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Wednesday, November 30, 2011




Wednesday, 7:45 AM.  26 degrees, wind S, calm.  The sky is clear except for clouds on the southeastern horizon.  The barometer is up and it will be another beautiful day.
    Yesterday was pretty much spent walking the dog, playing with the dog, walking the dog, feeding the dog, teaching the dog manners, walking the dog, and walking the dog. Buddy needs a lot of exercise and if I can keep up with the demands it should benefit me as well.  He is fun to have around and loves to play with toys.  He destroyed and partially ate a new rubber duck, and perceives almost any small object as a new toy to toss around and bark at, so there have been quite a few stern admonitions and shouts of “No!”
     He does seem to learn fast what is acceptable behavior and what is not, and is quite perceptive; when I twisted an ankle on an  uneven surface while walking him this morning he immediately settled down and acted concerned, but it is also apparent he will be a knucklehead at times.
    He loves to ride in the truck, so he will enjoy today’s trip to the Motor Vehicle Office in Superior where we have to straighten out a truck license issue

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

11/29/11 MEET BUDDY



Tuesday, 7:30 AM.  27 degrees, wind NW, light.  The sky is clear except for some black clouds on the eastern horizon, which are clearing out.  The barometer is high, and it will be another cool but nice day.
    Buddy, an English Pointer (he looks pure-bed to me), has joined our family.  We picked him up at Catkins Animal Rescue in Fiefield yesterday and it looks like he will fit in nicely.  He seems to be a really good tempered dog, about two years old,mbut doesn’t have much in the way of language skills and has a bit of a stubborn streak but that’s O.K., it shows character.  He walks nicely on a lead and will easily be taught to heel.  He likes his crate and is sitting in it with the door open right now.  He slept in it from 10:00 PM until 6:00 AM without incident.  He needs to be taut sit, down and no, ASAP.  He has had all his shots and was wormed and tested negative for Lime’s disease and heart worm.  He is neutered (all the shelter animals have been and that’s a good policy).  He has an I.D. chip inserted between his shoulder blades.  The adoption fee was $200, and we were happy with that.
    He had evidently been lost or abandoned in the National Forest for some time and at 37 pounds he is still quite underweight, but we will take care of that. We need to get him some high protein dog food, a new collar and a couple of toys, he likes to play.  It will be some time before he will be bonded to us, so we can’t let him off a leash outside.  We named him Buddy because it sounds similar to Lucky and rolls off our tongues easily, and he knows his new name already.
    This is a new adventure for all of us but it has started out very well

Monday, November 28, 2011



Monday.  20 degrees, wind SW, light.  The sky is mostly overcast.  The barometer is high and the day should be relatively cold but otherwise nice for our trip several hours south to Fiefield, WI.
    We are going to Catkins Animal Shelter, a small animal rescue operation to look again at a young English Pointer, and all things being O.K., bring him home with us.  He is a fine looking dog who seems to have a nice disposition. He was either lost or abandoned in the National Forest several months ago but seems to have recovered pretty well. I have an affinity for pointing dogs and this one seemed right, upon first impression. 
    Joan will have to like him as well, as he will be as much her companion as mine. We have high expectations, hope it all works out. and will keep you posted as to how all this transpires.

