Monday, May 10, 2010


This time of year on the isolated stretch of Lake Superior beach where Sheriff Steve Martinez lives, waterfowl are on the wing for places north, still on their migratory paths.

Yesterday these birds tarried in front of Steve's cabin:

Five male mallards

Two lone Canada geese

Three male goldeneyes

Nine loons (eight male and one female)

Two mergansers

Scores of gulls, both ring-billed and herring

And, oh yes, the ubiquitous crows and deer onshore. What's more, during the night a large and clumsy visitor took out both birdseed stations, bending one of the iron shepherd's hooks into a bow and destroying one of the feeders. Could have been a muscular buck, but possibly a black bear.

When Steve can look out his cabin window at breakfast, or while trying to squeeze a few more drops of blood out of his departmental budget, and see these lovely wild creatures helps explain why he stays in declining Porcupine County rather than pulling up stakes for a better-paid job fighting crime elsewhere.

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