The Halloween Blue Moon ushered in the gales of November along Wisconsin’s Lake Superior shore. High winds the first two days of November brought with them moderate temperatures, sun and dry weather – almost-perfect conditions for fall field work. Everyone took advantage of the great conditions to put things in order before the predicted long winter.

The warm weather was washed away by rain late Nov. 9. Gales and snow returned the next day to remind us of the sinking of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald that day in 1975. The Fitz was outbound from the Port of Duluth-Superior when it sank. All 29 crew members were lost. By Veterans Day a blanket of snow was on the ground and cold returned through the second week of the month.

It’s odd that many people think of Wisconsin as landlocked. With three major ports on the Great Lakes and barge traffic on the Upper Mississippi, tons of agricultural exports ship from the state.

The shipping season at the Port of Duluth-Superior began in March and is expected to run through the middle of January. In 2019 grain was the No. 1 export from the port, with more than 1.5 million tons shipped. Through the first half of the 2020 season tonnage has been more than 2019.

Bare trees tower over recently leaf-covered forest floor in northern Wisconsin, now covered in fresh snow. Grain harvest is nearing completion as is fall fieldwork. Some have reported having time for maintenance as well as projects that had been waiting during the busy growing and harvest seasons.

Farm stores around Chequamegon Bay remain open. Local meats, milk, ice cream, preserves, syrup, eggs, cider, beer, wine, spirits, mead and more are available. Visit www.feastbythebay.org/listing-of-local-farms for more information; call for days and hours of operation.

Human events are heading toward a new start for a new era. We may think change is a new thing, but ancient historians like Thucydides tell us it was much the same thousands of years ago. We can look to history to see we are not as unique as some would like to believe. Sometimes the field most difficult to survey is the one we in which we’re standing. Maybe if together we scramble to some high ground we can see a little better and meet the era together with optimism.

Jason Maloney from Washburn in northern Wisconsin lives between Lake Superior and the orchards and farms of Bayfield County. The retired soldier and educator grew up on a family farm in Marinette County.