Full Moon News

April 6 Full Moon of Summer Weather

The transition was fast and unkind.   For those of us who on this date last year were still running dogs on quite nice snow and had really hoped to be doing the same this year.  The dogs were doing great and Kathryn was getting good driving the sled.    Nature…. or is it?  People….?  As Aldo Leopold said ” the first law of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts.”  Are we?


Having puppies would have been a great distraction but alas it does not look like we will be.  I am surprised;  they would have been very nice puppies.


For those of you who saw the facebook picture of Kissa cuddling with Xena on the couch, he jumped up there on his own and Xena was ok with it!  Xena is in the cabin for recuperation  from have 2 mammary  tumors removed and a spay.  It is a good thing as vet Dr. Lucy found cystic ovaries.  She is doing very well and really loves that couch.


An update on Foxy, he had a good walk necklined to Lemmikki.  When he  goofed around  she let him know she was the boss and to behave and he listened to her.  He looked good.  We are starting to hook him in the gangline just in the driveway, not going anywhere or with any other dog, giving him treats and he is getting more comfortable with that.  Also he had a lame back leg however when I took him to the vet, x rays and exams showed nothing wrong.  We are also going to try him on a doggie “prozac”.


Oskar got me thinking about dogs sense of smell.  I was walking him down the drive,  a couple weeks ago so it had still been cold, when he put his nose down, stopped  and really started sniffing.  It was the exact spot where a deer had been killed 4 months earlier however there was no indication of it.  It had been frozen, leaves on it, snowed and snowplowed,….   I knew dog’s smell was better than ours but it inspired me to investigate:  10,000 – 100,000 times superior!  The tissue inside the nose is blanketed with tiny receptor  sites each with soldiers of hairs to help catch molecules.  Human noses have about 6 million, dogs over 200-300 million.  The receptors in a dogs nose go directly to their brain.  In a 2006 study  dogs were taught to detect breast and lung cancer from human breath and they were able to correctly spot breast cancer with 88% and lung cancer with 99% accuracy.


The other dogs are doing well having made the transition to pulling the 4 wheeler, no engine, hardly any brakes.  Trondheim and Lemmikki love it because it allows  them to go fast.  We’ve also started doing lots of walks with them.


So what can you do when it is sixty degrees out.  We have been working in the gardens, planted the first crop of greens in the greenhouse and have built a new trail.  Unofficially it is the Beaver Pond trail and goes from the bird feeders, east to the creek/beaver pond.  We have started building a “tree house” overlook next to a pine tree so we can watch the sunrise, migrating and resident birds and wildlife.  Since Kathryn is a recreation and environmental studies student, we felt doing this now dovetailed with her interests and her final time here.  It has been a pleasure working with her.


I asked her to write about her internship and senior project:


I have had the pleasure of being Kathleen’s handler for most of this winter’s season. I am from the beautiful Finger Lakes region of New York State and have never been to Minnesota until this most recent adventure. I grew up in Watkins Glen and I am a fourth year student at Ithaca College, located in Ithaca, New York. I arrived at Wintermoon Summersun in mid-January feeling very nervous and a little shell-shocked but, as the end draws near and I reflect on all the wonderful experiences I have had, I feel as though I am a different person because I have grown in a multitude of ways. Since this is my college internship, throughout my time here I have had to write reflections, reports, daily logs and, in addition, I needed to complete a “special project.” For this assignment, I was required to create something original that would benefit my internship site, and would be a meaningful learning experience for me. For my senior project, I choose to make a booklet containing information about the genealogy of each dog that had called Wintermoon “home.” This project really helped me get to know the dogs and their history, which I find both fascinating and extremely important as I worked with these fantastic individuals for the past three months. It was an extremely interesting and very fun project to work on! The final product will remain at Wintermoon for everyone to look at, enjoy, and learn about their favorite dogs. With that said, I would like to take this opportunity to give special thanks to Kathleen, Manya, DJ, Craig and Claire for the information they provided, advice that they shared, and their enthusiasm for this assignment! “Dogs of Wintermoon” is nearly complete and I look forward to seeing the final product.

In truth, I’ve never had three months fly by so fast. This has been such an incredible experience and it is almost overwhelming to try to recall everything I’ve done, everyone I’ve met, and everything I’ve learned throughout these past 11 weeks. This truly has been an incredible, life-changing adventure and it means so much more than a college internship for me. I really enjoy all the projects I have been a part of and it really was neat to experience not only dog sledding season but, also, the transition into the warmer months. Not only do the types of projects change but, the as the seasons change, we see new types of wildlife and plant life. Not to mention, the warm days, sunshine and blue skies are incredibly uplifting. I love the mushing aspect of this experience, but I also have taken great joy in building trails, watching wildlife, learning about gardening, and most of all, spending time with Kissa and the dogs! I start for New York State next week and I already know how hard it will be to say “good bye” to Wintermoon and everyone that lives at this special place. I am so thankful for such an incredible, unique adventure and a truly fantastic capstone experience for my college career. I am so excited to start the next chapter of my life and, although driving down the driveway through the dog yard for the final time next week will be bitter sweet, I know it definitely will not be the last time I see Kathleen and all those four-legged furry faces. See you next season Wintermoon!


And speaking of  handlers, I am still looking for this summer, if anyone knows of someone who likes kayaking, caring for huskies and organic gardens.


Iditarod was so much fun to follow this year, partially because a woman musher was doing so well.  Aily Zirkle from AK was in contention until the end and Dallas Seavey only won by an hour.  Dee Dee Jonrowe also did very well this year.  We had three friends of Wintermoon help out at the Iditarod this year, Kidron from MN, Tammy from OR and Vivian from NC.  All three were at the Finish Line in Nome and  I am going to ask them if they would be willing to write something for the news next month.


2 Comments So Far

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  1. Karen Martin
    April 9, 2012 at 10:47 am #

    Kathryn is going to miss being there.

    Thank you for providing her with so many opportunities to learn a wide variety of skills that she likely will use for the rest of her life.

    Karen C. Martin

  2. Vivian
    April 27, 2012 at 10:28 am #

    I thoroughly enjoyed this edition of the news! Internships like this do not come about often. Kathryn is one lucky person. In 1991, I interned in Finland as a landscape designer for a parks department. That truly changed me forever…it was wonderful. Certain things really do happen for a reason…

    You know, I have made 3 treks to MN, 2 of which to Wintermoon and then a trek to AK to volunteer at the Iditarod. I just don’t know what the next ‘phase’ of my life will bring. These experiences have truly changed me and my priorities. I love what I do in NC now as an city planner, but there is a yearning to be in a rural environment surrounded by Alaskan huskies driving a sled by their power…and in the beauty of nature and quiet. I would be honored to write about my trip to Alaska. I am preparing a presentation for friends and coworkers and they are quite interested in why I am so obsessed with this wonderful sport of dog sledding. It is so much more than the sledding itself….more to follow. 🙂

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