Sunday, November 27, 2011



Sunday, 6:00 PM.  Temperature at 8:00 AM was 30 degrees, it was overcast and quite windy a times, from the WNW. The much predicted snow did not arrive, although the temperatures have fallen ten degrees since  yesterday. The barometer is up. I did go out to the Larsen place in the afternoon until dark.  I didn’t see him, but there is definitely a buck out there, I saw a rub and a scrape and tracks and droppings. I probably should have hunted harder the last few days.  Oh well, he will be that much bigger next year.  As the old timers used to say in the Milwaukee patois of my youth, “Ja, Ja, Cholly (Charlie)…ve get so soon oldt und so late schmart!”
    There not being much else on TV last night and being too tired to read, I watched a long program called American Trucker, which more or less glorified the trucking industry and truck drivers, their contributions to the economy and society, etc. which was all very interesting and fairly truthful.
     It went into great detail about trucking history and vintage trucks, which I found quite interesting because I remember a lot of the old rigs.  The show concluded with a tour of a state-of-the-art Freight Liner truck manufacturing plant in South Carolina, a truly amazing facility. Our American over the road trucks are not made in China or Japan, but right here, at home.  Tons of steel go into a big rig truck tractor, and thousands of trucks come off the assembly line each year.  Freight Liner has three such factories, and tractor trailer trucks are also produced by GM, Mack and other companies.  The amount of steel used is enormous.  And yet if things go on the way they are, Wisconsin will refuse to mine the iron ore to make American steel to produce American big rig trucks. The thousands and thousands of these trucks constantly moving on American highways use diesel fuel, each truck hundreds of gallons each day.  And yet our President has shut down the construction of the pipeline from the Canadian oil sands for political purposes and as a sop to his environmental extremist constituents.
    We are fast deteriorating into an effete culture, without the will to provide for ourselves and our progeny.  The mindset that  goods and services will arrive magically at our doorstep without worry, work or the use of natural resources pervades many levels of our society, from the idle wealthy  to the idle welfare recipient.  Not to mention the idle politician.  When the drones outnumber the workers, the colony starves.   
    We cannot enjoy even the most basic elements of our existence without making hard choices and doing hard work, mental and physical.  I am at a loss as to where today’s fairy tale mentality comes from, but I am certain that if our state and our nation do not return rapidly to realism The American Dream will soon become The American  Nightmare.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Saturday, 5:30 PM.  Temperature 34 degrees, wind SSW, calm at present.  Today  was supposed to be steadily colder, with rain turning to snow, and it did start out rainy and blustery so I did not go out hunting until late afternoon, when it was obvious the change in weather was not going to happen as scheduled.  I did go to the Larsen’s farm and spend an hour and more before dark just very quietly moving about, but saw noathing.  I have not decided what to do or where to do it tomorrow, it really depends upon the weather in the morning.
    While there I visited Lucky’s gravesite.  We are not likely to go for long without a dog, which is a pretty essential part of our lives. We are looking at some options, but a dog or any pet is a serious commitment and we must make the right choice, both for ourselves and the dog.  I will keep readers posted.

Friday, November 25, 2011






Friday, 5:30 PM.  41 degrees in the woods, wind ENE, strong enough to roar trough the treetops at times and sway the tallest trees.  It was a quiet, warm morning but the wind picked up by early afternoon.  It was pretty much cloudy all day.  It was very quiet again otherwise.  I did hear some far off coyotes about 10:00 AM, but otherwise, except for an owl hooting a few times, there was no other animal or bird activity at all.  Currently the barometer is way up.
    I came home for lunch, and found that friend and neighbor Eric had  bagged a spike buck this morning, the second of only two deer he had seen so far this season from his stand way out in the boonies.  That gave me the incentive to hunt hard again this afternoon, but to no avail.
    While poking around in the woods this morning I unexpectedly found what I am sure is a headstone, I doubt nature would have created so many right angles and flat surfaces on granite.  I found a second stone, perhaps the base,  about twenty feet away.  There is no remnant of a habitation in the vicinity, I don’t know if this site was ever farmed, and it has obviously been cut over a number of times.  The grave site is on a little hillock, and there is one ancient hemlock near the stone, so I am assuming it was a family cemetery, or perhaps a single grave, a distance from home and barn.  Who is buried here?  How old… man, woman, or child?  What was their story?  I didn’t feel particularly sentimental or philosophical today so didn’t try to spin any yarns to entertain myself.  The heavy stone had no inscriptions on it and I assume it is lying face down.  This area wasn’t settled or farmed much before the mid-Nineteenth Century, and the hemlock looks to be at least that old, perhaps older.  Maybe it was even planted by mourners at the gravesite.  I won’t disturb the stone more than I already have by brushing away leaves and dirt.  Perhaps it will be another century or two before someone else comes across it.  Perhaps a thousand years, after all traces of our own times have long disappeared. 
    At the rate our civilization is deteriorating all our last several centuries of artifacts may well be lumped together by some future archaeologist and we alive today and the dead of a century and a half ago will all occupy the same time frame, perhaps called something like “Meso-American Culture Prior to the Great Downfall.”

