Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Going up Nort

The first part of my mini vacation in Minnesota was driving up North (or up Nort as they say in Minnesota speak) to visit my niece Meagan who is a naturalist. She lives in an area where I think the loons outnumber the people. She and her adorable dog, Abby, live in a cute house on a lake with no neighbors in sight. I often think of myself as quite an independent woman, but I'm no match for Meagan. She is a true Woodswoman.

A view of her dock from Meagan's back yard. We heard loons that evening and in the morning.

For an example of her woodswomaness, a few winters ago she was driving home from work on a dark and snowy night. She struck a deer. The deer did major damage to the front of her car and was still alive but in critical condition. Meagan called the highway patrol. While waiting for them to arrive she sat down and put the deer's head on her lap and softly stroked it. The patrolman came and put the poor animal out of its misery. She asked if she could take the deer and the patrolman helped get the deer into her vehicle. When she arrived home, she dragged it to the barn on her property, hoisted it up, gutted it and made deer jerky. She then skinned it and she now has a beautiful tanned deerskin on her rocker. What a gal!

Ms Abby, getting ready to give us some lovin

Abby lounging on the back porch

We toured her place of work, the Long Lake Conservation Center. Schools around the state send students to spend overnight or a few days for intensive environmental and conservation education. Not in your school's budget? Check out the link for possible funding from a grant from the Jeffers Foundation. They also have occasional weekend retreats for adults. Any Minnesota nature photogs out there--Lynne, I'm looking at you! They are hosting a Fall Photography Retreat, October 2-4. An incredible resource smack dab in the middle of nowhere.

Meagan's house view from the back. I slept on that back porch. While lying there trying to get to sleep amongst all the quiet, I saw a huge shooting star streak across the sky.

Here she is! A woman who can charm the scales off a snake (whose name is Stan by the way). Check out that t-shirt!

Meagan was a wonderful host to her mom and three aunts, cooking up a tasty grilled chicken kabob dinner with sweet potato fries and a salad made from her own greens with a maple vinaigrette (made with her homemade maple syrup she harvested from sugar maples on her property.)

We left the next morning for a stop in Duluth then onto Grand Marais.


KGMom said...

Wow and double wow.
Yes, skinning a deer and making jerky is light years ahead of many of us.
Glad you are having a good vacation.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Meagan certainly has become quite the nature woman. Very impressive! Cat59

Anonymous said...

Oops. . .I was so impressed with Meagan I forgot to mention what a cut dog Abby is!! Cat59

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Megan sounds like the kind of woman I'd like to be. It sounds like you had a great time. I sure wish I could have met with you while you were here. Maybe next time? Both of my kids went to Long Lake in 8th grade and had such a good time. The photography weekend sounds great. I'll have to check my work schedule. Thanks for thinking of me.

possumlady said...

Well, sad news my friends. My sister let me know that my niece was just laid off her job. In fact they laid off all the naturalists and told them they would welcome them back part time (90 hours a month), with no benefits (yes, that includes no health care!). My niece can't exist off of that so right now she doesn't know if she can stay in her beloved Minnesota. Jobs like that are few and far between in the best of times with many applicants for each position.

So send positive thoughts and prayers her way so she can stay in northern Minnesota!!

Oh, and Lynne, my sister said that they out and out fired the photographer that was going to run the fall photography retreat! So sad...

Anonymous said...

How awful. These are tough times. I hope she finds something that puts all her talents to use. Cat59