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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

Checkin' In

Good morning!

Yesterday being "my Saturday", I slept in.  Once I did get up, tho, I had a helluva headache and just felt generally under the weather.  The flu bug is going around again, and My Girl has strep.  That's one nasty bug that I'm uber sensitive to, after having had it so bad when I lived in Mpls. that I was vomiting up my stomach lining and actually had to spit my saliva into a cup (yuk!) because I couldn't swallow.  The ex, upon hearing that I couldn't leave the bathroom for the continual womitin', came home and bundled me off to the clinic.

Ahhhh, antibiotics - I didn't think they could help so much!  Anyway, My Girl wouldn't even let me see her until the doc said she was no longer contagious (she didn't have it very badly, luckily).  Anyway, having seen her Sunday night and given the week I'd had, I decided to lay low yesterday.

I felt good by about 2:00 and headed outside in the lovely, mild (albeit grey) weather.  I think the thermometer hit 41 degrees.  (Although it's back down to 20 here this morning, despite what the reading is in Ely on my sidebar.)

I cut some wood and did some clean-up plowing in the mushy snow on the driveway and about a half mile down the road to the logging site.  Ferried a bit of junk that was accumulating in the entry / utility room out to the garage:  mostly clothes ready to go to the recycling center.  (I have a HUGE amount of metal, plastic, & glass recycling waiting to go, too.)

When I was out plowing, I got rid of some old venison - not rotten, by any means, but too old for the dogs.  I'd planned to dump it on an old logging spur off the main road, but then the idea struck that it would be good to put it somewhere closer where I could, hopefully, lure some eagles in for photos!  So, I tossed it into the snow at the side of the river.

Once I was back home and out doing chores, I happened to glance up at the huge, old pine down the driveway.  Sure enough, there was a bald eagle perched on the usual look-out post on top.  About 5:45 then, I left the dogs in the house and drove down in the car.  As I rounded the bend before the river, two huge eagles lifted off from the tamarack tree opposite the dump site and glided south down the river.  I parked and put my camera on the tripod (two legs on the arm rest of the door and the other on my thigh) . . . and waited.

I had to really mess the color up to show the tracks, but this is what I found when I arrived.  The larger pockmarks are where the meat was.

It was too hard to tell if there was even any meat left!
I could easily identify fox tracks as well as those of the eagles and ravens.
I wasn't in my spot even 5 minutes before I was rewarded with a fox (who didn't even see me) come running from down-river and across the snow!

No fox in this picture:  s/he was moving too quickly, and I didn't have the camera ready.  But, as you can see, the mild temps are causing the river to open where it runs under the bridge (out of frame at the left).
At that point, I'd SWEAR I saw two of them for a split second.  Then, while one stayed and uttered a couple of high-pitched mews, this one took off back down the river, barking at regular intervals all the way until I could no longer hear him/her.

You'll have to enlarge this image, but the fox is at the right of the picture.
It was as if s/he was giving his coordinates to the one left back at what I'm thinking (?!) could be a den!  (See image below).

This one might require enlarging too, but here s/he is, taking a detour over the beaver lodge on his/her way down the river.

I sat for another half hour or so, but, aside from the ravens (it was so quiet that I could hear their wings as they flew overhead), there was no more activity.  I'm sure I'd parked WAY too close to the meat for the eagles (or anything else) to come back.  Still, it was a relaxing, take-time-to-just-BE, rewarding experience.

A girlfriend of mine is an AMAZING wildlife photographer, and she's self-published two books, one solely about the fox family she's befriended.  I just went to her site to see if I could link to the books, but they're not there (she might not have any left).  But, go to her site, anyway, and check out her pictures!


  1. I think we're all so busy, and there is always so much to do, that we don't get enough quiet time. You live in such a beautiful area and are such a good photographer - I love to see what you've been up to. Try Emergen-C. I take it 1-3x a day when I'm feeling under the weather.

  2. My new "More Fox Tails" shows a few of the previously unpublishes Old fox photos, some of the G-rated mating photos, and then, the whole rest is devoted to the last summers fox pups. We watch them grow up in the book. It is 11x15 size format and really nice. However, I do not yet have any of the new ones for sale. Only my copy to look at. I am waiting for a "rate" so someone could afford to buy them. :)Foxy Lady

  3. I meant (mistype there) to say, unpublished... :( Foxy Lady

  4. Nice shots! This may sound crazy, but I finally got to see Bald Eagles in the wild for the first time just this past year. I was pretty amazed. For two reasons, first I mean Hello! It's an Eagle! Second because they are huge and not as handsome as I thought they would be either. By no means gross, just real! That alone made it a really neat thing. Not something we get to see every day in these parts.

    Hope you are feeling betters soon!

  5. Ahhh-nothing eases the rough edges better than being outside, just enjoying the beauty around you, and you my friend have so much beauty to enjoy. Hope you're still feeling well and the yuck didn't get you!

  6. Nice shots! Sorry you are feeling under the weather, I hope strep doesn't get you. It is going around in the schools here but luckily the kids haven't gotten sick...yet.


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