Wildersmith April 7

Crows
Crows

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No foolin’, its April already and the forest is easing into week two.  The magic of Easter Sunday opened gloomy, with drizzle and snow along some parts of the upper Trail. Then by afternoon, as if to match the heavenly beauty of the day, sun and blue consumed the gray. It was a spectacular micro analogy to the Christian celebration.

Spring warmth continues to eat away at the ice on area lakes. Nearly all that parallel the Trail are glimmering with enchanting ripples. The larger bodies are still covered with an almost charcoal colored topping, indicating that rot is gobbling up their winter coats too.

The Gunflint Gal has opened at the west end where the Cross River flows in, and there are narrow strips of water winding here and there where winter pressure heaves broke the seal. Being free of ice by this weekend is a pretty safe bet.

Unusual to say the least, the Wildersmith lilac buds look like they could pop any day. Further, where the sun gets a clear shot every day, I have observed the first rhubarb nodules piercing the ground. At this rate, the territory might even have peonies by Memorial Day, instead of our normal Fourth of July explosion.

The quality of this un-timely, but inspiring renewal is of course, dependent upon a big boost from the heavens. Moisture continues to elude the wilderness thicket. Wildersmith moisture for March totaled only four tenths of an inch.

And, the miniscule shower of Easter Morning barely dampened the rain gauge bottom, with five one-hundredths. So it looks like the month of showers might be following suit, but let’s hope not!!

Our choking drought has finally prompted the governing agencies to invoke burning restrictions for the county. Thank goodness! Guess they know what they are doing, but it seems that the move might have been initiated a couple weeks ago, anyway we forest dwellers thank them! Now, everyone has to follow the rules!

Folks that have an open water supply are urged to get their wildfire sprinkler systems up to speed. It wouldn’t hurt to actually run a tank of gas through the unit just to wet things down once a week, until “Mother Nature” gets off her duff with some help.

The avian migration continues, and the feed trough has been inundated with Juncos of late. It is interesting that their beautiful dark gray head, back and wings are a perfect match to the ice on the lake. Robins are back too, flitting back and forth across the Trail in places, yet none have landed around Wildersmith.

A friend down the road, up for a weekend visit, was treated to the observation of grouse courtship. I’m told that the suitors’ strutting ritual was quite entertaining.

The crow multitudes are still hanging out in the neighborhood scratching and pecking what seems like every inch of ground. Their search for nourishment has made them good cultivators, as they have pretty much turned over much of the yard.

They have recently discovered the seed trays on our deck too, sometimes half dozen at once, and are making regular afternoon appearances to scoop up leftovers. One afternoon, 28 were counted. Never before have we had such a rowdy bunch day after day.

Wolves are still patrolling the Mile O Pine and continue to visit a Tucker Lake site to satisfy some vegan need with sunflower seeds. Meanwhile, I have not seen one, but activity around a couple decaying log sights signify that bears have been grubbing around nearby. Sooner or later, one will be leaving the customary calling card to officially declare ‘tis the season.

Keep on hangin’ on, and savor a happening in our wild neighborhood.


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