Thursday, September 27, 2012

Was Gone, Now Back

Hubby and I just got back from a Monday through early Thursday mini-vacation.  We drove about 35 miles to an inland lake and stayed at one of two cabins acquaintances of ours have as a part of their outfitting business.

We were able to do this because our dear daughter stayed here on ye ol' homestead and kept the home fires burning.  Literally.  We're definitely into a cooler time of year and the two tank tops and pair of shorts I took on our little getaway came home unworn.  Luckily, we knew enough to take plenty of warm clothing also, and we needed it.

Although the weather was very cool, it could not have been more colorful or invigorating.  We hiked and canoed until we could do no more and had a great time.

We saw deer, a moose, a fox, four grouse, two loons, a timber wolf and five otters that were about the cutest things I've seen in a long time.

We were canoeing back to the cabin into a strong wind and spitting rain when I saw two heads up ahead swimming across our path.  I pointed them out to Papa Pea and they apparently heard my voice because they stopped and in unison popped up out of the water about a full 12", and held their pose while staring at us.  Then they disappeared under the water and three more came up a ways behind the first two!  The five of them put on quite a show diving and reappearing to oogle at us.  It reminded me a lot of the synchronized swimmers in the Olympics!  I tried to get a picture but the lake was too choppy, the weather was gray and rainy and Papa Pea was having a hard time holding the canoe steady while I was working with camera rather than paddle in the bow.  What a treat it was to watch the otters in their natural element looking like they couldn't be any happier.

Our friends had told us they had a nuisance bear in the area so not to put any garbage out in the cans behind the cabin after 3 p.m. when they collected it.  Next morning was okay to do so because the bear was only making his rounds at night.  Turns out the garbage cans were on the other side of the cabin wall where we were sleeping and at midnight the first night, we both bolted awake to such a racket we were sure the bear was coming through the wall.  Not so, as the next morning all we found were the perfectly clean garbage cans lifted out of the wooden structure where they were stored, the tops off and tipped over in front of our vehicle but no damage done.  Two nights later the bear came snuffling up onto the deck by the door investigating but found nothing of interest so sauntered off on his nocturnal way.

I got a couple of pictures of the moose we came upon eating in a swampy area.



We're assuming this was a cow because I think the bulls would have a rack this time of year.  If it was a cow, she sure was a biggun'!



It's really hard to describe how big a moose is.  Even if you've seen a few of them in your lifetime, almost always the first thing out of your mouth when you come upon one is, "My gosh, that's a HUGE animal!"


I think we were lucky enough to take our time away right at peak colors.  Each view was more beautiful than the last.

But we're home again now, we're unpacked and Chicken Mama (thank you, thank you, thank you) who took such good care of our place has left to go home for the remainder of her day off work today.

We're slowly easing back into reality but have lots of good memories from the last few days and are vowing (Vowing, do you hear me?  VOWING!) to get in several more days (probably one-day outings) recreating in this gorgeous season of the year. 

24 comments:

Katidids said...

I wondered if you hadn't snuck off again. How wonderful you haveCM to keep an eye on things for you. Sounds like a wonderful time except for the midnight blood pressure check !

Carolyn Renee said...

What beautiful pictures! So glad you guys made some time for yourselves away from the homestead (and blogging!). I don't know if I could sleep knowing there was a bear snuffling around the cabin.

Tombstone Livestock said...

Glad you had a chance to get away. Hope that was a strong cabin door with a good sturdy lock.

DFW said...

So glad you got to get away for a couple of days. Love the pics! And yes, Moose are HUGE! We had one visit our cabin in Montana each afternoon, he was really BIG.

Sparkless said...

That sounds like a fantastic holiday. Nothing better than getting out in nature and see all that wild life.

Sounds like they need some bear proof garbage cans. In our provincial parks they have these bear proof cans to keep the bears out of the garbage and they work really well but probably cost a fortune so most average people can't buy them. I just make the husband get up early in the morning and put the garbage out. LOL!

fullfreezer said...

What a great holiday! I am so jealous of the wildlife you saw.... except for the bear part. Glad you had a good time.
Judy

Kelly said...

The view is so pretty, you got some great pictures. I would have been scared to death with a bear outside my cabin!!! Glad you were able to take a vacation ☺

Jenyfer Matthews said...

I always wondered where someone who lives in paradise goes for vacation :) So glad you two got away and enjoyed yourselves.

Stephanie said...

So glad you two got a vacation! You both deserve it :) Great photos, and welcome back!

Susan said...

What a glorious time! Just about the most perfect amount of time, too. Thank goodness for your darlink daughter - 'tho it must have been nice to stay at your cozy home. We used to have bears snuffling around our log cabin getaway in Canada when I was a kid - I always lurked around the windows to see it - cheap thrills!

judy said...

YOU,took a vacation? unbelievable ,but glad you did.You were ready for it and like I said before ,"Heaven"I have never seen such beautiful sights in my life .I guess you have to be a Minnesotan to say that.Glad the bear didn't take anything important ,like your hide.Welcome home

Erin said...

Sounds lovely! I'm glad you took some time off to be on a real vacation, you need it! Moose are amazing up close, pretty scary too when you know what they are capable of :) What gorgeous photos!

Mama Pea said...

Katidids - Yep, we have wonderful neighbors who have volunteered to take care of things here anytime we're gone but to have our daughter staying here and keeping the house warm with the wood stove was really nice.

Mama Pea said...

CR - Well, I gotta admit that I did give some thought along the lines of, "Okay, if the bear comes in this window, will I be able to get through the door of the bedroom without getting in his way?"

Mama Pea said...

Tombstone Livestock - It was an old (but very charming) cabin built in the 40s. No lock on the door so I'm not so sure how hard it would have been for the bear to make an entrance!

Mama Pea said...

DFW - Big just doesn't fully describe a moose, does it? Unfortunately, a few years back we had a police officer in the county killed when the hood of his squad car went right under the belly of a moose and the moose came through the windshield and crushed the officer.

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - When bears up here become too much of a nuisance, they are live trapped and relocated. If that doesn't work, they're destroyed. It's a shame because most of the time the bear becomes a nuisance because people think it's cute to leave food out for them so they can see a bear up close and personal. Not very bright.

Mama Pea said...

Judy - The otters really were the highlight. We'd never seen them like that.

Mama Pea said...

Kelly - It was just the perfect time of year because everywhere we looked, it was so colorful and gorgeous.

Mama Pea said...

Jen - Well, you noticed we didn't go too far from home! You know people drive hundreds of miles to "vacation" in our area so we're lucky-duckies to live here. (Come to think of it, I've known people who've come from EGYPT to vacation here!) ;o}

Mama Pea said...

Stephanie - Thank you! But, oh golly, give me three and a half days away from my routine and I'm having a TERRIBLE time buckling back down!

Mama Pea said...

Susan - I could have used a longer time away. (Not that I'm not grateful for the time we had!) I've heard it said that it takes about three days away from home on a camping trip, or vacation, or whatever, to get "into the swing" of things and feel comfortable. That's how I felt when we had to leave. It was like, "Wait! I'm just relaxing and thinking of a million things I still want to do!"

Mama Pea said...

judy - Yeah, can you believe it? We took a vacation. That was the first time in more than ten years we've been away from home longer than one overnight on our annual trip down to southern Minnesota to pick up grain. I could get to really like it!

Mama Pea said...

Erin - I sure wouldn't want to encounter a moose on a trail. We've had them swim across a lake in front of us when we were canoeing but when they're in the water, they seem to have their own agenda and were no trouble. I could hardly miss on the photos because of the coloration this time of year.