The Wildersmith two are back on the Trail. It’s great to be home after a swell visit with our daughter in Iowa. The return brought us into a simply stunning trip up the Gunflint Byway. Mother Nature has one-upped her effort of last year in regard to the seasonal color show. I know this is supposed to be a Minnesota Viking state, but one would sure have to think again as to the natural color scheme out this way. With nearly 60 miles of aspen and birch gold set against the vast green coniferous backdrop, the landscape certainly leads one to think Packers green and gold, ha, ha.
The few sugar maples existing in this part of border country have seen their leaves drip to this earthly place so the orange and red tones are gone, but golden hues are mushrooming day by day. The brilliant yellow tokens, tunneling the Trail and lining sawtooth hills and valleys, create the lush effect that old Sol is sitting in the treetops. It would seem you could almost reach up and grab a handful of sunshine.
To match the wonder of this glowing time, the territory has been blessed with some spectacular Indian summer days during the final week of month nine. The daily segments up through last weekend couldn’t have been better for folks to get out and enjoy this short but unequaled time of year.
The area has been a leaf peeper’s delight! It’s somewhat disheartening that this beautiful season is so short-lived. We are only days from being deluged with the flakes of fall. Past years’ needles and leafy tokens of 2014 are already departing their lofty summer positions along the Mile O Pine to softly blanket our forest floor. Yet, there’s beauty in this happening too, as the new carpeting provides a mellow, natural woodsy makeover.
To take things a step further, short as our color show can be, the beauty of winter up here doesn’t take a back seat to this special prelude, as it is glorious in its own right. So all we northlanders have to do is remember, reflect and look forward to the next day, because something extraordinary is bound to capture us. Enjoy the hues now as we might be seeing white by mid-month, this of the “falling leaves” moon. We just can’t lose!
There’s a possible message in my frosty prognostication, considering the unending flocks of Canadian honkers taking advantage of these great flying days. At least six wedges of the noisy commuters flew over Wildersmith last Sunday.
Speaking of other airborne avian, a leaf peeping tour with friends earlier this week found a couple of gorgeous white swans sitting on the waters of Swamper Lake. We were far enough away that it was difficult to discern whether they were of the Tundra or Trumpeter varieties. It’s most likely they were Tundras, as their flyway sometimes allows stopping over this area while en route to the mid-eastern coast.
Later in the tour, we had the rare pleasure of observing a handsome grouse in full plumage. This dapper fellow was touting his percussion skills in front of three ladies of the woods along a back country road. His stately fanned tail feathers were something to behold.
A few weeks back, I shared about a colony of snowshoe hares hanging out around our place. Almost no sooner had those words been uttered, and the moccasin telegraph heard me calling, “Here kitty, kitty, kitty.”
Word sounded through the woods, apparently to be picked up by some interested felines. A friend down the road has since called to let me know a couple lynx had been carousing about his yard. So I’m guessing these cats of Canadian vintage are having visions of “wabbit” dinner. Apologies to my wiggly nosed friends, so to speak, for letting the cat out of the bag.
I was advised by a couple fisher folks, who were recently dipping a line on the north Shore of Gunflint Lake, that their catching attempts were interrupted by a quartet of north woods comics. Somewhere between shore and the Canadian Island, four curious otters came out from a cove and proceeded to investigate these visitors.
The foursome entertained for several minutes with their usual jovial antics of bobbing up and down while executing aquatics skills. The weasel kin eventually swam off in quest of their own catching fortunes.
Otter sightings are not unusual, but it had been a long time since these observers had seen any, so it was a wild neighborhood treat revisited.
Keep on hangin’ in there, and savor an October to remember!