Tuesday, September 28, 2010


From somewhere within the dark places of my mind, I remember being inside of a large cuckoo clock, where there were hundreds of clocks ticking, ticking, ticking!  No, this is not a night mare, but a memory from my childhood some forty years plus ago.  Today, as I was rambling through document and working my family genealogy, I came across (again) and old post card of the Worlds Largest Cuckoo Clock, which I thought I had missed placed.   Yes, this is the clock I remember.  This is the clock that was talked about, back in the day, around the dinner table or in the living room.  I don't recall the actually conversations or where it actually took place, but I do recall the clock being talked about and I remember it was so cool to walking into a working clock.  Cool, may not have been my word of choice back in the 60's, but it works for now.  Back around 2003 is when I initially came across the post card. Upon looking up the address on the web, I found the owners of the clock.  Soon after writting to them I recieved a reply back in the form of an updated post card.   I thought, and still do, that it was very fanastic that I receive a reply in the new card.   Some forty years seperation in time, but the clock still stands. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Old fence!

I came across an old fence, post and rail, weathering away in time. A fence standing, marking, protecting the sacred grounds beyond.  A fence many have seen, but yet is unseen.  An old fence, post and rail now seen and captured for all times!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Two Rivers
Lake Bronson MN
  No not the deer like creature that roams the arctic regions of the world or the Minnesota based coffee house, but rather Caribou Minnesota.  Where is that you ask?... Well, let me tell you! Look to the top of a Minnesota map, find the part that extends into Canada... turn west along the border about 60 miles or so and there is Caribou.  What you can't see it, here some help... The town doesn't exist any longer but for a house or two and an old Church.

Garter snake
This past weekend, Trish and I took a road trip north 86 miles into Minnesota territory that the deer out number the people that live there.. actually the garter snake out numbered the actual people that we saw.  The Garter snake is a friendly sort and is very beneficial to have around.  We saw many snakes on the roads warming themselves in the sun.  This mornings temperature started off in the uppper 20's.

St Nicholas Church
Caribou MN
 So, what was this road trip all about?  Well, we went looking for three very old buildings; a church, a 1860 trappers cabin, a school house with chalkboard still attached to wall.  Unfortunately we found only one.  The church was easy enough to find.  A small bright white church nestled amongst the tree just south of the Roseau river.  The roof has three dome peeks with crosses attached.  Next to the church, immediately to the south by just a few feet, the cemetery lies.  Within the cemetery are some very old head stones dating back into the 1800's and the most recent of 1983.  To my understand, most the of parishioners are living in Canada; http://56755.blogspot.com/2010/09/caribou-pilgrimage.html .

Rusty away!
After signing the guestbook, we were off to find the trappers cabin.  The directions that were given gave us the sense that finding the old cabin was going to be some what easy too do, but after a few hours beating the bush and driving down old roads and passing through a few gated pastures... we found nothing but empty stomachs and an old Chevy truck rusting away in the Minnesota weather. 

Back to the church for a picnic lunch, which Trish was so kind to prepare the night prior.  We talked over the directions for the school house and headed out!  Again, what we thought were easy directions turned into miles of driving and talking for the only living people we saw in the Caribou area.  Two young men working on putting up a new barred wire fence.  A mire 800 hand pounded T-post were set the day prior, and now they were working on the wire.  My arms immediately started aching when the 800 T-post were mentioned... I have pounded my share of fence post, but never 800 in a day.  I still ache today as I write this blog and thinking about the possibility. Now, in the process of looking for this old school house, we wandered up onto an old falling down hunting camp, a shack and an old wagon of some sort, that was used at one time as a bunk house.   Both had seen better days.  Check out the old axles...

Old Wagon

We ended the day slight disappointed about not finding the school house and cabin, but the day was not a total loss.  We did find the old church.  I posted the images I took of the church yesterday morning and today I find a request to have them added to a worldwide organization that is trying to find and document all churches name St. Nicholas.  If you would like to read the request and see their web pages... Click on St. Nicholas.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Beaver Hut

Beaver Pond

A long drive back to eastern side of the state filled my eyes with great color and beauty. Out here on the prairie, the colors are not so bright and or of many shades.  I finished the last 100 miles of  the 500 mile round trip in the dark,  so I didn't notice the growing amount of open spaces and the lack of red in the trees.   
Supporting leaf

Maple in Red

 To see more images, please visit my Flickr site

Monday, September 13, 2010

A quiet morning start!

