It was white on the Gunflint Trail this morning. Overnight we got about 1-2 inches of snow. This weekend was going to be the peak of fall color so the snow was quite a surprise. Our leaves are still tighly attached to the trees. Even the snow and wind of today is not sending them spirally to the ground. Looking out the window in my office, everything is blowing but I see no leaves in the wind. By tomorrow all this white stuff will probably be gone and we will be back to fall color.
As is part of the fall season, we have some hunters around. Partridge hunters are numerous but no one is bragging about the number of birds they have found. Bruce and I have been out a few times and gotten some. There will be several good partridge meals in the Kerfoot home.
There are four moose licenses for the upper Gunflint Trail. Three of the hunting groups have gotten their moose. I understand that the three shot were quite nice. Shari Baker at Gunflint Pines reports that the one coming into their place had huge palms on the rack and about 4-5 times on each rack. Hopefully the last group will fill out soon. At the Ham Lake landing on the Tuscarora Road, we saw a car and trailer with a chest freezer on the trailer. It must be from some moose hunters going into the BWCA through Ham Lake.
Wolves seem to be more prevalent than ever. Sue McCloughan at Bearskin Lodge had some guests out hiking the Beaver Dam Trail. They saw four wolf pups. At Golden Eagle Lodge Teresa Baumann saw a wolf on their road and prints behind their shop. Shari Baker said they had bears in the garbage. After the bears left, a wolf came in the scavenger through the leftovers. Luana Brandt at Nor'Wester Lodge has been hearing wolves but has not seen any. Bruce Kerfoot saw a wolf at the junction of the Gunflint Trail and the South Gunflint Lake roads.
Then we have had the miscellaneous sightings of other animals. Teresa Baumann has had a lynx sighting on their road. Since then she feels that there are fewer rabbits around. Tom Caldwell at Loon Lake Lodge has had a coyote hanging around for a week or so. The other day Tom was walking to the lodge and the coyote ran right in front of him. It is hard to tell who was the most surprised. Finally, almost everyone driving the Trail is seeing fox in the plural. As their winter coats fill out, these red fox are just beautiful to see.
Luana Brandt says that Poplar Lake is filled with animals. Several neighbors have reported seeing beavers. She has seen large otters playing around the dock. The ducks and eagle are dancing around each other. When the eagle comes, the ducks hid under the dock or a cedar tree. The Brandts did get a whinisical gift from the eagle -- one perfect white feather.
As we have fewer tourists on the Trail, the animals will continue to come out. Even for us, no matter how many times you see these animals, it is still thrilling to see another one.