Appreciation involves the Spirit.
It takes a keen eye and an open heart
along with a soul of beauty.
It takes a mind that is cautious and alert.
Always silent and listening.
A body that moves stealthily and gently.
A stillness of being that comes from within
and lets the outside melt into you like butter on hot plate.
The forest floor is teeming with beautiful trilliums this early summer. Right behind Sven and Susi there are at least 40 and this one is the largest I have seen – the 3 leaves are 10″ wide and 21″ high. The lilacs have just started blooming, the rose breasted grosbeaks and hummingbirds are back and we have started planting the garden. It was a cool and rainy start to the full moon cycle and so the gardening is a little behind.
We do have some peas, potatoes, kale, lettuce and spinach up though. And one greenhouse is planted with tomatoes and tomorrow I will plant another.
You may notice I said “I”, as I haven’t found a good assistant for this summer and am still looking. If you know of anyone who might like to join the huskies and me for some Northwoods living, let me know or have them get ahold of me: firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, if anyone is interested in coming and helping on a trip or any other time, volunteers are always welcome.
We had a wonderful spring Yoga weekend, restorative and energizing. Many thanks to Laura Haack the yoga instructor who is so caring, intuitive and gives excellent instruction. Women find the peaceful Northwoods setting a great place to practice. And many thanks to all the yoga women for walking almost every husky – a fun way to start the day. We will be offering Yoga again October 6-8.
There are still openings for the Carpentry Basics June 23-25, some Kayak weekends and for Heart in the Earth August 4-6. Heart in the Earth, Women Outdoors will feature a Lake Superior cruise and kayaking, hiking, canoeing, herbal workshop… and have two interesting speakers – Dawn Ulrich – A 50th birthday BWCAW solo canoe journey and Renee Casey – Inside the Iditarod, Handling and Pee Team.
When winter handler Lynn stopped by on her way to her summer job at Voyageur Outward Bound in Ely, she gifted us with this amazing board with all the husky’s pictures and names that we have put at the harness station. Each picture is laminated and has a magnet so we can move them easily and they can be in the same location as they are in the dog yard. This will make it so easy to know where the dog you are going to harness is!
The huskies are good, going on walks and being loose, playing with kongs, chewing on bones…. summertime. We do have one project and Sulu, Wing and Nikoli are excited about helping spread the 3 dump truck loads of gravel that we spread all over the dog yard every summer. Lydia said, as the elder in the yard , she would be glad to supervise. Olga and Tulugak went on a field trip to the Spay and Neuter Clinic and got to then spend about 1 1/2 weeks in the cabin. Both are doing great.
The campfire taunts with its glowing and smoldering.
Ancients seem to pass like phantoms before my eyes.
Melting into my mind. Carrying into an androgenous spirit.
Until I am smoke, stars, moon fire, and finally ashes.
And yet my blood is Mother Earth.
I would like to thank Deb for sharing her writings. She was our handler here in the ’90’s and has taken writing workshops and been writing for many years. She lives in Duluth and has come up to visit and help us too.
Just 11 days ago, this was the wintery scene here and you can’t really tell but there is a lot of ice under everything. It rain and froze, sleeted, snowed and was cold. Now on this May full moon, it is summer, lots of 60’s this week, green grass growing, rhubarb gaining inches each day and the dog yard is mostly dried out. Amazing and Minnesota !
The huskies just take everything in stride and I try to learn from them. Does their mood change when it is unseasonable? Not that I can tell. If I say Sigurd let’s go for a walk, I get the same reaction every day, even if I think it is too cold, icy, warm, rainy….. how uplifting. And the heaven’s know that we need uplifting at this time.
I have to wonder how this clown is affecting all things. I am still looking for a handler after years of mostly having women reach out to Wintermoon Summersun. The sign ups for everything are very slow. I too sometimes find myself overwhelmed with the circus. Thank goodness, I have the beauty and quiet of the Northwoods.
The huskies are doing well. I am going out most mornings with the 4 wheeler, then walking some with harness and some loose. The treat this week was bones from the butcher shop.
Osa, Susi and Monk very excited about getting a real bone. Everyone got one and it was a great day.
There are openings for Carpentry for Women, Heart in the Earth and many of the Kayaking weekends. The details are under Trips on the web site. It would be fun to have you join us and be able to spend some time in wondrous nature.
The Midwest Mountaineering Expo was really fun and a highlight was hearing Amy Freeman speak. She and her husband spent a year living in the BWCAW to raise awareness about the problems of heavy metal mining close by. Her pictures, stories and information were great and there is still time to send input to the Forest Service about not leasing lands to the mining companies. Many thanks to Laura, Lynne, Kate, Michele, Dawn, Renee, Lauren and Lisa for coming and helping at the booth.
And there are still openings for the cooperative cabins, 3 or 6 weeks shares of Northwoods quiet and beauty. Sweet, rustic cabins, great trails and lots of fun things near by, sauna, …. I would be glad to share details.
