It's a sunny Sunday morning here in northeastern Minnesota, and the sun is something we haven't seen in quite a few days! It's been grey, grey, grey and dreary. True to it's name, it's been a Bleak November so far. It's also been unseasonably WARM. Based on the early snowfalls of last month, I would have made a high-dollar bet on there being snow for deer opener (last weekend) . . . but I would have l-o-s-t! Temperatures have been in the high 40s, and we didn't see freezing temps at night until, finally, last night again. Weird.
Although, Tom and I did have a conversation about how the two weeks & three weekends of deer season almost always map a huge shift in the weather: the beginning being mild and the end finally feeling like winter has arrived.
Numbers for the deer harvest seem to be down this year, and many are saying that that's due TO the weather. In milder weather, deer tend to curl up under a large tree and nap. Or so I'm told. Tom went out both days last weekend, 1 here on our property and 1 on a friend's. We have nearly NO deer in our area, but Tom really enjoys the time outside having a good "excuse" to get to know our 40 acres better and better. He spent a rain-soaked yesterday walking miles and miles around here and didn't see any deer sign until he got to the road at one point and saw a set of tracks walking down the middle of it! Go figure. Today he's heading down to the friend's property again where the deer are thick. Whether or not they'll be moving, though, is another story entirely.
I was really hoping to have at least 2 deer in the freezer this year for the dogs and Annie Blue, alone (good dog food is getting SO expensive), but perhaps that plan "jinxed" things, huh? But, there's still time: this is just the 2nd of 3 weekends, and there's all next week, too.
Little Mr./Ms. Porcupine is still a resident of Swamp River Ridge but also one resident whose time has come to be relocated, I think.
Tucker discovered his "other", his when-he's-not-in-the-corner-of-the-woodshed, sleeping spot on Friday. We have the canoe turned over and leaning against the far side of the woodshed, and that provided a dry little haven for the little guy . . . until Tucker scooted underneath to shout, "Play with me! Play with me! Play with me!" That's when our little friend gave a light little warning slap at Tucker's schnoz, embedding just three quills. I was able to pull them out with my hands - didn't need a pair of pliers - so it wasn't bad. But, for both his safety and the dogs, I think it's time.
I tried to get him in a face-forward (in relation to me) position so that I could grab him on the soft end, but, of course, he'd have none of that and kept whipping his little tail and backside around when he saw what I was up to. I ended up with three quills in my heavy, insulated leather glove, too, but only 1 went all the way through. Before long, he'd scuttled around the woodshed and up into his little "spot" there with his face wedged in the corner and a backside of sharper-than-needles quills the only thing showing.
I hate having to stress him out until I've come up with a plan that I'm sure will work, so I let him be for the rest of the day. He wasn't in the spot yesterday, though, nor was he under the canoe, so maybe Friday's antics were enough to send him on his way? If not, I think I'll first try to scoop him up in the metal-mesh long-handled dip net (for smelting) and then, as a last resort, use the live trap. I would have tried the live trap long ago, but my concern is that if it happens at night or some time when we're not around, he'll struggle and really injure himself in his efforts to get out. At any rate, I'll keep you posted.
With the holidays fast approaching + two art festivals & the expectancy of a baby whose arrival I have been asked to attend and assist with (I cannot tell you HOW over-the-moon I am about that one!!!!), I am considering putting the blog on hold for a while. I'd probably still post pictures and videos now and again, but I don't want to feel the added pressure of writing during such a busy time . . . particularly when no one is reading. I've only received 3 comments in my last five posts, and two of those were from my mother. So, I can only surmise that due to reader busyness (or my lack of writing anything of interest?) . . . there ain't nobody out there reading. Let me know if I'm wrong . . . or don't be bummed if it's quiet around 'This Is Our Life' for a while.