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Thursday, 9:00 AM.  41 degrees, wind W, very light.  The sky is mostly blue and the snow is melting rapidly.  The barometer predicts precipitation.
    I am taking the day off from deer hunting to help Joan with the turkey and maybe watch some football.  It would seem to be the perfect day for deer to be moving but I am taking the day off to rest up.  I haven’t seen any deer hanging in the neighborhood, and neighbor Eric who hunts way into the outback says he has seen just one doe in the past five days.  Lots of conjecture as to lack of deer, from the weather to all the predators and continual past doe seasons.  I won’t get into that now
    This is my favorite holiday, and it is a secular holiday that, when one considers it, is probably more sacred to most Americans than all our over the top, commercialized religious holidays. The economy is down, and the country has a lot of seemingly intractable problems, but as long as we have family and our individual freedom we can celebrate Thanksgiving in its true, traditional fashion.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Wednesday, 5:30 PM.  40 degrees at present, which it has been most of the afternoon. Wind has been WSW since about 10:00 AM, and it has been blustery  all day, at times gale force.  An obvious front has moved in, that cleared away the clouds by noon.  The barometer is on an upward trend but the impending high is still not really here.
    It was another odd, quiet (except for the incessant wind) day in the woods, and I have about had it and am ready  to take tomorrow, Thanksgiving day, off from the hunt.  My feet hurt and my knees ache from hiking first in snow and now on slippery surfaces.  I am very glad I saw three deer on Monday morning or I should perhaps be persuaded that phantom deer were leaving their tracks in the snow. 
    This morning I even resorted to putting an Ojibwe charm around my neck (bought it at a Canadian trading post a while back) to bring me luck on the hunt. It is a little Indian medicine bottle made, as I remember, from part of a moose bladder. It is on a leather thong, and is painted with Indian symbols.  I carry a couple of aspirin in it in case I should have a heart problem out in he woods (unlikely, I hope). 
    The next time I get a deer I will put some hair and maybe a tooth in it for good luck as well.  I guess I am getting desperate, and for all I know I would have it all wrong anyway,  but according to local Indian legend, the animals are anxious to sacrifice themselves for food for the people, as that is according to the plan of the Great Spirit (or something like that).  One has to be careful about  such cross-cultural interpretations, and not giving offense to people or to spirits, as the whole thing might very well backfire and I could be in a whole lot of trouble.
    All of which reminds me of Al Cap’s Lil’ Abner comic strip of many years back, and the Shmoos, little beings that were just dying to be dinner for folks.  Deer should be like that.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Tuesday, 6:00 PM.  27 degrees, wind SW, calm at present.  It was an unsettled day, cloudy and sometimes windy most of the morning, then warming to the high thirties  and suddenly clearing around noon, while clouding up and cooling off in the afternoon.  The barometer is again down, predicting precipitation.
    It was another mostly quiet day in the woods, almost no bird or small mammal activity.  It was briefly warm enough in the afternoon for a small, black fly to buzz about my face for a moment. 
    I cannot  sit or stand still for more than about an hour without my joints stiffening up, so I move a bit from place to place.  I noticed that when I walked off somewhere and then backtracked there were often deer tracks in my own, so evidently there was some deer movement that for one reason or another I did not see.  The weather has been so odd that I think the deer and other animal activity is not normal either. But, tomorrow is another day.
    Social commentary: A six year old Wisconsin boy has been charged with sexual assault for “improperly touching” a five year old girl while they were “playing doctor.”  We live in a society in which virtually anything goes on TV, the movies or anywhere else, everyone running around doing disgusting, often unnaturall things while in various stages of undress. And yet we are so uptight that kids can be charged with a crime for “playing doctor,” which is no more than a natural response to curiosity about their bodies and each other. Give me a break!

