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Wildersmith on the Gunflint: October 18

an early trick or treat visitor
an early trick or treat visitor

Wildersmith_20131018_finalcut.mp38.57 MB

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            The Smiths are back in Gunflint country after an Iowa visit with kids and grandchildren. Once again I’m indebted to my K-9 proxy “Nosey Rosey” and her dad for bringing you the local scoop during my absence.
            My return to the woods finds a few folks muttering frustration that fall has not progressed too much. Lacking the usual October gales and cold season preliminaries, our season of annoying flying/biting bugs has been extended way too long. 
On the other hand, many are relishing these great semi-summer days. We all should be reminded that official autumn is not even a month old as yet, and the usual character of month 10 in these parts will soon stand up to be counted. Remember the Halloween blizzard of 1991!
            A great deal fall of headway has been made in regard to forest defoliation throughout the Gunflint Corridor. Most, if not all, leaves are off the deciduous trees along with past generation needles from their distant white and red pine cousins.
 About all remaining for this aspect of the season has been left up to the tamaracks.  Many of them are in various stages of showing off a golden glow prior to making their lacy contribution upon the tawny carpet already in place.
            With this new blanket layered on our northland earth, every bit of heavenly moisture is now being captured by the natural decaying process, tendering an aromatic essence only Mother Nature can deliver. There is really nothing to match the fragrance wafting through the woods while tramping about on an autumn day.
            Under the full “falling leaves” moon, our area will be reflecting an early glimpse of spook season this weekend. With only a couple weeks until Halloween spirits are celebrated, the lurking skeletal remains of a now-naked forest will be casting ghostly shadows down in anticipation of ghoulish illusion.
            We at Wildersmith had an early trick or treat visitor a few nights ago. Decked out in its mask and furry costume with a ringed tail, this early beggar came banging around and was seemingly not to be deterred as I attempted to discourage it with hollers of loud intensity. I think this guy/gal may have been here before.
Grudgingly it retreated off into the forest. However, the pangs of hunger had it sneaking back up onto the deck a short time later.
For this second visit, I was more cordial, and offered a blueberry treat. A trick was also conjured up by yours truly if the treat was to be had. The sweet morsel was served in the rear confines of a cozy live trap.
We watched the visit with a flashlight through the windows. Not bothered by our leering bright light, the masked bandit showed mouthwatering interest in this delectable discovery.
Apparently not the brightest of its family litter, it spent several minutes maneuvering the cage about the deck trying to figure out an entrance point. Finally after examining all aspects of the potential dining nook, the entrance was located and access was gained.
 The bread and blueberry jam proved to be yummy, but the quarters seemed a bit confining.  After a few brief licks a decision was made to carry-out. The step back to turn around proved its undoing, clank.  Someone slammed the door!
Rather than agonize over the incarceration, it set about finishing what it came after. Soon the joy of this beggar’s night grew old.  Frustration at spending more time in there became acute.
To relieve its ill feeling I proceeded out into the dark and dispatched it to a new location. By next day, I’m sure that its spirit was again ambling through the woods.
Unless this unwanted ghoul has family nearby, I’m betting the raccoon saga at Wildersmith is over. That is, until another one hops off the next truck delivering sweet corn or watermelon from points south.
Meanwhile folks up this way continue to check items off their “getting ready for winter” list. Yours truly is nearing the end of my check-offs. With exception of installing deer protection on a few areas of young conifers and readying snow removal equipment, we at Wildersmith say bring it on.
By this time next week, we at WTIP will be into our “All Welcome” fall membership drive. Please remember this community radio treasure is for you and about you.
 Continued growth and quality programming needs you! Gracious listener support has been strong in the past and remains a must for the future.
 I hope everyone will ready with either a telephone or online pledge as the drive commences Thursday, Oct. 24. Keep in mind, “All are Welcome!”
Keep on hangin’ on, and savor the riches of border country!

{photo by russavia, courtesy  of Wikimedia Commons}