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Wildersmith on the Gunflint - December 25


Wildersmith on the Gunflint     by     Fred Smith
December 25, 2020
Merry Christmas everyone! Gathering at this time in 2020 certainly has taken on a different look and meaning. At the Smith’s, we are celebrating quietly alone, the first time in over fifty-two years we have not been with our children for Santa’s big run.               

Although the magic of technical connections can provide virtual gathering, it will not be the same. Sadly this will be the case for millions all over the world, but we’ll make best of it!    This day, maybe more than any other in our lives, is one where we as a country might pull together with some semblance of peaceful convergence. We at Wildersmith hope the spirit of these joyous days was a change of pace from divisive and tragic experiences over the past months. And we further wish for unity of cause among all peoples to better define the real United States. Each of us can make a difference if ALL will just listen to and hear each other.                       

May the peace of the forest, on a cold winter night, saturate the Planet. “Seize the Day,” and please make a difference with conscience to respect one another!                                                

Speaking of cold winter nights, we are in the midst of some at this special Birthday time. This neighborhood has not been bitter as we might expect in a few weeks, but at least the snow on the landscape has not been in the melting mode.                                                             

“Old man winter” had taken a few swings at snow making, in the past week, but only produced whiffs in this neighborhood. So I gave him a “mulligan” in hope of straightening his game out, and look what he did. Many up this way, are in the “snow business” so white fluff is mandatory!                                                                                                                                  

Reflecting on holiday spirit during simpler times in our lives, it was a yearly custom to pile everyone into the vehicle and head out to view the tradition of outdoor light decorating. It isn’t quite the same living in the Wilderness fifty miles from village lights. But, the Smith’s did take a jaunt on the night of the Solstice in search of the Christmas Star.                                                 

As one might expect, the spectacle was not to be in our part of the territory due to heavenly obscurities. Yet the night was not a total bust. Along with reflective eyes from a couple roadside critters, we cruised by the one ultra-lighted decoration of which I’m aware within fifty miles.                                                                                                                                    

The miracle spruce along the Trail on Birch Lake was shining like the Star in the East. What a twinkling spectacle, glowing as a lone sentinel in the darkest of dark nights. See an image of the sparkling conifer along-side my WTIP website column.                                                                

Life has not paused for the celebration in the “wild neighborhood.” Critters are out and about doing what they do best, striving for survival. There have been some great photos of moose, lynx and fox activities on area cyber links.                                                                                 

Perhaps the most unusual animal account involved a fisher and coyote stand-off at a resident’s feed trough. I’m told the interaction was not the most cordial, but while contentious, there was no physical fracas. In the end, Mr. Fisher decided discretion was the better part of valor, and scurried off into the night.                                                                                                   

In closing, this day of blessed jubilation, may the Ojibwe “little spirit moon” shine down on us next week, melding many into one caring family of Humanity!                                      

See you next year on the radio, “same time, and same station!”  Happy New Year!                      

For WTIP, this is Wildersmith, along the Gunflint Trail where every day is great, and the splendor of nature is effervescent with un-ending comfort, let it never be taken from us!!