I am excited to be having a booth at the
Midwest Mountaineering Spring Expo April 28-30
309 Cedar Ave Minneapolis, on the West Bank and all free
There will be hundreds of speakers and presentations, informational booths, prizes and beer! A great time to learn about outdoor opportunities and how-to’s, gear, kayak and canoe swap, sales and more.
Friday 2-9:30 Saturday 9-6:30 Sunday 10-5
A featured speaker I am excited about is Amy Freeman who just spent a year in the BWCAW to call attention to the wilderness and the threat of mining. She will speak about it on Sat. 10 am in the UofM Carlson School of Mgmt. L 110 (near Midwest and the tents) and Sun at 1 pm Reflections of 30,000 miles.
It is a great event and please stop by the booth and say hi.
Well no one is going to stop or censor me from saying CLIMATE CHANGE and I cannot believe our “country” is finding either the fact or the censorship acceptable. Again this year the snow has left early, last dogsledding day on snow was March 29. Typically I am mushing until the middle of April so can you tell I am not happy! We are now in a transition time and will get the 4 wheeler out soon. The one fun thing is many dogs get to go on loose walks in addition to walking in harness.
It was a great dogsledding season and so many thanks to all who joined us this winter. The healing and loving energy of the huskies and nature calls to many and it is great to be with such kindred spirits.
And thinking of this reminds me to ask if you know of a special woman who might want to be part of this for the summer, there is an opening for an assistant working with the huskies, organic gardens & kayaking.
The mother and daughter trip was wonderful with 3 ten year olds and a high schooler who all adored dogs and the dogs reciprocated. There was lots of petting and a new thing: Kapufur! Quite a pile of white fur from brushing indoor husky Kapu. There were stories, nature hike with Lynn, lots of husky petting and fun dogsledding.
Lynn and I got to do some sled runs before the snow left and it was fun to try some new dogs in lead. The 3 year olds Sven, Olga and Akiak all did well and surprisingly Newton, who has been pulling with more focus every year, seemed to like it and did pretty good. We took the one year olds out a few times and they will be ready next season.
It was great to have Lynn as handler this season. She loved the huskies and was such a good musher and teacher. Her upbeat personality was great on trips and made all of our winter that much better. Many thanks to her. She will be guiding canoeing and kayaking for Voyageur Outward Bound in Ely this summer.
This summer I will be offering Carpentry for Women again. We had a great fall workshop and built so many good things: a gate for the garden, bird feeder trays, part of a shed wall, sawhorses… It is a useful class if you have your own home and would like to take on some of your own projects and fix-its.
Laura from the fall class just told me she has already purchased a jig saw and sawzall (she had a circular saw) and has built a compost bin, a lattice fencing on her deck and worked on some garden structures. And is loving being able to do these things herself.
We will learn all about hand and power tools, safety, basic construction and then use this knowledge to build practical things to learn techniques and practice skills.
It is June 23 (Friday, 5 pm) to June 25 (Sunday early afternoon)
and includes lodging and meals. $200.
Heart in the Earth August 4-6 $250.
This potpourri weekend of outdoor and nature activities, workshops and speakers is a wonderful testament to women loving the outdoors and having fun sharing it. A Lake Superior cruise, kayaking, canoeing, hiking, herbs, massage, campfires, yoga, gardening…. and more. Includes lodging and meals.
We will also be offering Kayaking Weekends June 16-18, July 14-16, July 21-23, August 11-13, August 18-20, August 25-27, September 15-17 (BWCAW) and fall colors September 22-24. Learn / review the basics and paddle on quiet inland lakes immersed in the pristine natural world. All gear, kayaks, lodging and meals included. $225. Get a group of 6-8 and there’s complimentary wine tasting from a northern Minnesota winery Forestedge.
And a few final thoughts:
Lynn was walking puppy Wing a couple weeks ago in the early morning after we had heard the huskies barking a lot through the night. Never saw anything or figured out what it was. As she went out the Grouse trail and neared the intersection with the Inuit, Wing put her tail between her legs and came right over to Lynn and did not want to walk further. This isn’t anything Wing or any other dog had done before and Wing only wanted to go back. I have had some similar situations and in my experience have deduced that there were probably wolves there during the night. It is nice to know we have wildlife and wolves but it seemed pretty close. The next morning I took Sigurd out there and he was cautious and smelling everything in that area but was not as scared. We have heard wolves howling in the area quite a bit lately and now is the time that they will be denning to have pups.
I have put the recipe for Switchel, the 1800’s farmer energy drink on the website.
And from USA Today article: Climate change is making us sick
“From increases in deadly diseases to chocking air pollution and onslaughts of violent weather, man-made climate change is making Americans sicker, according to a report released by 11 of the nations top medical societies, prepared by the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health, a new group that represents more than 400,000 doctors. They pinpointed 3 types of harms: