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North Shore Weekend

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  • Saturday 7-10am
Genre: 
Variety
Host CJ Heithoff brings you this Saturday morning show, created at the request of WTIP listeners.  North Shore Weekend features three hours of community information, features, interviews, and music. It's truly a great way to start your weekend on the North Shore. Arts, cultural and history features on WTIP’s North Shore Weekend are made possible with funding from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

 

 


What's On:

Superior National Forest Update - October 19, 2018

National Forest Update – October 18, 2018.
 
Hi.  I’m Renee Frahm, Visitor Information Specialist with the Superior National Forest.  This is our weekly National Forest Update, useful information for anyone planning a trip out into the woods.  From trucks to birds to leaves, we’ve got it all.
 
If the snow wasn’t a dead giveaway, let me tell you that it is getting colder outside.  To protect our water systems, we’ve shut the water off in all of our campgrounds now.  That means that campgrounds in the Gunflint and Tofte Districts are not collecting fees, with the exception of East Bearskin Campground where water is still available from the nearby lodge building.  It’s been cold enough that there was actually a fairly good amount of ice on some of the lakes recently, so we’ve also pulled our docks from boat landings.  The ramp is of course still there, but you’d better bring some tall waterproof boots and a towel if you are planning a fishing trip. 
 
The fall color season is past peak, but there is still some color in the woods.  Crisp sunny fall days when the leaves have fallen are perfect for getting outside and sitting on a rock in the sun.  As you sit there, you’ll notice that there are a lot of hawks migrating along the shore.  On October 17th, observers at Hawk Ridge in Duluth counted 1377 red-tailed hawks go past.  Several Forest Service employees noticed a huge flock of crows that same day, 200 or so birds all working their way south.  While some birds will travel far south, past the Gulf of Mexico, crows and hawks are short distance migrants, stopping when the food supply increases.  Little dark-eyed juncos are passing through in large numbers too right now, and snow buntings are beginning to show up as well.
 
If your idea of birding involves firearms and a roast goose or a grouse dinner at the end, the fallen leaves make the game easier to spot.  For grouse and other upland species, remember that firing from a vehicle or across a road is not legal, and for waterfowl, be sure to use non-lead shot.  That’s actually a good idea for any hunting.  Lead is poisonous, and shot that gets into the environment and is eaten can kill.  For example, lead poisoning has been shown to be one of the leading causes of death in adult loons.  Finally, regardless of what you are hunting, or even if you are hunting, make sure you and your dog have your orange on.  It’s good to be seen.
 
We had said the leaves have fallen, but what do you do with the ones that have fallen in your yard?  Composting is the best answer, either in your own pile or at the yard waste composting area at the recycling centers in Grand Marais or Silver Bay.  If you feel you need to burn leaves, check the regulations.  You will need a burning permit when there is less than three inches of snow on the ground, and other restrictions may apply depending on where you are.  Also, check your common sense.  If there are gale force winds, it is never a good idea to light that match.  Brush may be disposed of at several gravel pit locations which you can find through the Firewise Brush Disposal website.  These brush piles are burned by Forest Service and Fire Department crews under controlled circumstances.
 
Falling leaves certainly pose no barriers to log trucks.  They can be found using the Frank Lake Road, Trappers Lake Road, Dumbell River Road, the Wanless Road, Lake County 7, the 4 Mile Grade, the Grade, Caribou Trail, Murmur Creek Road, and the Hall Road.  Watch for trucks on those roads, and be prepared to pull to the side to let them go by.
 
Don’t let your MEA weekend go by without some kind of outdoor time.  This looks like it could be a beautiful late fall weekend to get out and enjoy the last bit of color. 
 
Until next week, this has been Renee Frahm with the National Forest Update.
 

Listen: 

 
Photo via Aberdeen Uni Web Team

Wildersmith on the Gunflint - October 18, 2019

Wildersmith on the Gunflint     by     Fred Smith       October 19, 2018    

It’s Sunday evening once again, and as I begin this weeks’ Gunflint report, the weather outside, remains frightful, for October that is. A couple days of predicted sunshine have failed to materialize, but we Gunflinters’ are hopeful for a warm reprieve before the real thing sets in for the next six months.                                                                                                                                        
 

As last weeks’ scoop hit the airwaves, this neck of the woods hit an early trifecta of snow. Our third snow in three weeks blanketed the area with autumn not even a month old on the calendar. The white stuff even hung around on the cooling earth for a couple of days before rain and above thirty-two finally did it in.                                                                                                                                             

