Use of the Forest

Public use of Saginaw Forest is encouraged. Rules for the public's use include (but are not limited to):

Sunday, October 29, 2006

10/29/06 --

Spent 2 hours caulking gaps in roof, covering chimney to block drafts, filling squirrel gaps/holes (near chimney/roof intersection) with foam.
  • Also cleared gutters again
  • Cleared tree from causeway w/ chainsaw


It's only the end of October. I'm certain that I won't be able to do this continuously through the winter; it will be too cold for me to sit here. I'll have to do walks instead. I got out here at 8:25, though it was actually 7:25am because of daylight savings time today. It's been very tough to get up because of the darkness.


It's been working fine. The other one worked fine, too, but was so old that no one was willing to fix it if it broke down. When M.R. moved out, he insisted that it be fixed. The problem is the heat goes straight upstairs. To prevent this, we've rigged up a box fan with rope hanging over the heater - when we turn it on, it blows air into the room. This has been quite effective.

At the properties meeting a week or so ago, we talking [sic] about clearcutting a stand of Ponderosa Pine at Saginaw. Theya re getting old, are invasive, and could generate needed income for the property. B.Barnes + C.Olson were both amenable to the idea.

Very little activity this morning. A fish jumped on the lake when I first sat. A mallard landed at the east end of the lake. I've heard and seen several crows.

We've had a great deal of rain in the past several days, and the water level on the lake is high. Today we've got a clear blue, crisp sky. (I skipped last Sunday due to rain). Itmust be in the upper 30s/lower 40s temperature wise - we has snow mixed with rain yesterday.

Nearly all of the trees around the lake have lost their leaves. A few on the other shore haven't yet; from here they appear to be cottonwood or birch. The southern part of Saginaw is full of yellow-leaved sugar males, as well as some Norway maples that haven't completely turned yet. The trails are an inch or two deep with colorful leaves now at times making the footing quite challenging.

Monday, October 16, 2006

10/16/06 Fall Break

It's a warm morning on the lake for October (especially after the snow flurries this past week). The sun is not out this morning - the sky is overcast entirely. Several mallards (or the other species closely resembling them) were on the lake, looking for food and perhaps courting a female.

There is a light across the lake in the NE corner. It looks as though it could be a campfire? A small one? I'd say it was the sun's reflection, but there's no sun this morning.

There's a slight breeze, SW blowing on the lake. This is not the usual wind direction, making me think that a front is on its way in or out.

According to H., the light is actually on the Pall property (he has seen it before).

A flock of migrating birds just headed southwest - a small flock, with a flying pattern of: flap, flap, glide, flap, flap, glide.

Pall is here right now testing the water - he said the place looked much better than last time hew as there, which was nice to hear.

The heater guy cam today to check out and install a new heater. Apparently they are supposed to install it tomorrow. Perhaps H. can be here for that. The old propane heater puts off lots of heat, but it's probably highly inefficient.

A couple of small sparrows are flying around - they have a bright orange stripe down their head. My usual woodpecker is back, pecking away. It's a male downy woodpecker.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Saw 2 sandhill cranes fly overhead on my way to the outhouse this morning.

Sunday, October 8, 2006


It's another perfect fall morning on Third Sister Lake. Such a perfect beauty. The mist is thick on the lake this morning, even as the sun fully hits the trees on the opposite shore. The moon - quite fullish - is still high and visible in the Western Sky. It's fairly quit this morning. Some squirrel chatter in the woods, Canada geese honking in the distance. The boats are still tied up and floating just offshore from Friday's campfire.
A large group of Canada geese that were and are in the distance finally reached the lake then promptly headed south. 
The osprey just dove to the surface but did not break the water, then flew along the lake to the western end. I must have missed him perched in the trees and only noticed him once he took flight. His flight was both graceful and playful - it was as if he was enjoying his reflection in the lake.
The moon is slowly lowering in the western sky, seemingly moving north as it does so. Of course, the reality is that I am the one moving on this still morning.
One of the small squirrels - I must look up what kind they are - just came to the water beside me for a drink. I've never seen an animal quenching hist thirst in the lake before. All without even getting his feet wet.
A small flock of ducks flew west over the lake. I'm certain they landed on the adjacent pond, a favorite of birds of all types! The mood is now perched on the treetops on the west side, moving with greater speed as it closes in on the horizon.
An older squirrel (it would seem) is perched on a downed tree behind me - I looked when I heard him and he froze, motionless, but now he is shaking his tail at me, scolding, "Leave Intruder!" Undoubtedly he smells remnants of my hot chocolate and wishes to clean up my area.

Sunday, October 1, 2006


Incredible that it's already October! It is officially fall, and it does feel like fall also. Happily, the mosquitoes are gone and I can write in peace. It's another beautiful morning at Saginaw. The lake is still and the steam arises, swirling clockwise like a giant witches cauldron. A fish just jumped and broke the surface. The squirrel in the trees to my east finally stopped his noisy scolding and gave in to my presence. A flock of small birds - swallows or sparrows? - just flew west over the lake. It's funny that I never see any flying due south over the lake. Six Canada geese follow them in perfect formation.
The sun has started to move down the trees on the North Shore. The large bird perched on a branch on the opposite shore continues his lookout. He alighted there just after I saw down, and I'm very much regretting having left my binoculars indoors. I would guess that it's some sort of hawk - or perhaps an osprey?
I saw two gorgeous wood ducks on the adjacent pond (west of the causeway) on my run yesterday. They were quite close - the male's colors were absolutely vivid and beautiful. I surprised them and they abruptly took off. I believe they prefer the other pond and are often there - I've often scared away skittish ducks without a chance to identify them. I can't imagine that mallards would be so skittish. According to my book, wood ducks were nearly extinct in the early 1900s.
I think the bird across the lake is an osprey...
One of the large tents of the moths is still here in the here in the Tilia tree. I wonder what becomes of them in the winter? I went in for my binoculars - it is indeed an osprey. (A couple of nights ago we heard a Great Horned Owl west of the cabin and an eastern screech owl to the east.) He [the osprey] is facing east, and the sun lights up his white stomach.
A duck just landed at the far west end of the lake. It's difficult to tell what kind of duck he is, but I'd guess a wood duck? He's lost in the mist.
A mute swan just few east of over the lake - he made this strange whirring noise, as if he could hardly carry his own weight through the air. It's possible it was a trumpeter or a Tundra swan, though a Tundra swan in these parts would be unusual!
The tiny flicker (or some version thereof) is back, pecking away at the cherry tree and chirping at me. Fabulous viewing suddenly! Two wood ducks flew + landed on the west side of the lake. A heron - either immature blue or tricolor out of it region - is talking fish to my left. It's doing quite well. He gets in the water to his belly & slowly walks through it - stalking them.

A duck was also eating in the shallow weeds - a small dark duck with a lighter bill. It looked almost entirely black, but then I could detect a lighter and a darker black. Perhaps it is a type of scaup or could have been a female goldeneye.

Looked it up online - turns out it was a Black Scoter, male. Quite unusual for this area at this time.