The second half of June has gotten off to a glorious wet start. The upper Trail saw choking dust turn to mud with a fine drop from the heavens last Saturday night. The rain gauge at Wildersmith filled to 1 1/3 inches.
This certainly takes the edge off what was becoming a touch-and-go potential for wildfire. Both residents and businesses are thankful that we hit the jackpot on one of those so often missed 20-percent prognostications.
We are also grateful for the moisture knowing that so many of our firefighting servants are far away doing battle with savage fires in other states. We Gunflint residents know firsthand the peril that those residents and firefighters are experiencing right now. They have our sympathy!
The spirit of Chik-Wauk is happy to announce that there is a new arrival. Yes, a hatching announcement proclaims some cracking good news.
Our Sag Bay resident loons have become parents! The big days were June 15 and 16, and those proud parents took little time in getting out and about to show off the new twins.
Snippets have come in on a couple atypical wilderness critter happenings. It seems that we have some real gourmets in our wild neighborhood.
A gal down the road tells about an eagle visit to her yard where it picked up barbequed rib bones that I suppose were intended for the neighborhood fox. This unusual fare would seem quite subdued compared to most carrion we see them feasting upon. I wonder if the sauce caused any indigestion.
In another incident, a report is shared in regard to a pine marten that found epicurean delight in ham bones and scraps left over from a pot of savory bean soup. Meanwhile, in a less surprising episode, a bruno cub showed up at Wildersmith one afternoon with an apparent growling tummy. It promptly interrupted a squirrel picnic at their seed tray (squirrels have to eat too), causing a rowdy ruckus throughout the yard.
With little fanfare, I casually dispatched the cuddly cub with a couple of shots from my blank pistol, sending it scrambling off into the forest. The tiny red rodents returned to their nibbling in no time at all. Thankfully, neither the mini-bear, nor any of his larger kin, have shown since.
Speaking of nibbling and gnawing, the insect onslaught continues. Although black flies have calmed somewhat, the mosquitoes seem enraged, and on some occasions, distant biting cousins, those no-see-ums, are making life miserable for the unprotected. I know official summer is but hours old, but oh for some frost!
On a more comforting note, this time from inside the window screens, I recently experienced a cool, wonderfully peaceful moment in the morning twilight, just before Sol’s initial piercing rays.
Picture this: A mirror-smooth Gunflint Lake surface, with neither a whisper of air, nor a stir amongst the flora, from treetop to forest floor. Then sunrise’s first warming light broke through the greenery.
The glowing beam of warmth first generated one rippling moose maple leaf and then a blade of grass wiggled near by. Next came a shimmering reflection of movement in the fiber optic of a spider’s doing and with that, there was a waggle from a white cedar frond.
Not to be outdone, a second, third and suddenly a zillion streams of sunshine burst through the woods. All things started warming, including the air, which subtlety began to waft over border country.
Growing each moment, with upward movement of the mercury, currents started rippling the once placid waters. Whispers increased into a breeze and glistening ripples ebbed into more raucous surges, setting the stage for all things in our land of sky blue waters.
The Gunflint territory was awake for another day. In an ever so brief space of time, everything on this green earth was alive, suddenly dancing to the tune of a new day. Being at that tender moment in time, when this grand saga of the ages ticked off on another day in history, was a spectacle to behold.
Getting back to another great Trail happening, our annual canoe race festival is nearing. July 18 is the big day and planning is in full gear. Upwards of 90 volunteers are needed ,so be prepared to get involved once again.
Raising funds for the continued growth of the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire and EMT crews is vitally important, so don’t be bashful about lending a hand. If you haven’t been contacted about a job for this year, contact Jim or Margit Jamieson at 388-4434.
Mark your calendar and plan to be there for all the food and fun! Tickets for the canoe drawing and raffle prizes are on sale now at several Trail locations.
Keep on hangin’ on and savor the Gunflint experience!
Airdate: June 22, 2012
Photo courtesy of sOlitude via Flickr.