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Wildersmith August 5


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2011 in the upper Gunflint Territory is starting to show signs of aging as we compete the first week of August. With six weeks of the official summer season behind us, the newborn critters of spring have now carved out their own notch for living space and are getting more independent of mom’s care with each passing day.

Growing up has to begin with day one, as time for being ready to get a grasp on the perils of the harsh season ahead is limited in border country.

I noticed a couple fawn twins the other day whose backs were now about belly high to their mom as they meandered with her to Trail’s edge near the Seagull Creek Fishing Camp. They had long ears, gawky teenage-looking bodies and a twinkling adolescent look in their eyes while I passed them by. It made me wonder if Mom might have been giving them a little advice on the dangers of road crossing.

Later, up in the bay at Chik-Wauk, I found Peat and Re-Peat, the three-week-old loons, in a training session with either Mom or Pop, practicing their diving skills. The dark gray puff balls were getting right after it, reflecting eons of their genetic make-up.

Under the careful parental eyes they made their plunge and then popped up spitting, sputtering and fluffing their tiny wings in a spray of water. These little ones are late hatchlings, so their summer days have to be packed with intense learning of survival lessons and at the same time, growing their bodies in preparation for the long haul south in just a matter of weeks.

Our season of blue is the center of attention for bears, residents and visitors. Berry picking regulars tell me that they are lush with many green ones yet to ripen. One gal already claims to have over two gallons frozen for safekeeping. All we need now is additional rain to encourage further bluing of the heavenly morsels.

Week after week there is always a big summer event happening somewhere in the county. Up the Trail is no exception, as the annual Mid-Trail fundraiser for the Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue crew is set to happen next Saturday, August 13.

Activities get under way at Fire Hall # 1 along the Trail beginning at 1 p.m.
The usual flea market and gift boutique kick the event off. Then the great live auction commences at 2.

The auction is lively and fun under the leadership of long-time arm-twisting auctioneer, Phil Serrin. Following the auction, the drawing for the beautiful mid-Trail
Quilters’ 2011stitching edition will be held. Tickets are still on sale for that event, so if you haven’t got yours yet, there’s still time.

Over the years thousands of dollars have been raised to benefit our Gunflint Fire/Rescue Volunteers. Gunflint Trailers from end to end as well as area visitors are invited to come, have some fun and show their support.

The Gunflint Trail Historical Society will be holding its August meeting this coming Monday, the 8th at the Gunflint Lodge Conference Center. A short business meeting and museum operations update begins at 1:30 p.m., followed by a video/slide program featuring the life and times of another Gunflint icon, Rolf Skrien. Rolf and many of his family will be in attendance.

All members and wannabes are welcome, treats and drink will be served!

Keep on hangin’, on, and savor the thrills on blueberry hills!

Airdate: August 5, 2011

Photo courtesy of espie via Flickr.