Wildersmith on the Gunflint Oct. 7, 2009

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We are going into October’s first full week and the past several days have seen the heavens shrouded with gray. In fact, that special full harvest moon was unable to shine down on border country. Some would think it rather dismal, but even with leaden skies and steel gray waters, paradise in this mode remains one to behold.

Welcome rain has been persistent enough to quench the wildfire danger for the time being, but amounts have not been in proportions to start streams running again. Further, temperatures have cooled into more recognizable levels for this time of year.

At Wildersmith, there were a couple mornings of heavy frost as temps dipped into the low to mid-20s. The combination of cold and moisture also brought in two reports of our first snow flurries for the season as September bade farewell on the 30th.
The last of our seasonal friends have departed southward, so the excitement of activity with neighbors has slowed considerably. All will be missed, but time flies, and their return will be here before both we, and they know it.
Enthusiasm now is focused on the wild of the neighborhood. It doesn’t take long for excitement to show itself at our deck-side feed trough. Nutritional offerings of diced French fries, bread cubes, mexi-potato skins slathered in leftover red pasta sauce, and chili have caused a stir in the air during recent days. The gourmet attitude of these winged critters is amazing.
The return of cold weather has initiated soup season for the Smiths, and our first endeavor was that of bean and ham. The remains of the process produced a fine smoked ham bone, complete with fatty bits and marrow.

You just can’t throw it away! So I endeared myself to the jaybirds of the neighborhood and presented the osseous morsel on the untamed food service menu.

The whiskey Jacks are usually waiting for a handout each morning, and once again, they were perched and ready. If the intellect of birds considers “dying and going to heaven,” then this pair must have thought they were on their way as they chomped on the first bites.
Soon their blue cousins joined in the commotion, and for the better part of a couple hours it was a joyful pecking extravaganza. Even had a few black capped chickadees squeeze in for a nibble or two. There was easily more landing and taking off from our border country cuisine port than at Minneapolis/St. Paul International.
The hungry avian turned that bone all ways but loose. If any one of them could have lifted and held the cartilaginous mass in its beak, it would have been carried away from the get-go. But, in the end, the rambunctious gang knocked it off the tray onto the ground below.
Checking later on, it was found that the pork feast was gone. It’s my guess that either a pine marten or fox happened by for what was left. The wilderness hullabaloo over this harvest season bounty soon settled back into calm. Sure was fun to watch the feathery flurry!
With the big blow that ended September, a great many of the scarlet colors have trickled to the earth along the Mile O’ Pine. Yet stunning shades of fading green to brilliant gold are picking up the slack for interested leaf peepers.

Hills and valleys are alive with the sight of Mother Nature’s gilded work. It’s not too late to get out on the Trail and treat yourself to a view of the natural gallery. There will surely be some sunny days ahead, and when Sol is beaming down through the quaking yellow tokens your trip will be breathtaking.

Keep on hangin’ on, and savor a venture into the wild!
 

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