Monday, November 21, 2011




Monday, 5:30 PM.  Temperature about 28 degrees.  It was 24 degrees at 7:00 AM and warmed to above freezing by noon, but it was cold up on the deer stand. Wind W, calm at present.  It  was pretty much a blue sky day, even with the barometer still way down.  There must be an almost stationary low to the west.  The humidity is also  down.  It was a pretty day but still strangely quiet in the woods, with no bird or small animal activity whatsoever.
    I was fortunate to see three deer at 7:00 AM, they crossed the trail to the stand in succession.  I got the scope on the first two and they were definitely does, the third moved like a buck but I could see no antlers, maybe it was a little spike buck but I could of course not take a chance.  They were about 150 yards away and would have been an O.K. shot for me since they were walking slowly and even standing and looking about.  I think the third deer spotted me but it didn’t spook, just ambled off. 
    I had some things to do today so I went home for lunch about 11:00 AM but was back in the woods by 3:00 PM.  Nothing doing from then until dark. I will get out early tomorrow in hopes that there will be some activity at dawn again.  Today’s Daily Press had as its headline, “Deer Season Off To A Slow Start.”  Yep.   

Sunday, November 20, 2011






Sunday, 5:30 PM.  Wind WNW, calm at present.  It was 22 degrees when I left the woods, 17 degrees when I entered before 7:00 AM this morning.  The temperature rose slightly during the day, but the predicted change in the weather never occurred, and it even snowed some in the morning.  The barometer is still very high and the humidity very  low, the latter evidenced by the fact that at no time today, even at the coldest, did I see my breath.
    This was the quietest day in the woods I can remember.  Not a crow flew, not a raven croaked. I saw one squirrel and a bluejay, nothing else, not even one of the ubiquitous chickadees. No coyotes or wolves howled.  No distant dogs barked.  There were several faraway shots in the morning, but besides them utter silence, an almost palpable quiet.  An anticipatory silence, promising that something was about to happen any moment because it was so unearthly still.  And it was a fickle silence, since nothing ever happened.
    But it was a pretty day in its own quiet way and I did not mind spending it in silence in the woods.  It gave me plenty of opportunity to think and I was not bored.  And contrary to yesterday, which was filled with random thoughts of poetic mysticism, the thoughts of today were bare-boned practical;  things to be done at home, business to be taken care of, what’s for dinner.  Life and its thoughts have a way of balancing themselves, if we are fortunate.

Saturday, November 19, 2011



Saturday, 5:45 PM.  29 degrees, about what it has been all day.  The wind is WNW, picking up to a soft roar through the treetops  as I left the woods a while ago.  It is snowing, and has been since 11:00 AM.  It is a sticky, slippery, wet mix, and there is about four inches of it on the ground.  The last hour or more it has almost been a white out, a mix of blowing snow and ground fog.  But the barometer is way up, so it should clear by tomorrow morning or a little later.
    There were no deer moving in “my neck of the woods” today, the buck scrape had not been visited and the apples and cracked corn were touched only by squirrels and bluejays in the morning, while a couple of ravens croaked loudly as they soared above the pine trees.  I heard a few shots around 7:30 AM off to the north somewhere, and a succession of four or five shots maybe a mile or more away about 10:00 AM,  someone shooting at a running deer I assume.  Also about then there was a chorus  of coyotes, or more likely wolves from the sound of it, raising a ruckus somewhere deep in the woods off to the northwest.  By noon, when I walked back to the truck to eat lunch, there was no activity of any kind, and that was the way it was all afternoon as well. I think the deer all anticipated the storm and bedded down in the deep ravines and swamps.  But, tomorrow is another day.
    Yesterday I went out to the Larsen farm and set up a ground blind by their pond, where there has been some deer activity and I have done some baiting.  I will sit out there at some point when I feel like a change of scenery. Mike, now off to California seeking his fortune, shot a ten point buck on the property last season.  While there, I put a nice pink granite headstone on Lucky’s grave.  I had picked the colorful stone  up a year or so ago along a trail because I liked it, and threw it in the back of the truck on a whim.  Dogs don’t have much of an aesthetic sense, but I thought it was suitable anyway.
    On the way home, driving on Hwy. K, I spotted this big bald eagle in a tree by the roadside.  You may remember the story I told a few weeks ago when Lucky was lost, about the man (I’m sure an Ojibwe Indian) whose dog had gone off to die and he believed it returned as a white wolf to say goodbye. I said I did not expect a wolf,  but an eagle would do nicely.   
    I hope  you don’t think me an old fool for relating occasional tales of mysticism.  Our present day culture demands that we be super logical, unsentimental, highly rational individuals, and that is good as far as it goes.  But without the mystical, or non-rational (you will note I did not say irrational)  our spirits cannot support faith, our minds cannot expand to seek and encompass knowledge which is beyond our present understanding, or our souls soar beyond the genetic constraints of our human intellect.  So I am thankful for the eagle.

