Listen Now
Pledge Now


North Shore Morning

AM Community Calendar/photo by masochismtango on Flickr

  • Monday 8-10am
  • Tuesday 8-10am
  • Wednesday 8-10am
  • Thursday 8-10am
  • Friday 8-10am
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!


What's On:
Full Moon Eclipse {Greg Gjerdingen /Flickr}

Northern Sky: September 19

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.

Fall equinox arrives at 3:21am on September 23; morning sky activity with Mars, Jupiter, Venus and Regulus; a Harvest Moon on the 27, complete with a total eclipse.


Lighthouse Beacon in Grand Marais (Steve Dumire /Flikr)

Cook County Community Fund annual awards reception, September 22

Non-profits in our region are crucial to the strength of our community; and our community also keeps them strong. 
WTIP volunteer Randy Eastlund spoke with Woody Gilk of the Cook County Community Fund on North Shore Morning.

This year's reception is at the Johnson Heritage Post, Tuesday September 22 from 5-7pm, with the current Plein Aire exhibit as a back drop and music from the CCHS Girl's Choir with Director Erica Ternes.   All are welcome to the celebration.


Ruffed grouse

Wildersmith on the Gunflint: September 18

The days out this way have been magnificent examples of pre-fall. Our nights have been pleasantly cool while the daylight hours have been just above requiring a jacket. It may be premature, but I’ve put fans into storage believing we might have just run out of summer.

Anticipating autumns arrival in the middle of next week, our neighborhood was reminded of the “vernal” transformation with a one day sampling of what 32 degrees feels like, just in case we forgot. And, on the ground, wild flower activity has diminished to almost nothing except clumps of purplish asters and some hangers-on goldenrod.

Meanwhile, although folks are enjoying the great daytime character, it’s gone dry once again. As I began keying this week's scoop, this neck of the woods has had but a half dozen drops of rain since we last met. The supplier of rain has completely forsaken us. Wonder if we might be seeing the early effect of that “El Nino” thing.

Speaking of water, or the lack thereof, Gunflint Lake temperatures have tumbled southward into the mid-sixties at the Wildersmith dock. The mercury decline, as on other area lakes, seems somewhat slower than in other years although I don’t have recorded data for an accurate comparison (maybe I’m all wet on this issue).

I’m not totally in tune with all causative factors affecting the leaf tinting process, but our thirsty conditions look to have slowed the development and quality of the forest color show. Just when I predicted great leaf peeping by this time, we’re in a holding pattern.
If moisture relief doesn’t come soon, Wildfire Sprinkler Systems may need to be fired up as a precautionary measure. It seems advisable the units shouldn’t be winterized just yet.

With bear hunting season in full swing, the next round of game pursuit is grouse (also known as north woods chicken birds). From what I can observe, there are plenty of the dippy unpredictable birds around. Three of the dull minded critters were hanging out in our yard over the past couple weeks. They were energized by a fine crop of highbush cranberries, mountain ash berries and something on my apple tree leaves. We often see them pecking around on the ground, but this trio spent most of their time up in the branches consuming every available berry. They then took to stripping two apple trees almost completely of leaves (guess those leaves must have had some insects to their liking). They are gone now, so curious hunters need not invade the privacy of the Mile O Pine.

Most all animals in the “wild neighborhood” are now in some stage of readying for winter, from stashing vittles to putting on their winter garb. Night time travels during the past week found the Smiths crossing paths with a number of snowshoe hares.
As these northern bunnies skittered in a confused manner in front of my headlights, it was evident they are readying, too. All observed have put on their snowy boots and one looked as though it had pulled on clean white long johns.

While bear activity has been absent around here since the roof episode, other upper Trail folks have not been so lucky. I heard of one such black Ursus having to be dispatched after getting into a cabin down at Gunflint Lodge. I’m betting those cabin guests had more of an up-north experience than was ever expected.

In another situation, a fellow down the road ran one off only to have it stop and hide behind a tree. The rather large “Bruno” then proceeded to play peek-a-boo with him before, thankfully, leaving without incident.

This is Fred Smith, on the Trail, at Wildersmith! Come on out to the Gunflint, where autumn is “falling” about us!

(Photo by Snowshoe Photography on Flickr)


Great Expectations Charter School

School News from Great Expectations: September 18

Silas and Trevor report the latest School News.



