The upper Gunflint Territory seemed headed toward a lamb-like end to March. We were teased with a couple swell early spring days, then came Easter Sunday. All talk of April making a blissful entry, with an end to low digit temperatures, was dashed by a resurgent lion-like slap from Old Man Winter.
Our parade to Grand Marais for Easter church services was marked not with thoughts of bunnies, eggs and celebration, but stymied by snow showers and serpentine whiffs of snow slithering down the cold byway ahead of strong northwest winds.
It was almost as if the great spirit of the north was howling, “Just not so fast my border country buddies. Ghostly reminders of Jack Frost and I will cede to spring only when I say it’s time.”
Although new snow accumulations amounted to little, here we are, almost a full week into month four, with the bloom of a new season hovering in a cool holding pattern. Regardless of melting yet to be done, time cures all, and the virtue of patience will prevail knowing we’ll get a blessing of days for rebirth, perhaps as soon as tomorrow!
Until then, it’s back to gloves, sheepskin hat, insulated boots and heavy coat! No foolin’, it was minus 2 at Wildersmith on April 1 with wind a-howlin’.
Those last few days of month three were so inviting. How inviting was it? It was so inviting that I brought the old rocking chair out of storage onto our sunny deck and walked around in a sweatshirt, even though walkway and driveway snow piles remained well over knee deep.
The Wildersmith neighborhood even had a spring shower of the liquid variety before the return to February. All over the area, art work of Old Man Winter was taken over by Sol, and nature’s heat source did some reduction work on the snow pack.
The Mile O Pine, like many seldom-traveled winter roads, saw the warmth allow a few patches of brown gravel bleed through months of packed wintry buildup. Those brief days of meltdown also gave way to a few puddles, a bit of trickling water, and our first mud.
During my travels down the road and tromping through the woods, there is confirming evidence that we’re shrinking the deep snow. I’ve found that a number of baby trees which have not seen the light of day for some time are proudly poking their growth buds skyward. Similarly, their older forest brethren are perking up after months of bearing the weight of winter decorations.
Meanwhile, the powerful sun has chiseled out countless shapes in roadside snow banks. The Trail, now completely free of slippery patches, has miles of etched windrow embellishments that lend themselves to an aggregation of imaginative beauty, in spite of their grungy color. It’s all in the eyes of the beholder.
Life goes on in the wild neighborhood. Critters come and go daily, and I’ve noted a couple cases of seasonal bumps. And I don’t mean those in the road.
Specifically, I reference belly bulges on several expectant does, while on the opposite of white tail genders there are swelling knots where crowns of manhood will soon be growing.
It’s also a good bet that our warm days stirred the slumber of our north woods Brunos, as well as chipmunks and those not-so-popular skunks. About the only critters probably not aroused at this point is the first generation of nasty biting bugs. I don’t know of anyone who would feel bad if those winged savages forgot to show up. We should be so lucky!
Keep on hangin’ on, and savor thoughts of the spring takeover!
Airdate: April 5, 2013