Chilly fall

The bite of fall has sunk its teeth deep this week and there are more wet, cold, and windy days ahead in the forecast. Traditionally we get a week or two of late summer sunshine during the leaf season, but it might be a short window this season.

Fall is arguably the best season of the year for many Cook County residents and visitors, but the weather can be unpredictable and often too cold, wet, or windy to enjoy the entire day outdoors. Frost and fog keep early risers in bed a little longer and the mid-day warm-up might be brief, but majestic autumn scenery, bug-less woods, and warm sunshine are rare enough to warrant a little extra effort to enjoy.

Grouse hunters had a “ruff” time (punny) finding birds this week with high winds and nasty weather keeping them tight to their cover. Hiking the woods is tough before the vegetation falls, especially when it is wet.

There have been a few hunters gathering at our watering hole this week complaining about the elusive ruffed grouse that reside in our woods. A few stories about hearing the birds clucking and scurrying through the woods, but very few shots fired.

Anglers have also been singing the blues with tough bites reported on the bigger Gunflint Trail lakes. Saganaga Lake has been the most consistent at giving up some eater-sized walleyes in 25 to 30 feet of water.

Unfortunately, there are no more day-use motor permits available for Saganaga Lake this season, which is silly, until October 1 when the permit system expires for the summer.

Hopefully the chilly fall is just a reminder that winter is not far away and soon the sunshine will continue to brighten the leaves and keep everyone in some Vitamin D for a few more weeks.