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Wildersmith August 6

mountain ash.jpg
mountain ash.jpg

FinalCut_Wildersmith_20100806.mp38.38 MB

Enter August, the month of the Sturgeon Moon. Mother Nature has again turned on the moose and me with some miserable "Augustus" humidity. About two days of this has me yearning for those magic "S" and "C" words associated with December.

A couple days last week were heavenly up this way. A surging northwest wind overpowered its southerly counterpart and reminded me of just how wonderful fresh air from the north can be. It is just one opinion, but the aromatic nip of currents from Canada and beyond is beyond compare with the dank muggy from points south. No wonder thousands of visitors head this way from the metropolis when the thermometer heads upward.

But here we are once more in the grasp of ugly stickiness. Further, the Natural Gal has issued another backorder on precipitation. It seems totally unfair that border country should be choking in dust for what seems like an eternity…but what are you going to do when every rain prediction barely wets the bottom of the rain gauge? We could sure use a siege of 40 days and 40 nights to get things flowing again!

The lake water level on Gunflint Lake is ebbing lower and lower with each passing week. Long-time residents along her shores claim to have never seen it this low. The same can be said for her big sister, Saganaga, with new mini-islands of granite popping up where they have never been observed previously.

On a more positive note, for those liking to dip in the lakes, water temps have risen to near the mid-70s on the deeper bodies. This is about where it topped out last summer. So come on in, the water’s fine!

Harvest season continues but may be slowing some as the arid conditions are not pumping up those blues like they were a couple weeks back. Meanwhile the colorful berries of late summer are changing their hue in some places.

Berries of the mountain ash, high bush cranberries, pin cherries and some domestic black cherries here in the Wildersmith yard have all turned to the ripening stage. So another luster of autumn is added to the growing golden ground-level floral experience.

One can only hope that all this earlier-than-usual maturation in the fruit of the forest might indicate an advanced transition to winter. At least a few of we forest dwellers hope so.

In its first month of operation, the newly opened museum and nature center at Chik-Wauk has been quite an attraction for both residents and vacationers. Averaging over 100 visitors per day, the 3,000th person crossed over its threshold July 28 to see and hear the story about people of the Gunflint.

The Gunflint Trail Historical Society’s officers and board of trustees are extremely pleased with the turnout and reviews from attendees. The facility remains open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through October 17.

Special events are happening there, too, as every Thursday the USFS is presenting an afternoon program on Becoming a Boundary Waters Family. In addition, the annual Taste of the Gunflint will be held on the Museum grounds Saturday, September 11 with a pie and ice cream social/fundraiser.

Don’t forget the August 14 mid-Trail fundraising extravaganza for our Trail Volunteer Fire and Rescue crews. It commences at 1 p.m. in Fire Hall # 1. So activities beyond the usual fishing, camping, hiking, canoeing and the like are keeping the calendar squares filled throughout the Gunflint Community.

Keep on hangin’ on, and savor summer fun on the Gunflint!

Airdate: August 6, 2010