So the “fall” look is back to normal, although the first color phase of the season took a beating with snow, sleet, rain, and wind. Leaves have been falling like snow, leaving a good deal of the forest with skeletal remains lurking overhead. If I had a nickel for every needle and golden token in the yard, the “National Debt” would be reduced to zero. Fortunately for us woodsy residents, we are not concerned about raking.                                                                                                                              
 

Our second act of this colorful bounty is jumping out at us in flaming torches of golden lace. Of course, I’m talking, “Tamarack time.” These magnificent, needle dropping conifers have seemingly turned on overnight. In select locations along the byway, they are simply breath-taking, nestled in between their evergreen cousins and nearly naked, deciduous neighbors. To capture this beauty, a trip out this way with a digital recording device will favor an exceptional reward.                                                                                                                                                   

Speaking of more photo-ops, I’ve recently been made aware of an unusual happening along a back country road. While hiking in search of the perfect autumnal scene, this fellow had a critter whisk by alongside his path.                                                                                                                           
 

Startled at first, he was surprised at a Lynx coming so close. Furthermore, the close encounter with nature was more remarkable, when the Canadian cat stopped a short distance away, sat down and gave him a curious look.                                                                                                      

Well, he was in the woods for picture taking, so that he did while the cat remained, posing and of course, trusting this two-legged creature was only shooting a camera. What a rare opportunity!                                                                                                                                                                            

Another familiar “wild neighborhood” critter paid the Smith’s a visit Sunday. When we least expected it, “piney” the marten cruised down our deck rail. Sorry to say, there were no treats available.  Due to bears having not crashed for the winter, I’m not tempting Bruno’s up onto the deck with treats intended for other animals.                                                                                         
 

One thing I know is this marten was no stranger to the place as it went right to where its’ goodies are always kept.  Sorry, I was not able to accommodate, but it will no doubt be back.                                                                                                                                                   

The neighborhood fox has been getting more consistent in daily visits of late. However, there were a couple days when I was busy indoors and did not get outside to please him, so he left obviously disappointed. In telling the next door neighbors about missing “Foxy's” feeding time, they told me not to worry as it came up their driveway on one of those days with some actual wild game in its mouth. A red squirrel had filled the bill.                                                                           
 

On a somber note, the Gunflint Lake shore residents are saddened with the passing of two long-time friends and neighbors. Marge Estle of Lake Villa, Illinois passed on September 14, and Bud Beyer of Glenview, Illinois passed on October 8th. Marge, 99, was a seasonal resident in the summer home group and served as secretary of the Gunflint Lake Property Owners Association for many years. Bud, 78, lived seasonally on North Gunflint Lake Road and will always be remembered for his kind and gentle ways. The Gunflint Lake Community extends condolences to their family and many friends.                                                                                                                                   

Once again, times are crazy exciting around the WTIP studios and a few other venues around the county. The All-Star radio ssss-port drive is into its second full day of activity. WTIP hopes you will return to action as a member of the team.                                                                                   

If some of you listeners have been in the UP state (unable to Pledge) and never joined this phenomenal team, there’s still a spot on the active roster, and it’s time to get on board!                     
 

All it takes is a quick call on the phone, 1-800-473-9847; a click on “pledge now” at WTIP.org; or better yet, stop by the studios at 1712 West Highway 61 and get your name posted on the line-up page, with a pledge of support. WTIP needs you, be an All-Star patron now and forever!                                                                                                                                                                            
 

For WTIP, this is Wildersmith on the Gunflint Trail, where every day is great, and wonders in the natural world are un-ending!
 

Listen: 

 

Tammy Schotzko - From Clutter to Calm

CJ Heithoff talks with Tammy Schotzko, aka "The House Whisperer".

"From Calm to Clutter" is the theme of two programs that the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic is sponsoring on October 24th and 25th.
Tammy Schotzko is a Certified Professional Organizer and will offer strategies for families of pre-schoolers and elementary-age children on Wednesday, October 24th.
On Thursday, October 25th, she'll focus on "tweens" and teens. Both programs are free and will be held at the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic classroom from 5:30 to 7 pm. 

RSVPs to hartley@sawtoothmountainclinic.org  or  218-387-2330.

Listen: 

 
Wind turbine

North Woods Naturalist: Wind

Wind has certainly been in the headlines locally this month.  WTIP's CJ Heithoff talks with naturalist Chel Anderson about the perhaps, surprising, importance of wind to our forest ecosystems in this edition of North Woods Naturalist.
 

