Wildersmith on the Gunflint

Fred Smith

Contributor(s): 
Fred Smith
Fred Smith, a native Iowan re-located to the wilderness of border country at the end of the century, has been writing of happenings in the upper Gunflint territory for going on eight years, first with the local paper, and since December 2008 for WTIP North Shore Community Radio. Fred feels life in the woods is extraordinary, and finds reporting on it to both a reading and listening audience a pleasurable challenge. Since retirement as a high school athletic administrator from Ankeny High School, Ankeny Iowa in 1999, the pace of Fred's life has become less hectic but nevertheless, remains busy in new ways with many volunteer activities along the Trail. Listen at your convenience by subscribing to a podcast.


Arts, cultural and history features on WTIP are made possible in part by funding from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Check out other programs and features funded in part with support from the Heritage Fund.

 

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What's On:
Snowshoe hares are making the transition to spring along the Gunflint

Wildersmith April 6

This first weekend in April finds the north woods celebrating the full pink maple sugar moon.


"Sol...exploded over the panorama with an eye-catching bronzy autumn-like sunset"

Wildersmith March 30

As the northland wraps up an unusual March, there has been a lot of speculation and excitement about ice-out on upper trail lakes.


 
"The early advance of May in March has the pussy willow buds just a-purring in the powerful sun..."

Wildersmith March 23

Once more, the Smiths are back in border country. It’s great to be home after a swell 10-day break visiting with grandsons in Iowa.


"Down a few hundred more from the '10-'11 count, the spiraling downward decline of moose is cause for considerable... concern"

Wildersmith March 2

Finally, a little bit more winter along the Gunflint byway! February ended and March came in on somewhat lion-like terms.


 
"...a sure sign that all things vernal are not far away..."

Wildersmith February 24

February in the north woods is about a done deal. The sands of time are running out on month two just as they are on the winter of 11/12.


"When I step on a sleigh I shiver with excitement and intrigue thinking about how life must have been in northern pioneer days"

Wildersmith February 17

Last week’s border country weather was on the downside of the yo-yo spin with a few days of minus something. How cold was it?


 
"Much warmer temps and no new snow finds many of us ready to throw in the towel and get on with the season of re-birth"

Wildersmith February 10

It’s sweet heart day in the northland! The time of hearts and chocolates finds the calendar chipping away at what was supposed to be the burden of winter.


"We all know February can easily mean “proceed with caution.” There is snow yet to fall and winds to howl..."

Wildersmith February 3

February has called on us “up the Trail folks” in more seasonal fashion. Temps have been cold, but not bitter, with some decent snow, but nothing to boast about.


 
"Although it was not really bone chilling, like often has been recorded (40-50 below), serious ice-making cold set in this week"

Wildersmith January 27

With our northwoods January fading fast, the month got a little brittle last week. Typically, the third stanza of month one is the coldest of the season and it was no exception so far this year.


Hoary Redpoll

Wildersmith January 20

Winter in the north woods, mellow as it has been, is already a month old and whizzing by fast.