Ottertail Country

Ottertail Country
Ottertail South

May 29, 2009

Ah, the joys of May......


Well, so much for guest writing..... this blogging is not as easy as it sounds, eh folks? First you have to think about it, organize it, type it out, find some visual content.....yadda, yadda.......

O.k. Here we go.

I accompanied the 'fish king' to Cranberry Lake about a week ago. What wonderful scenery! One does not have to travel too far to get "into the beauty of the North". I had gotten out my fly rod and checked my flies, arranged a fishing vest that I had gotten a few years ago and was ready to do battle with the 'brutes' that inhabit the lake.

Ivan always looks completely at home in that boat of his. Readying for the battle......

Sometimes he is almost out of site in amongst the bull rushes, hunting the mighty blues.

We met up out in the middle of the lake and Ivan was impressed with the backdrop. He loaned me two of his fish ;-) so he could take this photo.......

O.k., we're ready to head to the south side of the lake to see how many lunker blues were holed up in one of Chuck's favorite spots. We did really well there, with the flies producing almost as well as Ivan's angle worms.

We paddled through a boggy morass to locate this tiny little gem of a lagoon. What could be better?

We pulled out kayaks up on the bog in this secluded wonderland, listened to the birds, listened to fish splash in the next pothole, and had a beverage. Ah, the joys of being on a week of layoff....

A red winged blackbird kept a wary eye on us as we sat on our boats on the bog.

And it's mate was perched a few yards away on the other side. Not good photos, but you get the idea. they are a little better if you double click on them. That usually helps any of these photos.

These boats really get you back into the secluded areas. Prime for the giant gills that cruise the fertile waters of Cranberry.

Even the turtles know a good thing when they find it.......

And here the fruits of our labors... well the fruits of out goofing off, that is. Notice the one on the left side of the lower batch.... Now that's what I call fresh fish!! This photo is at the Ivan'sPumphouse, and those fish were minutes away from being cleaned and packed in cold water. Fresh bluegills, garlic mashed potatoes and fresh asparagus are commonly served to spring guests at the Ottertail Lodge. Just give us a little notice.......

I gotta go, Carlo


May 16, 2009


Remember this photo from a couple months ago? That durned pile was almost 10 feet high in the center! I finally decided to attack it....... wasn't I just talking about quitting with feeding the stove? This wood thing just seems to take over one's life.

I got a good start on it in Thursday and early on Friday. Later Friday morning Ivan showed up. We sawed away at if for an hour or so

I left to go to a doctor appointment and Ivan stayed around for another couple hours......

When I got home, it looked like this. There is still a section of log-length pieces in the middle of that mess, but not too much. I think another hour or so and it will all be cut!! It was a 12 pulp cord load this year. Now all I have to do is split and stack it.

It's about time for some more guest editorials. In the past, I have asked others to share thoughts, events, whatever. You can type a big email that I can copy/paste into a post, email photos or I can insert something from my thousands of pix, or just the text will do. The first six links below are answers to a request for help with, I think, the second anniversary of this blog. I think there were some others but I can't seem to locate them. Its amazing what I run across when looking back through old posts..... and the end of May is anniversary time again, four years of this drivel..... lucky you!

So I once again beg for guest posts about whatever, like maybe the United States Snow Shoe Association's races or something like that. Maybe something from someone who reads this but hasn't found time to comment?? Now is your chance, send me something.....

Here are the links to some past contributions:

Aunty M
Early Rosie
Brazil 1
Brazil 2

May 12, 2009

Just another Monday......


On temporary layoff, I decided to spend an afternoon flying to Ashland airport. I had it in the back of my mind to fly to Madeline Island and land at the airport there. Here is a look at the trip……

This shows the route, starting at JFK Memorial Airport near Ashland, veering to the West on the way up. Turns out that this little jaunt was about 45 miles long. Great scenery……..

Ashland from due West, about 2000’ up.

A bit of Ashland and Chequamegon bay with "cloud shadows".

Washburn from the west, southwest. The tip of Madeline Island is at the upper left, and inbetween is the arc of Long Island. By this time I'm at about 4000' elevaton.

