Black's Cliff Resort's Birch Bark Blog

The projects, chores, and life of a family-owned, Northern Wisconsin resort.



Brett and Annette Geildenfelt were out fishing and hooked this nice 19.5 inch bass.  Time to make soup



Hungarian Fish Soup was on the menu



Annette also caught this pretty fall color pic along the lake.  Thanks for sharing  your pics!



In other news, Christmas is 88 days away and the socks have been flying off the sock maker.  If you have plans of giving some for Christmas stop at the shop or email for pictures of what is done.  They will be flying off the shelf faster and faster the closer to Christmas we get.  This pair I made in a size 9 – 10, 75% Super Wash Wool and 25% poymide.  Beautiful German yarn I found on Ebay only one skein of it.  These socks are 27 dollars.  My 75% wool socks are 27, the 50% and no wool socks are 18 and the ankle socks are 14.   I also have about 40 pair of texting gloves done right now that are 25 each.  In the next couple of weeks I will be making some kids socks that are 8 dollars but right now a I am sold out of them.

Christmas stockings.  I had 3 leave last weekend.  They usually sell out by Thanksgiving or shortly there after.  Let me know if you would like any.  I have 10 done and will be making 3 or 4 more but that is it before Christmas.  They are 48 with name if interested in anything above.  I can usually ship anything for 5 to 6 dollars

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This amazing picture was taken this last weekend and shared with me by Becky Van Elsen.  Amazing pic!  Becky took it just down the shoreline from Eagles Nest.  It is the dock at King’s Manor.  Thanks for sharing Becky



It has been a busy weekend and made even better with the arrival of the scotties.  Every June and October Michele and Tom Bronsky come with their 2 scotties and there is usually an additional one or 2 that also join them.  It is a scottie dog party at the resort.  Tom and Michele are from Door County and host the door County Scottie Rally each year   They raise money for research into scottie dog related illnesses and scottie dog rescues.  If you have a Scottie or like Scottie’s check out their site or stop and meet the Scottie’s when you see the flag up at Birchwood



Steve was thrilled to see the Hen in the Woods mushroom bloomed over the weekend.  Steve harvests this mushroom every year to cook with.  This year 3 heads of mushroom have appeared next to Birchwood.  Every year it grows in the same place.  It is worth 150 dollars a pound dried.   He will not be selling it but will be enjoying lots of great mushroom dishes when it dries



Hen of the Woods.   I always mistakenly call it Chicken of the Woods, but I hear that is a whole other mushroom

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Troy and I went for pontoon boat ride in the afternoon.  Hope you enjoy the pics around the lake.  Bear Den’s dock is above

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Loon showing its winter plumage

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We finally got a good pic of the bee hive hanging over the lake in the shoreline.  I few people have told us about this hive hanging out from the shoreline.  It has neat to see as long as you don’t get to close.  That is what my telephoto lens is for


When it is a beautiful fall afternoon and the colors are out the woods are calling.  No better way to see the woods than by horseback.  I happen to have a sister 15 minutes away with 3 horses to ride and it was time to go for a ride in the woods with the color.  There are 3 riding stables in the area to do this if you do not have a sister close by with 3 horses, but it is so much nicer to go with your sister if you have one.



Heading down the trail.  Katie and I worked 10 years a piece at a riding stable in Minocqua, Circle M in our teenage years.  We learned on the job and could not have asked for a better job as a teen.  Katie adopted a few of the old Circle M horses but they have all passed away.  She now has Ebony the gray in the front who is 31 years old and great for her son Sam to ride on.  Quinn the black in the middle was an unhappy trail horse who needed to not be a trail horse.  Katie bought her from Holiday Acres a few years ago.  Not all horses are cut out for butt to tail for 8 hours.  Quinn is much happier with Katie.  Maggie the brown horse I am riding is fat and sassy.  Her mother in law bought her as a young horse and she is now 15.

We got off well down the trail once the saddling was done.  Katie forgot to tell me Quinn gets skittish when her saddle is being put on.  One halter got broken out of the incident and from  now on Quinn gets saddled by Katie.




Down the trail we go to enjoy the colors



Hey Aunt Jenny, I am ahead of you!



Answering resort phone on horse back.  The office travels with you everywhere when you own a family business.



Katie reliving her trail guiding days



Down the trail we go.  Teaching Sam how to stop Ebony.  He rode Maggie a few weeks ago who loves to trot up and gets cranky with kids floppy legs banging her sides.  Sam was much happier on old Ebony



Toes up heels down.  If Katie and I had a nickel for every time we said that during our guiding days



The colors were amazing



Time to head back to the barn



Nice rub down and some grain = happy horse and happy kid.

Anytime you get the chance to get out in the woods on horse back give it a try.  Anyone with teenage girls who are driving them crazy, take Craig’s advice, get them a job at a barn.



