Wildersmith November 5

Snowshoe Hare
Snowshoe Hare

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After several months of growling about the months of territorial drought, a rather substantial precipitation event occurred over a few days last week. Wonders will never cease!
 
At Wildersmith the rain gauge filled to two inches and there was probably more in the higher elevations. The wet event probably did little to raise lake levels much, but it was a welcome start, and will be much appreciated by billions of trees that needed some H2O to freeze around their roots for the winter.
 
So we’re off into November! The month of the Full Beaver moon, when our wilderness is nodding drowsily in anticipation of a long winter’s nap. It’s our time of stalking a whitetail to fill the freezer and looking back at a harvest bounty where Thanksgiving can be offered.
 
Except for the deer scrambling to keep ahead of a hunter’s aim, life in the territory has slowed to a proverbial snail’s pace. The waiting game begins, wishing for snow to start piling up and ice to thicken, so as to get on with those fabulous winter activities.
 
The 19th anniversary of the fabled Halloween blizzard passed and the weather was not even close to a repeat. However, an inch or so of white did accumulate last Saturday morning, and the landscape was in crystal splendor for most of the day until a peek of late afternoon sun did its thing.
 
The current scene looks much like the neighborhood snowshoe hares: a little bit white with a bit more brown. Another feature of our colder time’s onset has trailside lakes coated with wrinkles of ice in recent mornings. Guess it’s about time, as this usually happens about a couple weeks earlier than now.
 
Speaking of hares, there’s a section of woods along the south Gunflint Lake Road where a number of the northwoods bunnies have been doing their multiplication since last spring and into the summer. A drive by the area recently found them in an apparent caucus (hope it wasn’t political), as I counted eight in just a couple hundred feet.
 
They all were in different stages of attire transition, with one being in near complete winter garb while its relatives were still in brown and white saddle shoe mode. As morning low temps continue to dwindle into the teens, and with an added blanket of white, slipping into that pure white fur is sure to be on the rapid increase.
 
With the growth of this hopping community, one would wonder if there might be an influx of Canadian lynx in the not too distant future. It will be of interest to see if we get a snarling of cats to harmonize with the chorus of wolves in this sector of the Gunflint world.
 
Another hard working crew of Chik-Wauk enthusiasts was on the scene last Saturday to see that the trail boardwalk project got done before winter sets in. After several hours, the walkway met up with the other end of the open Rubaboo trail. Although a few curve connections need to be finished, along with final leveling adjustments, the lion’s share of the job is done, well done!
 
Visitors next spring and summer are certain to enjoy the path across the marsh while hiking through this end of the trail paradise. Thoughts of the natural things that might be observed while strolling along this wood and steel footway seem endless. Thanks again to all who pitched in!
 

Keep on hangin’ on, and savor the time of the freezing-over moon.

Airdate: November 5, 2010 


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