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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 - October 30

Wildersmith on the Gunflint     by     Fred Smith
October 30, 2020    
The northland and the universe bid October good bye under the brilliance of a “blue moon.” The Anishinaabe Band has a name for this 13th lunar happening of the year. For 2020, this celestial experience is between October’s “Falling Leaves” and the November “Freezing Over” renditions. Number thirteen is a “Big Spirit Moon”, chi manidoo giizis.                                         

 Our Indigenous neighbors proclaim the “blue moon” as a time of re-birth and healing. This “Big Spirit” couldn’t shine down on us at a more appropriate time!                                                

Since the falling leaves at this end of the Trail are a few weeks past, this weekend’s “Big Spirit” is a closer cousin to the “Freezing Over” moniker, with many smaller lakes having taken on the hard water look, although the actual full November moon is still thirty days away.                                                                      

As the big orb will be lighting up our night time life on Saturday evening, we may be able to set our clocks back to real time by the light, of the silvery moon. Yes, it’s time to regain our sense of reality as we “fall back” in our twice a year attempt to manipulate the natural world. One might as well make the timing move before retiring so an extra hour of slumber can be enjoyed Sunday morning.                                                                                                                                                                       

Gunflint Trail weather over the past seven days has lost the aroma of autumn. In fact, the essence is a frozen memory. Being traded for the scent of wood smoke, winter freshness has a familiar sting when one exits into the out-of-doors. While not bitter yet, we’re adjusting to the cold mode.                                                                                                                               

Some areas of the lower to mid-Trail got a good dose of snow, but the upper territory just received several lighter reps. Nevertheless, it has been enough to bring on some shoveling, driveway ploughing and some animal tracking. Although early, it surely looks the season, and if it hangs on until May, like last year in this neighborhood, it could be an eight month journey.  

There is likely some human grumbling about this early winter hit, but the cold and snow has likely convinced the “Bruno” population to crawl into winter quarters for a long winters nap, thus solving some problems. Let’s hope so, because I commenced with delighting the avian flocks by opening the deck side cafeteria. Arriving flights seem busy as it was when the hummingbirds were vying for sweet nectar.                                                                                                                                                                                

While those menacing bears may be out of our hair, another un-welcome visitor was up to some larceny down the road recently. A report came to me about a masked bandit, breaking into a place along Gunflint Lake’s south shore. An occasional raccoon rambles through the area, and this one is described as being larger than would fit in a large live trap, a real pig.                                 

 I’m told the Daniel Boone Hat look-a-like gained entry to a place, unlatched some cabinetry, made a mess and pilfered some goodies. How it was observed, I don’t know, but the furry thug is still on the loose. As these ring-tail critters are invasive, perhaps the local wolf pack might find this troublesome animal a menu alternative.                                                                                         
And speaking of wolves, with the fresh snow one day last week, I tracked one down the Mile O Pine during a run to the mail box. So the raccoon had better be looking back over its shoulder.                                                                                                                                                         
Glory be to the family of WTIP members, for the overwhelming showing of support during the “Phone a Friend” autumn fund drive. Congratulations to all who renewed their support, gave added donations as sustaining members and to 57 new members, a huge welcome. The family is well over thirteen hundred strong!                                                                            

WTIP is so grateful for your undying friendship, especially during what is a difficult time for so many people in our world of listeners. It is great to have friends like you, and we are so happy to be here for you! Thanks so much!                                                                                             
For WTIP, this is Wildersmith, along the Gunflint Trail where every day is great in the woods, as we try to make sense of these troubling times. Keep on hangin’ on!


Frosted Trees - Martine Lambrechts

North Woods Naturalist: October snow

October snow isn't all that unusual, but the amount that's accumulated this month is.  Naturalist Chel Anderson talks about recent snowfall and how it compares to previous years, and much more about what she's observing in our woods and waters right now in this edition of North Woods Naturalist.


Superior National Forest Update

Superior National Forest Update - October 23

Superior National Forest Update with Steve Robertsen, interpretation and education specialist with the USDA Forest Service - Superior National Forest. Steve talks winter driving conditions, forest roads and Christmas Tree permits in this edition of SNF Update.


Photo by Clare Shirley

North Woods Naturalist: Snow and more

The first snow of the year can be magical.  Naturalist Chel Anderson describes some of the changes that she's observed in our woods and waters as the first snows of the year begin to accumulate.