Fall pic on Blue Lake Road along the  Tomahawk River 5 minutes from the resort

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The colors are starting to pop.  Each day gets more and more colorful.  I took a walk around with my Iphone and tried to catch the color.  The other thing that makes it feel like fall is the acorns with each burst of wind landing on the roof.  The deer have been coming into the resort looking for acorns each evening


Trail across from the resort ready to burst with color


Trees across from the gate






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Sunset on Lower Kaubashine.  I believe that is the Cikowski crew, Fritz and Jimmy out muskie fishing


I ordered new key chains for the cabins from a Steam Punk Crafter.  You ask what Steam Punk is (I did too), it is art made from turn of the century if we had not switched to oil and gas and stayed with steam power.  It involves old gears and keys.  I thought it was perfect for the cabins.  Each one is different.



When Craig goes shopping, Craig goes shopping.  He is the only one I know of that requires a semi to deliver his goodies.



Lets just say Menards loves him and we now have enough patio block for a couple of years.  Where will it go?  It is not completely decided but he got a great deal.  That is when I know I am in trouble when a conversation starts with “I got a great deal”  I know a semi is on its way

The back end of the truck on top has ice shield to go up on Kaubashine and Shamrock porch roofs to prevent leaking.  Craig thinks he has come up with the solution for those flat roofs that like to spring a leak or 2 in rain storms, and he got a “Great Deal”



Troy and Steve getting the first area ready for patio block down at Red Pine.



Frequent followers of the blog will remember a entry I did about French windows and my love hate relationship with them.  If you ever think about owning a resort and everything you have to know to run a resort put french window maintenance on the list.  We do not have nearly as many of these windows as we used to.  Most of them are confined to our house, Birchwood and Eagles Nest.  The few that are left are enough….  They are mostly from the 30′s and need TLC to keep going.  Taking out the old putty, reapplying it and repainting the window



This pane was in our house and cracked for the past 5 years.  Finally taking the time to take care of it.  Getting the putty just right to make it past the grand master of puttying standards.  Tomorrow will be painting day.  Puttying and painting windows is an endless project.  Make sure it is a skill you can do if you think of running a resort and fishing in your spare time.  Fishing in your spare time…..  hmmm that would mean there is spare time when running a resort…..  Has anyone spotted a member of the Black Family fishing…. that is a question…

Back to unloading that semi



Color peaking through at Bear Den




View from Red Pine on a quiet afternoon




Less people means time for projects




Red Pine is getting some stone walk ways around the house










The reason for not a lot of blog entries this weekend was we took Jake back for year 2 at Lawrence University.  Good luck Jake study hard of it is back to work bailing out boats



We received yet another 2 inches of rain and the lake is on the rise again.  It is now a high or higher than it was this summer and ready to go over the dock



Beach wall barely keeping the water at bay.  Thankfully no big ski boats are out on the lake bringing in waves



The little blue docks though are under water



Troy improvised using a chair to hold the pallets in place til the lake goes back down



The boats are almost floating over the docks



Loon out in the misty lake enjoying some fishing



Happy to see the water heading out the creek at Hilltop.  Again this is the highest the creek has been.  Tom is making sure to keep the creek flowing



Troy and I had not been out to Kitty Springs in awhile and decided to head down the trail and see if we had any storm damage or trees down.  The top of the big hill half way to Kitty Springs is my favorite outlook with the big towering Red and White Pines along the trail



Still a lot of muskrat fence can be found left from the 40′s when the land was a muskrat farm.  We are slowly cleaning it out of the land but it is a long project



Views of the spring which will only get better as the fall leaves change



Heading down the last part of the trail which is the prettiest and worth the walk



Sit back and enjoy the view.  If you have never hiked our blue trail to Kitty Springs you need to take the time next time you are at the resort.  It will be a snowshoe trail before too long



Migrating birds stop by as well at the spring


On the way back we spotted lots of mushrooms.  I do not pretend to know anything about them.  Not sure what kind this is



Had a pretty top.  Mushrooms were bursting out all over the trail



I know this is a common mushroom but again I do not know the type



Steve took some time a couple of weeks ago to clear out an area by the bog along the orange trail.  He cleared out a spit of land that goes out into the bog.  The spit might  have been a railroad spur that was used to get logs out back in the 1900′s.  We have found several spurs like that out into swamp land in other parts of our land.  At the end of the orange trail check out Steve’s spur



In other news the guys were over at Kaubashine with the tools.  They broke up the cement slab in front of the cabin and put in a wider wood stair



Is that all she does, walk around with a camera?



In the process of digging around the cabin step Steve found this old fork



It was silver of some type.  I think it has seen the end of its days.  You  never know what  you will find digging around the resort