Wildersmith On The Gunflint Aug. 8, 2009

Chipmunk
Chipmunk

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Back home at Wildersmith once again, this time with two energetic grandsons sharing our love of the wilderness for a couple weeks. My gratitude is extended to the nosey pup over on Hungry Jack Lake for scoping the upper Trail while I was traveling.

August appears to be taking on a more summerlike feel with temps headed toward 80 in week two. We hope it will not be an extended blistering, as heat is the least of our needs when the rain gods have called another work stoppage on moisture production around these parts.

I have noticed that some ground cover along the Trail has decided to call it a season already. Golden leaf patches at earth level are joining in with a little scarlet blush on a few moose and sugar maples to let us know that fall is about to squeeze its way into our lives.
Another sign of the waning summer season is noted as the mid-Trail folks are gearing up for their annual fundraising extravaganza Aug. 15. The 12th yearly effort in support of the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire and Rescue teams will be held at Fire Hall #1 from 1 to 4 p.m.
The grand prize for the afternoon will be a raffling off of the mid-Trail quilters 2009 creation. The quilt raffle tickets are still on sale at the Loon’s Nest, Norwester and Windigo. Features preceding the big drawing include the flea market, an artisans’ boutique and the enthusiastic live auction.
On another fundraising note, the Gunflint Trail Historical Society is continuing their year-long effort to sell chances on their Chik Wauk Museum grand opening prize. This too is a magnificent quilt, produced by Tucker Lake resident Melissa Anderson. These tickets are on sale now and will be featured at special events along the Trail until next July 4th when the winner will be awarded. Judy Edlund (388-4400) has ticket information.
Wonders in the woods never cease to amaze with regard to wildlife happenings. Such is the case this week where I received two incredible animal stories.
The first involves an avian and a rodent. Seems a feed tray, at a place down the road, had been filled with items that would be of interest to a frequent Seagull visitor. Sure enough the waterway scavenger swooped down to partake. Soon a nosy squirrel snuck up to the feed trough for a look-see. The gull eyed the meddling intruder while snarfing up the goodies. Apparently, enough snooping was enough, and with a darting attack the bird snatched the mini-rodent by the scruff of the neck and flew off into the blue. One will never know what became of the furry one, maybe lunch.
A second animal tale concerns a curious and industrious chipmunk. At the same address on Mile O’ Pine, the resident had just returned from grocery shopping. To begin the unloading process, the first armfuls were carried to the cabin, leaving the vehicle tailgate open. No sooner had the first load departed than an observant chippy saw this as a chance to explore the remaining vittle totes. Seems hard to believe that the diminutive critter could get up in to the vehicle that quick, but it did.
The rewards proved to be splendid for the little one. Picking from a selection of chocolate, butterscotch and peanut butter baking chips, a 12-ounce package of the peanut butter variety was chosen. How it got the chips bag out of the larger sack is unknown, but when the human part of this equation returned for more unloading, she found the tiny striped rodent dragging its newfound treats (backward) across the yard.
Now I don’t know how much a grown chipmunk might weigh, maybe two or three ounces at the most, but here it was taking part in a Herculean theft of goods about four to six times its size. Maybe major league baseballers aren’t the only ones on steroids!
Extraordinary as this occurrence might have been, next day, the same vehicle door was opened for another task, within moments, the athletic c’munk jumped in again for another look around.
Keep on hangin on, and savor a wilderness adventure!
 

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