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Wildersmith on the Gunflint: November 15

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Wildersmith_20131115_finalcut.mp36.78 MB

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            Whew, two weeks of November are in the books for Gunflint country and all is well. Out here in border country, it’s our quiet time of year. In spite of the peacefulness, we feel momentum building for the holiday season.
            A close look at the calendar finds Thanksgiving Day a mere three and a half weeks from Christmas. Man, talk about all this excitement compressed into such a short span; hectic is an understatement.
Color our world white! Last weekend the area celebrated another snow happening, just on the eve of deer shooting season. This time the forecasters finally got one right.
The white blanket of snow gave us a delightful winter look. So we’re all decked out, and the white flocking covered up our now-departed autumn Technicolor. It sure seems that fall succumbs to its end much easier than summer, which hung on forever.
            Fall fishing has been all but abandoned in favor of lugging a gun through the woods. One local fishing guide, however, was out in his boat a couple days last week.
He was not angling, but carrying a passenger who was doing some government agency mapping project in the upper reaches of Saganaga land and waters.  After just a few hours out in the elements, the guide’s summation was that conditions were way too cold to be out in a boat.
            The “freezing over/full beaver moon” will be at its pinnacle this weekend. With a little luck our almost never ending cloudy skies will split open so that we can observe his luminance.
There is nothing more bedazzling than a full moon over a white blanket. The Wildersmith thermometer registered our first serious cold earlier this week. The mercury was barely on the plus side of zero. In spite of a predicted minor warm-up, I hope that the cold hangs in there so we’ll have snow left on the ground by full lunar time on Sunday morning.
            Congratulations to Chel Anderson on the excellent scribing in the most recent edition of the Minnesota Conservation Volunteer (MCV) magazine. Chel, one of our locals and also a WTIP volunteer, is not only a dedicated ecologist and botanist, but a gifted writer. I recommend finding a copy and taking a look at Chel’s perspectives.
            Another item in MCV caught my eye and has special meaning for not only outdoor adventurers, but all people. It is on the inside of the back page, and is entitled, “The Life of a Day.” The passage is written by Tom Hennen.
 This enjoyable piece of prose about says it all, making one step back and assess every day as being pretty important. After reading Mr. Hennen’s essay, my opinion is confirmed that “all days are good, and some are even better.” Good reading, catch it if you can!
Daylight is dimming well before five o’clock now. Each cloudy day is even closer to dark by 3:30 or 4, so doing chores outside has its limits.
The Smiths fortunately have wrapped up all winter preparations. Our last chore was a trip up onto the roof for cleaning out the wood-burning stove chimney.  While aloft on yon shingles I also did a final rain gutter clearing.  And now, our snow shovels are hung by the doors with cheer, in hope that St. Winter will soon be here!
Meanwhile I’m into the woodshop for some sawdust making, and the lady of the house is busy quilting.  It’s wood-burning and soup-making time in the woods! Could life be any better?
Keep on hangin’ on and savor the advancing adventures of our silent season!