No age limit when it comes to enjoying the outdoors

Published 12:00 pm Saturday, May 5, 2018

I am writing this week’s column while sitting in the quiet of our cabin. I can look up and enjoy the sight of birds feeding at the feeders, while the wood stove heats the cabin to a toasty temperature. Owning a cabin that most would refer to as rustic doesn’t come without a little work. Each year I go up early to see what, if any, obstacles we will encounter. Last year was probably the worst because of all of the downed trees and my not remembering to check and see if the chainsaw was up there. There were five trees blocking the drive and I was tempted to turn around and head home. I decided to play lumberjack with an axe and a bow saw. It took most of one day to clear a path to the cabin and another day of resting before I was somewhat normal, that being in the physical sense.

I believed I whined about it in my column last year at about this same time. This year, there were only two trees, and they were a lot easier to deal with the trusty chainsaw. As the years go by, I am definitely moving slower, and it takes longer for the muscles to rest up, but I still enjoy every moment of it.

Today I had to go to the store in Talmoon, which is only three miles away, to fill a couple of water jugs. I patronize that store whenever I am at the cabin. I appreciate the convenience and the owners are always nice and helpful. On this day, there was a younger girl there who must have been training in another person, and she was chatting with everyone. She filled the water jugs for me and carried the second one to my vehicle. She wasn’t a very big girl, so I was amazed at how easily she carried that water jug. I thanked her for the help and her reply was, “I grew up on a farm so I’m used to carrying five gallon pails”.

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It’s just the little extras like that that make me appreciate how helpful folks are up here.

As I was driving back, I noticed water standing along the sides of the driveway leading back to our cabin. I thought of the many times as a kid that I would marvel at almost any ditch or pothole and wonder if there was some sort of life under the surface of that water. I would actually get a little chill of excitement as I checked out every pothole in the area surrounding our home. It took me a couple of years to figure out that the water running through the ditch in front of our house on the way to the slough would never hold any fish. The sighting of a tadpole was always reason for excitement to this young outdoorsman. It kept me coming back to watch the natural changeover as it evolved into a frog. Ah, what a wonderful spectacle nature had to share with a curious young kid.

The marvels of nature are there for folks of all ages to enjoy. Watching birds at a feeder can be about as entertaining as it can get without having to venture away from home. While I have been watching all of the different types of birds at the feeders up at our cabin, I am curious as to why I have seen no nuthatches. Each year, for as long as I can remember, we have always had nuthatches at the cabin. I have been taking the feeders indoors each night because the memory of that black bear visiting us still lingers in my mind. I am not necessarily afraid of the bear ,but I don’t really want to donate any more feeders to his cause.

Whether you head north like I do, go to the state park or just take a drive around the countryside, wildlife and the wonders of nature are there for our enjoyment. We have so many nice parks in the area, so if you want to have a little one-on-one with nature, you can pack a picnic lunch (people still do that don’t they?) and visit a park. White’s woods, for one, is a nice, peaceful, simple place for a get together. This is just one of the many parks in the county that you can enjoy while being surrounded by nature.

Until next time, the opener is almost upon us so I hope you have the tackle boxes in order, new line on your reels, and are ready to go seek out that lunker of your dreams.

Please take some time to honor those that have sacrificed so for the freedoms that we enjoy today. Also take some time to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, those who served and those troops that are serving today.