Friday, November 18, 2011



...YELLOW TRANSPARENTS                               



Friday, 7:00 AM.  26 degrees, wind WSW, calm.  The sky is partly cloudy and the barometer predicts precipitation.
    It was hard getting used to no dog in the house yesterday; no old guy underfoot, no saving dinner leftovers. The dog dishes have been washed and put away, an act of somber finality.
        Stubborn ancient apple trees along roadsides still tenaciously retain their fruit, like this yellow transparent on Old Hwy. K.  I fully expect to see a big buck standing on the road shoulder one day soon, reaching for an apple and it will be illegal to take a shot along the road,  all the more tempting since a change in the law now allows uncased (but unloaded) long guns to be carried in a moving vehicle in Wisconsin, and loaded guns in a stationary vehicle.  For as long as anyone can remember, it has ben illegal to have a rifle or shotgun uncased in a vehicle, and one fretted about a stuck zipper on a gun case, or about picking up a lost hunter on the road who carried a gun but no case.  Which poses the question; how many annoying rules and regulations are not really necessary today, and might be done away with tomorrow, in every aspect of our lives?  When one is constantly annoyed and badgered by trivia that can get one fined or put in jail, how truly free are we?
    There were mixed flocks of swans and geese on Chequamegon Bay in Ashland again yesterday, the immature swans looking very much like the gray geese at a distance.
    The wood-be artist has been busy stacking rock cairns in the Sioux River at Big Rock again.  I really detest people who insist on spoiling the natural beauty of a public place to satisfy their own artistic egos.  Almost as bad as graffiti on subway cars.
    I have had my trail camera set up at my deer stand and am frustrated because although it is obviously working the only legible photo it has taken is that of this gray old buck without any antlers. 
    During deer season, which starts in the snow and cold at first light tomorrow morning, I will post my daily experiences each night if I am not too tired and have anything worth reporting.  I have a lot of last minute things to do today, and I have no idea how successful the hunt will be, but out I will go.  My birthday was yesterday and I am feeling about as stubborn as that old yellow transparent apple tree out on Hwy K.

Thursday, November 17, 2011






Thursday, 7:00 AM.  24.5 degrees, wind W, light.  The sky is overcast and there is some fog over the channel.  There is a heavy dusting of fresh wet snow that looks like it will stay for a while.  The barometer predicts partly cloudy skies.
    Yesterday was a very sad day for us as we finally had to put our old pal Lucky down.  He had grown increasingly senile since his three day entrapment under the bridge, and had become almost completely incontinent.  Add to that the fact he could see or hear little and could barely get around, and he hardly had a life anymore. So we did the right thing.
    Lucky lived 14 years, a ripe old age for a dog.  He was truly lucky, as he was rescued from what would have undoubtedly been a less than satisfactory or even a miserable life, and shortly before the end he was rescued from a certain and awful death by drowning or exposure (thank you again, Mike).  He went hunting, fishing and hiking, walked the beach, and traveled to far away places.  He was well cared for and loved by ourselves, family members and friends.  It was only the last year that he began to suffer the inevitable debilities of old age, and it was time to go, and I think he knew it.  He died peacefully with us at his side, we gave him a secure and appropriate resting place a few steps from the summer campfire at the Larsen farm, and if such things are possible he can join us in spirit as long as we and our friends still gather around its smoking embers.
    And as Joan tearfully proclaimed, “if dogs can go to heaven, Lucky is there, because he was a really good dog.” And we were lucky to have him.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011






