Wildersmith August 13

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It’s August, week two, and there barely has been a drop of rain in the upper Gunflint since we last met on the radio. Less than a quarter of an inch in the first eleven days of month eight along our Wildersmith south shore and coupling that with most of July’s precip’ coming in the first half, it’s clearly understandable why I’m saying it’s as dry as the proverbial bone. 

One of the few creeks visible from the high country Trail has stopped pumping water over the mini falls into Larch Creek. Yes, that sparkling little liquid plunge over the granite just southwest of the Seagull Guard Station has ceased tumbling. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen it without at least a trickle in my eleven years of residence. 

A few miles down the Trail, water is so low that one can hardly call the Cross River by such a name. It’s sad to see everything on the forest floor so parched. I had a suggestion from our state to the south that they will gladly pump as much water up this way as we would like if the Gunflint would furnish the hose.  

Outside of the frustration about moisture, the other facet of our atmospheric conditions has been rather like a yo-yo. Finally dismissing the heat and humidity of last week with a few marvelous forty-degree nights and daytime sixties, there was a feel of fall in the air. Now, as I key this column, the territory is right back into more of those summer "dog days." 

With many cloudless skies of late, there has been a marvelous twinkling through the tree tops. It’s that time of year when those coniferous cones are oozing that sticky concoction. A magical crystal display glistens in the low heavens when gently swaying branches and sun beams interact with the gelatinous droplets. It’s another sample of "Ma Nature’s" superb ability to embellish our world. 

There is on-going conjecture about extending fiber optics through the territory, but recently there have been some splendid natural fiber installations on cool early mornings in the neighborhood. Those arachnid spinners have been producing a glorious network east of the house. Their efforts would surely make even the most comprehensive man-made venture green with envy. The intricate workmanship of these dew catchers is something to behold as they shimmer from branch to branch and leaf to leaf.

I’m still hearing about bucket-buster patches of blue morsels being discovered. Always found in a surprising secret location that no one, not even a bear, has yet detected. I listened with interest the other night as collectors of indigo pearls defined dirty pickers and clean pickers. It seems the defining moment comes after returning home with a full container and has nothing to do with one’s hands or seat of the pants. "Clean" pickers meticulously bring them home pretty much void of stems leaves and other debris, while the "dirty" pickers strip berries in one fall swipe (bear style), usually leaving the sorting of morsels from chaff to someone else. Which style fits you? 

The mid-Trail folks will be sending summer on its way this Saturday. The annual August afternoon of fun and fundraising will begin at 1:00 p.m. in Fire Hall Number One. Everyone is encouraged to join in the festivities and lend another hand in support of the Gunflint Trail firefighting volunteers and EMTs. There will be a lot of flea market stuff and the auction is always a blast, culminating in the drawing for that great Mid-trail Quilter’s creation.

So, all you visitors and Gunflinters come on down! 

That’s all for now. Keep on hangin’ on, and savor the aging summer!

Airdate: August 13, 2010


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