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North Shore Morning

AM Community Calendar/photo by masochismtango on Flickr

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News & Information

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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Finland Farmers Market (courtesy of the Clair Nelson Intermodal Transportation Center)

West End News: June 25

I had two stark reminders of my own mortality this week. 
 
The first was the onset of a mundane summer cold that, if it didn’t make me feel like I was dying, it made me feel like I wanted to die, for about three days.
 
The second was an invitation to contribute an oral history to the Schroeder Area Historical Society.  Their main exhibit this summer is “Lost Resorts” presenting the history of the many resorts that flourished during the 20th century and were gone by the start of the 21st.
 
I was surprised that they wanted an oral history from a young person like me, until I thought about it for a minute. When I discuss oral history with friends it usually includes some talk about “getting the history before it’s gone.” Hopefully, this is just the first of several oral histories I can contribute before I’m gone.
 
Brian Tofte, local historian extraordinaire, sent me an oral history that my dad, Frank Hansen, gave to historian Bill Raff back in the ‘90s.  It was transcribed from a recording, so it was fun to hear my dad’s voice in my head as I read through it. It was taped at Bill’s cabin on the Gunflint Trail and I could tell from the conversation that it was a relaxed and congenial atmosphere. Both men are gone now, so I don’t feel bad about revealing that the interview grew noticeably livelier and more colorful as it went on, most likely reflecting the number of martinis that were consumed.
 
My interview with the Schroeder Area Historical Society is scheduled for 2:30 pm at the museum, so I seriously doubt that martinis will be involved.
 
Sugarloaf Nature Center in Schroeder is offering unique opportunities to explore the West End with a master naturalist every week throughout the summer.
 
If you want to participate, meet at the Sugarloaf parking lot at 1 pm on any Friday between now and August 21st. Wear sturdy shoes, a hat and bring a little bug dope. July 3rd’s topic will be boreal forest ecology and on July 10th the maple hardwood forest will be explored. You can email sugarloaf@boreal.org for more information.
 
The first Farmers Market of the season at the Clair Nelson Community Center in Finland was this week and was a smashing success. For many people in the West End, this is the closest Farmers Market available. It is every Thursday evening from 5 to 7 pm from now until the end of September. The Clair Nelson Center is on the Cramer Road just east of downtown Finland.
 
Also at the Finland Community Center on Thursdays is LOTS, which stands for Learning Opportunities Through Stories. Bring your toddlers in between 3 and 4:30 pm for a great story time – and then stay for the Farmers Market.
 
Somewhere I read an interview with Bob Dylan where he mentioned his memories of attending story time at the old Carnegie Library in Duluth when he was a toddler. I have many fond memories of story time at that same library, but I’m too young to have sat next to Bob Dylan. Taking your toddler to hear good stories doesn’t guarantee that they will become a world-renowned poet like Bob Dylan, but it does increase the odds that they will become a life long reader and learner.
 
Many canoeists returning from the BWCA Wilderness are complaining about muddy portages this year. We’ve received more than 5” of rain so far in June here at Sawbill. It’s been a little damp for sure, but it’s nice to have a season when wild fire isn’t constantly on our minds.
 
It’s also encouraging to hear of many moose sightings in the wilderness. Five moose seems to be the average for most groups last week. Most have been cows with calves, which is normal at this time of year, but raises some hope that the decline in the moose population is possibly slowing down. We’ll keep our fingers crossed, as the West End without moose would be a sad future indeed.
 
 

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Tiger Swallowtail

North Woods Naturalist: An early butterfly of spring - the tiger swallowtail

They’re among our earliest butterflies in spring. WTIP’s Jay Andersen talks with naturalist Chel Anderson about tiger swallowtails.

(Photo by Savannah Sam Photography)

 

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Behind the scenes at Cook County Public Health & Human Services

From funders to partnerships, Public Health and Human Services is a cooperative venture. WTIP’s Veronica Weadock spoke with Yafa Napadensky of Cook County Public Health and Human Services. 

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Moments in Time: Along Highway 61

The North Shore's Highway 61 hasn't always followed its current route.  In this edition of Moments in Time, WTIP’s ongoing series, Barbara Livdahl of Schroeder recalls the challenges of building the "modern" Highway 61.

 

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White cedar by Joshua Mayer on Flickr

North Woods Naturalist: The long-lived white cedar

They are one of our longest lived tree species. WTIP’s Jay Andersen talks with naturalist Chel Anderson about the old and well adapted white cedar.

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Senior Center welcomes new program coordinator, Jes Rodne

In addition to a busy summer schedule, the Senior Center in Grand Marais has a new programs and services coordinator, Jes Rodne. WTIP volunteer Mary Manning talked with Jes and director, Bev Green, on North Shore Morning about what's new at the Center.

