Rauhallinen





Well, after a solo six day moving marathon, I am getting settled into the old farmhouse. After staying a few nights in this most stellar setting, I decided to name the property “Rauhallinen”, which is Finnish for peaceful or tranquil (as the property was originally part of a much larger Finlander farm built in 1920). Since moving in, Benny, my black schnauzer, has been gifted with the opportunity to romp in nearly an acre of chain linked fenced back yard. After a four year life history on a leash, it was like a prison release for my roomie. Mr. B.  has been all grins. The first project, even  before finishing the move, was to install a bird feeding station immediately outside the windows of the great room. The birds found the feeders in less than a day and the response has been nothing less than spectacular. Pine Siskins, Goldfinch, Evening Grosbeak, Rose Breasted Grosbeak, Red-Winged Blackbird, Chipping Sparrow, White Crowned Sparrow,  Blue Jay, Grackle, Brown Headed Cowbird, Brown Thrasher, and of course, the ubiquitous Chickadee. One male Rose-Breasted Grosbeak seems particularly enamored with the music of The Pat Metheny Group, appearing when one of Pat’s CD’s are played (cocking his head and peering into the great room). Good taste in jazz for feathered friend. Wolves have howled early ( 0500) on multiple mornings at Rauhallinen (the North Township harbors one of the largest wolf packs in Gogebic County), coyotes yip at sunset, and the white tailed deer are everywhere. Fortunately, no black bear yet that have messed with the bird feeders, which is a common problem in the Northwoods for birders. The previous owner left me a thirty foot deer stand attached to a massive old White Pine near the rear of the property, in the woods (where he bow hunted). My son, Eric, will take advantage and plans to hunt with both bow and gun this deer season. I purchased a used classic Savage 24 Series P, over and under rifle (20 gauge on the bottom and .22 magnum on the top), for both grouse hunting this fall, as well as general protection around the farm. On the gardening front, two raised beds have been filled with black dirt and planted in the back (30 bags). Tithonia (Mexican sunflower, local lupine, white coneflower, purple coneflower, hollyhock, poppy, cosmos, and a variety of herbs for the kitchen, will occupy these two areas. The Tithonia will reach eight feet in a showy bush filled with orange flowers, serving as a superb hummingbird attractor. Spring Creek runs a few hundred yards north of the property. I have been told it harbors some resident brook trout, which will be investigated once things are more in order. Our nightly walk around the square (pump station road-airport road-Vanderhagen rd.-north star rd.-pump station rd.) is 3.2 miles. All farms or rural homes, sparsely populated, and exceptionally beautiful. Native conifer, aspen, white birch, red maple, cedar, and white pine predominate. Living here makes me recall reading and enjoying Annie Dillard’s, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.