The First Holiday

For many of you reading, this is just an ordinary day. A Sunday. Perhaps you slept in, had a relaxing morning and are getting ready to meet up with friends or family or to just stay home and watch a game. Or perhaps you got up early went to church and then spent the rest of the day relaxing. Or perhaps you did something completely different, but otherwise unremarkable. It is also likely that the lead up to this day was rather unremarkable. I can admit that this day and the days or even weeks leading up to it were rather unremarkable for me as well. Not so for many other up here.

Today is the opening day for hunting deer with a firearm in MI. That probably does not sound too remarkable to a percentage of you reading this, but for a large percentage of the population up here, today is the first holiday of the cold season. After this the UP is in line with the rest of the country. Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.

This year, November 15th falls on a Sunday, so the impact is not as noticeable as if it were during a week day, especially a Thursday or Friday. In those years, the hunters will take time off for the hunt, leaving some businesses short handed or even closed. It is not frowned upon, in most cases it is fully expected. Just as taking the day off on the other holidays would be expected. My first few years living here, I was gradually baptized into the ways of opening day. The first year was mostly just the talk of things to do in advance of the hunt. Then the second year, I had made friends with many guys and some gals that were part of the hunt. By the third year, I spent some time at deer camp.

I have never hunted, nor do I have any ambition to. I would rather just take in the woods and enjoy the life that makes it what it is. However, I am in no way, shape or form opposed to the hunt. I fully respect it and those that are part of it. The hunt puts food on tables up here. The hunt brings families and/or friends together. The hunt allows people to get into the woods and spend hours, days or even weeks in the woods. Far enough away from the rest of the world that they can forget about all of it’s ills. I think in a way, I am envious of those that partake in the hunt, even though I could be part of it anytime I chose to.

The weather this year is not nice for hunting. It has been raining all day since sunrise. The rains have changed snow in most areas and are even accumulating in the higher terrain. The snow is better than the rains, but is a wet snow, so still makes it rather miserable to be out in a blind and even more miserable to be up in a tree stand. The rest of the week looks to be dry and that will allow for a much more enjoyable experience.

While I do not hunt, I still spend enough time in the woods to know what is happening with the local critters in the woods. Earlier this past week, I moved our game cam to a different location. The old one did not have good cellular reception and the camera I have is one that will upload the images to the cloud so I can see them without having to walk out to the cam and retrieve the memory card. The new spot has good enough reception that we have been receiving pictures every day. Huck went into the woods with me for the move and one of the first shots the camera took was of him eating some of the carrots I put out to lure in the critters.

The spot I moved it to could also be good for some other critter activity other than deer. Around 2 dozen feet away from the cam are the bones from a deer that died last winter. I do not know the cause of death, it could have been natural or predator. I am thinking the latter more than the former. Anyway, it will be interesting to see what the camera captures once winter fully sets in and Jacobsville becomes very busy with deer and other animals trying to escape the deep snows of the rest of the Keweenaw.

It did not take long for the deer to find the carrots I put out in front of the camera. What is a little surprising is that we are getting more activity during the daylight hours than at night right now. I guess that is really not too surprising for the does and it has not captured a buck yet. That might be a night time capture.

The carrots did not last too long, so I asked Grace and her friend Flora if they would haul the rest of the bag of corn out to the camera location and dump it there. It was right around 2 gallons of kernels, so not too much of a task for them. It is so cool to see her interact with Flora. The two of them are like two peas in a pod and both love the outdoors more than anything!

This past week we had a few days when the winds were blowing pretty good out of the south. When the waves are big, we can hear them crashing against the Jacobsville Cliffs. One day this week, Nora and I took a drive to White City Beach to take in the wave action and were blessed with this view. The things that spur me to feel so blessed in living where we do just never seem to stop!

That juuuuuust about covers it for this one. Other than to say my level of excitement to see the snows of winter arrive is climbing every day and will soon be at a crescendo. So far we have had rain and snow with the current storm and not a lot of activity is seen for the rest of the week, but I know it will be coming sooner rather than later. Another of the perks of living where we do!

I can also add that I had planned to start the snowfall forecasts tomorrow and then when it looked like it would be a rather uneventful week as far as snow goes in the Midwest, I decided to wait until there was something to forecast for. However, things can and almost always do with a forecast, so I have gone back to the idea of starting up the snowfall forecasts tomorrow. It’s actually something I am looking forward to doing again, for that is my favorite thing to forecast for! I may also have a surprise announcement this week! So be sure to check in!

Good Night from the Keweenaw..