Scarlet Tanager

Scarlet Tanager

Last weekend was perfect, the weather, the company, the place, the time.

The weather was warm, sunny, and breezy.

We stayed overnight at the camp for the first time in 2019. We spent a busy day. I cleaned out Winnie, while Attila felled three dead Elm trees.

Winnie is open at one end, more like a stall built of pine boards, with a roof, and a cement pad floor. The leaves blow into Winnie over the late fall, before the snow flies, so that by spring there are a lot of leaves in there. In the leaves this year were mosquitoes, very, very large spiders, centipedes, and a chipmunk who dug a hole under one of the cement pads. I removed everything from Winnie, including our compost toilet buckets that sat there over the winter, a pail with heavy-duty, used plastic bags and a bottle of bleach, and a few worn out tools picked up at the charity shops. Nothing worth stealing, all of it very handy.

The biggest challenge cleaning Winnie was that the bottom of the wall boards, which originally sat several inches above the ground, were no longer above the ground. Soil had built up over the last few years, so that the pine was now in the soil. Using a spade, i dug out around Winnie’s perimeter, so that the boards are once again a few inches above the ground. They will rot less quickly that way. It was all hard work!

Attila, while I was busy with Winnie, felled three sizable dead Elm trees. Unfortunately, during the process, two small healthy trees were damaged so badly that they too needed to be felled. As soon as the trees were down, Attila began to pull the brush out to the fire pit area. My second job of the day was to burn the brush, including the live branches.

By lunch time there were wonderful hot coals in the fire pit, so we cooked grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch, and took a long break, just sitting in the shade enjoying the day. While we were sitting there we spotted a pair of very large Blue Jays, a small Pileated Woodpecker, and a Scarlet Tanager. This is the second time I’ve seen a Scarlet Tanager at the camp, they are such beautiful birds.

The highlight of the visit though, came as the campfire flickered in the darkness, the evening cooled, the Loons called in the distance, the Owls hooted on the ridge, and the stars began to appear in the sky.



Date: 9:00 PM EDT Tuesday 11 June 2019
Condition: Mainly Clear
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 16.9°C
Dew point: 8.7°C
Humidity: 58%
Wind: W 6 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


“She had an unequalled gift… of squeezing big mistakes into small opportunities.”
Henry James
1843 – 1916


  1. Teri

    Reading about your time at the camp always makes me feel so relaxed, almost as if I were there myself.

    I’ve never seen a scarlet tanager. I looked it up and what a striking bird it would be, so bright and colorful.

  2. Teri, I imagine your summer place is wonderful and relaxing as well. Sometimes I wonder if you will start another blog, another chapter of your adventure!

    The Scarlet Tanager I see at the camp is the first and only Scarlet Tanager I have ever seen. They are a beautiful bird!

  3. Sandy, it is hard work, but not too hard! Our fourth summer owning the Camp, and we now find we have time just to sit and enjoy our surroundings. Much less needs to be done, mostly cosmetic at this point. Taking down the dead trees was the only project that really needed to be done, as storms can take them down, and now that we have Grace the Trailer there, damage is a possibility. There are more trees to be taken down, but none of them pose any threat to property, so they can be taken down at our leasure.

    I like physical work, in moderation of course, and I like sitting and relaxing, so the Camp offers a great combo!

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