Sunday, July 10, 2011

leaf season

Our life at gunflint often seems to be divided into two seasons. Right now we are in the middle of leaf season. It starts around the middle of may. One day we will have soft, gentle rain. Suddenly the trees will be covered with a green haze as young leaves peak out.

Next comes the period of lime green leaves. They are new and almost look fragile but the strong winds of a storm cannot shake them loose. The flowers are developing right along with the leaves. Soon these colorful flowers draw our attention away from the leaves.

Right now all our leaves have attained their robust mid-summer color. The forest is filled with these deep green leaves. They shade our homes and shelter the birds. It seems like they will always be with us.

But September is coming. After Labor Day the green is starting to fade on many leaves. By the middle of the month yellow is everywhere. That strong bond between leaf and branch is gone. The slightest whiff of wind will send them spiraling to the ground. It is time for bare branches again.

This is the time of year when we all fall in love with the patio. It was lee and Eva’s idea to replace a series of wood porches with a wide open patio overlooking the lake. Long summer days make it a perfect relaxing and dining spot. Parents can sit sipping something cool while kids can splash in the lake. Sunday barbeques seem to taste better while sitting on the patio. The only problem is that Bruce and I seem to work during meals. It is not often we get to enjoy sitting.

For those of you visiting the area, I want to remind you that the Chik-Wauk museum and nature center is open and waiting to welcome you. It tells the story of the people of the gunflint trail through pictures, displays and videos. On Sundays and Thursdays from now until late august there are guided hikes into the trail system around the museum. An indoor scavenger hunt is available for children. Picnic tables are great place for your pack lunch. In a short time the blueberries will be ripe and ready for picking. Plan to make this a stop on your way up the gunflint trail.

Speaking of ripe berries, now is the time to be out gathering wild strawberries. They are just tiny but bursting with favor. Raspberries and blueberries will be quickly available. I can already hear my children asking for their winter jam supply.

My finger is tired so that is all you get today.

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