Archive for June, 2016
A couple weekend s ago I was at my cabin with Dave and three teenagers who were looking forward to some a.t.v. riding. One of the teenagers was my grandson who had brought two of his buddies with him. Dave and I were going to prepare a site for a new small cabin, and had quite a lot of work to do, while the boys rode the trails around my place.
I have a Polaris 330 two wheel drive and a Polaris 500 4×4. Dave has a brand new Polaris Sportsman 570, and my grandson also brought his dirt bike along.
Before the boys hit the trails we gave them a pep talk on a.t.v. safety and rules. Of course teenagers already know “everything” and they assured us that they were “cool!” Helmets were mandatory and my last words were “treat these machines with respect and remember they belong to me!”
Dave and I had to go into town, as the boys headed out to enjoy the bright sunny Northern Michigan day. We had not been gone an hour when we received a phone call that there had been an accident, and that they couldn’t get the (my) four wheeler to move. We returned back to camp, listen to their “story” and headed out to assess the damage. It was much worse than we expected. A huge pine tree had missing bark about 2 foot long just on the edge of the trail. My machine was busted up, with the left side front being totally wrecked. Tie rods, axle, frame, running board, plastic, transmission, lights, and cargo carrier were all damaged. We could not even pull it back with Dave’s 570, as the wheels would not turn. Had to get Dave’s truck to “drag” it back to the cabin. The $5000.00 dollar 4×4 looked like a “total” loss, but the teenager responsible only had scrapes and a few bruises. It could have been much worse!
The Helmets kept this situation from being worse, but my little talk about safety was not taken very seriously! We found where the boys had been making “donuts” all over the trail, and speed and inexperience led to the wreck. The boys were riding three in a row, and from what we could piece together the middle rider turned to look at the guy behind him and drove straight into a pine at 20 miles an hour, Never take your eyes off the trail when riding! I have seen this happen before and it’s one of the most frequent causes of accidents on the trails. You can have great fun with these off road machines, but “control” is the name of the game. In an instant you can loose control by not respecting the machine your sitting on. We learned a valuable lesson and others need to take notice and learn from our mishap. It can be very costly, and the potential for being hurt is a possibility!
IMG_4988The new pole barn is complete, so it’s time to move on to the next project around camp. Right now I have room to accommodate 16 people in the main cabin and the bunkhouse. That’s fine, but when the whole crew shows up there’s 24-26 people to put up. We been discussing a plan “B” and this past weekend started clearing a section of trees for our new 16×30 cabin. I have an Amish work crew going to be there the first full week in July and the excavating is being done this week. We are going to include an 8×30 foot front porch for those quite northern evenings.
The loft area will cover the full 16×30 and will sleep 10-12 people. Bathroom and small kitchen downstairs with a woodburner and living room. We are going to need another septic system and a new well. I’ll do the plumbing but will need some help with all the other things to make it liveable. Having three buildings on ten acres may seem like overkill, but I am surrounded by Federal Forest, and the AuSable River is only a mile away. There’s plenty to do with a four wheel trail just outside the door, and if you want teenagers to come to “Papa and Grandma’s cabin” there better be plenty of things for them to do. I also have a zip line and a shooting range to keep everyone occupied! No t.v. allowed at our place. It’s always good to know that you have a safe and secure place to go as a “safehaven” in times of distress or trouble. We live in world of uncertainty and complex world wide problems, so our little compound may come in very handy one day.
Dave and I cut about 14 trees down at the excavation site, and then had to cut them up and haul them out of the way. We were both pretty sore the next day. I took a short video of Dave cutting down a pine tree that landed in the exact spot he said it would! A 4-wheeler and trailer were in the path, but Dave dropped the tree where it did no harm. I have quite a pile of timber for the night time campfires and “s’mores!”
Click on IMG 4988 for short video clip!
The mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando has led to a revival of the debate over assault weapons, but journalist Evan Osnos says the real growth in gun ownership is from small, concealed handguns.
“Something really profound has changed in the way that we use guns,” Osnos tellsFresh Air‘s Terry Gross. “Concealed carry, as it’s known, is now legal in all 50 states.”
