One of the delights of owning Sportsmen’s Camp is getting to see Spring all over again after we arrive here. And it has been a glorious Spring indeed, with the sprouting of bulbs I planted last year and all my old friends from previous years emerging from their winter’s hibernation to greet me for yet another delightful summer. Aside from my daylilies, roses and tree peonies I am ever amazed at the fractal beauty of the unfurling of the massive fronds of my ever burgeoning collection of interrupted and ostrich ferns. My planting of the tiny bulbs of Siberian Squill were already up with welcoming blooms. I have also sprouted and planted last year’s crop of daylilies that I hybridized! I can’t wait to see the results of my biological artistry in the next few years!
But enough of the boring stuff that means so much to me. The Spring has moved quickly and the trees are almost fully in leaf as I write this. The lilacs are in full bloom. We’ve been fishing only a couple times as the black flies have been ascendant! The last time we went fishing was a couple days ago – on Margueratt. We came home with a nice stringer of eating sized fish and paid dearly in blood to the black flies at the landing. The water temperature on Firth is around 70F and the water levels (due to a dearth of beaver dams) is at summer high water level. The early weather this Spring could be called generally cold but it has shaped up in recent weeks. Some more news is that the dragon hatch began in earnest on the 12th and even today as I walked on the beach I collected and moved about a dozen hatching dragon flies. So the days of the blackfly are numbered with low double digits if not single digits. And all not too soon for me as the dragon flies also have a passel of mosquitoes to work on as well. We have also had some much appreciated visitors that helped (read this as did the bulk of the work) deconstructing the old left dock – Mike and Bill as well as the Cubby (a local celebrity). The logs for the new dock were conveyed to the lake for assembly yesterday and I hope to begin that tomorrow. But we have been pretty busy.
That brings me to the next subject – as you all know we lost perhaps the most beloved dog of all time – Baxter. It was quite a blow to us – but still let us not underestimate the massive blow it was to his brother Mr. Bart. As we were dealing with our grief it came to us starkly how affected Bart was too. He moped, ate little, didn’t run or chase birds with any elan and was generally bereft of his usual joi de vive! So Janet knowing the only antidote was a rough heavy dose of “puppy”! Not just any puppy but a Tibetan Terror puppy. Janet located and retrieved said puppy and Bart was in for some heavy duty puppy therapy. I recognized that Bart would not brook any puppy near his mommy for long periods of time initially so I took the little terror in-hand immediately when he arrived at camp. The Terror of the North’s name is Kevin. He immediately became attached to his dad and learned his name in about an hour. He presently stays close to dad and comes when he is called very well. He loves his morning walk with Bart and the last three days the walk has been without Bart having to upbraid the little devil for rudeness with any snarls at all! Bart is also joyfully running and loving being chased. Kevin can just about keep up with speedster Bart when he is cruising but becomes very frustrated when Bart decides to turn on the afterburners and pulls away from him at full bore. I had forgotten the yelping squeals that frustrated puppies make when they can’t keep up – LOL. I tell Bart that he better enjoy this interlude as the time may come that Kevin can keep up and still have extra gas in the tank so to speak. Bart discounts all talk as poppycock!
Kevin is a very smart and a quick study! – spoken like a new parent. His one major problem is his predominance of black making him a massive target for blackflies! He is also handicapped by unusual cuteness – and thus is spoiled rotten by your truly. He initially was afraid of everything and loathe to even go up a step – that didn’t last much more than a day! Now he runs roughshod all over the house and no where is safe from his marauding. It is a joy to behold. He was also somewhat reticent of the water and the lake. That has taken him a little more time to familiarize himself with. But when he was down at the lake during a windy day (relatively free of black flies) he became concerned when dad waded out into the lake to position the logs for the new dock. Low and behold he was jumping into the lake and swimming out to the log right next to me! Since then he has taken to actually swimming in the lake whenever I am away from shore! He is yet a little “iffy” about wading into the lake for a drink on his own or even approaching the lake if its wavy. He has a ways to go to know everything he needs to know but as I said earlier he is extremely smart and a quick study. Janet taught him to sit if he wanted a morsel in about 3 mins.
So there you have it life is good here at camp and Kevin is running me ragged. That is the nature of training every new pup though – one must be tireless and consistent in the first few months then he knows what is expected and has most of the skills necessary to navigate the pitfalls of everyday camp life.
A note of caution for all guests coming to camp this year – Kevin is still not conversant with proper navigation around vehicles. So I will be extremely careful with him when the possibility of a person driving around the camp occurs. As a special favor to me and Kevin go very slowly and be vigilant for Kevin. I am training him as fast as I can – but as any new parent I am over cautious as well as over protective. Think of me as 1.5 ton mother grizzly with a cub – you’ll be pretty close to the mark.
I leave you all with a sampling of Kevin pictures from his manifold adventures here at camp.
Kevin using his patented “king Cobra” move before a strafing run.
Right along with dad on the beach.
Most recent winner of the Tibetan Terror lottery with mother and brother.
Proud dad watching his son haul the dock logs to shore. Please note what all the most stylish terrors are wearing this black fly season.
Bart advising his younger brother as to the niceties of proper boat fishing etiquette.
Its tough work running a Camp when your just a puppy!