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Wildersmith Feb. 3

Wildersmith_20100205.mp38.22 MB

Welcome February, the month of hearts and chocolates, and a “full snow” moon.

The “wolf moon” of January highlighted nighttime skies over the northland during the past week. A cool blue aura across the frozen landscape, complete with billions of inky coniferous umbra, was nothing short of sensational under our twinkling heavens.

It has been a week since the big snow ended month one of the new decade. We can only hope that the next 28 might hold true to the lunar “full snow” moniker. Going a month between white offerings is hard to swallow for folks out this way.

The bounce back to winter since our last big storm has seen temps again in the more seasonal, minus category at nights, and even a few days where mercury could not struggle up to the zero mark.

While post-storm days have been sparkling, a shadow of sadness fell over the region Monday, January 25. Word was received on the passing of former Saganaga Lake resident, Pat “Patsy” Shunn. Memorial services were held in Cloquet last Friday.

Patsy and husband Frank lived looking over the Sag Lake corridor for many years, and she was the consummate north woods ambassador. The Sag Lake landing was her love as she attended the parking lot, greeting and sending folks off into border country waters for a time of fishing adventures, rest and relaxation.

A multitude of kind words have come from all over the Arrowhead celebrating her life. Her presence in spirit will long endure for those that had the privilege of knowing this icon of the Sag.  Gunflint community condolences are extended to Frank and all of Patsy’s surviving family.

The trout catching has been providing happy results for most ice drillers, and other activities oriented toward snow couldn’t have much better conditions. Ski trails look great and snowshoeing has to be the best of the season thus far. It’s taken quite a bit of work to get the ski trails back up to snuff after the wet heavy snowstorm brought down numerous branches and trees.

Most fishing stories are about catches, or the one that got away. Happening on opening weekend, this next story was not so amusing. A local fisherman who worked all day to get just one keeper was not smiling much, yet it is somewhat a laugher, to those who have heard the story and passed it along.

After returning to his cabin and while putting equipment away, both his prize catch and the remainder of his lunch were left outside the door for a few moments. Once inside, he heard a ruckus at the door. Answering the racket maker, he was surprised to find both his trout and lunch bag being carried up his driveway in the jaws of a hungry wolf.

Charging out and hollering at the thief, he chased the critter up the drive only to have the lunch bag dropped. However, the trout entrée he was planning for dinner would not be relinquished and eventually disappeared into the forest. Obviously, the catch of the day was not wasted. Most likely, a feast for brother wolf ensued while leftover lunch may have been the menu for a frustrated angler. Guess we sometimes forget that, in the wilderness, some hungry being is always watching and waiting for a chance at an easy meal.

Keep on hangin’ on, and savor hopes for a snowy February!