Osnos, who writes about the evolution of concealed carry in the current issue of The New Yorker, estimates that there are about 13 million people who are licensed to carry a concealed gun in the United States — more than 12 times the number of police officers and detectives in America.
He says that gun manufacturers market a “concealed-carry lifestyle,” which uses fear to sell guns.
“If you are somebody who is considering buying a gun, or you’ve become part of this phenomenon of carrying a gun in daily life, you are constantly being reminded of ways in which you could encounter a threat,” he says.
The concealed-carry movement is central to the gun-rights platform of organizations like the National Rifle Association, Osnos adds.
“The idea that you should be allowed, legally and constitutionally, to carry a gun almost anywhere … is actually sort of the heart of what the gun rights movement believes is the future,” he says.
Democrats in Congress are staging a “sit-in” demanding that Republicans allow a vote on limiting gun rights. Actually this issue has been voted on, on 4 different occasions and has been turned down.
In most situations a policeman is at least 15 minutes away! If you need help “pronto” a concealed weapon might be the difference between a good ending or just and “ending!”
Wildlife watchers and social media followers rejoiced last month when, at long last, a hulking female grizzly bear named No. 399 emerged from a longer-than-usual hibernation at Grand Teton National Park. Even better: Ambling beside her was a single, blond-faced cub.
There were two reasons for celebration. First, grizzly 399 was alive — a Wyoming hunter who had boasted of killing her months before had been bluffing. Second, the 20-year-old sow is, as a columnist for the Jackson Hole News and Guide put it, “the most famous living wild bear on Earth.” She has spawned 16 cubs, is a beloved “roadside bear” who’s easy for tourists to spot, has been the subject of a book and has a Twitter account. Even the hiker mauled by 399 and her cubs in 2007 pleaded for the grizzly’s life to be spared, and officials agreed.
And so great sorrow spread among the members of 399’s devoted fanbase on Monday morning when they learned that the bear’s cub had been killed overnight — by a car.
“The death of this cub is especially tragic since Grizzly 399 is nearing the end of her reproductive life,” Wyoming Wildlife Advocates wrote on its Facebook page. “399’s cub, known as Snowy or Spirit by the bear watchers of Grand Teton, was adored for its antics and notably white face and will be sorely missed.”
Deby Dixon, a wildlife photographer who recently wrote for Animalia about orphaned bison in Yellowstone, said she set out Monday morning to the spot on Pilgrim Creek Road where 399 can often be found. She hoped to take photos, but instead, she said, she happened upon what looked like an accident scene: The road was coned off, Dixon said, and members of the park’s volunteer Wildlife Brigade, which manages the roadside “wildlife jams” that occur when too many tourists stop to gawk at the animals, told her that the cub had become the victim of a hit-and-run.
Grizzly 399, Dixon said she was told, had dragged Snowy’s carcass to the side of the road.
The unidentified boy’s mother heard screams and raced outside the house northwest of Aspen where she found the cougar on top of her son, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office said.
The woman “was able to physically remove her son from the mountain lion” and the boy’s father called 911 as he drove his son to hospital, the sheriff added.
A hospital spokeswoman said the child sustained injuries to his face, head and neck and was in fair condition. His mother was treated for injuries to her hands and legs and released.
Sheriff’s deputies and a law enforcement officer from the U.S. Forest Service found the mountain lion in the front yard of the residence and put it down, the sheriff said.
Officials were searching for a second mountain lion after witnesses said two lions were seen in the area prior to the incident, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife department said.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill said there have been two, possible three, fatalities related to mountain lion attacks in the state since 1991, while some 16 people have been injured by cougars since 1970.
The last known attack in the state occurred in July 2015 when a young lion attacked a man as he fished in a remote area in northwest Colorado, the wildlife department said.
Is it just me or does there seem to be a marked increase in wild animals attacking humans, and in many cases killing them? Bears, mountain lions, coyotes, wild dogs, and alligators have made headlines over this past year due to their aggressive behavior toward humans! Personally I believe it stems from “more” than encroachment into their domain, but the “fear factor” has been removed from many wild animals, due to activist efforts to curtail hunting or “culling” many species that overpopulate their habitat!
