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Wildersmith May 20

Forget-Me-Not flower
Forget-Me-Not flower

FinalCut_Wildersmith_20100519.mp38.29 MB

With a major May rain in the upper Trail reaches, all kinds of happy things are happening. Fern fronds are beginning to unfurl, the forget-me-nots have forgotten-us-not, the golden lions are just dandy and the swamps/ponds are alive with peepers.

An inch at Wildersmith and just over in isolated places was an unexpected blessing. So for the time being, wildfire danger is tempered. This does not mean that careful use of fire in the forest should not be of critical concern.

Week three of May has warmed considerably. Our cold of the first couple stanzas wilted during the fishing opener weekend. It is amazing how warm 50 to 60 degrees can be. In fact yours truly actually broke into a sweat (bad for me and the moose) while getting the dock put into the lake last weekend.

Nice as the past few days have been, there are a couple reminders in the shaded woods where one can find samples of the winter past. For example, a mini-glacier (winter ice dam) can still be seen along the south Gunflint Lake Road. This is heart warming for those of us that prefer the time from October to April, but sadly, this seasonal remembrance will fade into trickles, but not to be forgotten. Perhaps it can make it to June.

Lakes were a-hummin’ as angling season got under way. Water temps are still cold (high 40s at the Wildersmith dock), so walleye fortunes may have been tentative depending upon the locale and fishing expertise. Nevertheless, with a great spring weekend, fishing could not have been better.

History is being made this week as the cold stone walls of the historic Chik-Wauk Lodge are coming alive. The museum design folks from Split Rock Studios arrived this past Monday to begin the installation of museum displays.

The dream of the Gunflint Trail Historical Society is soon to be a reality. As this magical resort of decades past is transformed into a place where the legendary history of the Gunflint Trail can once again be relived, excitement abounds. The July Fourth grand opening cannot come soon enough!

In addition to lakes being abuzz with fisher folks, there is considerable buzzing on land as well.
The wet flora and sudden 60s has beckoned those bitin’ flies. The slightest outdoor activity that disturbs anything at ground level and the swatting battles are on. Since they are a bit early, I’m in hope that there will be an early departure.

The skeeters are being seen but have not been appreciably hungry as yet. They should be warned however, that dragon flies have been spotted and the hovering gang will be ready for the annual mosquito feast.

The first bear episode in several years happened at Wildersmith last week. A yearling bear made its way onto the deck one afternoon. Snooping around and finding nothing edible, its memory suddenly failed. It couldn’t remember how it got up there.

The deck is a one way up and the same way back off, but this youngster was lost. Not realizing that the first step off the dead end was an 8- to 10-foot drop, the burly one decided to duck under the rail and climb down. Surprise, surprise, there was nothing to grab on to, and down it went.

I’m not sure how it landed, but by the time I could get out to encourage the departure, cubby was out of sight. All I could see was where it dug in to make its getaway. I wonder if this might be the same clumsy one that fell off a deck at a place down the road a couple weeks ago…must be a slow learner!

Keep on hangin’ on, and savor a springtime adventure!