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North Shore Morning

AM Community Calendar/photo by masochismtango on Flickr

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News and information, interviews, weather, upcoming events, music, school news, and many special features. North Shore Morning includes our popular trivia question - Pop Quiz! The North Shore Morning program is the place to connect with the people, culture and events of our region!

 


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Wildersmith on the Gunflint: September 11

With this week’s Radio Waves commentary, I begin year 14 of scribing the Gunflint scoop. It hardly seems possible I have been doing this since 2002. For those of you not familiar, the first six were for the Cook County News Herald, while the anniversary of my time with this great radio station will head off into year eight come December. What a great run it has been thanks to all the news makers and everyone who listens!

Labor Day weekend seems to be all about endings and beginnings. So many observe the holiday as the end of summer; it’s hoped this area follows suit with an end to the miserable heat and humidity which has hung over us for week one of month nine. I can’t think of one person I’ve encountered over the past seven who hasn’t had a not too pleasant comment about the continuing jungle-like conditions. Although autumn officially remains several days away by the calendar, it’s just time for a real beginning to the cooler season with all the happenings tied to the start of another academic year for the young people in our midst.

Moisture additions were minimal in these parts over the past week until this Saturday night into Sunday when a swell rain doused the territory. Most rain gauges topped out at about an inch. Fortunately, the heavens opened up with not too much an uproar around Wildersmith, just a good soaker.

Speaking more of endings, I continue to be captured by the intensity and mystique of daytime closings. If the days-end phenomena isn’t played-out on land or in the sky, it’s in-between on one of the beautiful border country lakes. Such was the case recently when the Smith’s day closed down in a boat on the lake. Conditions were such with warm steamy temps hovering over cool water of Gunflint Lake. The results found blankets of gauzy fog forming incongruous lake level layers as we skimmed the quiet ripples. The early evening magic was breaking through these ghostly clumps where one could see little, then opening into bright sun-setting brilliance. My mind suddenly reminisced to an old CD, entitled “Breaking through the Mist.” The serenity of this time on the lake aptly matched the tranquility of the melodious CD qualities as I remember them. In the cool of the evening, how sweet it was!

Another end of the day episode was brought to mind at sunset from our dock just days later. The display of “Sol” unfolded with another of those red-hot iron beams screaming down the lake from the northwestern horizon. While at the opposite end of the sky, lingering thin cumulonimbus puffs scooped up these blazing neon reflections as pink cotton candy. Meanwhile, dimming light in the east had the lake surface darkening. In concert with the molten iron look from the western heavens and pink vapor above the eastern skyline, the quaking waters did their thing by lathering on soothing, lavender tones. Although the light show interlude was short lived, it was truly one to behold. You just had to be here to totally appreciate.

At our hummer feeding station, we have but one of the elegant critters still hanging out. The rest of the flock has vanished. Guess they have taken off for points south. Another winged group we have been watching is the loons. They are noticeably gathering as they do prior to taking off. We had four circling in the waters off our dock one night last week, showing off their ritualistic diving skills. This exercise was led by one with others following suit, then dispersal and quiet conversation. Another fellow down the lake reports a gathering of six one night in front of his place, doing much the same. So it’s for sure, departure and flight plans are being made.

Regardless of recent temps not reflecting a change of seasons, more color is evolving in our deciduous parts of the forest. We have a striking red maple tree along the Mile O Pine declaring enough of summer. And several young birch trees, which turned golden early, have chimed in their support for a new season by casting away leaves. In a matter of days, this area might be at its peak. Come on out for a “look-see!”

Area residents, visitors and members of the Gunflint Trail Historical Society are reminded of the September Society meeting this coming Monday, the 14th. The site will once again be the Schaap (Mid Trail) Community Center. Beginning at 1:30 pm, the usual business meeting will be followed by a Trail Historical program. This month’s topic will be remembrances and stories of Irv and Tempest Benson. Scrumptious treats from our Trail baking masters will also be on hand. Y’all come!

This is Fred Smith, on the Trail, at Wildersmith! Peace and quiet along the Trail, is golden as the hillsides.

(Photo by Travis Novitsky)
 

 

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Rowing on Lake Superior near mouth of the Devil's Track River

Fall activities at the Cook County Historical Society

The Cook County Historical Society’s 91st Annual Meeting and Dinner is scheduled for the end of September, in addition to other fall activities. WTIP volunteer Tracy Benson talked with Carrie McHugh of the Cook County Historical Society on North Shore Morning.

To learn more about Cook County history and upcoming events, go online to www.cookcountyhistory.org, call 387-2883, or visit the museum at 8 South Broadway in downtown Grand Marais.

(Photo courtesy of the Cook County Historical Society)

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Booster Club sponsors 'Fall Sports Kick-Off Tailgate Party' on September 11

There will be a Fall Sports Kick-Off Tailgate Party sponsored by the Cook County Booster Club on Friday, September 11, from 5 to 6:30 pm at the high school football field in Grand Marais. WTIP volunteer Marnie McMillan learned more about this event from the Booster Club’s Jennifer Shulz and Krista Mixdorf on North Shore Morning.

