We reentered winter, as a storm came grinding in from the southwest. With January almost gone, the upper Trail region finally got an addition to its oft smudged old white blanket.
The blessing took better part of a week to get here, and then the system couldn’t make up its mind whether to be liquid or crystalline.
In the end, several more inches of snow was piled on, and the forest is now refreshed, just in time for another full lunar experience over the wilderness landscape.
If you have been following me very long, it is well known that I have a tender spot for this time of year. So when a white miracle falls from the skies, understand that it provides a heavenly feeling, in spite of the removal factor.
The autumn season can be spectacular in the border country, but when marshmallow puffs drape the woodsy canopy, as occurred this last weekend, there is no natural happening that can match the pure splendor of this universe section.
The gentle warmth of the past couple weeks has allowed “beards of winter” to show themselves on roof edges and gutters throughout the territory. Another rite of winter is the build up of these icy stalactites. They are hanging out like frosty whiskers on the chin of an “old man winter” caricature.
Once again, the oozing of melting crystal into drip, drip, drip; and then a sudden stop to create a perfectly sculpted lancet is a miracle in and of itself. The extravagant beauty of these nature made spears goes unmatched, never duplicated and offers one more glistening sample of this most wonderful time of the year.
Breaking wolf news is that the life, of a sick, mangy looking critter has come to an end. Lurking about the Gunflint Lodge/Gunflint Pines Resort neighborhood for many months, word of the ailing animal apparently reached wolf management authorities. A member of their wolf management team was dispatched, and within a day or so of arrival this tough, but sick female was put to rest.
I remember seeing one in the same area last winter, and it survived into the spring of ’09. Don’t know whether this might have been the same one or not. If it was, she was beyond courageous! Amazing thing about this critter is that she survived many cold months with almost no body fur, from the shoulders to the tip of her tail.
Although the stone cold Chik Wauk lodge stands silently this time of year, the committee charged with converting the grand old place into a museum is busy with behind the scenes work. The home stretch for completion has rounded the curve and is headed for the opening day on the Fourth of July.
Design specialists, Split Rock Studios, are in the early stages of building display venues, after several weeks of shop drawings’ reviews with GTHS museum leaders. Being a part of this review team, I can share with all that the finished product is going to be wonderful, and will do the Gunflint Community proud in preserving its rich history.
Keep on Hangin’ on, and savor the return to winter!