Listen Now
Pledge Now


Wildersmith: May 31

Minnesota Lake
Minnesota Lake

Wildersmith_finalcut_20130531.mp35.09 MB

The Trail is just getting used to May and here comes June! My, how the days go by in paradise!
May was May in name only because most of the past 31 have been like late March or April. However, the past few days have begun to take on a summer feel. Guess it took the Memorial Day weekend to jump start the official warm weather season.

As we head off into month six, there are still a few reminders of winter here and there. We still have a mini glacier holding on along the Mile O Pine, and I see a couple more spots of dirty white ice packs down on County Road 20 And some folks are still being reminded of Old Man Winter while trying to thaw frozen septic tanks and mend broken water pipes.

The past couple weeks have seen seasonal residents return by the dozens. Meanwhile, with spectacular weather, the three-day holiday saw tourists by the car- and truck-load inundate the upper Trail. Visitors to the majestic Gunflint territory were seemingly bursting with energy for time on a lake or out in the forest after being unchained from the long white season.  I surmise that most lakes, like the Gunflint, were abuzz with the hum of boaters as vacation times begin to get under way.

It’s hard to believe our summer quarter is only three weeks away, with old Sol ready to linger for our longest daylight hour. Even more difficult to comprehend is our trek then heads the other direction again.  With our spring being mostly a non-issue, rebirth is hurrying with an explosion of virescence out this way.

We year-round residents have a passion for two seasons of color, the white one just past and the green one at hand.  And boy, how we love that green, let me count the shades.  

With their pine cousins providing the backdrop, deciduous parts of our forest are in varying stages of popping their foliage. The hills are alive with the hint of chlorophyll.  A trip along the byway is displaying ever-changing hues from almost chartreuse, to lime, sage, emerald and grass, to name but a few of the countless tints. Toss in those rays of sunshine and you have an early summer spectacle.

While rapid progress is being made on the infusion of docks, boats and canoes into area lakes and the usual seasonal cabin fixits, some of us are already into the next “getting ready for winter season.” Yours truly set about splitting and stacking of firewood last Sunday.  I’ve also been busy collecting blow down stuff from winter and have accumulated four burn piles for the next time we have snow.

 That firewood task happened after catching my breath from a day with good friends putting the Smith dock together and tackling an uncooperative leaky cabin waterline. It seems like one’s work is never ending out here in border country, but oh how we love it!

Air traffic is on the increase at our sweet juice station. The hummingbirds are circling in holding patterns for a shot of our sugary concoction, and not far from our dock on the Gunflint shore, we have a pair of common Mergansers hanging out with an apparent eye on setting up for a potential egg hatching.

 There’s also a lot of loon conversation on the water and through the air, and if that talk isn’t enough, somewhere around the Wildersmith yard a nest of young crows are adding their squawking two cents worth every once in a while.

Speaking of loons, the pair that has been nesting in the bay at Chik-Wauk Museum over the past two years has returned. As yet they‘ve produced no eggs, just doing a little housekeeping.  One can keep up with the process by going to and clicking on the prompts.

Oh, and by the way, those other winged critters are beginning to debut with the itching stings and nips on us humans. The bug dope and nets are coming out, ‘tis the season!

Tune in again next week for more bloomin’ news! Until then, keep on hangin’ on, and savor a June treat along the Gunflint!

Photo by Mykl Roventine via Wikimedia Commons: Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.