Wildersmith September 10

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As if Ma Naturale flipped a switch, week one of month nine became much more tolerable. Finally… the atmosphere is really cool to talk about. And let’s hope that we’re done with the grim stickiness of summer…let it succumb in the gasp of its own heated undoing.

 
The Labor Day weekend kicked off the back-to-school season in autumnal elegance. A pre-weekend rain left at least an inch or more in most border country rain gauges. Meanwhile an ensuing blast from the Northwest brought down not only many limbs and twigs, but the thermometer readings. The moose must be smiling!
 
By last Sunday morning the mercury had slipped to 34 in a couple spots along the south shore of Gunflint Lake. This was a precursor to a spectacular day that had everyone you talked to raving about…what a day! Then on Labor Day morning, there was a slight touch of frost on the woodshed roof.
 
The much-welcome rain did little to stymie the receding level of area lakes, but surely made folks more comfortable with regard to the wildfire danger. The Lizard Lake fire, that had residents and business people on edge last weekend, has lain down. And, according to Forest Service monitors, is smoldering peacefully as they allow it to burn itself out, so one may still see a puff of smoke, but we can breathe easier. Grateful thanks are extended to all agencies that answered the call when things looked very tenuous weekend before last.
 
With the indigo berry season all but over, Bruno hunger pangs are bringing them back to people neighborhoods. Thus refresher warnings are out to keep man-made temptations secured.
 
Now that the harvest is completed and the blue pearls are preserved in any number of modes, all kinds of azure cuisine is appearing at wilderness dinner tables. The latest that I’ve been appraised of is a blueberry crisp that was invented by a gal down the road on Mile O’ Pine.
 
The creator, who shall remain anonymous, stirred the concoction up only to have it bake up less than crisp (as she called it, a slurpy failure). However, her grateful northwoods spouse made the day by indicating that it would taste superb, as he chuckled, sucking it through a straw. Guess there is really no way that anything formulated with the blue fruit from the Land of Sky Blue Waters can ever really be bad. So you all keep on cookin’ those northern blues.
 
DNR reports indicate that the area grouse cycle is heading downward from its apparent peak in ’09. It might be trending that way according to their counts, but I’m seeing plenty of those northwoods “chicken birds” at almost any turn in the road. And they still seem to be about as bright as a two-watt bulb, so I would guess that hunters will be able to get enough this fall to fill a pot or two.
 
If the cool weather conditions continue, I’m feeling that we may have seen the last of the hummingbirds. They usually fill their tanks in the next week or so for the long haul to winter quarters. I’m already preparing to lay away the sweet juice terminal as traffic has slowed considerably. In their place, those raucous blue jays have returned from wherever they spend summer days.
 
A final reminder is made about the Taste of the Gunflint Saturday, September 11, from11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will be a swell day on the Trail to stop in for a visit at any one of nine participating establishments for a flavor of the old north woods. Don’t forget to save a little stomach space for a piece of pie and some ice cream at the Chik-Wauk Museum fundraiser. The diet can start, or continue, on Sunday!
 
Keep on hangin’ on, and savor that sweetness of the Gunflint!

Air Date: September 10, 2010


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