Quiet is the catchword in border country as we pass the halfway point of month 11. An occasional distant boom from a deer hunter’s rifle, winds whispering through the pines and waves being dashed along granite shorelines are the only blemish on what most would call dead silence. There has even been little avian noise around the deck-side feeders at Wildersmith.
The upper end of the Trail got its first real blanketing of snow late last week. Accumulations were light and varied depending on one’s locale, but for the most part, two inches seemed to be the maximum.
Yours truly made a trip to Grand Marais as the winter stuff was tapering off. The forest was decked out in feathery crystal, refreshing memories of the beauty that Mother Nature bestows with her purity from the heavens. There’s no business like snow business.
Real quickly my regard for those winter driving conditions was renewed. The Trail was obviously snow-covered. Although there were no close calls, the trip involved a bit more time and a tighter grip on the wheel. At this keyboarding, the ground is still white where shadows of mountains and forest blank out the sinking sun, but the byway has dried off to normal for the time being.
In the meantime, temperatures settled down below freezing for a few days and along with some still nights, many smaller bodies of water took on that smooth as glass hard water look. The below freezing daytime readings, which is my self-imposed criteria for declaring winter, has allowed me to make the formal proclamation for these parts.
The celebration of harvest time is rapidly gaining our attention as the “beaver moon” is waning motionless on the fringes of our planet. Thanksgiving in our land is a wonderful opportunity for reflection. In the northland, folks are particularly blessed with uncountable natural gifts that might be taken for granted by some outsiders.
I hope that everyone will give a moment of thought and thanks, as the day approaches, for the skies, the stars, the lakes, the trees, the winds, the critters, the friends and the family that makes existence both here in the forest and far, far away so rich and rewarding.
The kick-off that Thanksgiving gives to the holiday season got under way here at Wildersmith, although not quite as soon as most American merchandisers. The post-blow down coniferous plantings around the place have now grown to the point where they are in need of firewise pruning. Thus yours truly has been busy for a few weeks snipping greens and stashing them for the usual seasonal decorating.
This past Sunday my dear wife, who enjoys wreath making, decided it’s time. So the process was initiated in the lower level of the house. I must say that considering all the smells of north woods outdoors, there is nothing that I enjoy more than the perfumed
fragrance of fresh cut pine and fir boughs.
With the garland exercise at hand, the home interior has the distinct whiff of a forest sachet. Mmmm, what a great time of the year, wood smoke outside and holiday aromas inside. Oh, and I must add, how about that spicy smell of baking pumpkin bread? Life can’t get any better!
Wildersmith wishes to add a Gunflint Trail thanks to everyone who renewed or newly joined the WTIP family of supporters during last week’s “Deeply Rooted” membership drive. What a refreshing time it was as the community of WTIP radio listeners stepped up and “walked the talk.”
Keep on hangin’ on, and savor a season to give thanks!
Airdate: November 18, 2011
Photo courtesy of Julia Weatherbee via Flickr.