Wednesday, 8:00 AM.  27 degrees, wind WSW, moderate with strong gusts.  The sky is partly cloudy but clearing fast,  the barometer being way up. We had a few snow flurries last night.  It is a wintry day.
    Many varieties of apple trees still retain their leaves, so many orchards are still colorful, filled with fading yellow leaves.
    The rut is definitely on, the buck pictured ran across Hwy 13 north of Red Cliff in broad daylight.  We also saw a doe standing in the rain on the roadside south of Washburn around dusk.
    Modern logging machines can grasp a large tree, remove the limbs, and cut the trunk and stack it in a matter of minutes.  Whole woodlots can be felled with amazing speed.  This machine will be working in a friend’s woods on Old Hwy K and I will try to get photos of it in action. This is all very efficient but a familiar landscape can be changed in a literal instant.
    Political comment: The Trans Canada pipeline from the Canadian Oil Sands to Gulf of Mexico oil refineries has been stalled by President Obama until after the election next year.  The pipeline had originally been planned to cross the huge Niobrara acquifer which underlies parts of South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.  Opposition to the original route of the pipeline came from agricultural interests, environmentalists and even the Republican Governor of Nebraska because of the fear that an oil spill might pollute the aquifer.   I feel that this opposition  is more phobia than factual, since if there is one thing this society can still build with some degree of skill it is pipelines, which go everywhere in the USA and carry almost everything liquid and gaseous with very little trouble. The Canadian pipeline company even offered a short time ago to re-route the pipeline around the aquifer, and it has still been blocked by the President. 
    The Canadian oil sands are a huge petroleum source which, added to our own considerable oil and gas reserves would render us virtually independent of Middle East oil for many decades, if not generations.  If the pipeline is not built Canada will likely seek a long-term agreement to ship refined oil to China (global warming folks, please realize that the oil is going to be utilized, if not by us then by others and the CO2 ends up in the atmosphere either way).  Thousands of high paying construction jobs will be lost to American workers, along with decades of less expensive and plentiful oil if this pipeline is not built (I have some personal experience with pipelines as I worked for several years building  them to get myself through college). 
    Are we completely nuts? Are we a society with a death wish? Let’s get this pipeline built; we have every ability to make it safe and dependable. What has happened to the “can do” American spirit?  We are being sold into economic slavery by our own perverse government.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011






Tuesday, 9:00 AM.  37 degrees, wind WNW, light but picking up.  The sky is overcast but the barometer predicts partly cloudy skies.
    I went to the Town of Russell shooting range yesterday afternoon to do a little target practice.  The most important thing for me is to re-familiarize myself with the semi-automatic rifle’s loading, safety, scope  etc. as I seldom shoot except for deer season.  I won’t win any marksman medals, but I do well enough.  This may all be redundant for regular readers, but the facility is very adequate, well maintained and with appropriate signs.  It  is free to area residents and is supported and maintained by volunteers, and is not a tax liability.  It is a prime example of how communities can provide amenities that are not a fiscal burden.
    Yesterday’s Board of Zoning Appeals meeting was interesting, even though it did not render the decision I would have liked.  I did recuse myself from voting because I have what could be considered a conflict of interest, although I did chair the meeting and I think facilitate discussion.  I was admonished by one of the lawyers present that I was “skating on thin legal ice” by chairing the meeting. What I would have liked to have said, but did not, because I did not wish to be flippant in public, is :“If I listened to lawyers I would never get out of bed in the morning.” 
    Frankly, we have way too many lawyers in government, and probably in society as a whole, which drives us to be continually litigious. I have a hard time voting for a lawyer who is running for office.  When government is stacked with lawyers we end up arguing about what the meaning of the word “is” is, instead of making relevant public policy decisions.

