Hello Clam Lake!
Summer has been in the air this past week. Other than a few showers here and there the week has been a nice one for those wishing to be out enjoying the forest. Fall is definitely letting us know it’s right around the corner as the days begin to shorten and the goldenrod begins to bloom. (Insert sneeze!)
ST. GEORGE’S CHAPEL: A reminder that Mass is celebrated every Saturday at 6:00 pm at our historic “Chapel in the Woods”. Come “pray with us” in our log cabin chapel that is made from the forest that surrounds it. In accordance with mandates set down by Bishop Powers and Governor Evers face masks and social distancing are required when attending Mass. We hope to provide a safe and peaceful place to worship.
ELK UPDATE: I had a chance to catch up with our Elk Biologist, Josh Spiegel, to check on what’s new with the herd. Considering I’d heard reports of an elk bugling already I decided to see what that was about. Josh confirmed that this is too early for elk to be officially bugling and explained that young bulls will often bugle throughout the year as they mature. Suddenly they are capable of a different tonal sound and so will try it out whenever the mood strikes. He reported that most bulls are still in velvet – not losing that until next month. Also, 75 new “Elk Warning” signs have been ordered and will be installed soon. 60 signs already have designated sites. And what about those flashing lights that warn elk are in the area? Since they are no longer tied to the elk the only service they provide is letting people know they are in an area where elk may be – not that they are actually close by. By next year all lights from the signs will be gone. The new signs will feature a high powered reflective coating that the DOT is using. Due to the success of the last two hunting seasons enough revenue has been raised to pay for all these improvements and will also pay for everything regarding the acclimatization process when the promised Flambeau elk are brought to Clam Lake. Josh said due to the hunt, the elk program now has it’s own funds and is more self reliant. We wish to thank all the Partners in Elk – which the DNR and Forest Service are a part of, as they continue to improve habitat conditions for our Clam Lake herd.
NOT THE FIRST TIME: As schools across the nation struggle how to reopen safely I remembered a conversation with Barb (Busch) Faude about her memories of the Clam Lake School. I was reminded that this is not the first time children have been quarantined and made to stay home from school. She related a time in the 40’s when her family remained in Clam Lake until October because the polio epidemic was running rampant in Milwaukee causing the schools to start late. During that time, she attended the Clam Lake School for a day alongside her friend and playmate Joy Stuebe. With a smile, Barb remembered her mother packing her a bag lunch even though they lived just across the road. Polio was a disease that hit children the hardest and peeked during warm weather thus making many families quarantine during the summer months. School closures happened frequently in large cities during this era. In another particularly virulent outbreak in 1937 public schools closed in Chicago for several weeks delaying the start. Students were taught via “School by Radio” even though radio technology was fairly new at the time. 15 minute segments were broadcast at various times on different channels. One had to check the newspapers for times, channel and subject/grade level. To keep students tuning in, guest stars were often employed such as well known explorers to talk and teach about a variety of subjects. As with today, not everyone had the latest technology of the time, thus making this remote learning as much a challenge then as it is today.
Until next week…..remember to “Summer Safely!”
Pictured are a pair of young elk roaming the woods of the Clam Lake area. Photo credit Kate Brinkman.