Its a quiet start to the day. Its 35 degrees this morning, the sun slowly gaining a foot hold of a dark sky, turning it blue. The bluster winds of yesterday are no more, instead quiet trees greeting the morning light as the sun rises to brighten my day.... I hope for you a day filled with the wonders of Mother Nature and you stop long enough to realize you are apart of her world!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

First Frost!

This morning the old thermometer read 34 degrees for the first time this fall.  There is nothing like the first couple mornings of brisk cold air to renew one primeval spirit.  Upon exiting the house, on my way to the chicken coop for morning watering and feeding, I noticed the car windows had a thin layer of frozen dew and each step bought a crushing sound to my ears.  Yes, even the grass had a thin layer of the frozen cold stuff.   About half way across the yard the geese spotted me.  They are normally pretty talkative in the morning, but this morning was more like; "Hey! Who turned off the heater?".   The Guineas too, were more talkative from their lofty perch on the coop's roof.  Geese looking up at me, the Guineas looking down at me, egad I'm surrounded! The Guineas are roosting in a tall pine next to the coop, which offers a good amount of protection.  But my guess is that they will elect for the warmth of the coop soon. Now the chickens, they are more quiet than the rest, after all they were in the relatively warm coop.  Only Rudy the rooster is noticeable from the outside. As always all the birds are eager for the morning feeding.  There is quite a bit of geese chatter, chicken clucking and whatever the Guinea sound is called....then its Rudy that breaks the setting with a crow and the chase of one of the hens. He's ready to mate, but they are not.  Once fed, they are then turned out on the grass, whats left of it, for the day.   The morning sun is coming up now and the warmth of its rays are unthawing (for you Trish) the frozen dew that fell over night, releasing a fog that hangs upon the awakening world.  All is peaceful at my prairie home!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Barn yard critters!

Rudy is the name of our Rooster.  Actually, Rudy has not reached the status of rooster yet, as the title will not be bestowed of Rudy until he reaches a year of age, until then is just a cockerel.  None the less, Rudy thinks himself very much a rooster as he chases the geese and is very actively trying to mate with his hens, which are about five months old.  Picture this scene, a squawking hen racing around the yard with the streaking Rudy closely behind her.  As soon as he realizes that he isn't going to catch her, he breaks off near a hen that is not involved in the chase... but all too soon she because the object of love in Rudy's eyes. And the race is on again.  This will go on for many minutes each morning and then in the evening.  Something about a bit a feed to get this young rooster all worked up. 

Rudy has yet to try spurring me, but I have seen him race up behind me and stop short.   I know the rooster little tricks and am waiting with a quick spin and the bottom of my boot.  I just hope there isn't ice under shoe when I spin around.

The hens are coming close to the time they will start laying eggs, so I gave them a brand new place to lay in peace.  The box is 40"Hx14"Dx36"W with six nest site.  As of yet I haven't seen a chicken roosting in the nests or even checking them out.  With only fiveteen chickens, six nest should be plenty.

The geese are all grown up now and are looking pretty handsome if I say so myself.  We raised six geese this year of which four will be butched for food soon.  Having geese free range the area is a messing experience indeed.  Though they are great a keeping the grass short and feeding themselves, they are also great at leave behind a green cigars everywhere.  They also test every plant to see if they are eatible.  In doing so, the plant good eating or not is beat down.  So, garden with geese are is not a good thing at all.  Either they need to be fenced or the garden does.

The Guineas are a bit slower in growing and we have lost five to predation of some kind. I suppect Gurl for at least one and the geese for another, but the rest are unknown. It wasn't long after releasing the guineas to start free range I started noticing a big difference in the tick poplutation that loved hitching a ride on Gurl's ears. I was picking daily ten or more ticks for Gurl... soon they wasn't any. To be real, I did put a tick and flea collar on Gurl and it was getting later into a hot summer. So, I will wait to for next spring to see how well the guineas and the chickens are doing on the tick population at Prairie Home.  The guinea in the pricture is upon the coops roof.  This is their first stop to roosting in the large pine next to the chicken coop and run.  They stopped roosting inside the coop a few weeks back.  The pine offers good cover from predators and rain, but I don't think it will protect them once the cold starts setting in for the winter.  The roof has become their landing area in the morning as well when coming from roost.  So, this is where I feed them in the morning and evening which allows them to eat without Rudy chasing them off the feed.   After all Rudy is the barnyard boss... well at least for the moment!