If the scrawny branches on the birches and the aspen around the Lutsen Tofte area make it seem like it’s still winter here, look a little closer.
A faint fuzz of green buds is on the twigs, a rebuttal to the snow patches in creek beds and a harbinger of warmer months to come.
The fleeting beauty of this emerging life recalls the Robert Frost poem, “Nothing Gold Can Stay.”
“Nature’s first green is gold,” he writes. As a keen observer of the natural world, Frost knew that the first buds often appear yellowish. Like gold, the promise of summer is precious.
Bluefin Bay is ready for that summer. There is a fleet of bikes in the downstairs activity room, ready to range the Gitchi Gami bike trail and out to the swollen falls of the Temperance, Cross, and Onion Rivers. Meanwhile, the fishing crowd can look forward to snagging bass, trout and walleye with the opener on Saturday. Bluefin kayaks will soon be cruising up and down Lake Superior, checking out the cliffs and alcoves near the resort. The summer naturalist programs will acquaint families with Thistle the Porcupine and other visiting creatures.
In short, there’s a lot to look forward to.
But why hurry? The early spring is spectacular in its own right. A hike through the woods around Carlton Peak or at the Temperance River is a chance to see golden buds on the branches – soon to develop into dark green leaves later in the season. Wild leeks pop out from leaf litter on the forest floor along with fiddleheads.
The early spring beauty is not forever. Those fiddleheads will unfurl into ferns. The golden buds will grow to the dark leaves of summer. Black flies will emerge, though they too are (fortunately) temporary.
The poet describes these changes in the natural world better than I can. “Nothing gold can stay,” Frost writes.
In other words, the most beautiful things are ephemeral. But those who take the time to get out and appreciate such beauty can hold a piece of it for a lifetime.
-Tom Fagin, Activities