Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Last Weekend at Camp for 2010

We had planned on leaving for camp early Friday morning but the fickle UP weather had something else in mind. You guessed it...high winds and rain then freezing rain then snow and lots of snow.

We did a little shopping and went to the casino for the afternoon then spent the evening hunkered down at home. The forecast for Saturday was pretty iffy.

Saturday morning turned out pretty nice with very little wind. So on the spur of the moment, we packed up and headed to camp. On the way, we called sister Cindy and invited her to our now famous Thanksgiving Dinner at Camp Chicken.

Camp Chicken is beautiful after a fresh snowfall!

We got the generator going and the car unpacked and headed for Arlene's blind, the Cadillac II. We spent the entire afternoon out there staring at the trees. There were no blue jays, no chickadees, no partridge, and no deer. It was eerie!

For the entire hunting season, Arlene has been watching these two giant partridge come in to eat corn at her blind. The partridge have claimed her bait spot as their very own and defend it against all comers. They have driven off the blue jays and squirrels.

The one time I sat in her blind by myself, a small deer came in to eat and the partridge actually flogged him. It was so funny. They dive-bombed him as he came in to eat. He jumped about three feet in the air and looked around to see what the heck was after him.

Once he settled down, he came back in and began eating with the big birds. After a few minutes they flew at him again to drive him off. I've never seen anything like it ever. It was crazy.

But for some reason, the partridge didn't even show up that afternoon.

Soon it began to snow really hard, great big white flakes. We tried to catch them on the camera.

We finally called it quits at 5:30 and while Arlene put our dinner in the oven, I went to call Cindy to see if she was coming up. She was but the road was really icy so I went and picked her up.

As we pulled up to the trailer, we both saw eyes at the end of the clearing. Sure enough the deer were in there having their own feast of apples, corn and carrots. They didn't even run away when we got out of the car.

Arlene had made coffee, so we had some while we waited for dinner to finish. Soon we were sitting down to a huge pan of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, rutabagas, and sweet potatoes smothered in home-made gravy with dinner rolls on the side. Arlene makes this up every year for us so that we can enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner at camp. She puts it all in a big baking pan and heats it up in our little gas oven.

As we were stuffing ourselves the generator ran out of gas. After dinner, I was going to go fill the generator and Cindy decided to go with me. As we got outside, I heard the wolves howling far away to the west. It is an eerie sound in the dark night. I got the generator filled and started and we headed back.

Cindy needed to go to the outhouse so I stood outside listening and watching. As I shined my light around, the deer at the end of the clearing just looked back at me. They are so funny. They know that as long as it is dark out, they are safe. They are so used to us, that we can stand outside and it doesn't even bother them. Sometimes I think that I enjoy watching them more than actually hunting them.

After we had cleaned up from dinner, we got out the Phase 10 cards and had a couple of games. Soon it was 10:30 and time to drive Cindy back home.

Sunday morning I got up early and watched the end of the clearing while I had coffee but no deer appeared. They must have stuffed themselves the night before.

After Arlene got up, we began packing up the trailer. It is always kind of a sad day when we close up camp for the winter. I began doing the outside chores as Arlene finished up the inside. It took less time than we thought so we decided to go to the end of the clearing and follow the deer tracks to get a sense of where they were coming from. The snow makes it much easier to track their movements.

We walked around quite a bit which is a challenge for Arlene right now. She has to have a knee replacement this winter. Finally, it was time to head home. Reluctantly, we headed out. At some time, we'll be back to shovel the snow off the trailer and shed roofs, but that will be it until spring.

1 comment:

Gorges Smythe said...

"It is always kind of a sad day when we close up camp for the winter."

Yeah, but it was fun while it lasted; wasn't it? Hope you have a good winter.