Looking north from Washburn, along and across the peninsula. You can see Sand Island and the tiny Eagle Island on the other side of the land (if you click on the image to blow it up....)

Looking north as I approach Madeline. Not the best photo, but a nice view of most of the islands and a bit of the peninsula. The water crossing here is about 4.5 miles, kind of like going from the Ottertail to Highway 8 at Prentice.

La Pointe, from the south.

La Pointe airport.

I really like this view. I was over the very Southeastern corner of Madeline Island, looking North, Northwest toward Bayfield. Across the peninsula you can see Sand Island, the second farthest West of all the Apostles. A two mile water crossing here.

As you may have guessed by now, I did not land on the island. I really did not want to give up all this wonderful altitude to land, and then have to spend a bunch of time climbing back to a height that felt O.K. for crossing that water…. I’ll land there sometime when the weather is a bit warmer.

What a thrill it was to be out over that huge lake and see all the islands!! They certainly look different when you see them from that high up.

This is an odd one. As I was crossing from Madeline to Bayfield, I noticed how the sunlight was reflecting from the lake on the south side of the plane. That's choppy water 4000' below......

As I turned south and flew over the water near the peninsula, I could see the harbor at Cornucopia, about 18 miles to the west.

So I was headed for JFK airport once again. I would fly over the point by Washburn and across the west end of Chequamegon bay.

One last view of Ashland from the North. Then I started thinking about a descent, an approach and landing, and getting warmed up! I had left the passenger side door off the plane for better photos.... I misjudged the temperatures and I was pretty cold by the time I got back. I refueled at Ashland and headed off toward Phillips Internationa.... The thermal activity on the way back was quite amazing. While north of Ashland, the clouds had been few and far between, but going south was another matter. I was at 5500' on the way home and being about 1000' below the clouds, I got in on some spectacular updrafts. Under each one of those immense, fluffy white clouds is a column of ascending air. This is just where the hang gliders like to be..... anyway, it was amazing to see the altimeter suddenly start climbing, I would push forward on the stick to avoid gaining altitude and the plane would be aimed downhill and increase airspeed quickly! A few times I had to actually throttle back quite a bit to avoid either large altitude gains or else very high airspeeds. Wild. It's weird to have the plane pitched very noticably downward, going quite fast and still gaining altitude.....

I looked back a ways and found this related post. That was the first trip north, here is the second.

Well that's all that's new here, Peg is home this week as well and she is working on getting ready for the last big push on the garage sale.

I gotta go, Carlo


May 3, 2009

Oooh, oooh, it's a garage sale.........


Even though the official sale date was to be May 9th, Peg decided to give it a trial run yesterday!! She has too much stuff to put it all out at once anyway, so we thought a pre-sale would be a good idea. I started the day by making a bunch of signs for out on the highway and such.

We headed out at 11:00 AM to put out signs. We put one at the top of the hills just to the north and south of spring road. The sign that's a cue to look for the "sale turn off".

At Spring Road and Highway 13 we put the double sided sign to capture traffic from both directions. As we were setting up this sign, a car turned off 13 onto Spring. Peg joked "probably going to the garage sale".

We put up this one at the intersection of Spring Road and Carlson Road.....

Peg's Festiva made a good sigh board just south of Johnson's place.......... this one I had put out prior to the other signs.

When we got done with the signs, sure enough, there in the yard was the car that had turned off 13 when we were down there.

Cars showed up quickly after that. At one point there were seven at one a time.... go figure.

I don't know how many cars actually visited, but business was brisk. Lots of action until about 1:00, when things slowed, but people trickled in until we took the signs in at 3:00 PM.

We saw all kinds of cars and trucks, even this one with a huge trailer. I guess the lure of the sale does not deter folks from whatever effort it takes to get there.......

So at this point, I now encourage garage sales. Let me qualify that.... I am in favor of us having a sale, I do not encourage "us" to attend sales, and I do encourage others to visit our sale..... Oh, whatever........

I gotta go, Carlo