or was it cloudy and he just chalked in a shadow for the woman in the photo?