Wildersmith on the Gunflint: June 13

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“June is bustin’ out all over” as the old tune goes, and it couldn’t be more fitting for folks coming to and living in the upper Gunflint Corridor. The time is proper that we’re also busting out with the full “strawberry moon” (Ode’imini Giizis) while completing week two of month six.
           
More and more of our wilderness earthly treasures have popped up over the past seven days. Just when I thought the forget-me-nots had forgotten us, they have sprung to life. And those delicate moccasin flowers are a-bloom, while the first wild rosebuds of the season are puffing with anticipation.
           
Further, notice is made of those controversial non-native lupines having sprouted buds along area roadsides. These colorful spires will soon be either a blooming blessing or an invasive curse depending upon one’s point of view.
           
The lake level on our Gunflint Gal has begun to recede from the spring run-off, and has warmed into the low 50s. Such being the case, yours truly will be able to finish my dock installation.  My first installation exercise was put on hold by too-high water at the jetty’s deepest point. Also water temperatures will no doubt be more conducive than the high 30s when I first attempted the maneuvers on Memorial Day weekend.
           
Since my last scribing, the Smiths experienced a visitor to our deck that matched the color of the night. Yup, a yearling bear stopped by in search of some easy supper.
             
I believe it was just making door-to-door checks to see if some foolish folks might have left a bird feeder out. Fortunately for us, he found the trough bare. I encouraged his departure with an obnoxious blast from my blank starting pistol along with a few u-welcome words. Last I saw, it was high tailing off into the dark forest.
           
Bruno has not been back since, but left a reminder of what it thought about my hospitality by dropping a calling card at the top of my driveway.
           
The folks over at Cross River Lodge report an uncommon avian hanging out around their facility. There are birds too numerous to name in these parts, but observers don’t remember ever seeing this visitor up this way. I’m guessing the cooing critter has a GPS problem and made a wrong turn on its way to the Pigeon River. Of course, I’m only joking!
           
It seems this pigeon dropped in a while back and has taken a liking to the easy nutritional fare. The bird could be someone’s pet or perhaps that of a study group as it has been tagged. If anyone in the area has lost their air mail proxy, or knows of how to get it headed in the right direction, they should give Cross River Lodge a call at 218-388-2233.
           
Not only is the upper Trail celebrating the prospect of summer (Neebing in Ojibwe), Gunflint Community residents will be marking completion of the third and final stage of the Volunteer Fire Department facility enhancement projects. The spiffy new Fire Hall #3 and Seagull Lake Community Center will be hosting an open house/dedication and dinner this coming Tuesday, June 17.
           
For anyone not familiar with the former fire hall site, the new facility is located in the same locale (at #7 Seagull Lake Access Road, across from the Seagull Creek Fishing Camp). The open house will commence at 4:00 pm to be followed by followed by dinner and a short program. Dinner will be served beginning at 5 pm. The meal, which is free to all, is being provided through the generosity of Upper Lakes Foods with preparation by several volunteer food service masters.
           
Congrats and thanks to everyone in the Gunflint Community for dedicating themselves and their resources to making these three important fire and emergency facility upgrades a reality! Another great community success story, well done!
           
On a related GTVFD note, planning is under way for the annual Gunflint Trail canoe races. The event will happen Wednesday, July 16th, again on the Waterfront at Gunflint Lodge.  The call is for all hands on deck by chairman Chris Steele; many volunteers are needed! You can contact Chris at 388-9485. Mark your calendar for this fundraising fun.
           
Another reminder is made about the memorial service this coming Saturday for Eleanor Matis. The remembrance will be held in the Gunflint Lodge Conference Center at 2 pm. All who knew her are welcome to share in the celebration of her life.
           
Keep on hangin’ on, and savor some Gunflint adventures!
 
 
 (Photo by Jason Hollinger on Wikimedia Commons)
 


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