Listen: 

 

Wildersmith on the Gunflint - October 12, 2018

Wildersmith on the Gunflint     by     Fred Smith       October 12, 2018   
 

Since our last visit on the radio, atmospheric conditions have not changed much. Dreary would be the best descriptor of the past several days.  
                                                                                   
With the sun on sabbatical, about the only thing to brighten the daytime hours have been our on-going color extravaganza. Even at that, the autumnal sonata has been tempered somewhat as a couple days of pre-winter snippets reminded us of what life can be like at forty-eight degrees north.   
                                                                                                                                                 
One night found the gales of November battering the county a few weeks early. Then twenty-four hours later, the first measurable snow laid a luster of purity on the northern landscape.                                                                                                                                                                            

Folks in the upper Trail dodged a bullet in regard to the howling wind storm. While the village and both directions along the Superior Shore were bashed with downed trees and massive power outages, damage out this way was minor in comparison. Nevertheless, branches were down and intermittent flickers in our power service kept us border country folks on edge for several hours. The gusts in the pines along the Gunflint Lake shore were convincing enough to send the Smith’s to the lower level for a time. Luckily, the big whites around here stood firm, green tops up.                                                                                                                                                             

Almost in a case of not to be out-done, another climactic character stepped up during the next diurnal segment. Although the weather service gave hints of such, few would have bet the forecast of white would occur. This time the prediction was right.                                                                          

Last Friday morning broke with a fresh coating of white with the flakes still coming down in this neighborhood. When all was said and done, a few hours later, two plus inches of the wet heavy stuff was recorded.                                                                                                                                                             

I have no reports from the mid-Trail snow zone, but I suspect folks residing in this area got even more, as they usually do. Friends reported the driving conditions on the Trail were treacherous as they headed into civilization, nearly prompting a turn-around to cancel their trip.                                                                                                                                                                                    
Some of the fall tokens have called it a year, but in spite of the early season weather oddities, the fall leaf spectacular has shown some true grit. A trip along the backcountry blacktop remains simply stunning, with a blur of birch and aspen gold flanking the Trail for most of the fifty-seven-mile journey.                                                                                                                                                                                     

My plans for getting some winter chores done during this mayhem were set aside temporarily as walks, steps and the deck had to be shoveled. How about that for October 5th? Although it’s been nothing to write home about, a slight warming has occurred since, and the white is gone.                                                                                                                                                               

With that, I’m back at the “getting ready for winter” list. Tasks are getting crossed off slowly. The most noteworthy jobs are finished, that being the boat and dock, and now the winterizing of the Wildfire Sprinkler Systems this past weekend. This being said, I was back into the lake water for the second consecutive weekend, leaky waders and all, burr! So now if the “great spirit of the north” wants to get serious about ice making, he can have at it!                                    

Speaking more of things fall, the last membership drive of the year for “the voice of the north,” is but days away. By this time next week, WTIP will be in the middle of their autumn fundraising endeavor.    
                                                                                                                                                                   
As in every audience canvassing and new member recruitment, this time remains as critical as the last in order to stay on budget for the year, and continue providing the quality programming radio listeners and cyberspace users have come to expect.    
                                                                                              
The theme for this dollar pursuit is all about Sssssports!  Join the team and be a WTIP “All-Star.”                                                                                                                                                                                                  

The Wildersmith guy hopes all will be ready to open those wallets and purses as the excitement of another WTIP fund drive gets underway this coming Wednesday, October 17th. It’s easy as a click on the keyboard (WTIP.org.), or toll-free telephone call (at 1-800-473-9847).       
                                                
On a final note, with “Moose Madness” just a week away, it’s appropriate to announce one of the iconic “twig eaters” has been making some marketing appearances up the Trail. I last observed the big guy in the wetland near the road to the old Blankenberg pit. Others have seen him too and are raving about the big rack hanging overhead.                                                                                        
It would seem a good time to get a little more Trail “leaf peeping “in, make a stop at the Chik-Wauk Campus and maybe by chance, catch a glimpse of this wonder of the woods.  I’m betting your chances are better at seeing Mr. Moose than they are at winning the current monster Powerball!                                                                                                                                                
For WTIP, this is Wildersmith, on the Gunflint Trail, where every day is great, whether cloudy or clear!
 

Listen: 

 
starwatch1018.jpg

Northern Sky: Oct 13 - 28, 2018

Northern Sky - by Deane Morrison
October 13 - 28, 2018

Deane Morrison is a science writer at the University of Minnesota.        
 
She authors the Minnesota Starwatch column, and in this feature, she shares what there is to see in the night sky in our region.

