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Wildersmith on the Gunflint - July 12

Photo by Fran Smith
Photo by Fran Smith

Wildersmith on the Gunflint     by     Fred Smith     July 12, 2019    
Month seven is cruisin’ along the Trail as we inch toward its’ half-way mark. The territory has remained in a summery way over the past week.                                                                                   

Going into this weeks’ scoop, the hot temperatures and humidity of July’s first segment have mellowed into to more normal North Country ranges. While the human comfort level has improved, folks in some areas of the upper Trail are getting increasingly tense about the dry landscape.                                                                                                                                                                              
The Gunflint Lake neighborhood and northward went another week with scant precipitation. At Wildersmith moisture recorded could not reach the tenth of an inch mark on the gauge. Couple this measly amount with less than two tenths from the week previous and a crunchy forest fuel load is easily understood. Meanwhile spotty sections down the Trail got a good dose just around firecracker day easing concerns down that way, for the time being.                                                                                                                                          
With wild fire danger approaching the extreme level, it would seem governing agencies should invoke complete burning bans before someone or something sets the forest on fire. Adding to nervous thoughts regarding our dry situation have been several days of smoke in the air. While smellers were taking note early in the siege, it came to full bore last Sunday when billows came rolling southward from fires in the NW of Ontario.                                                                

In lieu of waiting for rain to fall and smoke to lift, I would suggest area residents do some preparedness work by wetting down their properties every couple days or so with the wildfire sprinkler system. Building an umbrella/dome of humidity within the systems perimeter offers a good measure of protection.                                                                                                             

Border country heads toward the monthly mid-point with the Ojibwe, “half way” moon in a few days (the 16th). Along with this monthly lunar celebration, the Gunflint Community is looking forward to excitement of the forty-third annual Canoe Races.                                                      

Wednesday the 17th is the big day on the waterfront at Gunflint Lodge. Activities get underway at 4:30 with the food tent opening, presentation of silent auction items and a six o’clock call for the first race.                                                                                                                                                                           
Organizers are hoping for a big turn out once again, as the event works to raise funds in support of our great volunteer fire and EMS crews. Tickets for the grand prize drawing remain on sale throughout the business Community and during the night of the event. This years’ winning ticket holder will take home a splendid Wenonah Kayak.                                                                                                     

Just as this event takes center stage, another highly important happening will be ending its run. However, as this scribing hits the air, the “Radio of 2000 Lakes”, summer membership drive is in the middle of its’ six day journey.                                                                                                                       

If listeners haven’t already re-upped or plan to join anew, the time has come to take the plunge into the cool of Northland Community Radio. Dive-in, broadcasting opportunities are beckoning for your support!                                                                                                                                                                                          
It is to join online; toll free @ 1-800-473-9847; 387-1070 locally or stop in at 1712 West Highway 61 to make your pledge. Don’t wait, keep the WTIP radio connection at the top of its game, every contribution matters!                                                                                                         

Un-scheduled activities continue along the Trail. Most noteworthy have been some recent larcenous reports of bears in mid-Trail neighborhoods. I’m told bear break-ins have been confirmed at a number of residences.                                                                                                        

It’s a good bet the hungry bruins are being tempted by human carelessness of some sort. Everyone can help in this matter by taking in those bird feeders, and securing odorous refuse. Remember bears will not be a problem, if we are not a problem.                                          

Other reported animal goings-on have not been so raucous and have often made for interesting photo ops. Included are sightings of wolves, fox, coyotes, moose, beaver and white tail fawns.                                                                                                                                                                                        
A report came to me telling of a big wolf stroking a long distance swim on Gunflint Lake, while a subsequent  sharing told of two beavers doing some unusual saplings harvest along the shore just down lake from Wildersmith. Yet another happening involves the Wildersmith wood chuck who was caught dining among a quartet of squirrels the other morning, what a remarkable five some!                                                                                                                                                                                    

The Gunflint Community is mourning the loss of two neighbors. Longtime residents Paul Kelnberger and Robert Einsweiler have recently passed from our midst. Both of these gentlemen were deeply respected and involved in the Community. To their survivors and friends, sincerest of condolences are extended from our Gunflint Trail family.                                                                                  
For WTIP, this is Wildersmith, on the Gunflint Trail, where every day is great, in the calming of forest green.