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Bear and Cub in the woods

I suppose you’ve all figured out I’m crazy about numbers.  Stats.  Useful information.  It’s kind of an obsession, as I explained to a friend this morning.  

We’ve covered the top search engine terms people have used to find this blog.  Now let’s look at the top blogs during the 365 day outdoor commitment. (Although, it seems to me that these top blog numbers are not really accurate.  If someone logs on to a blog and simply scrolls down the page without clicking on the actual title of the blog or the comments, no “hit” is registered in the statistics of a particular blog.)

#1 is Some Like It Funny and Some Like It Serious  (1,247 hits) and #3 is Repeating myself like a broken record, record, record (or CD, CD, CD) (393 hits).  Those two don’t really “count” as random top blogs because these were the blogs featured on the home page of  The #2 top blog isn’t really a blog at all.  It’s the “About”  (612 hits) story which explains what this blog is about. 

#4 is Fisher, Pine Marten, Bear and Moose  (326 hits) which features photographs by Pam Boppel-Nankervis, a local wildlife biologist.  The first photo (up above) was captured by a game camera. 

The mysterious inside of an oak gall

#5 is The gall of that oak tree! That was the exciting day when we discovered that oak trees often grow green balls known as “galls”.  Very educational…for all of us.  Apparently, many, many folks are interested in oak galls. 309 hits for this one. 


Raven’s claw


I am also delighted to tell you that I discovered one of the dead birds hidden within this blog!  At least part of a dead bird.  The above raven’s claw was featured in a post called Dead raven, deer hide, river and stones back in March.  Perhaps all the people searching for “dead bird” end up on this post.  It has had 284 hits. 

The first sucker I ever caught

#7 in the greatest hits series (ha ha, Barry made me use this title!) is A sucker for sucker fishing, written in May.  I’m sure many fishermen have visited this post, wanting to know the secret for catching suckers.  Bet they left not knowing much more than when they started.  Here’s what I remember about that day:  throw the fishing pole into the water and wait until the sucker bites.  Then jerk the pole up and hope that the hook caught the sucker.  End of my knowledge of sucker fishing. 237 hits here. 

Birch bark on snow

#8  An all-time favorite of blog visitors has been Let’s have a scavenger hunt!  (235 hits). The idea for it popped into this brain on the way to the mailbox one day and we had a few eager participants.  The rules:  find some pussy willows, sumac or wintergreen, birchbark, animal scat and an animal.  Photograph all five and email ’em to me.  Some folks opted to put them in their own blogs.  We had so much fun that Amy over at Flandrumhill decided to feature a follow-up contest. Hers was really classy and educational.  

Fisher near pond

(Photo credit for above goes to Pam Boppel-Nankervis.  And this was NOT from a game camera.  She actually got this close to the fisher.  Can you imagine?) 

I hope that you don’t consider this cheating.  Putting in all these old photos and doing wrap ups of the year.  The statistics just beg to be included, you understand.  Besides, I didn’t think you wanted yet another photo of me in that darn snowmobile suit from 1970 filling the wood room.  That’s what we did again today.

Almost forgot to tell you!  More excitement.  The temperature leaped back up into the 20’s.  Once again, we’re living in the banana belt…

Perfect dandelion puffball

Perfect dandelion puffball

Make a wish!  Did you ever play that game as a child where you blew from the bottom of your lungs at that dandelion puffball, hoping, hoping, you would blow away every last puffy seed? If you blew away every single seed (not a single one remaining, thank you!) then your wish would come true.


Of course, 99.9% of the time you couldn’t blow hard enough in one long breath to remove every last seed.  So you lingered afterward, either looking for another one to try, or figuring out how to do it better next time. 

Plant growing in an old bottle in the middle of the woods

Plant growing in an old bottle in the middle of the woods

Is that plant wishing it could grow beyond the confines of that brown glass bottle half-buried in the woods?  Or is it content to simply be there in the forest, only knowing the sun dimly through the reflection in the glass above its head? 

Raven's feather

Raven's feather

Is the raven missing his feather?  Does he even notice it’s gone, dropped on the needles beneath the white pine where he lingered earlier this spring?  Does he wish it back?  Or is he soaring on the currents of the wind above the Huron Bay, his talons outstretched, prepared to land on that branch, his black feathers hot in the May sun?

Birch bark tendril dangling from spruce branch

Birch bark tendril dangling from spruce branch

Is the birch bark tendril wishing to return to the comfort of the tree bark wrapped in white round and round and round that birch tree?  Or is it content to ornament a spruce branch?  Is it wishing it still papered itself like skin around its mother or does it thrill to be free?

Bubbles of foam near the shore

Bubbles of foam near the shore

Does the wave dream of the moments when it swelled and rocked deep in the middle of the bay, long before it separated itself into the word “wave”?  Does it wish to gently feel again the bellies of sleek whitefish, silvery trout, flitting herring?  Or is it content to wash against the shore, now feeling the grains of sand and rocks, now turning over on itself?

Reflections in the pond

Reflections in the pond

Or is it only humans who wish and dream and pray for things to be different than they are?  Is it a gift or curse that we sometimes long for change, for healing, for difference, for new creations?  I suppose it is both.  In our wishing, let’s not ignore the beauty that surrounds us in this moment, a whole perfect beauty that shines forth in the reflection of our ponds every single day.

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