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Wildersmith on the Gunflint - March 20

Wildersmith (375x500).jpg
Wildersmith (375x500).jpg

Wildersmith on the Gunflint     by     Fred Smith
March 20, 2020    
For life along the Gunflint Trail, the onset of spring took on a slower approach since our last meeting on the radio. Completing week three of month three finds the atmosphere in border country returning to a more normal state of affairs.                                                                               

Daytime melting in the Mile O Pine neighborhood has been confined to places where the sun shines through, while the mercury has teetered from single digits to just below zero here at Wildersmith during a few night time hours. Consequently, insulating layers have again replaced warm weather attire of earlier in the month for my daily mail run.                                                                                           

Precipitation has remained on the scant side with a couple mini snows and one evening where the white was preceded by our first 2020 shower of the liquid variety. So slip sliding around has not improved much with this new coat of glaze.                                                                                                                                                

If locals are dreaming dreams of green, that’s all these nocturnal visions are. For the time being, buds of re-birth are only notions of a late winter slumber with plenty of ice and snow yet to melt                                                                                                                                                             

Speaking of cold season dozing, in case you didn’t notice, the equinox of spring snuck in during the past several hours. Bashing the “old man of the north,” is no longer necessary as his reign over2020 to date, has been officially terminated.                                                                                                               

He’s been attempting return overtures in the past few days which will likely stir the rancor of many folks in the territory who favor an end to his seasonal occupation. Meanwhile, my snow removal equipment remains on stand-by and was called into action with another three inches earlier in the week. By the way, this latest winter refresher brings the (to date) winter accumulation at Wildersmith to 90.25 inches.                                                                                                       

A step in the spring direction has been taken with the return of ebony avian. Crows are now in raucous collaboration with the jay bird population at the break of each new day.                                                                                                                                                                         
Although they raise discord with quiet of the neighborhood, they are glistening black beauties when caught in a beam of sunshine. While they talk way too much, they are nevertheless keen scavengers of winter left-overs. Isn’t it amazing how every being of the wilderness has a purpose!                                                                                                                                                  

In spite of the recent colder trend, another item of vernal notice is becoming more evident with each passing day. Those hollow cavities around the base of our forest spires must be signaling warm juices of life are being beckoned skyward. Although the hollows in the snow are still a foot to two feet deep in the yard, this ritual resembles others in the “March bag of advancements.”                                                                                                                                                         

It’s with sadness, the Gunflint Community received word on the loss of two upper Trail neighbors. Beverly Keller, longtime homeowner on Seagull Lake passed away recently at her home in Mt. Pleasant Wisconsin. Beverly was 96 years of age.                                                                  

She and late husband Arthur fell in love with the Gunflint Trail on their first visit in 1962, and then made it their summer home beginning in 1976. Gunflint friends and neighbors extend condolences to her five daughters and their families.                                                                                       

Word of the second passing comes from the family of Marjorie Grinnell. Marjorie died on Sunday, March 8th in Missoula, Montana with her husband Joe and their sons by her side.                                                                                                                                                                   

“Margie”, Joe and their family are longtime residents on the Northshore of Loon Lake. Once again, her Gunflint friends and neighbors extend best wishes and sympathies to the Grinnell family at this sad time.                                                                                                                                                               

Finally, in regard to the horrific viral tragedy that is gnawing its way into every fiber of our being and aspect of life, both here in Minnesota and around the globe, we at Wildersmith, and folks along the Trail want you to stay well. As everyone is in this catastrophe together, all must pull together, from a strategic distance.                                                                                                                        

While hope is not a strategy, only doing what research and medical providers prescribe is the track to follow. Exercise some common sense, be a respectful and sympathetic neighbor and do what’s right. Keep on hangin’ on!                                                                                                                                            

For WTIP, this is Wildersmith, on the Gunflint Trail, where residents cherish every day, thankful for the preservation of this peaceful place!