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Wildersmith on the Gunflint - May 14

Wildersmith Sign Only
Wildersmith Sign Only

Wildersmith on the Gunflint     by     Fred Smith
May 14, 2021    

Life along the Gunflint continues to whiz by as we reach the mid-point of May. So far, the fifth stanza of 2021 has felt more like late March or April in this neighborhood.                       

As I hit the keyboard for this weeks’ report, my cook-out for the mom is this household required a winter coat. A brisk northwest wind, temps in the high thirties and occasional flurries of snow were a bit un-characteristic of what one would normally expect for Mothers’ Day, even at forty nine degrees north.                                                                                                                           
What’s more, the first ten days have been much the same. A few segments of sunshine have been up-lifting, but did little to ease the chill.  This being said, green-up has been stalled slightly.                                                                                                                                     
Folks out this way are looking for a warm-up by this weekend and hold hope for some draught relief. Another week went by with barely a sniff of precipitation in this locale. Liquid that did fall was mixed with snow at times, and overall, amounted to little more than a dust settling event.                                                                                                                                        
I sound like broken record as the dry story in the upper Trail has not changed, and urging all to not attempt any burning is likely to irritate listeners as much as it agitates me having to constantly harp on the issue. We Gunflinters’ are all in this together, so please keep being careful and also prepared.                                                                                                        

A reminder to all Trail residents, the Arrowhead Electric Cooperative is hosting a question and answer open house today (Friday, May 14) at the Schaap Community Center (Mid-Trail) 10:00 am to 1:00pm.                                                                                    
Representatives from AEC will be addressing a proposed plan to enact vegetation control in the power line Right of Ways with herbicide applications in Gunflint territory during the coming summer. This plan has brought forth a number of questions and many environmental concerns. This is a chance to get answers and to also voice your opinions.               
By the way, AEC will also be hosting a tree give away as incentive to come and learn. So, all are encouraged to attend.                                                                                                                  

With “mud season” in the rear view mirror, warm season fun takes a big step forward this weekend. Angling time for walleyes will open, and we’ll see a huge uptick in wilderness activity. The question is, how warm will it be?                                                                                      

Best of luck to all, as the fishing is always great, while catching fortunes can be un-predictable. While lake water temps remain dangerously cold, the wild land offers a warm welcome to the Gunflint Trail lake waters. Be safe motoring the Trail, during your stay, and please,” leave no trace.”                                                                                                                        

Trail volunteers will be out and about in the coming days picking up litter. If you are traveling the byway, please “give them a break”, slow down, and “give them a thank you thumbs up.”                                                                                                                                                
The “wild neighborhood” around Wildersmith has been quiet in days since we last met. An occasional visit from a curious pine marten, hungry red squirrels begging at my wood shop door and Minnesota “chicken birds” darting in front of me on the daily mail run, make up my only recent animal observations.                                                                                                                       
I am hearing of bear appearances in mid-trail neighborhoods, but no reports of Ursus misconduct. Meanwhile, I’m pleased to announce none of the “Brunos” have self-invited themselves to my deck, as yet.                                                                                                            
And, a neighbor tells of meeting a moose momma and her calf during a recent trip down the Trail. He said the two icons looked like a billboard picture with a forest back-drop as he came upon them.                                                                                                                                          
I’m always interested in hearing of resident/ animal tales. So, if local listeners have something to share, I’d enjoy hearing from you.                                                                                            

For WTIP, this is Wildersmith, along the Gunflint Trail, where every day is great, come rain or come shine!