“Biboon” (winter) is official in these parts, as defined by my Wildersmith criteria. Last weekend spelled the beginning as the daytime temp actually stayed below the freezing mark here on our shores of Gunflint Lake.
The Ojibwe have rightly named this month as that of the “Freezing over moon” (Gash Kadino-Giizis). This is exactly what was going on around here as ice was being made on small ponds, swamps and anything else that would hold quiet water.
Taking things farther, the Mile O Pine was covered in thin layer of white on both Saturday and Sunday mornings. Although the coating was not thick enough to endure until next spring, it was nevertheless energizing for those of us who have been waiting for the first real coming.
The adventure of first accumulating snow always captures me. On this occasion, I was the first to make tracks on our scarcely used roadway last Saturday morning, even beating the four-legged critters as best I could determine.
The initial trek on a pure smooth covering harkens me back to pioneer times when life was simpler and there were far fewer beings around. Each step taken by mankind back then meant something about survival. I can’t escape the charm of making a primal mark on a path that has not been tread following a fresh dose of winter wonder. It’s not exactly like taking the first step on the moon, but still intriguing for yours truly in an un-explainable way.
As fall gives way to winter, it has been pleasing to see the return of our wilderness “welcome wagon.” Snow buntings are gathering all along the Trail. With the approach of one’s vehicle they are erupting in clouds of fluttering white underbodies to lead us through this paradise arbor. It sure is delightful to watch their swooping aerial acrobatics.
Another return engagement happened last week on our deck rail cafeteria. Out of nowhere that wily old pine marten stopped by after having been MIA for several months. It too confirmed that the season of cold is official. The coat it was sporting was rich and lush as if it was January, not late October.
Speaking of lush apparel, I spotted a snowshoe hare a day or two ago that has also completed transition to winter wear. So my early winter declaration comes with credible validation from several in the wild neighborhood.
The firearms venison stalking gets under way throughout the area this weekend. Here’s hoping that those orange clad beings sitting out in the woods pretending to be a tree or a bush have a safe hunt. Further, this time of year means that the non-hunting public out in the forest should be all about sporting their glowing outer gear too. For all hunters, give a hoot; don’t shoot, unless you’re sure!
Not only is the excitement of the deer season upon us, this is the big week of the final 2012 membership drive in support of community radio throughout the northland. Once again, I’m encouraging everyone to step up and get “Tuned In” with those who want this WTIP magic of the airwaves to continue.
Pledging is so easy, and oh so important! Your membership contribution will ensure that top-drawer WTIP programming extends on and on into the future! Call us now at 218-387-1070, 800-473-9847 or click and pledge at www.wtip.org.
Keep on hangin, on and savor the crystal coming.
Airdate: November 2, 2012