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Wildersmith on the Gunflint - October 02

Wildersmith Sign Only.jpg
Wildersmith Sign Only.jpg

Wildersmith on the Gunflint     by     Fred Smith
October 2, 2020    
The gate is open, and here is October. We’d better pay attention or this segment will pass us by quickly as did the month nine cousin.                                                                        

It is noteworthy the Ojibwe, “falling leaves” full moon peaked when the calendar turned over, and if that lunar occasion wasn’t enough astronomical radiance, we’ll be catching a “blue moon” before November flips the page.                                                            

October winds will be puffing a harsher theme, sunrise will be getting later, shadows will be getting longer, dark skies will come earlier and silence of the forest will become deeper. It is also likely the landscape could be white in time for the “blue moon” arising on the thirty-first day.                                                                                                                            

Since the last time we met on the radio, and before month ten squeezed in, the upper Gunflint reached the summit of our 2020 “Technicolor” spectacle. You’ve heard me say this before, but the show this year looked to be the best ever during my twenty-one observations. When “Sol” has been on high beam, the collage of hues is nearly blinding.                                           

Quickly as the colorful glow of fall grew, the majesty is beginning to take some final bows. Maples are dripping scarlet flakes and the slightest breath of wind has birch and aspen in squalls of golden tokens. All of which are blanketing back country roads with an endless tribute to summer memories. By the time this report hits the air many bare branch skeletons will be lurking over-head, and sighting through the woods will be visibly improved.                                                   

Sometimes it seems like all one has to do is to speak up or whine a bit, and good things trickle forth. Such is the case with my comment last week about missing aromas of the season. The essence of autumn was soon after enhanced when this neighborhood got a nice soaking rain. Eight tenths were recorded over a couple days. The much needed moisture seems to have nourished an on-set of fall fragrances. Guess pungency may have been waiting for the official first day of the changing season.                                                                                           
On a recent trip to the Village, some nature reflections were captured on several Trail side lakes. Especially provocative was a perfect likeness of the gold and green shore line forest reflected off the mirror smooth Swamper Lake.                                                          

The past couple of weeks have been a “shutterbugs” delight. So too for “leaf peepers’ as visitors are keeping the black top busy. It must also be an art lovers’ joy, driving the Trail through this natural exhibit and opting a stop at the annual GM Art Colony Studio Tour over at Hungry Jack Outfitters.                                                                                                                                                   

While “wild neighborhood” critter reports have been minimal, we know they are out there somewhere. Recent trail cam shots at the Chik Wauk Campus have recorded wolves, bear and lynx confirming their existence with a candid photo op.                                                     

The Smith’s verified there are still moose to be found after not having observed one for months. A handsome dude in full regalia greeted us along the Trail between Birch and Mayhew Lakes during the same trip mentioned earlier.                                                                          

The big fellow startled us a bit and then decided to run alongside the vehicle for a short distance before heading off into woodsy obscurity. I can only guess this iconic guy was looking for a girl-friend. Seeing a moose was an added North woods treat to the colorful excursion.          

The melodic chirping of small avian has slacked off to mostly that of chickadees and red breasted nuthatches. Meanwhile, the ranting and raving chorus of crows/ravens and blue jays along with a percussive pileated woodpecker are catering accompaniment for enjoyment of the days to come in our October verse. The Gunflint Trail, a gift for the senses!                                 
For WTIP, this is Wildersmith, along the Gunflint Trail, where every day is magical, marvelous and miraculous!