March 31st, 2011 | News | 0 Comments
Today marks the last day of the winter lake trout season both inside and outside of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. This ice fishing finale is probably a better marker of winter’s passing on the Gunflint Trail than the first day of spring, or even ice out dates that are yet to come.
Although we’re fast approaching the month of April, a quiet time on the Trail, we’re in the midst of one of our most uniquely noisy times of the year. We’re well into our second week of day-after-day sunny skies and when sunshine combines with snow and ice, an interesting cacophony forms. For the last couple weeks, ice has been groaning and creaking as it expands and contracts with rising and falling temperatures throughout the day. At this point, the ice isn’t producing too many loud gigantic booms. Instead, the ice makes muffled noises — similar to a car door slamming shut in the distance or a heavy box being dropped onto a wooden deck– that often rumble all through the night.
Snow will always be susceptible to sugar analogies it seems, and in in the last few weeks, we’ve watch snow along the Gunflint Trail shift through “sugar types” fairly quickly. Just a few short weeks ago, powdered sugar fluff was coming from the sky. Warmer weather compacted the snow cover and subzero nights hardened snowy surfaces into a baked sugar cookie sort of consistency. Now, with daily highs in the 40s, Gunflint Trail snow is currently in the grainy “rock candy” stage.
Snowbanks remain plenty high, but if you listen closely as you pass the banks, you can hear the telltale tinkling sounds of melting. It almost sounds as though little creatures are stumbling down the snowbank in a tinkling fall every time a small section of the snow bank collapses. Throw in chirping songbirds, chattering squirrels, and thumping ice and it’s a veritable springtime symphony in the Gunflint Trail woods these days!
Have you signed up for the ultimate Gunflint spring time event, Gunflint Green Up, yet?