Deane Morrison’s column “Minnesota Starwatch” can be found on the University of Minnesota website at  astro.umn.edu. 

 

Listen: 

 

Superior National Forest Update - October 12, 2018

National Forest Update – October 11, 2018.

Hi.  I’m Jake Todd, information assistant with the Superior National Forest and this is the National Forest Update.  Every week, we feature the information people headed out into the woods need to know, so if you are planning a visit or just want to know what’s up out there, this is for you.

Chances are good that if you are in the woods, you will be using a trail.  It may be a portage, or a hiking trail, or a biking trail, or later in winter a ski or snowmobile trail.  Trails are what give us access to the forest, and without them, we’d be, well, literally lost.  Some of our trails were established long before the National Forest existed by Native Americans and later fur traders.  Others were created only in the past few years.  Whatever the trail, they don’t maintain themselves, much as we wish they would, and many of our trails are maintained by volunteer trail organizations.  If you are interested in any of our trails and are considering volunteering to help keep them in good shape, the Northwoods Volunteer Connection will be hosting a ‘Trails Roundtable’ at the Voyageur Brewing Company in Grand Marais from 5 to 7 o’clock on October 24.  Anyone who is interested in volunteering on trails is welcome to attend.

High wind and ground softened by rain have made work for our trail crews recently as they clear deadfalls and downed branches.  They report that while there haven’t been large amounts of damage, there are some trees and branches down and hikers should wear good footwear in anticipation of needing to possibly detour over and around deadfalls.  With all the water, there are some very muddy trails out there too.  Rather than walk around muddy spots and widen the trail by use, we encourage people to walk through the mud and keep the trail narrow.  The trail crews would also like to remind people, through bitter experience, that even it if isn’t currently raining or snowing, snow and rain on branches will sometimes dump right on your head – so dress accordingly.

This a prime weather for hypothermia.  In winter, people usually dress for cold, but in wet fall weather, people often underdress with the hope that maybe it isn’t quite time to break out the stocking hat and mittens.  I’m sorry to say that it’s time to admit winter is coming and find the cold weather gear so you don’t end up hypothermic in the woods.  Wear layers so you don’t overheat, choose fabrics that stay warm when wet, and top off your outfit with something waterproof.  Finally, don’t forget your hunter orange – it’s the color of the season.

Our road system is in fairly good shape.  While we’ve had a lot of rain, we haven’t had the sort of torrential rain which overwhelms drainage systems.  There are some wet spots and soft shoulders, so drive carefully.  Fall color season is winding down, but still, expect slow moving vehicles on our main fall color routes and back roads.  Logging haul trucks are using the Frank Lake Road, Trappers Lake Road, the Dumbell River Road, the Wanless Road, Lake County 7, the 4 Mile Grade, The Grade, the Caribou Trail, and the Murmur Creek Road so be careful in those areas.

We are continuing to shut down water systems at the campground and put them into non-fee status.  Iron Lake, East Bearskin, Flour Lake, Kimball Lake, and Devil Track have all had their water systems put to bed for the winter.  Two Island Lake Campground has a portable water tank, but if the weather is cold enough, the faucet may freeze.  Though the campground water system is shut down at East Bearskin, water is still available from Bearskin Lodge so they will still be collecting nightly camping fees and providing garbage service until the cross country ski trails are groomed.  Campgrounds in a non-fee status are still open for use, but you will have to supply water and pack out your garbage.  Later, when there is snow, these campgrounds will not be plowed out and outhouses may not be accessible.

But, this week, before there is too much snow, be sure to take advantage of those breaks in the rain to get outside and enjoy some of the final days of fall. 

Until next time, this is Jake Todd with the National Forest Update.
 

Listen: 

 
Red Rock Variation - George Morrison

Closing the Circle: Artist George Morrison

"Closing the Circle: Artist George Morrison"
 
George Morrison was an internationally known artist. He grew up outside of Grand Marais in an Ojibwe village called Chippewa City. Although he lived most of his adult life in a variety of large cities – he eventually returned to Cook County in his later years. Producer Martha Marnocha spoke with George Morrison’s former wife, Hazel Belvo, along with their son, Briand, in this feature about the artist’s life-long connection with Chippewa City and Cook County.

This feature was produced by the Cook County Historical Society in collaboration with WTIP and the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Fund.
 

Music for this feature was provided by Briand Morrison from his "Musical Impressions: The Art Of George Morrison" CD.  

