by John Deming

About this time each year, we experience what may happen again tonight, a preview of the gales of early November.

Forty years ago, on the night of November 10, 1975 the Edmund Fitzgerald sank carrying 26,000 tons of iron ore in Lake Superior near Whitefish Bay. The captain and all 26 members of the crew were lost. Gordon Lightfoot’s haunting ballad about the Edmund Fitzgerald is one of those melodies that you instantly recognize as soon as you hear it. I visited Whitefish Bay about three years ago and found on the beach overlooking the bay small personalized memorials made of driftwood and photographs to honor family or friends lost nearly 40 years ago.

So what do these gales of early November bring us? They bring us a warning of what will be coming shortly. The winds also bring us a visitor for the winter, the Slate Colored Junco. A friendly fellow, just looking for a meager meal. Doesn’t matter the weather, raging snow storm or warm winter day, he’s just happy to be here. Today, he arrived. “The First One”.

Photos: Diane Deming