Monday, November 14, 2011





Monday, 7:30 AM.  34 degrees, wind WSW, calm at ground level, but white clouds moving rapidly at high altitude.  The sky is partly cloudy and the barometer predicts the same.  It will be a nice day.
    This morning I mst leave early for a Zoning Board of Appeals meeting, which I chair.  I cannot comment on the subject except to say that the appeal involves city ordinances which might be construed as anti-business.
    The next several weeks the blog is likely to be primarily about deer hunting.  I am a much better observer of nature than hunter, or at least that is my excuse if unsuccessful.  I have been baiting in several locations to try to determine where I might be most successful, and it looks like my efforts will mainly be at my stand in the big country west of the apple orchards.  There may be better places, but I long ago determined to hunt where it is not too difficult, and I do not need an ATV to get in and back.  I also have vowed to take only a sure shot, as I hunt alone and do not want to drag a deer out of some inaccessible swamp.  So I hunt where I can access by truck and shank’s mare.
    Yesterday I poured buck attractant on the active scrape less than a hundred yards from my stand, and before opening morning I will put down additional doe in estrous scent to try to lure him within range.  Hope he cooperates, as it is bucks only in Bayfield County this year.
    Political insight: having just been to Ohio, I was not surprised to learn of the defeat of the bill to limit the bargaining rights of public employees, as the measure seemed to be quite unpopular.  People are wary of change, regardless of whether is is good or bad, to the right or the left, and it is a fact the politicians must understand and adjust their ambitions to.

Sunday, November 13, 2011






Sunday, 8:00 AM.  38 degrees, wind SW, calm.  The sky is overcast with high, thin gray clouds which are beginning to dissipate,  and the barometer again predicts precipitation.  The ditches are still running with water from the rain that fell while we were gone last week.
    The Bayfield chamber of Comerce and Visitors’ Bureau annual meeting at the Pavilion on Thursday was very well attended.  The keynote speaker was State of Wisconsin Tourism Director Stephanie Klett. The chamber is a very active and positive force in the financial and social life of the City of Bafield.
    The native tamaracks are now past their color peak and are loosing their needles fast.  In a day or two they will be completely bare.  The European larch, Larix decidua, a few doors down is still brilliantlty clothed in bronze-gold needles.  The European larch is perhaps a more handsome tree than the native tamarack, being somewhat straighter and taller, and therefore more of a specimen tree for parks and large landscapes.  Both are beautiful and adaptable trees.   The European larch has larger female cones, which hang pendulously from the branches, whereas the native tree has smaller female cones that are attached directly to the branches; a useful identification characteristic.
    Visiting my deer stand, I found this new and very large buck scrape several hundred feet to the west.  The buck paws the earth, and then urinates in the scraped earth to deposit his scent.  A competing buck will do the same, as will a doe in estrous.  Obviously, I am pleased to see there is a buck in the area.
    Observation: the Penn State scandal is a sad commentary on the moral state of our society, especially since students actually rioted in support of the head coach and  the corrupt corporate culture of the football program.  Penn State is yet another example of the abuse of power in America, abuse that is rampant in corporations, religious organizations, politics and government. 
    The truly sad thing about abuse of power is how easily people accept it.  The individual feels like a minor, powerless cog in a huge and complicated machine that he cannot affect, or he may even  become part of the abusive culture.  What we must remember is that even the smallest cog can jam the works of the largest machine and bring it to a halt, and that is what should have happened at Penn State, years ago.  The only good thing to have happened thus far in this odious mess is the firing of the head coach, two high level administrators and the University president, all of whom were not minor cogs, but major, and each of whom could have stopped the abuse if they but had the courage to do so. This episode is far from over, as there are still a lot of skeletons in the closet, and it makes one wonder whether this sickness has not spread to other college football programs, just as the cancer of child abuse metastasized throughout the Catholic Church. One would hope that every college sports program is now in the process of self examination for this and other abuses of power.