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Wildersmith on the Gunflint - August 9

BlackBearAndMotherSQ by beingmyself via Flickr.jpg
BlackBearAndMotherSQ by beingmyself via Flickr.jpg

Wildersmith on the Gunflint
by     Fred Smith
August 9, 2019

The universe has passed the half way point between the solstice and the equinox, and summer days are beginning to wane. Nevertheless, Gunflint happenings continue with zest. Aside from angling, paddling, hiking, swimming and countless other North Country recreation opportunities, several organized events remain before vacation time ends and school days begin.                                                                                                                                                                                              
In advance of itemizing things on the calendar, summer days are edging more toward fall. I see a few immature maples trees have joined Dogbane in the observation of decreasing daylight minutes. Some of these twiggy youngsters are feeling the notion to ease chlorophyll production in favor of autumnal pigments.                                                                                                              

At ground level, more gold has popped out in the name of Black eyed Susan’s. One cannot drive too many places along the Trail or back country roads without catching a glimpse of their bright yellow faces giving you a dark eyed wink. Several other aurous blossomed plants are waiting in the wings, and may debut during the next week.                                                                                                  
Upper Trail weather conditions have been near perfect since our last WTIP gathering, warm, but not hot, with a couple meager rain showers keeping the August dust to a minimum.                       

Following the mid-Trail fundraising celebration of a few days ago, this next week is a buzz with events to keep everyone hopping from place to place.                                                                  

Monday finds the Gunflint Trail Historical Society kicking things off with their August membership meeting.  The site is the Seagull Community Center (fire hall # 3) beginning at 1:30 pm. Following business reports, the program features Richard Fink sharing history of “The Bunn Family of Swanson’s Lodge.” Treats and conversation will follow. All members and friends are invited.                                                                                                                                                                         

The schedule for later in the week gets really hectic. Friday, the 16th, the Dark Sky Caravan arrives at end of the Trail for the first of its two day run.  Programs get under way in the University of Minnesota Duluth Geo Dome at 6:00 pm in the Seagull Community Center, and extend until 10:30 both Friday and Saturday.                                                                                                                                                                  
As darkness consumes the territory, telescopes in the adjacent parking lot will provide visitors with a chance to get up close and personal with the full “blueberry moon” as UMD students provide assistance and commentary on our Trails’ end night sky.                                             

This is a great show and was well received last year. All residents and visitors are invited. It would be a good idea to bring bug dupe and a flash lite (it’s extremely dark when it’s time to find your vehicle at departure time).  The Gunflint Trail Historical Society will be serving beverage and treats too.                                                                                                                                                    

Then on Sunday, folks can get a double dip of activities. At 2:00 pm Dr. Seth Moore, from Grand Portage will be presenting a Sunday program in the Nature Center at Chik-Wauk. Dr. Moore will be sharing his research information on Lake Trout.                                                         

Things move back down the Trail for the 7th annual Gunflint, Woods, Winds, Strings and a Little Jazz Concert. Music will ring out into the forest beginning at 4:00pm in Fire Hall #1. A meet and greet the artists reception will follow in the Schaap Community Center. Last minute ticket reservations can be made by contacting Patsy Colemen @ 313-673-6202.                                                           

One final event notice is extended reminding Trail folks and others within listening distance to mark their calendars for the annual Pie & Ice Cream Social put on by the GTHS at Chik-Wauk. Sunday, September 1st is the date to mark as we celebrate the Labor Day weekend. Serving the sweetness of Gunflint Trail pastry artisans begins at 11:00 am and runs until 4:00 pm.                                                                                                                                                                                             

As a special treat, the Northshore Community Swing band will also be playing to sweeten the day even more, and early Holiday shopping can begin at the Chik-Wauk sidewalk sale. Being a Society fundraiser too, a suggested donation of $5 per slice per person is appreciated.                                                                                                                                                                                       

As a reminder to all who usually provide the pies, Coordinator, Judy Edlund would like to hear that your pastry will be appear. Please give her a call at 388-4400 to confirm.                         
Phew, is that a list or what?                                                                                                                                       

In closing, if you didn’t get to the Nature Center last Friday or Saturday, to be in on the Monarch hatching, or observe it on Facebook, you missed a rare, seldom seen natural world happening.                                                                                                                                                                          

Seven chrysalises opened into those orange and black beauties right in their screened incubator.  After drying their wings for four hours, they were happily released into the border country wild.                                                                                                                                                                           
Don’t despair if you missed the first batch, and are interested, there are additional ops to see this magic, as several more egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to butterflies, are being monitored in the facility. Watch for progress updates on the Chik-Wauk website over the next couple weeks. Those who watched were simply enchanted!                                                                                                    

For WTIP, this is Wildersmith, on the Gunflint Trail, where every day is great, each so incredibly beautiful and naturally comforting!