This past week Steve and I canoed in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area located within the Superior National Forest in northern Minnesota. At one point we were less than a mile from Canada. It is a land of birch trees and stately white pines, of balsam fir and white cedar. It is the land of moose and wolves, black bear and beaver, bald eagles and white-tailed deer—and pesky red squirrels that wait for campers’ handouts.
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area is more than one-million acres of lakes, portages, wild animals and birds, rocks, hills, dense forest—and quiet. Oh, how quiet with no background noise of traffic. No cell phone service, no internet, no radio, no TV.
It is the land of loons, those beautiful big black and white water birds whose calls mystify and delight. A loon swam but a few yards off the portage from Hungry Jack Lake to Bearskin Lake when we put in our canoe. It looked us over, checked us out, and then called lustily to its mate somewhere off in the distance. The return call echoed across the still waters of Bearskin Lake. The call of the loon brings us back each year to this special place, a sacred place for many.
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: If everyone is thinking the same way, then no one is thinking at all.
BLUE SHADOWS FARM: Now Available. Someone asked me what my newest book is about. A WISCONSIN TRAILS reviewer wrote: Uncover the changing face of a Wisconsin farm . . . . Recall bygone days and gain an appreciation for the difficult challenges farmers face as committed stewards of the land.
Sept. 9, 7:00 p.m. Whitewater Library. Country Living and other stories.
Sept. 16, 12 Noon. UW Oshkosh Learning in Retirement. LaSure’s Banquet Hall, Oshkosh. Life after Academe.
Sept. 17, 11:45-12:30. Larry Meiller Show. Wisconsin Public Radio. Blue Shadows Farm.
Sept. 21, 7:00 p.m. Sequoya Library, Madison. Blue Shadows Farm
Oct. 1, 7:00 p.m. Chippewa Falls Library, Blue Shadows Farm
Oct. 4, 1:30 p.m. Monona Historical Society, Monona, Iowa, The Lighter Side of Country Living, including Blue Shadows Farm
Oct. 15, 7:00 p.m. Reader’s Loft, Green Bay, Blue Shadows Farm
Oct. 17, (9 to 4) Writing From Your Life Workshop. The Clearing, Ellison Bay, WI. (Still room for additional participations. Contact http://www.theclearing.org.)
Oct. 20, 7:00 p.m. Barnes and Noble, Madison West. Official Book Launch, Blue Shadows Farm
Oct. 24, 1:00 p.m. Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Book Launch, Central Wisconsin, Blue Shadows Farm
Oct. 28, 6:30 p.m. Elkhorn Library. Blue Shadows Farm