Wildersmith August 19

Early fall is making its first appearance up the Gunflint!
Early fall is making its first appearance up the Gunflint!

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Pre-autumn is evolving steadily throughout the upper Trail territory. New eye-catching observations have added to the items mentioned in last week’s news.

Despite the continuing dryness pattern, the days have been marvelously tolerable in terms of coolness. We even had a couple nights at Wildersmith where the mercury bottomed out in the low 40s.

Now that summer has matured and is nearing the end of her run, folks are beginning to note that it’s almost September. That means it’s time for the season of getting ready for winter, and a sundry of other activities.

Those who have not really been paying attention to the escape of our summer are getting edgy about the supply of firewood being adequate, closing up any household fresh air voids and an assortment of other tasks that will make winter maybe more comfortable and less costly.

Around the woods, critters have long been tending to some of those tasks. Chipmunks continue dashing about the yard with jowls full of winter meal items and their distant kin, those pesky red squirrels, are into their annual digging, stashing and covering a variety of winter menu items all over the yard.

It’s a “berry” good time in the forest as blueberry collectors are having a heyday. This includes the black Bruno population that is also thinking ahead to some long days of slumber. Adding to the fruity mix are wild raspberries and an assemblage of other hanging provisions that don’t necessarily have great human appeal, but are nevertheless quite vital to many in the wild neighborhood.

Most notable among the not-so-edible fruit are the high bush cranberries and the mountain ash. Branches draped with these berries are sagging with what looks to be a bumper crop, and are just beginning to stage their color transition.

A trip to the end of the Trail last weekend provided the initial sampling of “gold in them thar hills.” Several swatches of quaking buttery nuggets on adolescent birch and aspen saplings are growing evidence that change is in the air.

The past week has been terrific for late day dock time. Although clouds have been an issue on a few occasions, when skies have allowed, this is the time for magnificent displays of old Sol as he sinks behind the Canadian hills to our northwest.

Time flies by so quickly. It will be just a matter of days until the setting will be cast back on the American side of the border as the great luminary continues the southerly trek.

The ends of sun time in the northland have been nothing short of spectacular as the big orange ball descends the horizon with a piercing laser reflection on the rippling wine-colored Gunflint waters.

This is not just a Gunflint happening but one that frequents every one of the 1,000-plus lakes in the county; hope everyone is getting out and enjoying just one more aspect of northwoods magic at their special wilderness place.

The August mid-Trail happening was a big hit, and once more the Gunflint folks stepped to the plate and delivered another grand slam for the Trail volunteer rescue and fire fighting gang.

It is reported that over $6,600 was raised in the Saturday afternoon flea market, gift boutique, live auction and quilt raffle. A fun time was had by all and many wonderful items found new homes. Big thanks go out to organizers, those who donated prizes/goods for the various activities and the many attendees who opened their wallets. By the way, that splendid mid-Trail quilters’ 2011 artistry was won by Linda Maschwitz of St. Paul. Congrats to Linda!

Looking back at the two annual summer happenings that combine to support these dedicated emergency folks, a total slightly over $21,100 has been raised. Congratulations to all the Gunflint community and hundreds of other friends, visitors and the like who made it all possible.

Keep on hangin’ on, and savor the sweet wilderness!

Airdate: August 19, 2011


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