Okay, I'm more confused about the track I found than ever. Someone suggested elk, but didn't think their were elk anywhere near where I was. Well, thanks to the great readers here, I've learned that there are in fact reintroduced elk less then 140 miles from the cabin and it wouldn't be out of the question for one to have meandered. Moose seems more likely for the area though. Whatever it was, it was big.
I woke up the first morning at the cabin and it -13 degrees Fahrenheit. Br. Now, that may look like a big field out beyond the bird feeders, but that is a very frozen lake. So, with it being that cold, it made it easy for me to avoid going outside and taking photos as a distraction.
The few times I did venture out, it was nuthatch central out there and they did not care about people. I could walk right up to this one. She was too close to even digiscope. When I waked by she would continue eating. If I stopped to look at her, she looked back almost as if she were asking, "Yes, can I help you? Must you stare while I eat?" She would wait until I moved opened the door and went inside and then she would resume eating.
I would allow myself some outdoor time once a day, and I did do a tiny bit of digiscoping. It was tough because the birds were so close. Also, the temperature was so low that it just killed my batteries--even storing them with hand warmers (that only seems to work when it's above zero). Also, it made my camera run very slow. I got a kick out of this series of three photos, starting with the female red-breasted nuthatch above. I took her photo, and there was an long pause while the camera processed, and then when the screen came back on...
Oh, hey, check it out, she suddenly turned into a male red-breasted nuthatch! He must have chased her off while I was watching the camera. I took of photo of him and again, my camera took a long time to process the image and when the screen finally came up again...
Here was a couple setting up there day of fun. You can see the auger on the left to poke the hole in the ice, their truck, a snow mobile and the little blue tent, is what the fisher person will sit in to keep the wind off while they fish. I love to go out on ice, but a big vehicle like a truck makes me nervous. I know when the weather is right and the ice is thick enough, you'll be fine, but it still makes me nervous.
I found out on Saturday as I was packing up to leave why there was a road being plowed. About a hundred cars came out onto the ice for a fishing contest. The tree is obscuring half the cars. This many cars make me REALLY nervous. I can see one out on the ice, but this many, so close together, just freaks me out.
See the green skinny structure up towards the right hand corner, in front of the blue truck--it's an on site port a potty! You could tell the mood was festive on the ice and everyone was ready to have a good time.
And before I left, I got this photo of a final photo of a red-breasted nuthatch. It wasn't the best, but I loved how they seemed to prefer to hang upside down on a feeding port, to feed out of the port below it--instead of sitting upright on the perch and feeding out of the port that is attached to it. I guess they're little Frank Sinatras--they do it their way.