For more information on the tailgate party or to volunteer with Booster Club activities, contact Jennifer at 370-2663.

 

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YMCA offers fall swim team opportunities

The Cook County YMCA has both youth and adult swim team opportunities this fall. WTIP volunteer Mark Abrahamson spoke with the YMCA’s Emily Marshall on North Shore Morning. 
 

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September events at North House Folk School

September is an exciting month at North House Folk School in Grand Marais. WTIP volunteer Mary Manning spoke with North House Folk School’s Greg Wright on North Shore Morning.

More information on North House Folk School's fall schedule can be found at www.northhouse.org.
 

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North Woods Naturalist: Slugs

It’s not everyone’s favorite mollusk, but important just the same. WTIP’s Jay Andersen talks with naturalist Chel Anderson about slugs.

(Photo by Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota)

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"Living Well With Chronic Conditions" course offered in October

Strategies for self-management are important in coping with a chronic condition. WTIP volunteer Mark Abrahamson spoke with Bob Carter on North Shore Morning.

Living Well With Chronic Conditions
6-week course
October 1 - November 5
Located in Conference Room at Sawtooth Mountain Clinic

For more information, call Chris Angelo at 387-2330 or Bob Carter at 370-9054

(Photo by mbgrigby on Flickr)

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Volunteer opportunities available at local fire departments

Local volunteers are needed:  Those willing to walk into burning buildings and those not willing also.  There are many roles to fill in our local fire departments.  WTIP volunteer Randy Eastlund spoke with Fire Chief’s Association representative Paul McFarlane on North Shore Morning. 

For more information contact Paul at 387-9404.  The Colvill Fire Hall is open to interested visitors on Sundays from noon to 3 pm. 
 
 

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Zodiacal Light, illustration by Rambosson {Rankin /Flickr}

Northern Sky: September 5

Deane Morrison is a science writer at the University of Minnesota. She authors the Minnesota Starwatch column, and contributes to WTIP bi-weekly on the Monday North Shore Morning program through "Northern Sky," where she shares what's happening with stars, planets and more.

Mars and Venus climbing in the morning sky; comparing the brightest planet to the brightest star; zodiacal light in the east; and soon the Harvest Moon (Sep 27).

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Superior National Forest Update: September 4

Hi.  I’m Steve Robertsen, interpretation and education specialist on the Superior National Forest, with this week’s edition of the National Forest Update  -  information on conditions affecting travel and recreation on the Tofte and Gunflint Districts of the Forest. For the week of September 4th, here’s what’s going on in the Forest.
September and fall have arrived!  It may not seem so from our recent steamy days, but this marks the beginning of the fall color season.  Starting this week, we’ll be publishing fall color photos and essays on the web every week to capture the season and help people plan their leaf peeping expeditions.  One of the most interesting sections of the website is a photographic record of fall color in one spot off the Honeymoon Trail where we’ve taken a photo every week in the fall since 2007.   You can use this to try to predict for yourself when the elusive peak of fall color will be this year, and get yourself prepped for, eek, the first snowfall as well. 
Progress is being made on the replacement of the Pink Bridge on the 600 Road, just off the Sawbill Trail.  This was an old iron truss bridge with a long history, but had sadly deteriorated to the point where it was no longer safe.  The hope is that the new bridge will be open soon for fall color touring.
While people may be migrating north to see fall colors, many of our birds and other animals are migrating south.  Thousands of night hawks have been seen going south down the Hwy 61 corridor.  They aren’t really attracted by the road, it is the lake that causes the build-up of migrants on the shore.  The dense fog and other weather factors caused a bird ‘fall out’ this past week where all the migrants seemed to have decided it was time for a break.  Our yard was full of warblers of many species, as well as other birds, then the next day, they had vanished.
Birds don’t have to contend with log trucks while they are traveling, but we do.  In your migrations through the forest, be aware that there is logging traffic on the Wanless Road, Sawbill Landing Road, the Honeymoon Trail and the Caribou Trail.  Also watch for increased slow traffic over the next month or so caused by leaf watchers.  If you are one of the leaf watchers, be aware of people behind you, and pull over to let them pass if you need to.  If you stop, be sure it is in a safe place and that your vehicle doesn’t block the roadway.
A good place to stop for a view is at Pincushion Mountain.  Aspen growth on the hillside has been slowly blocking the view over the past several years, but last week a crew worked to open up the scenery again.  It’s worth the short drive up the hill to check it out if you haven’t been there for a while.
We’d like to mention again this week that bear activity has been high.  There are a lot of theories as to why this is so, but it does seem that the bears are all over the place.  We have been upgrading some of the garbage cans and dumpsters on the Forest to bear resistant versions of various styles.  One thing they all have in common though is that they are not bear resistant unless the person using them closes the lid, and in the case of the dumpsters, bars it as well.  Please help us keep our bears out of trouble by securing the garbage cans after use, and storing your food and garbage securely during camping trips.
Have a great weekend, and enjoy the Forest.  Until next week, this has been Steve Robertsen with the Superior National Forest Update. 
 

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