It’s official now, Dagwagin (fall) in the north woods. After weeks of anticipation, the glorious season of color is what it is!
Wow, the digital opportunities are nearly beyond belief as the hues of autumn have exploded throughout the territory during the past seven days. The leaf-peeping fans had better not wait much longer as the colored tokens will soon be falling into history.
Last Sunday, a trip to the end of the Trail was nothing short of magnificent. In places, our trek took us through tunnels of golden ambiance with an occasional opening where a splash of scarlet maple was almost blinding in front of a beaming September sun.
Folks who can never get enough of summer are surely saddened, but for others this season of temperate transition can’t help but bring smiles of deep appreciation for the wonderful things that the natural gallery has on exhibit right now.
Our starlit, dreamcatcher nights are gradually giving way to the distant smell of ice, but regardless of one’s seasonal preference, all days are good, and some are even better here along the Gunflint Byway. So why not come along and enjoy?
October is banging at border country doors. Binaake-Giizis, the month of the ‘falling leaves, harvest and hunters’ moon’, is leaving the station. Scarlet and gold will be dripping from the skies as winds sentimentally whisk the tokens of fall into a frenzy that in 31 days will likely be flakes of white. We might as well get on board, have the ticket punched and enjoy a ride through the sky blue north woods yonder.
In spite of being barely into this gorgeous season, our trip mentioned earlier found us encountering a couple flocks of the winter welcome wagon. Yes, those snow buntings have already shown up and were a blur as they winged up in front of the vehicle leading us through paradise found. It makes me wonder if this seemingly early arrival might be an indication of the old man of the north’s premature arrival.
Moose sightings are on the increase after a warm summer found very few of the massive critters out posing for a photo op. I’ve heard of several vehicle stoppages at various places along the byway in the past week.
The moose rut might be starting to wane somewhat according to the calendar, but to hear tell of a visiting moose caller, the juices are still running. Seems this fellow and his spouse were out hiking and came upon a valley opening onto a small lake. For the fun of it, he decided on spewing a few unk’s and what to his wondering ears should he hear, but a rapid response from yon’ hillside.
This brought on a pair of communications from another direction, followed by a battle clacking of antlers. The first responder then uttered another call. That was followed by the noise of him thrashing through the timber.
As the human part of this equation was beginning to wonder where safety could be sought, a fourth call from moosedom echoed from a third direction. With discretion being the better part of valor, the couple made haste from the territory without looking back.
One will never know what the culmination might have been. It’s nice to know however, that there are still at least some big guys out there somewhere, what with the peril facing the Arrowhead herd.
For the record, the raccoon mentioned last week has not yet taken the bait, but the neighborhood chipmunks have surely enjoyed my sweet corn provision. Guess I might try a little bread and PB&J.
Keep on hangin’ on and savor a little bit of northern heaven!
Airdate: September 30, 2011
Photo courtesy of Sholeh via Flickr.