Photo: “Red Rock Variation” by George Morrison, 1985

Listen: 

 
Photo credit Roxanne Distad

Wildersmith on the Gunflint - September 12, 2018

Wildersmith on the Gunflint     by     Fred Smith       October 12, 2018   
 

Since our last visit on the radio, atmospheric conditions have not changed much. Dreary would be the best descriptor of the past several days.     
                                                                                
With the sun on sabbatical, about the only thing to brighten the daytime hours have been our on-going color extravaganza. Even at that, the autumnal sonata has been tempered somewhat as a couple days of pre-winter snippets reminded us of what life can be like at forty-eight degrees north. 
                                                                                                                                                   
One night found the gales of November battering the county a few weeks early. Then twenty-four hours later, the first measurable snow laid a luster of purity on the northern landscape.                                                                                                                                                                            
Folks in the upper Trail dodged a bullet in regard to the howling wind storm. While the village and both directions along the Superior Shore were bashed with downed trees and massive power outages, damage out this way was minor in comparison. Nevertheless, branches were down and intermittent flickers in our power service kept us border country folks on edge for several hours. The gusts in the pines along the Gunflint Lake shore were convincing enough to send the Smith’s to the lower level for a time. Luckily, the big whites around here stood firm, green tops up.                                                                                                                                                             
Almost in a case of not to be out-done, another climactic character stepped up during the next diurnal segment. Although the weather service gave hints of such, few would have bet the forecast of white would occur. This time the prediction was right.                                                                          

Last Friday morning broke with a fresh coating of white with the flakes still coming down in this neighborhood. When all was said and done, a few hours later, two plus inches of the wet heavy stuff were recorded.                                                                                                                                                            

I have no reports from the mid-Trail snow zone, but I suspect folks residing in this area got even more, as they usually do. Friends reported the driving conditions on the Trail were treacherous as they headed into civilization, nearly prompting a turn-around to cancel their trip.                                                                                                                                                                                    

Some of the fall tokens have called it a year, but in spite of the early season weather oddities, the fall leaf spectacular has shown some true grit. A trip along the backcountry blacktop remains simply stunning, with a blur of birch and aspen gold flanking the Trail for most of the fifty-seven-mile journey.                                                                                                                                                                                     
My plans for getting some winter chores done during this mayhem were set aside temporarily as walks, steps and the deck had to be shoveled. How about that for October 5th? Although it’s been nothing to write home about, a slight warming has occurred since, and the white is gone.                                                                                                                                                               

With that, I’m back at the “getting ready for winter” list. Tasks are getting crossed off slowly. The most noteworthy jobs are finished, that being the boat and dock, and now the winterizing of the Wildfire Sprinkler Systems this past weekend. This being said, I was back into the lake water for the second consecutive weekend, leaky waders and all, burr! So now if the “great spirit of the north” wants to get serious about ice making, he can have at it!                                    

Speaking more of things fall, the last membership drive of the year for “the voice of the north,” is but days away. By this time next week, WTIP will be in the middle of their autumn fundraising endeavor.                                                                                                                                                                       

As in every audience canvassing and new member recruitment, this time remains as critical as the last in order to stay on budget for the year, and continue providing the quality programming radio listeners and cyberspace users have come to expect.                                                                                                  
The theme for this dollar pursuit is all about Sssssports!  Join the team and be a WTIP “All-Star.”                                                                                                                                                                                                  

The Wildersmith guy hopes all will be ready to open those wallets and purses as the excitement of another WTIP fund drive gets underway this coming Wednesday, October 17th. It’s easy as a click on the keyboard (WTIP.org.), or toll-free telephone call (at 1-800-473-9847).                                                       

On a final note, with “Moose Madness” just a week away, it’s appropriate to announce one of the iconic “twig eaters” has been making some marketing appearances up the Trail. I last observed the big guy in the wetland near the road to the old Blankenberg pit. Others have seen him too and are raving about the big rack hanging overhead.                                                                                        

It would seem a good time to get a little more Trail “leaf peeping “in, make a stop at the Chik-Wauk Campus and maybe by chance, catch a glimpse of this wonder of the woods.  I’m betting your chances are better at seeing Mr. Moose than they are at winning the current monster Powerball!                                                                                                                                                

For WTIP, this is Wildersmith, on the Gunflint Trail, where every day is great, whether cloudy or clear!
 

Listen: 

 
Snow & Needles (Eli Sagor/Flickr)

North Woods Naturalist: Hint of winter

WTIP’s CJ Heithoff talks with naturalist Chel Anderson about the first hints of winter that we've seen on the North Shore in the past week in this edition of North Woods Naturalist.

Listen: