The upper Trail winter that really hasn’t been much, is making a quicker than normal exit. Since our last meeting, the power from Sol in month three, and above freezing temperatures, are gnawing big bites from the measly snow cover day after day.
It seems that the territory will smell of mud much sooner that anticipated. Mother Nature and Old Man Winter, her wintertime offspring, continue to ignore this area with any kind of precipitation.
This is quite worrisome in regard to a brittle forest being uncovered so early from the white blanket. Hopefully all concerned about woodsy conditions, from the Forest Service and DNR to residents and visitors, will approach the arid conditions with burning bans and commonsense fire use.
The beauty of this place is taking on a changing look during this oozing time. The artistry of sun-eaten, snowy windrows is the latest portrayal of natural magic through our blacktop path to paradise.
Gashes in the once smoothly mounded banks now display shards of weeping tears during sunlight hours, and then sparkle like diamonds in headlight beams after dark. This is just one of “so many reasons” to explore the byway forest any time of year.
I’m guessing that unless there is a big turnaround to cold and white, next week at this time we could be looking at pussy willow buds. We even might see a return of Mr. Robin Red Breast.
The latest wildlife adventure at Wildersmith involves my gray jay pals. For months now, it has been just Whiskey and Jack in the daily breakfast routine. A day or two ago, unannounced, they came by with two cousins. The Canadian visitors were not one bit bashful. So I had a quadruple flurry for a brief period, with many landings and take-offs from my bread-filled palm.
You will recall the squirrel and the French fries from last week. This week it is another gourmet tale, only it’s about Whiskey or Jack. This time my feeding routine found one of the guys snooping in my wild vittles container. It contained the usual chicken wing bones, ear corn and sunflower seeds. I turned my back briefly while cleaning out feeders, and sure enough one of the fellows in a gray tuxedo spotted one of those bones. In a blink of the eye, it snatched one and was last seen sailing off through the trees. It was amusing to observe a bird with such a big beakful.
This is another big weekend for north woods activity. The Mush for a Cure event will commence with a kick-off of pink attired events on Friday, then continuing into Saturday with the rousing canine races.
Alongside this flush-colored extravaganza, everyone within listening distance is touting the “so many reasons” phrase, as appeal is made to once again provide resources in support of our community-owned radio station.
A listening experience with WTIP is just one of “so many reasons” to visit this special place in border country wilderness. Along with hundreds of WTIP volunteers, I wish for your continued support of this marvelous listening medium.
Our radio voice has something for everyone, from Grand Portage to the end of the Trail and then some, with a worldwide audience streaming on the Web. Please pitch in!
Keep on hangin’ on, and savor whatever the Gunflint has to offer!