Full Moon News

It’s been nice… February Full Moon

The last month, a long one, was not made to seem longer with bitter weather and so the mushing has really been great.  It was filled with so many new “mushers” and what fun to introduce people to our huskies and the thrill of dogsledding.  Our trails have snow and the mushing has been good.  Of course, Lena and Kylla have stolen the show and more than a few hearts.  They are just three months now and have moved outside into an insulated dog house and pen.  Much of the time they are still loose and come into the cabin, go on walks, visit mom Olga and always find things to chew on that I have no idea how they found.  Both have recovered from their medical situations, being bit and an allergic reaction to a shot.

 

The big dogs are doing great too.  I so admire the patience they show with new people learning to put the harnesses on them, bringing them to the gangline and driving the sled.   They of course know it is a means to their desired end.  And run they do.  Amazing how strong they are too.  It has been a great month.

 

The “Alaska” 22 month olds are really pulling well and I am about ready to start trying some of them in lead.  It will probably be one of the girls, Sitka or Willow as they seem a little more mature, however Nikolai is doing really well too.

 

The one year olds, Olga, Sven, Akiak and Monty have all gone out with the sleds now too.   They were a little hesitant at first which makes sense after months of walking in harness but being able to go here and there at will.  The gangline is quite a switch for them but they do love to run and are all doing well.

 

Cabin dogs, Odin and Sparky are doing well, getting along and keeping us entertained.  Many mornings I will find Sparky has decided to join Odin on his pillow and Odin seems to be ok with it.  He is very patient as the puppies love to jump on him and put their faces in his.

 

We had a good time watching the Start of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon at it’s Two Harbors gravel pit start.  It was fun to see the dogs get right on the trail and get going in a more woodsy setting.  The Race had a rough year last year and it was good to see more mushers in the race and the purse higher.   And congratulations to a woman winner of the mid distance: Martha Schouweiler of Irma, Wi. – ran 103 miles in 8 hours 56 minutes at 11.5 mph  and to third place Colleen Wallin of Two Harbors in the Marathon, 319 miles in 38 hours 34 minutes at 8.3 mph.  I got to interview both of them for the upcoming edition of the Sled Dogger, on line magazine.

 

My topic this February the Sled Dogger issue in the Women and Mushing column is How and Why We Got into Mushing.  I also talked with DJ Erb, Ithaca, NY who is a recreational musher and assistant sled dog guide and Vivian Coleman, Charlotte, NC who had worked the past three years in the Far North as a handler.  I enjoyed hearing everyone’s story.  If you have any ideas for topics, let me know.  The online publication is free, just subscribe at theSledDogger.com.

 

We had a great snowshoe down Petrell Creek, setting a dog trail.  There were fresh wolf tracks, probably four or five, criss-crossing the creek.  There were also a number of fox and rabbit tracks.   My big treat was while sitting at the dining room table doing office work, I looked up and out the window and there was a barred owl right on top of the suet.  It would occasionally eat some and look around.  Luckily I had my camera handy as it didn’t stay too long.  Then last night at around 2 am, I looked out the window and it was back.  I’m sure all of our seeds attract delectable owl food.   We have at dawn and dusk, anywhere up to 10 ruffed grouse at the feeders (I didn’t know they were crepuscular)  and a couple snowshoe hares.  One evening an ermine joined in too.

 

And I have started planning for a Heart in the Earth this summer.  Seems like it has become an every other year celebration, lots of great speakers, activities, music, food,….   So far I have asked a Duluth woman, Pam Solberg-Tapper, who ran a marathon at the North Pole, Pam the herbalist, Jennifer Levenhagen on piano, comic Kathy Helzer.  Please let me know if you have any other suggestions for activities and speakers.  We have not set the date yet but likely in July.

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