Superior National Forest Update: September 18

Hi.  I’m Tammy Cefalu, wilderness ranger in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, with this week’s edition of the National Forest Update  -  information on conditions affecting travel and recreation on the Tofte and Gunflint Districts. Here’s what’s going on in the Forest for the week of September 18th:
Fall continues to progress, in spite of the recent hot weather.  Birches and aspen along the shore are fading from a summery green to yellow green to full-out yellow in some cases.  There’s an occasional maple turning red, and several more as you head out over the hill into the Forest.  The signs are now out marking the Fall Color Tour routes in Tofte, so be sure to check out some of the best fall colors on our favorite roads.  Please be careful of other people on those routes who may be driving slowly, or stopping to take pictures.  You can also get a virtual trip into the woods by heading for the Forest website and checking the weekly fall color reports, photos, and essays. 
September 12th marked the fourth anniversary of the Pagami Creek Fire in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Tofte.  Hot and dry conditions that year allowed the fire to progress to over 90,000 acres.  If you visit the Pagami area this fall, you’ll find many 2-to-4 foot jack pine growing as the forest renews itself.  You’ll also find black-backed woodpeckers who like the insects in burned trees, and moose enjoying the heavy growth of shrubs and plants in the open areas.  Fire is part of our forest ecosystem, and the Pagami area in Tofte and the Ham Lake fire area up the Gunflint Trail are two places to explore post-fire forest regeneration.
When you are out driving, you will encounter a busy series of logging operations that’ll have trucks hauling.  On the Gunflint District, hauling is taking place on Forest Road 332 (a.k.a. Murmur Creek Road), the Caribou Trail, The Grade, the Bally Creek Road, Greenwood Road, Forest Road 141 (a.k.a. Firebox Road), Forest Road 309K (a.k.a. Sunfish Lake Road), Forest Road 325 (a.k.a. S. Brule River Road), the Lima Grade, and the Gunflint Trail.
On the Tofte end, there are two operations, near White Pine Lake and Finger Lake, which should be finishing soon.  But hauling can be expected on the east end of the Honeymoon Trail, down the Caribou Trail (CC4), and on the east side of the Timber/Frear Loop (FR 348) as well as on the Four Mile Grade and The Grade.  Full logging operations will be taking place near Sawbill Landing and Cold Spring Quarry, so log trucks will be traveling on the Wanless Road and the Sawbill Landing Road.  Some of the roads mentioned are narrow, winding, and full of washboard.  So please drive defensively! 
In addition to trucks, you should also be on the lookout for hunters, as the small game and archery deer hunting seasons begin on Saturday, the 19th.  You may see hunters’ vehicles pulled off to the side of roads.  If you’re hiking or running your dog, it is the time of year that wearing orange is fashionable for all (including pets).  If you’re hunting, make sure to park in a safe location, especially if you are on any of the roads that will be used by log trucks.  Remember that it is illegal to shoot from a roadway, over a roadway, or within 150 yards of any developed recreational site, such as a campground, dispersed campsite, trail, or portage.  You may want to check out any of the four freshly maintained Hunter Walking Trail areas.  Go to an office or our website for more information on these sites that are maintained for grouse habitat and hunting opportunities.  If you are engaged in hunting activities within the BWCAW, please be sure to obtain the proper wilderness permits.
Have a great weekend, and enjoy the Forest.  Until next week, this has been Tammy Cefalu with the Superior National Forest Update. 



Golf Scramble fundraiser for North Shore Health Care Foundation set for September 27

This is the 20th year that the North Shore Health Care Foundation has sponsored a Golf Scramble. WTIP volunteer Julie Carlson spoke with Golf Scramble coordinators Barb Heideman and Brooke Youngdahl on North Shore Morning.
This event is scheduled for September 27 at the Superior National Golf Course in Lutsen. Registration begins at 8:30 with a continental breakfast and shotgun start at 10 am. To learn more about the event call 218-387-9076.



News from Lutsen Town Board meeting

WTIP volunteer Marnie McMillan talked with Andrew Beavers, supervisor of the Lutsen Township Board, about their most recent meeting.


Boreal chickadee

Field Notes: Boreal chickadee

Field Notes with Molly Hoffman can be heard every Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning between 8:00 and 10:00.  Support for Field Notes comes from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

(Photo by Rejean J. Deschenes on Flickr)



Field Notes: Solitary Sandpiper

Field Notes with Molly Hoffman can be heard every Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning between 8:00 and 10:00.  Support for Field Notes comes from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

(Photo by Jeff Bryant on Flickr)



'Empty Bowls' fundraiser offers Make-A-Bowl sessions through October 19

The Grand Marais Art Colony invites the community to participate in the annual Empty Bowls fundraiser by signing up for a Make-a-Bowl session. WTIP host Jana Berka spoke with artist Joan Farnam on North Shore Morning.


Sessions are Sundays at 2 pm or Mondays at 7 pm through October 19 in the clay studio, and October 27 and 28 at 6:30 pm in the glass studio at the Grand Marais Art Colony. More information and registration are available by phone at 387-2737.