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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: August 28

 
My, oh my, where has August gone? Entering this last weekend, it seems like we just started chapter eight.

Our planet celebrates this passing monthly segment with the full, “blueberry” moon Saturday night, before we head off into the last calendar days of summer.

With the warm season recreational time winding down, the Trail is busy, busy, busy. Visiting wilderness enthusiasts are eagerly trying to grab just a little bit more of this peaceful paradise before school and other activities begin to reconsume their lives. In the meantime, while our seasonal neighbors are starting to bring in boats, docks and closing the cabins, those of us residing here full time are engulfed with the sudden thought of checking items off our “getting ready for winter” list.

Yours truly still has a couple of pressing items on my late summer “to do’s” with one more building side to stain and firewood, and although split, yet to stack. Then the usual “close down” winterizing tasks commence, remembering tolerable days in September and October whiz by pretty quickly.

Our past week up the Trail has been seasonally comfortable. In fact, the Wildersmith neighborhood experienced a first taste of fall with a couple mornings slipping into the high 30s. To confirm that atmospheric things are beginning to change, winds were howling cold cries like those of a winter storm as I started scribing the local scoop this past Sunday night and into Monday.

We were issued some moisture over the past weekend, although accumulation around this place was nothing to write home about. The area did, however, receive a good soaking of at least an inch and one-half a few days after our last radio meeting, thus wetting down the crispy forest landscape.

There has been at least one positive consequence in regard to the hot time this territory experienced a couple weeks ago. Perhaps we can blame it on the “global warming thing,” then again maybe not. For whatever reason these northern border residents have already picked ripened tomatoes. If the sun returns to hold off an early nipping, the projection is we’ll be having several more by the time this broadcast column comes your way. The scarlet fruit happening is highly unusual for us as there have been only a couple times over our first 16 years where our lonesome plant escaped frost and cold to provide harvest opportunity. So BLTs will now be possible with a home grown flavor!

Air traffic at our hummer feeding station is continuing at an unrivaled pace. If air traffic controllers had to deal with such unguided landings and departures like we have, they’d surely be going stark raving mad! By the way, final hummingbird departures should have occurred during the past few days according to the Farmers’ Almanac.

Recently, another active avian gathering was shared by a lady residing down the road. It was a golden day at her feeder when the unit was a sudden stop-over for a flock of goldfinches. She sent me a digital of the flashy lemon-colored birds having lunch, which I share with you on my website column at WTIP.org - dropping down under “community voices.”

Gathering is on the increase at ground level in our yard, too, as neighborhood squirrels and their distant cousins, chipmunks, are packing away their own harvest. Seeds and morsels of all kinds are being stashed here and there. They are constantly underfoot seeking a hand-out whenever I step out the door, no matter how quiet I try to be.

I read sad commentary in the local paper recently of an orphaned bear cub in the county which escaped a feverish rescue effort by local law enforcement only to succumb to a tortuous shore side run-around by a bunch of rowdy people. The chase panicked the little critter to take to the lake, where it ran out of energy and drowned.

Living in this wild area, we are often found to be dealing with what authorities call nuisance bears. I often contemplate there are probably not nuisance bears at all, just nuisance people setting them up for a bad rap. Have we no common sense or conscience?

This is Fred Smith, on the Trail, at Wildersmith! Leaf peeping fortunes are just around the next curve along the Gunflint Trail, be on the look-out!
 
 

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Crab spider

North Woods Naturalist: Crab Spiders

It’s a small spider that hides in plain view -- it can because it changes color. WTIP’s Jay Andersen talks with naturalist Chel Anderson about crab spiders.

(Photo by John Flannery on Flickr)

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September open house and membership drive at Cook County YMCA

There’s a lot happening at the Cook County YMCA this fall. WTIP volunteer Mark Abrahamson talked with the YMCA’s Emily Marshall and Betsy Blaisdell on North Shore Morning. 

COOK COUNTY COMMUNITY YMCA
105 W 5th Street
Grand Marais, MN 55604
Phone: 218 387-3386

 
 

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Rusty crayfish

What aquatic invasives are here in Cook County?

Spiny waterfleas, rusty crayfish, purple loosestrife….these are just a few of the invasives appearing in our area. WTIP volunteer Tracy Benson spoke with invasive species coordinator Amanda Weberg on North Shore Morning.

For more information contact Amanda Weberg at 218-387-2792.

(Photo by Ashour Rehana on Flickr)

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Update from Sawtooth Mountain Clinic and Moving Matters

The Sawtooth Mountain Clinic will be sharing the results of their FISH project research, the clinic will be joined by a new family medicine physician, and Cook County has a new local food market. WTIP’s Gary Atwood spoke with clinic CEO Rita Plourde and Moving Matters coordinator Maren Webb.
 
 

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Cook County Youth Agency Coalition offers fall programs

It’s the start of a new school year and the YMCA offers field trips and special activities for local youth through their Cook County Youth Agency Coalition (CCYAC) program.  WTIP volunteer Yvonne Mills spoke with the YMCA’s Jaye White on North Shore Morning. 
 

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Dark Matter particle detectors

Presentation on 'Neutrinos and Dark Matter' at Sugarloaf Cove on August 29

The Soudan Underground Physics Lab does research in two major areas, neutrinos and dark matter. WTIP volunteer Mark Abrahamson spoke with education coordinator Allen Lipke of on North Shore Morning.
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The Limits of the Universe: Neutrinos and Dark Matter!
Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center on August 29 at 10:00 am
9096 Hwy 61
Schroeder, MN 55613
Phone: 218-663-7679 (summer only)

sugarloaf@boreal.org

 

 

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Woodblock printmaking class offered at Grand Marais Art Colony, September 25-27

Woodblock printmaking is an ancient art technique, and the Grand Marais Art Colony is offering a weekend class. WTIP volunteer Randy Eastlund spoke with woodblock printmaker Richard James Nelson.  

