Solstice Time in The Wilderness

Summer Solstice in the Wilderness Photo by Dionne Hartnett on Flickr
Summer Solstice in the Wilderness Photo by Dionne Hartnett on Flickr

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Summer magic is taking its turn for both residents and visitors to the Gunflint.
A trip either up or down the byway is just splendid these days. As spring flowers are beginning to fade, the first splurge of summer color is taking over.
Reports from all over the territory indicate a wonderful bloom of precious moccasin flowers along with columbine that is jumping up from brilliant patches of forget-me-nots. I even heard of the first wild rose blossom. What a show!
Although many folks swear at them, those invasive lupines are nonetheless an attractive addition to the growing spectacle of early season blooms. They are about to explode with their spectrum of white to pink to purple at many places along our paradise passage. And if you want an extraordinary rainbow showing, the south Gunflint Lake Road (County Rd. 20/50) is about to become Lupine Lane.
The last trip to Grand Marais found me captured once more by the magnificence of Mother Nature’s handiwork. The spirit of the winds was unusually calm that day, and reflections were exceptional on myriad natural mirrors. Every body of water that we passed portrayed such stillness that there was a majestic personification of shoreline water color in the truest sense of the word. The brilliance of such artisanship goes un-matched.
Just when I told of the last frosty rooftop a week or so ago, Jack Frost came a-calling to Wildersmith once more. This time on June 9, and the nipping was just enough to bite one of my tomato plants, aarrrg!
Rainfall continues to be minimal in these parts with only about one-third of an inch since our last WTIP visit. The cool Gunflint Lake waters have dropped about three to four inches since topping off with the last of the snow melt. I’ve also noticed that the mini falls on Larch Creek near the Seagull Guard Station has slowed to little more that a trickle. We need help; sure wish that the rain gods could shift that jet stream of moisture up through border country.
Sad news comes from the loon nest at Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center. As you will recall from last week, I was boasting of the wonderful opportunity to get a view of the little gal sitting on her nest. That was short lived, because just after my story came out, the museum manager notified me that an eagle had chased the loon away and made a meal of the eggs. Guess there were a lot of mournful cries about the bay.
Since that happening, the pair has returned to hang around the nest once more. I’m told that there is a chance they might start all over again. Some cousins over on Hungry Jack Lake have just come to their nest, indicating that the season might not be too late for the Chik-Wauk pair to try for another family addition.
Momentum is growing for the annual Gunflint Trail Canoe Races. Although the lead organizers have been working for months, the sequential joining together of other hands to make it happen on July 20 is full speed ahead.
The fundraising extravaganza which benefits the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire and Rescue Crews will be held as usual along the Gunflint Lodge waterfront. Raffle and canoe drawing tickets are out at many locations. Plan to help the cause and mark your calendar for an evening of food and fun!
BREAKING NEWS, just before this scribing was sent off on cyber waves, I received word that the Chik-Wauk Loon pair is sitting on the nest once again! Wonders of the wilderness never cease.
Keep on hangin’ on, and savor Solstice time in the wilderness!


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