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Wildersmith August 27

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 The upper Gunflint finally received some rain that is worthy of mention. Upwards of three-quarters of an inch soaked most areas. We are thankful, yet hopeful that more will be following soon, as the forest remains plenty thirsty.
A couple warm sticky days dogged folks in the territory again this past weekend. But as we head to the month of the full “corn” moon perhaps some frost will coat a pumpkin or two in the next couple weeks.
Even with the warm weekend, I’ve detected a drop in the water temperature at the Wildersmith dock. It appears that Gunflint waters may have peaked a week or so ago at 76 degrees. The current reading was at 71.
The water level steadied with the rain but is still within and inch or so of dropping off the DNR measuring scale. When that happens, launching the boat from our dock will require some careful maneuvering to deeper waters.
An interesting avian occurrence was shared by a neighbor recently. While bringing in the sweet nectar bottle for nighttime protection from the Brunos of the woods, one of those tiny humming hovercraft was so anxious for a bedtime snack that it landed on the bottle perch while it was being carried to the cabin.
The little winged folks are often pretty brave with humans about, but this is the first I’ve heard of such a happening. One can be happy that it wasn’t a bear pursuing a last-minute bite.
Speaking of bears, I’ve had several reports of sightings, but no incidents of ursine vandalism or breaking and entering. Residents and visitors must be doing a better job of minimizing temptations.
Wolf observations continue from many places along the Trail. Most seem to be coming the stretch above Kings Road to the Cross River Pit. It seems that the wilderness warriors are a lot more visible this summer than in the past. Perhaps that’s an added reason for not seeing the usual whitetails, they’re scattered and running for their life.
It will be of interest to see what the 2010 fawn numbers are as we advance into the cold weather season. The same inquiry will be made of moose calves.
Last winter there were very few baby deer from the previous spring…in the gang that comes by here. It seems certain that two or maybe three packs are culling the deer herd in large numbers up this way.
The squirrels of this neighborhood are adding to the mystery of forest life right now. They have begun to harvest cones from high in the white pines. The clunk of a cone careening down from 60 to 70 feet onto a cabin roof surely gets your attention… particularly in the twilight hour before sunrise. Why do they have to go to work so early?
Area residents are again reminded of the Gunflint Trail Historical Society meeting this coming Monday, August 30, at 1:30 p,m. at Hungry Jack Lodge.
The next Trail happening is scheduled for September 11. The third Taste of the Gunflint will take place that afternoon at the Chik Wauk Museum and Nature Center. Plan a leaf-peeping trip up the Gunflint and stop in for some great northwoods sweet treats at a pie and ice cream Chik-Wauk fundraiser. Mark your calendars…more info to come.
Keep on hangin’ on, and savor the seasonal “Change and Parting.”

Airdate: August 27, 2010