Sadly a search is underway for a 2-year-old boy who was dragged by an alligator into the water Tuesday evening at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in Orlando, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
The incident happened around 9 p.m. and, despite the hours-long search for the boy, officials remain optimistic.
“We are very hopeful and hoping for the best,” Jeff Williamson of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said at a news conference this morning.
Orange County Sheriff’s Jerry Demings said rescue crews — including the Florida Fish and Wildlife, Reedy Creek Fire Rescue and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office – were actively looking for the child at the Seven Seas Lagoon early this morning in a search-and-recovery effort but had not found him.
The boy was with his family visiting from Nebraska relaxing at the shoreline when the alligator attacked the boy.
“The father entered the water and tried to grab the child from the gator, but was not successful,” Demings said.
Parents then alerted a nearby lifeguard that an alligator had attacked the boy.
Officials said they estimate it between 4 and 7 feet long.
There are no signs warning of gators in the area, but there are notices posted against swimming in the man-made lake.
“Everyone here at the Walt Disney World Resort is devastated by this tragic accident. Our thoughts are with the family. We are helping the family and doing everything we can to assist law enforcement.” Jacquee Wahler, vice president of Walt Disney World Resort, said in a statement.
Disney is the parent company of ABC News.
In 23 years of research in the mountains of southern British Columbia, bear expert Michael Allen had never seen anything like the rare black bear cub with the odd coloring spotted last week hanging out with its mother near the resort community of Whistler.
“I have seen cubs ranging [from] black, reddish-brown, chocolate-brown to blonde (after summer bleaching of coat) but never have seen in this population a cub with pelage this light to almost white,” Allen wrote in a bear-viewing report, according to CBC News.
Tour guide Kathy Jenkins first reported seeing the rare white or cream-colored cub with a known resident black bear on Monday and snapped some photos.
On Thursday, Arthur De Jong saw the adorable bear cub frolicking with its mother on Whistler-Blackcomb mountain. The environmental planning manager for the ski resort told CBC News such a bear cub had never been seen before in the ski area.
Biologists are trying to determine whether the whitish bear cub is an albino or a spirit bear, a subspecies of black bear known as a Kermode bear.
Experts tend to believe the 5-month-old bear cub is albino because, unlike a Kermode bear, it doesn’t have a black nose or pigmentation. They hope to get photos of the cub’s eyes. If the eyes are pink-blue in color, it would confirm the bear cub is an albino.
Hopefully they get a chance to find out while its still alive. The bear cub faces a difficult road as only 50 percent of cubs survive the first year.
“The bears are going into mating season and that’s when the cubs are at a very high risk because the males potentially kill the cubs and that’ll force the mother to make some adjustments in their patterns of movement,” De Jong told CBC News.
Becoming habituated to humans would also diminish the bear cub’s chances.
“There is a bit of a threat to this bear,” Sgt. Simon Gravel of the Conservation Officer Service’s Squamish office told the Vancouver Sun. “It’s a special bear and will attract a lot of attention.
“The biggest threat to him is human curiosity.”
Last year I caught more largemouth bass than ever before in my life. I caught some real beauties fishing from my daughter lake frontage. I never used a boat, fished at night, or used a whole lot of lures. I fished from shore and did very well thank you.
One thing I wanted to do was help each of my 12 grandkids catch a bass. I was successful in having that happen, and the kids really enjoyed reeling in such a leaping fighter of a fish.
Just today I showed up at my daughters with rod and reel in hand. My grand-daughter McKenzie ask me “Papa can you take me fishing?” Oh I love to hear those words. I rounded up the poles, bait, and all the equipment needed and headed for the water. It took Kenzie a while to get down where I was at, and already I had two nice bass on the stringer. Kenzie wasn’t there 5 minutes when her line started peeling out. I told her to set the hook and reel like crazy. It was a very healthy largemouth that gave her all she could handle to get him on shore. A 19-1/2 inch beauty that is the new “biggest” bass caught by a grandkid. We took some pictures and then released all the fish to fight another day.
It was good to feel the sensation of these great game fish jumping and tugging on your line for one more season. We are off to a good start and were looking forward to possibly landing a 22-23 incher this year. I know the rest of the grandkids have their work cutout for them if they want to beat Kenzie’s “whopper!”