Wildersmith September 2

Cattails have matured in roadside swamps up the Gunflint Trail
Cattails have matured in roadside swamps up the Gunflint Trail

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September has come a-calling in our north woods. Everything about autumn is for real now!

‘Tis the season, for amorous moose, for white tail deer exchanging their copper colored coats to a camouflage shade of cedar bark and for other resident fur-bearing critters to start thickening their wraps as the cooler nights intensify.

Cattails have matured in roadside swamps, purple asters are twinkling in the spotlight of a dawdling summer sun and skies are murmuring with the seasonal beckon of migrations south.

The harvest season is well under way up the Gunflint too, as folks are laying in all types of berry and garden crop preserves. That green thumb gal from over on Loon Lake has been in the pickle-making business for some time, and now I’m told she is making sunshine pickles on her roof.

Guess it takes about four days of consistent rays to make the curing process work and what better place to get the best of what old Sol has to offer than ‘up on the house top.’ Just when I thought that ‘up on the house top’ was only for reindeer, here’s a new twist. Yes, the onset of a September song is resonating in the forest to a number of different tunes.

The past week again saw raucous winds tormenting those that prefer time in marine craft. It seems that we’ve been experiencing a big November-like blow, down Gunflint Lake about every other day.

For a second consecutive week, a couple wilderness adventurers had to seek refuge at the Wildersmith dock when they could no longer face those angry waves. Some visiting folks have been getting a hard lesson in small craft navigation. Bet they’ll think twice next time out!

A trip down the Trail on a recent cool dewy morning dealt up some spectacular crystal observations. No, they were not frost, not just yet, but it sure reminded me of things to come when Jack Frost starts making his fall calls.

Although Halloween is weeks away, spiders have been spinning their webs of intrigue with regularity. Now the cool of our darkness hours is causing these lacy works of art to capture condensing moisture, making them magically visible as the rays of Sol beam through their silky strands.

This is fiber art at its best! A journey along the Byway gallery in the hour right after sunrise is the best time to experience Mother Nature’s silken handiwork.

To get another Taste of the Gunflint don’t forget the Sunday, Sept. 4, trek out this way. In addition to the end of the Trail pie and ice cream stop at the Chik Wauk Museum,
your taste buds can be whetted at Bearskin Lodge, Trail Center Restaurant and the Gunflint Lodge Bistro. Plan to stop by between the hours of 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to say hello and experience their tasty hospitality. Your diet can be resumed after Labor Day!

Friends and neighbors of the late Dr. Catherine (Catie) Lush are invited to gather on Labor Day at 10 a.m. in the Gunflint Lodge Conference Center. Catherine summered on Gunflint Lake for the better part of seven decades, passing away June 13 at the age of 94.

Another of those great Gunflint icons, this long-time area resident will be remembered for her endearing smile, many years of wonderful friendships and service to folks throughout the upper Gunflint territory, when emergency medical treatments were needed and there was no Grand Marais hospital or EMT personnel.

Keep on hangin’ on, and savor the blush of autumn!

Airdate: September 2, 2011

Photo courtesy of D'Arcy Norman via Flickr.


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