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Wildersmith on the Gunflint - November 1

Fox by David Grinstead
Fox by David Grinstead

Wildersmith on the Gunflint     by     Fred Smith
November 1, 2019
What happened to October? November has suddenly opened the gates to our next thirty days.  The reality of month eleven finds Mother Nature giving us her final warning, and the warmer season has made its’ final curtain call.                                                                                            

The “gal” in charge of all things natural has been busy checking things off her list. She too has been “getting ready.” Three items of current note include:  golden needles trickling down from those beautiful Tamarak torches, the first skimming of ice on ponds and wetland swamps along the Trail and this weekend, she takes back control of the timepiece. Don’t forget to “fall back” before retiring Saturday night as we go back to “nature’s time.”                                                                                                                                        

Meanwhile, her kin, “old man winter,” dropped another dose of the white stuff on parts of the Trail late last week. Although it was much lighter than the first attempt, it made for winter driving conditions along the Byway. Good planning on my part had winter wheels in position where the rubber meets the road. Since that episode, things have vanished back to normal. Nevertheless, I’m declaring winter official as the temp has remained below freezing in this neighborhood for few days (my self-contrived criteria for such).                                                                                                                                                               

With exception of inland lakes yet to freeze, I’d say the rituals for dealing with character of the next six months are in order. In fact, taking this “getting ready” to the next level, organizational planning is already under way for the first big snow activity up the Trail. Yep, the call is out for volunteers to help administer the annual Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Races. Director Cathy Quinn is hard at work on the event which will be held on January 11th. If residents and others didn’t get their “E” mail volunteer sign-up notice, Cathy needs to hear from you, 387-3352.                                                                                                                                                                               

One day last week, as I was finishing up the snow blade installation, I had one of those eerie feelings I wasn’t alone. This turned out to be no Halloween trick as I puttered around putting tools away.                                                                                                                                                                            
As this feeling dogged me a little, I started looking around. Sure enough, my hunch soon became a reality, and it wasn’t “Sasquatch.” The friendly fox that buddied around with me late last winter came out of the woods and meandered down to see what was going on. I soon confirmed this was definitely the one AWOL, as it was quite familiar with the process to get a free hand-out.                                                                                                                                                               
With my furry red pal right behind me, I trudged down the drive way to my wood shop where treats are kept in the freezer. Mr. Fox has a good memory and was not bashful as it came right up to the door threshold.                                                                                                                                                                     

The hungry critter caught me unprepared for early season hand-outs, but a couple frozen Ciscos seemed like a good offering. I tossed them out on the ground, but after a little sniffing, the Fox kind of turned up its nose.  Guess it may not have been in the mood for frozen fish at this particular moment.                                                                                                                                                                 

I next turned to a bag of old frozen French fries I’d been saving for my Whiskey Jack visitors. Offering a few of these morsels was “just what the Doctor ordered.” Foxy scarfed them down like a hungry teenager at McDonalds. I’ve got to assume it was the greasy aroma and not a need to load up on Carbs. Anyway, after a second helping of FF, it trotted away into obscurity.                                                                                                                                                        

Apparently, it came back later, as next morning the Ciscos were gone as well, or maybe some other craving varmint sniffed them out in the darkness. To assure me he favors my kindness, it was back a couple days later.  So I have the responsibility of “pet-manship” in the cold days ahead.                                                                                                                                                                                      

I don’t know how Halloween went for area ghosts and Goblins, but there was nothing scary around WTIP this past week. There were no tricks, but plenty of treats as new and renewing members showed their continuing loyalty during the “Fearless Radio” autumn support campaign.                                                                                                                              

The Board of Directors, management staff and uncountable volunteers cannot say enough in thanking the wonderful family of WTIP Radio listeners.                                   

Together we did it, made the goal! With all the gracious support, WTIP will continue to bring you the best Community radio has to offer!                                                                                                        

For WTIP, this is Wildersmith on the Gunflint Trail, where every day is great, and some are even better than great!