Hello Clam Lake!
The weather continues to be a bit of this, a bit of that – rain, snow, sun, whatever. The forest is still a pretty sight although the peak of the color diorama is past and we’ve had a few frosts reminding us of what is ahead. The village continues to be a busy place with hunters and ATVers. October is often one of the busiest months for the Motels and vacation rentals. All good!
UPCOMING EVENTS: A Spooktacular evening is being planned for Friday, October 25th at the Clam Lake Community Club. It will begin with a Pot Luck at 5:30 with live music featuring members of the County Crossings String Band from 6:30 till 8:00. There is no charge for this event so come and enjoy some good food and great music. Costumes are welcome but, not necessary. All are welcome!!
ELK HUNT UPDATE: I talked with Laine Stowell (wildlife biologist) this week about the progress of the 2019 elk harvest. He reported that all five of the Native American tags have now been filled as have two of the Wisconsin resident tags. He stated that contact is made between Kevin Wallenfang (big game ecologist) and the hunters on days when they plan to hunt so everyone is on the same page regarding who is hunting when. He also said that he knew of one hunter whom had passed up several bulls knowing the situation was not clear. Laine has been our elk biologist since the year 2000 and we have all come to know and admire him for his work with “our” elk. After almost 20 years of working with Wisconsin elk, Laine will be retiring this week. He says it has been a labor of love and the best decision he ever made. We wish to express our gratitude to him for his years of dedication to the animals that have come to define Clam Lake and we hope his next chapter in life is a fulfilling one. We will miss him! His successor will be his current assistant, Sarah Looman. Although she has big shoes to fill, I am sure she will do a great job.
HERE A MOOSE, THERE A MOOSE, EVERYWHERE A MOOSE, MOOSE: Moose continue to be in the area with the Rhinelander office of the US Forest Service posting this: “If you’re in the Morgan Falls area, keep your eyes out for #mooseonthemove. One was seen in the area adjacent to the Forest. Make sure you give this guy his space if you’re out on the trails or roads around the area.” Sound advice!
BATS IN THE BELFRY: As we approach Halloween my thoughts turn to our little winged friends – the bats. The DNR keeps close tabs on Wisconsin’s bat population hoping to ensure continued survival in the wake of the white nose disease that has affected so many. Why does this matter? Bats are an important part of our woodland ecosystem. They are pollinators and seed dispersers for many plants and because of the large amounts of insects they eat (up to 100% of their body weight a night!), play an important part in reducing the risk of insect borne disease – not to mention providing natural insect control. To gather much needed information, volunteers from the Clam Lake area, go out around the first of June and sit until dusk near known bat locations (some have installed bat houses near their homes – not to be confused with the infamous “Batcave”) waiting to watch and count as bats emerge to forage for mosquitoes. There is only about a 10 minute window in which they fly out so this must be done quickly. They mark the time, cloud cover, temp and wind. Once again, the volunteers return towards the end of July, after the pups are born and are able to fly. They then repeat the process. All this info is sent to the “Batman” at the DNR (whether he lives in a Batcave is unclear). So….if you have, or want to have “bats in your belfry”, contact the DNR to sign up to become a monitor. Bats! Not just for Halloween anymore.
Until next week…..
Pictured is Laine Stowell on the job.