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Wildersmith on the Gunflint - October 23

Wildersmith on the Gunflint     by    Fred Smith
October 23, 2020    

The march of autumn through month ten has either been stalled temporarily, or expired since we last met on the radio. The ground is white, the bird water dish is frozen, area ponds are skimming over and I don’t have my winter wheels mounted on the vehicle yet. But alas, the shovel is hanging by the back door with care, the snow blower started for practice on the second pull and the blade is attached to the pushing machine.                                                                                                                                            

If you have been following my scribing over the years, you might recall I have a simple, but unofficial way winter is declared to be in effect. While conditions might trend more temperate a bit in the days/weeks to come, I say it’s here when the mercury stays below the freezing mark for twenty four consecutive hours. Such was the case at Wildersmith last Saturday afternoon though Sunday.                                                                                                                                                                           

Further confirmation came from the avian world, as I was greeted along the Trail by the first flock of snow buntings exploding from the roadside shoulder as my vehicle approached. Another of the winged species, a Chickadee, was caught near me at the feed trough during a recent snow squall. The tiny bird looked to be giving me the eye, with a discerning gaze of, don’t you see me, it’s time; get a handful of seeds out here.                                                            

Meanwhile, our wet, windblown snow took down the “last leaf of summer” on the birch outside my window, now making that season a distant memory. Another observation, found a hanging Fuchsia plant gave into the “old man of the North” with icicles hanging from its leaves last Sunday morning. The oddity is, it was left out to be enjoyed as long as possible, because it was in the most beautiful condition of the entire blooming season. So it’s definitely time the call should be made for all to begin hunkering down, especially the bears.                                                                                                                                                
Having undeniable affection for winter, this is my favorite time. There is nothing more energizing than the first white covering on the landscape. And with the first snow, usually of the wet sticky nature, the coniferous forest was decked out waiting for the first shutter click of a Hallmark Card photographer. Snow is a wondrous element of the many atmospheric components as is turns a multitude of both man-made and natural ugliness into unmatched crystal magic.                                                                                                                                                               
The weekend of Cook County “Moose Madness” events passed with uncountable visitors along the Trail in hope of seeing one of those live north woods icons. How many live animals observed is unknown, probably few. A couple gals did report a cow and calf being spotted in some unannounced location along the Byway. The most likely sightings were “Murray the Moose” down in the village or “Mickey the Moose” in the Nature Center on the Chik Wauk Museum Campus.                                                                                                                        

While volunteering at the Nature Center on Saturday, I made several moose calling attempts to the enjoyment of several visitor groups. As you might expect, with commotion of vehicles and people, none came ambling out of the forest, but we all had fun!                                                                                                                                                                                    
A neighbor up the Trail shared weekend video of a young moose meandering around his cabin during two separate late night occasions. In between the moose ops, even more interesting was another video where audio caught a choral rendition from the end of the Trail wolf pack.                                                                                                                                              

There was a variety of howling tones which must have included some juveniles, all yet to change the yipping pitch of their puppyhood voices. One has to wonder if they had moose steak on their minds. We’ll hope not, but we’ll never know.                                                                            
 In closing, remember, WTIP has always had a friend in you. Why not give your Community Radio friend a call?  Its’ the “Phone a Friend” membership renewal time, and furthermore, WTIP is hoping to add new friends to the list.                                                                                      

WTIP is in the midst of this third and final drive for support in 2020. Continuing pledges of support are very important during this Pandemic tragedy.                                                     

Phone lines are open, and the website is waiting for you to click on and pledge now.  It’s or locally call 218-387-1070 or toll free, 1-800-473-9847. Won’t you be our Friend?            

For WTIP, this is Wildersmith, along the Gunflint Trail, where every day is great, even when the weather outside is frightful!


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International Wolf Center Update - October

Wolf Curator, Lori Schmidt talks with North Shore Morning Host, Mark Abrahamson about the International Wolf Center's Ambassador Pack, wolf "retirees" and a wolf's trip to the Ely Hospital for an MRI in this interview.

Listen below...


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Isle Royale Mats Loaned to Grand Portage

North Shore Morning Host, Mark Abrahamson talks with Liz Valencia about five culturally significant mats, at least two of which were made by Isle Royale resident, Tchi-ki-wis, Mrs. Helen Robinson Linklater that travelled from Isle Royale National Park Museum in Houghton, Michigan to Grand Portage, Minnesota. 
The mats are now on loan to Grand Portage National Monument and join 12 other mats in the Grand Portage museum collection.

Listen to the full interview below.


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Pack & Paddle - October

"Pack & Paddle" with Scott Oeth  -  October 19, 2020
In this edition, Scott recommends taking some fire starting items along when going out in the woods or waters - just in case of emergency.  Some may surprise you.


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North Shore Health Care Foundation Update - October

North Shore Morning Host, Mark Abrahamson talks with Valerie Marasco Eliasen about the North Shore Health Care Foundation's October board meeting.


Superior National Forest Update

Superior National Forest Update - September 16

Superior National Forest Update with Steve Robertsen.
September 16, 2020