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GM Playhouse production "Eleemosynary" opens June 25

‘Eleemosynary’ – a production of the Grand Marais Playhouse – is about the relationship of 3 generations of women.  WTIP volunteer Mark Abrahamson spoke with Jackson Nickolay and Melanie Stoddard of the Grand Marais Playhouse on North Shore Morning.  ‘Eleemosynary” opens June 25 at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts. 
 
 
 

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Hand-made rug by Lucy Caribou of Grand Marais, MN

Anishinaabe Way: Gloria Martineau, Part 2

Grand Portage band member Gloria Martineau was born and raised in the town of Grand Marais, MN. In this segment, she talks about her closest neighbor, Lucy Caribou, who made hand-made rag rugs and hooked rugs for a living.
 

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Last Will and Testament {Will Mayer /Flickr}

Brown Bag Lunch: Why You Need a Will, June 23

Power of attorney, advance directives and wills:  estate planning is important for adults of all ages.  WTIP volunteer Julie Carlson spoke with Ruthanne Vos of Mathison Law Office on North Shore Morning.  'Why You Need a Will':  Brown Bag Lunch, Tuesday June 23rd at Cook County Higher Education at 11:30am.  Registration online.
 

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Photo by Steve Evans on Flickr

Wildersmith on the Gunflint: June 19

As the summer solstice checks in this weekend, more summer like conditions have taken over the Trail. We’ve had some splendid sunny days, and temps of both air and water are more suitable to the onslaught of visitors pouring into the territory. A reading of the lakeshore water at Wildersmith finds the mercury in the mid-sixties. So it won’t be long before a dip in the lake on a sticky day will feel pretty satisfying.

Several perennial wildflowers have popped open over the past few days. Most noteworthy are wild roses in many locations along back country roads. While deep in the forest, a number of digital recordings of our precious lady-slippers are being shared through cyberspace. And in areas of predominant sunshine, waves of forget-me-nots are twinkling sky-blue reflections.

On the lesser side of the blooming ledger, those colorful, but invasive, lupines are standing tall in their purple, pink and white spires. Knowing these are not the most welcome by people in the know about native flora, they are nevertheless a striking rainbow of luminance along our scenic byway. All this blooming glory is “Mother Nature” at her best!

North woods magic is seldom more delightful than twilight time on a clear sky morning. Not long ago, I was awakened early one tranquil morning and so enjoyed the privilege of observing the forest wake up. Daylight had broken, although “Sol” had not risen above the horizon,and still-hidden rays had chased the darkness. In spite of the brightening sky, lake water reflections lingered in a somber hue. The atmosphere stood dead silent. Neither leaf nor needle muttered a whisper, and ground level greenery hunkered motionless. Not a creature was stirring until the particular moment when the first beams of sun ascended the granite horizon near due east. Those piercing spears of brightness suddenly turned on the switch. A subtle, but swift burst of warmth engulfed day-break over Gunflint Lake. Almost on cue, solar energy heated the air, causing whiffs of movement. Ripples abruptly wrinkled our mirror-like liquid and on shore, foliage began to tremble. Within minutes, this day-star was fully exposed. Its radiance began to pass through a zillion minute openings in the border country canopy. As the whisper of air amplified, like twinkling lights, glitter bounced off uncountable dew-laden wilderness remnants and flashes of brilliance wiggled along the fiber network of third shift arachnids. Splashes from this great luminary grew more prominent and in their warmth, buzzing critters started swarming about. In moments, the first hummingbird darted by the window on its way to our nectar station. Soon to follow, the larger avian chimed in with their welcoming interlude and not minutes later, the first of many red rodents in our yard traversed the deck rail in search of a breakfast morsel. The day was open for business!

Speaking of buzzing critters, during our mid-day sunshine, as are others, this neighborhood is unbelievably alive with the hum of uncountable insects. They‘re feasting on either the abundant blossom nectar, or searching for some poor soul from which they might withdraw a little blood. If one is attired in proper bug protection, standing out among them catching a listen to this diverse murmur is quite the buzz (no pun intended).

In another moose sighting, a couple residing up near the end of the Trail mentioned one of those rare experiences last weekend. They came upon a Momma and her calf. This is not too unusual except that this little one was still wet behind the ears so to speak, and gawkily unstable as it tried to keep up with Mom. One would have to assume this was a newborn, not long out of the womb. What a joyous experience for not only the observers but also for the new Mother.

In closing this week, a big thumbs up to the organizers of the Boundary Waters Expo. I was there for the opening hours on Friday and have heard many complimentary comments about the entire weekend of activities.

If you didn’t get to the big “shrimp boil” put on by the Gunflint Trail Historical Society last Sunday you missed a feast of awesome proportions. Thanks to all the Gunflint Community for their help in putting on this swell gathering. I noticed several neighboring residents departing the event in a bloated state having made numerous passes along the scrumptious serving trough!

Keep on hangin’ on, and savor a Gunflint day on the Trail!

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