Archive for the ‘Fall at Bearskin’ Category

Prediction: correct

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008
Quinn & Andy try out the new ice Tuesday afternoon.

Quinn & Andy try out the new ice Tuesday afternoon.

In our last blog ( we said, “Andy and Quinn are both predicting a totally frozen lake in the morning.”

Obviously, as you can see from this photo, they were right about the ice.

Some people are in a big hurry for the winter fun to begin.

For the mothers who are getting heart palpitations just thinking about these guys skating on one day old ice, it helps to know that this area of ice started forming earlier and was already quite thick; they didn’t actually venture out very far.  You don’t want to hear about the experiment with the canoe on fresh ice that occurred next. 




Waiting for snowflakes

Monday, October 27th, 2008

This fall Bearskin has two employees who are eagerly awaiting the first snow — not counting Andy and Quinn who are also impatiently hoping for snow, mainly so they can play with all the big, burly snow equipment.  Our new employees Laura and Megan come from Florida and Louisiana, where obviously snow is not a typical part of their life experience.  For them, the first time that it actually snows here on the Gunflint Trail will be a noteworthy day.

Earlier this week we almost had something for them – a cold rain was falling and if you looked carefully, you could imagine occasional hard-edged drops that almost passed for flakes.  Laura and Megan counted it as snow, and by Down South standards it might have qualified.   But we knew better.  

The forecast for this weekend threatened snow showers for Sunday.  It was a bizarre weather day.  All afternoon dark, angry clouds raced across a gray sky, alternating with unexpected bursts of fleeting sunshine.  The erratic rain briefly turned icy often enough that we promised Megan and Laura that they would surely see real snow by the end of the afternoon.  It didn’t happen.

However, this is our forecast:    

We might not be making snowmen this week. Quinn probably won’t be able to take out his skis and most likely Andy won’t be running the plow truck.  But Laura and Megan just might see genuine snowflakes before the week is over.

Snow sprinkles along the lake path this morning.

ADDENDUM as of 1:30 PM 10/27/08:  Sometime during the night, after I wrote this blog, the snow came.  Not a lot of snow; just a sprinkle.  Certainly not enough to ski on or to plow or groom.   As Calvin in the old Calvin and Hobbes comic strip once said, “Getting an inch of snow is like winning 10 cents in the lottery.  If it hadn’t been the first snow, we’d label it an annoyance.  But Megan and Laura have now seen their first “real” snow.  We can safely assume that it won’t be their last.





Falling leaves

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008
Saturday, October 11, around 5 PM —  View from Main Lodge window of trees along shore of East Bearskin Lake

Leaves. Now you see them....

Monday, October 13th, around 5 PM  — View from Main Lodge window of trees along shore of East Bearskin Lake you don't!

William Cullen Bryant called autumn “the year’s last, loveliest smile.”  This fall on the Gunflint Trail that “last smile” has been exceptionally lovely, as well as long lasting.  For weeks callers have been asking, “How’s the color now?”  We’d peer out the window at the trees along the lake and honestly answer, “Oh yes, the colors are still pretty nice.”  This part of the Gunflint Trail only has a smattering of trees with dramatic red leaves — the hues of the birches, moose maples, and tamaracks tend more towards oranges and yellows, a vivid but less flashy leaf palette that seems to last longer.  Realistically we could see that the color was not at its official “peak,” but the landscape was still vibrant.

And then, for no apparent reason, yesterday it started raining leaves –- yellowish orange birch leaves fluttering down from the trees everywhere.  It wasn’t especially windy, so the leaves landed in great yellow circles around the bases of the birch trees—proving to us that the phenomenon was not just a product of our imaginations. By midday today, most of the leaves were gone.  Here and there an intermittent reluctant birch was still gripping its bright yellow leaves, conspicuously colorful compared to the surrounding naked birches.

Tonight a noisy, blustery wind is gusting through the trees.  In the moonlight we can see leaves blowing by the windows almost horizontally. By morning the big yellow circles of fallen leaves will undoubtedly be dispersed. Most likely, the remaining colorful leaves still clinging to branches will not survive this wind. 

The flamboyant phase of fall is ending on the Gunflint Trail.  Leaves are lovely, but they do have a drawback –- they conceal far too much.  As the leaves finally fall from the trees, we begin the second, less appreciated, but possibly more interesting stage of autumn on the Trail.