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    Custom Cabins October 2017 eNews


    Our season is over with at Custom Cabins.  That means fall is here, not only for us In Ely, MN, but for all of northeastern, MN and for areas south of us.


    As we stood up on top of our hill looking over the valley, on the opposite from our lake view, we were breath taken with the brilliance of the fall palate of colors. We have a few maples of various types, but even fewer oak trees.  Most of our yellow colors come from the birch and aspens.  Because the trees don't all display their colorful wardrobe at the same time, we get to watch their beautiful transformation. The red colors in the fore ground are sumacs, and offer a great contrast.


    This female deer seems to be absolutely posing for this picture. While she is not showing her sleek summer rust colors, she is still not totally into her camouflage greyish brown in order to blend into her winter surroundings.


    One of our year round residents is the hairy woodpecker. This bird nests in tree cavities and caches insects, nuts, and seeds to be eaten during the cold winter months. This bird has two toes facing forward and two backward to help it cling to vertical surfaces.


    As one drives into town just before the Fall Lake Bridge, there is a sign for the Kawishiwi Falls Hiking Trail.  This trail goes along the side of falls and offers some beautiful photo opportunities. The brown in the water is tannin, which is the stain that is in the water from the swamps that flow into the falls. But it also shows how much water is rushing down the falls. This is unusual for this time of year, but given the amount of rain we have had this season, it can be totally understood.


    Grouse season started about the third weekend in September.  This ruffled grouse strutting about the road way must have been out before he/she read the paper about opener the following weekend.


    Rooky Pond, which actually is an open swampy area, sits to the north and well below the Fernberg Trail to town.  Because it is a swamp, the trees on the far side of it sit higher up, and as a result you can see more of their beauty.


    These swans live in Canada for the summer, and migrate to warmer climates for the winter. They seem to be taking a respite on one of our local lakes before continuing their travels south.


    And then there was October 27th.  That is when fall came to a sudden halt and we had about 8" of snow preceded by some freezing rain. The accompanying wind forced all of the leaves from the trees and now we are left with all of the black, grey, and white colors of the winter.


    Ice has begun to form at the very far end of the lake to the left of our house.  It is not visible through the webcam, but still stay tuned to see it progress. It will probably be at least two-three weeks before it comes into the range of the camera.


    We are doing a bit of updating with our advertising and will be assigning names to our cabins.  Not to worry, at least for the year to come, or two, and we are also retaining the cabin numbers.  No, we are not moving the cabins. Your favorite cabin will be where it has always been.


    Now, unfortunately to some serious information. The Forest Service is changing some of the procedures regarding the permit lottery. For the forth coming lottery period, there will be a $10.00 fee for each lottery application entered regardless if it is selected or not. So, for example, were you to have submitted 7 applications for one week, whether or not anyone of your applications was drawn, you would have spent a non-refundable

    The Forest Service has told us that new charge for applying will increase the permit success rate for applicants. Because there was no charge for applying in the past, applicants were "flooding" the lottery with large numbers of applications to try to increase their chances of success, but resulting in a lower overall success rate.

    We are sorry to have to report this to you, but because you are our valued guests and friends, we thought you needed to be informed.

    The lottery application schedule is as follows:

    ► You may begin to submit lottery applications as of December 20, 2017.
    ► The lottery application submission closing date is January 17, 2018
    ► The drawing date is January 19, 2018
    ► The results of the lottery will be announced January 24, 2018
    ► The "Go Live" lottery begins January 31, 2018.



    Anyway, happy early winter, and we look forward to seeing everyone next summer when the grass is green, the flowers are blooming, birds are flying, the sun is shining, and most importantly, the fish are biting!