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Woodblock Printmaking
Richard James Nelson
September 25–27
Day 1: 4 – 6pm
Days 2 & 3: 9am – 4pm

For more information contact:
Ruth Pszwaro
Program Coordinator
Grand Marais Art Colony
www.grandmaraisartcolony.org
programs@grandmaraisartcolony.org
218.387.2737

(Photo courtesy of Grand Marais Art Colony and Richard James Nelson)
 

 

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Bookmark Contest Winners 2015 {Grand Marais Public Library}

Celebrating reading at 'Read to the Rhythm,' August 26

Reading, rhythm and more at the Grand Marais Public Library; and the picture book collection is organized for easier access.  WTIP volunteer Randy Eastlund spoke with Patsy Ingebrigtsen of the Grand Marais Public Library on North Shore Morning.

“Read to the Rhythm” end of summer event and picnic
 Wednesday, August 26, 2015  
10:30 a.m. Musical Animals Event with Yvonne Caruthers, Gina Macy, and Phylis Anderson
12:00 p.m. Picnic Lunch & Games on the Library lawn
1:00 p.m. Grand Prize Drawings for readers!

 

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Wildersmith on the Gunflint: August 21

Gunflint’s August week three is complete. After a miserable few “dog days” in the second segment, our weather has reverted to more tolerable conditions.

How hot was it? It was so uncomfortable both I and my glass of lemonade were in a constant sweat. Meanwhile, moose, bears and the like throughout our animal kingdom had to be suffering, too, in the sudden tropics around 48 degrees north. This spell hung on for what seemed like an eternity until a cooling northwester broke the panting last Sunday. My moose friends and I are looking for a continuance of the fall journey as my scribing hits the air waves.

Our venture toward autumn is on the move in spite of the daily roasting experience. Colorful nuggets of the coming season are beginning to hang heavy on their branches. Highbush cranberries and mountain ash berry cronies are in rapid transition to harvest crimson. Further, those ruby jewels of the forest, wild rose hips, dangle brightly in their prickly thickets awaiting a finishing frost, adding yet another tint to our green landscape.

Speaking of the approaching harvest time, the ritual for avian migration southward is on the upswing. While some species might have already hit the flyway, uncountable male hummingbirds have been fueling up at our sweet juice station over the past ten days in prep for their trip. It’s amazing these mini-birds drink as much as they do. Over the past week, we have been making a one cup batch of nectar every other day. And the competition for drinking rights has been fierce.

In yet another pre-flight situation, loon pairs are gathering in their usual groupings making plans to head out soon. At the same time, their off-spring remain calm and collected while fattening up and exploring the innate GPS that will get them to the Gulf shores in a few weeks after mom and dad take off.

A chart topping angling experience was shared with me recently. It surely must be a fishing story surpassing any one's mind might conjure up. The scene was on the east Bay of Saganaga Lake near the Chik-Wauk Museum site. The subjects were absolute “master fishers,” ones who seldom are denied a catch, “real pros.”

On this particular day, a member of the resident loon pair was observed shortly after a successful dive. The big bird surfaced with a sizeable finny, and was struggling in the process of devouring such.

A competing fish lover must have been watching from afar and decided to take things into its own hands, or in this case, talons. Without warning, an eagle plunged toward the loon and snatched lunch from the startled bird. A flurry of confusion and loon hollering was to no avail as Mr. or Ms. America soared off into the heavens, lunch intact, not to be seen again. One has to assume, like most fisher men, after the “big one” got away, this neatly attired critter was back at it sooner, rather than later (after its heart settled down).

Speaking further of fishy things, the MNDNR has been doing some netting for walleyes, lake trout and herring here on Gunflint Lake. This is part of ongoing research conducted every three years. It will be nice to hear what their efforts produced upon completion.

What looked to be the largest turn-out ever showed up at the mid-Trail fund raising bash last week? As usual, the doings were smashing with a record total of some $12,000 being tallied for the Trail Volunteer Fire and Rescue folks.

On top of being a wonderful social event, attendees made the usual auction a rollicking good time trying to out-bid one another on dozens of donated, artisans’ items. In the final event of the afternoon, the uniquely crafted quilt by the mid-Trail quilters was raffled off. Out of over 850 chances sold, Ruth Westby, who lives on Clearwater road off the Trail, had her name drawn. Congrats to Ruth on her good fortune, and thanks to the dozens of mid-Trail folks joining hands to organize this special annual event.

In closing this week's Gunflint scoop, the centennial celebration at Clearwater last Saturday evening was hugely spectacular. With so many kin of pioneer founders Charlie and Petra Boostrom on hand and subsequent owners of the Lodge and outfitting business in attendance, perhaps a million memories were relived in the hallowed lodge and on the ever-popular front porch. With great food and conversation, nostalgia reigned supreme while the great North Shore Community Swing Band played away the sunset into darkness. What a sweet “Clearwater” revival.

This is Fred Smith, on the Trail, at Wildersmith. The Gunflint is gunning for a summer ending and a fall beginning, don’t miss it!

(Photo by Jason Mrachina on Flickr)

 

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