Fall Color Burst

The leaves have really come in to a full blast of color over the last week. The Canadian shore, green for so long, is now a mix of golds, yellow, fading green and orange---a true feast for my eyes. As I drive down the Trail, I feel as though I am in a bright tunnel. The two birch trees at the front corners of the lodge are also gold right now. For this short time that the leaves are changing, these two trees brighten up our store in a way that even the sunshine can't replicate. To top it off, the weather the past few days has been amazing for early October, with temps on the sixties and seventies, sunshine and lots of blue sky. Perfect for leaf-looking photo opportunities.
The Forest Service has been conducting a prescribed burn at the East End of Gunflint Lake since Friday. Called the Saucer Lake burn, this patch of blowdown is approximately 2600 acres. It encompasses the area from Bridal Falls, north to Little Gunflint Lake, east to North Lake, and south to Crab Lake. This burn is being done to protect structures to the east, on Mayhew and Birch Lakes, should a wildfire ever get going. The crews have been doing some staging out of our boat landing, so they have given me some idea of how the burn is progressing. It sounds as though it is doing what they hoped it to do---burning the fuels left over from our 1999 blowdown. Over the next few years, it will be an area to observe. I am interested to see how the forest reacts after a fire of this sort. One thing I have heard is that the fire area often yields excellent blueberry and mushroom crops in the first few years of recovery. That is something to look forward to.
Our Alaska travelers are due back in the county on Tuesday. They spent two weeks touring the southern parts of the state, from Valdez all the way down to Homer, then on up to Anchorage to see some relatives who live there. In the last few days, they visited Talkeetna, and camped for a night in Denali. They were able to see and photograph the mountain, and they also saw some grizzly bears. Once they are back, I will have them post some of their stories to this blog.
It's such a wonderful time of the year, with the colors so great and the weather so pleasant. A good time to be outside. But hurry! They say that by Thursday up here on the Gunflint, we may actually see some rain and snow mixed, and the high is to be 41. Won't be long, and we'll be pulling out the skis!