January 26th, 2019

We had a recent warm snap which melted some snow, exposed lots of sand/dirt/salt which is constantly applied to our snowy roads (yuck), and exposed a lot of ice! I actually prefer the powdery snow, to the extremely dangerous ice. It’s definitely ice cleats and snowshoe time around here. I was very thrilled to be invited out for a snowshoe adventure, followed by my first venison ribs dinner with my friend Sarah and her parents.

Who would have predicted that in addition to eating my first venison (deer) ribs, I would also discover moose tracks and learn about this evasive species. (At least evasive to me since I’ve been up north!).

After meeting at Sarah’s place we drove to her parents property. Man did we need ice cleats in order to walk anywhere! Sara, her mom (Lynne) and I headed off to go snowshoeing in the back woods up towards the paint ball area before dinner. There were lots of moose tracks in the snow.

The male’s were large, fairly narrow, hoofed footprints.  The female prints were smaller with a more pointy shape. There was also lots of moose hair in areas of the trail. Lynn thought it was possibly from some sort of battle–possibly the mother trying to get her 2 year old calf to depart and become independent. We discovered moose poop–also named “scat” depending on the season!!! Moose need to eat at least 50–60 lbs. of food per day to survive. In the winter and early spring, the scat consists of round deposits that look rather like pellets or chocolate almonds! Some artisans here use moose poop to create decorative paper and others collect the pellets and coat them in polyurethane to create jewelry. ????  According to Lynne, the female (cows) poop is a more elongated shape.

While out on our adventure, we explored the Burns Lake Paintball location. I’ve never tried paintball before, but all the structures and hiding locations looked like it would be a fun area for those who enjoy this sport. As we returned to the house, we were aglow from the fresh air and exercise.

Inside the house Lynn showed me her newest craft. She is creating mats from recycled torn sheets! Finally, it was time to try venison ribs!

There were lots and they had been cooking for hours in the slow cookers. I was warned they are rather greasy. I thought the deer was really tasty, and was surprised by the amount of meat on the ribs. Thanks so much Merv and Lynn. It was a fun and wonderful evening!