Ottertail Country

Ottertail Country
Ottertail South

February 9, 2010

January update.....


Shortly after Christmas, the Pileated Woodpecker that has been around for a few years began competing with the other birds for the flowering crab's tiny fruit. It was in that tree daily for weeks. Best photo I could get without a long lens......

Also shortly after Christmas I discovered this in our kitchen cupboards!! What a cute little thing, 350ml, just over 12 oz. I wonder where it came from????

Mid January had some really mild weather, so I started in on the "tractor project". I had purchased a kit that would allow me to convert the electrical system from the standard (back then) 6V positive ground system to the more modern 12V negative ground. I suppose one could have done this project without removing the hood, but the removal was easy enough and it allowed unfettered access to all the "goodies" under the hood.

The hood was also the "holder upper" for the gas tank, so that came off as well. I had researched the electrical system on the web and had some really good schematic diagrams to work from. I removed all the existing old, cracked wires and started stringing in the new ones.

Of course, nothing goes as planned, and the first pre-made wire harness I put in was too short!! Hmmm.... well, splice on some more wire, a new terminal ring, etc...... One of the new mounting brackets was not fitting right, hitting some other components. I think the bracket was bent the wrong direction leaving the holes closer to the wrong edge of the part. I made it work.....
The cylindrical black item in the lower right corner of this photo is the old 6V generator. It had to go.

And here you see its replacement, a nice new 12V alternator. You may notice that the red rod just below it appears to be hitting the alternator. I had the front of the tractor jacked up about a foot so I could check clearance between the drag link and the alternator. The tractor's front axle is mounted on a big pivot pin right in the center, so the axle can pivot up and down out at the ends when you drive over rough ground. I simulated maximum pivot and the drag link hit the alternator. So I was into a new phase of the project, widening the front end. This tractor has the capability to widen the rear wheels 2" at a time into 8 different locations on each side. Thus you can go from 48" center to center out to 76" center to center on the back. The front has the same capabilities, and you can see some of the holes for this at the bottom right corner of this photo. So, I had to widen the front axle out so that the drag link would not hit the alternator at maximum pivot. That required a total of 4" wider. Not a big deal, but the narrower the better for ease of getting around out in the woods. The worst was getting the 5/8 diameter bolts loose for the first time since 1939 (possibly). In fact, the side opposite is not done yet cause I could not loosen one of the bolts. I'll have to drive it over to Craig Berger's house and use his impact wrench.... oh, well.

I'll update you on the new lighting system soon. I just plowed snow tonight, starting at 7:00PM and I had plenty of 'tractor light' to get the job done.

I gotta go, Carlo


February 7, 2010

Ottertail art revealed. Bryn, you're published!!!!


One day while cleaning the lodge,

I found this stunning hodge-podge

of writings and drawings,

and bits of wood sawings,

on your senses it's quite a barrage...


I just could not resist the above..... and below lies a collection of items that have been accumulating on a shelf in the Ottertail Lodge. The earliest artifacts that I can be sure of the date would be a drawing of the Lodge dated September 1998. Having recently acquired a scanner, I thought it would be the proper time to publish this conglomeration of art. I have noticed that the collection has not grown much in the last number of years, so I am now considering this to be complete, and it has an honored place in the Lodge. And I should note that this material is from quite a few years ago! Thanks, Bryn, it has been a blast looking through this stuff every once in a while......

I have typed out the verses, as some are not too clearly scanned, and included the original documents as well. All of these items blow up nicely with the click of your mouse......


I'm not sure who this is, but it might be Bryn's depiction of Rosie heading to the woods on a collection run. Hence the "Gotta get the sap!!!!" thought balloon above.

Back when limericks were king, we collected a few, and other verse styles as well. One year I was complaining about my dull knives and saying that I needed a diamond knife sharpener. That produced a flurry of activity (all these writings are B's that I found and saved).


I want a diamond knife sharpener

It's really, truly true.

So all you people markin' yer

Christmas lists: "get me 2".


One morning while sharpening my

deplorable knife supply,

I happend to note

that I haven't to tote,

A diamond knife sharpener-WHY?



There once was a deer-watcher looking,

for a deer, the venison for cooking,

but after rustling clotheses

and the blowing of noses,

he went insane in a way quite up-shooking.


A deer by the cornfeeder stop-ped

but at a sudden loud noise he hop-ed

'twas the deer watcher shouting,

his lodge friends a-clouting,

the deer's jaw dropped so low that it lock-ed.


There was a limerick writer lost his words,

quite like the sky without birds.

So he got out his reader,

from years ago (for the sake o' Peter)

and wrote up how to "whey" all the curds.


To: M.C. Escher =)

There once was a river called Seine,

which one day got hit by a train.

so it ran up the stairs,

which got it nowheres,

for it found 'up' and 'down' were the same.


The bit below that verse is a mystery to me. You will have to ask the author about that one....

Super Cat and various other critters and people..

This was pretty early on in Lodge history. That wood pile was only out front like that for one or two years, and the evergreen to the right was the Christmas tree that was in the Lodge. I think we only had a decorated tree out there one year.

Wood projects were ongoing in the Lodge, and this provided some interesting artifacts. The top one is made on a thin strip ripped from the edge of some 5/4 clear white pine, don't remember the project..... the second one is just a drop from crosscutting what I'm guessing is the same type of wood. And the last, a nice trout(?) I believe was drawn on a used paint stir stick, then cut out and presented to the Lodge proprietor.

And here is a view of the backs of two or the previous artifacts. One a little verse:

Once there was a girl,

who loved to climb trees,

her hair was in curls,

and she always sneezed.


The back of the fish is signed by the artist and dated:
March 1st, 20003

An early drawing of the Lodge with Bryn, Rosie and me in the doorway (1998).

Miscellaneous critters that inhabit the big woods south of the Lodge (I think).

And my favorite, the Robin Hood caper...... How Do!!

I gotta go, Carlo