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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 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


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Wildersmith on the Gunflint - October 15

Wildersmith on the Gunflint     by     Fred Smith
October 16, 2020    

Surpassing the half way mark of month ten, finds autumn activities are slowly grinding to a halt. Even though fall, by the calendar, is not quite a month old, “leaf peepers”, hikers, fisher people and back country paddlers are coming to grip with the idea favorite warm season ventures are about done.  Here at Wildersmith, with barely a hand full of golden tokens hanging on, I’m watching two Birch trees outside my window for the last leaf of summer.                                                                                                                                               

Yes, hunters are still out in the woods, but for all practical purposes, this complicated 2020 summer is history. A few summer businesses have closed and others will be following suit real soon. Getting close to the shoulder season, those with winter operations will be pausing to catch their breath and gear up for activity in the season of white.                                                                             

The county will be alive one more time this weekend as the annual “Moose Madness” events will capture the attention of visitors from around the state. While most activities take place in Grand Marais, traffic along the Gunflint By-Way will likely be busy in hope live moose will come out of the forest for some photo ops. For a complete schedule of events, check out the website at Cook County Visitors Bureau (CCVB).                                                                                                       

In case the “real McCoy’s” don’t show along the Trail or back country roads, folks can come on up to the Nature Center at Chik Wauk and get an up close look at the new moose exhibit. The moose recently donated by a generous Gunflint Lake family is a handsome dude and very photogenic. The donors called him “Mickey Moose”                                                                                                                                                
Speaking of Chik Wauk, the Campus facilities will be closing the doors for the season after Sunday. Museum hours are 10:00 ‘til 5:00 while the Watercraft Exhibit Building and Nature Center are open this Saturday only, 11:00 ‘til 4:00.                                                                                             
Atmospheric happenings in the territory have been of little consequence since our last gathering around the radio. A positive rain fall in this neighborhood during the past few days dampened the landscape and likely enhanced the essence of the season. Meanwhile, temps were neither too warm nor too cold, but several gusty days made a sweater or sweatshirt feel comfy.                                                                                                                                                             

WTIP members are reminded of the annual organizational meeting this coming Monday, October 19 at 7:00pm. The meeting will be “Virtual” as a Zoom or telephone Webinar. Go to for link information on connecting ID numbers.                                                                

The annual report will be given, and members will vote for 2020-21 Board of Director candidates. This is an important meeting in light of the COVID-19 situations affecting your community radio station over the past nine months, so please join in!                                                   

Notice is also given in regard to the Fall Membership drive. The five and one-half day event commences this coming Wednesday, October 21, and continues until noon on Monday the 26th. As nearly every aspect of our daily lives has been altered since last February/March, the same is true of life at WTIP, thus making this campaign for member support even more critical than past solicitations.                                                                                                                                            

While millions have been infected by this tragic virus, there are few Americans who have not been linked into related economic strains. The WTIP Board of Directors, staff and your fellow members hope all will be able to step up in some way----- either as a new member or with a renewal of your patronage.                                                                                                                             

The theme of this fall endeavor is “Phone a Friend.” Since mutual friends help friends, please give us a call when the drive opens next Wednesday or sooner, if you would like.          

As studios remain closed to the public due to this Pandemic, operators will be waiting for your call at 218-387-1070 or 1-800-473-9847. Of course pledges are also accepted on line at and click on the pledge now button.                                                                                                              

For WTIP, this is Wildersmith, along the Gunflint Trail, where every day is great, as the awe of nature favors solace and inspiration!


Fall Colors on the Honeymoon Trail by Travis Novitsky

North Woods Naturalist: Beautiful fall

The fall colors were fantastic this year, and there is still a hint of color out there yet.  In this edition of North Woods Naturalist, botanist and plant ecologist Chel Anderson talks about the perfect storm that led to the jaw-dropping fall colors as well as the latest autumn observations she's had in our woods and waters.


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Money Matters - Scott Oeth October 7

"Money Matters" with Scott Oeth is a monthly feature on WTIP's North Shore Morning that airs on the first Wednesday of the month.
Scott is a certified financial planner and Adjunct Professor.
In this episode Scott discusses why being optimistic can be financially beneficial.


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Wildersmith on the Gunflint - October 09

Wildersmith on the Gunflint     by     Fred Smith
October 9, 2020
Autumn along the Gunflint has been a mixed bag in recent days. Some days have been sparkling and others clotted with leaden clouds. At the moment, early October doesn’t seem to know which way it’s headed.                                                                                                                               

Chilly temps brought on the scent of wood smoke from stoves and fireplaces last weekend, but since then things have moderated somewhat. Before this current mercury up-tick, parts of the territory got a brief preview of winter precipitation with flurries, snow squalls and a little sleet on a couple occasions. While white evidence did not last long on the warm earth, the volume was so minimal it did little to alleviate the continuing dry spell.                                                                     
Testimony to the on-going dryness is noted in streams and rivers. A trip up Round Lake Road toward Tuscarora finds the Cross River flowing barely a trickle. Further up the Trail, the mini waterfalls on Larch Creek above the Seagull Guard Station is bone dry, and Seagull Creek looks also to be only on an over the shoe level.                                                                                          

Most lakes are on the same low level list too. I recently noticed the bay of Saganaga Lake at the Chik Wauk Museum Campus is so shallow a small squadron of ducks was able to dive and collect morsels off the bottom without getting their tail feathers wet. This is all so sad, but what are you going to do? Prayers for wet relief are not being answered.                                

Meanwhile, the tinted spirits of fall have peaked. Along the Mile O Pine, there are now more leaves on the ground than on our trees. The final component of our color show, the Tamarak conifers, is into the final autumnal chapter. The delicate needles are taking on their usual October golden tone. This happening is so awesome as these trees have such contrast with the evergreen surroundings. And as winds have churned from all directions on the compass lately, coniferous cousins have pretty much released all old growth needles.                                                                                          

So “Mother Nature” has just about completed her “getting ready for winter” job. She will soon be turning over reigns to “Jack Frost” and that “old Man winter” for the freezing aspect of life in the north woods.                                                                                    

Speaking of “getting ready” yours truly is whittling away at my list. I can count on one hand the chores remaining which will include a snow blower check, mounting of the snow blade and polishing up the shovel.                                                                                                                      

A report came to me just days ago of an unusual game bird observation. The scene might happen often, but is seldom seen. A couple discovered a covey of grouse in a tree near their lakeshore. There were ten, of the seemingly simple minded birds, apparently harvesting munchies. I’m calling this gathering “a covey, in a birch tree” which could be substituted in the lyrics of a holiday song favorite. A digital is shared that can be found on the WTIP website with the Wildersmith Column under Community Voices drop down.                                    

Sadness hangs over the Gunflint Community like November clouds as another of our dear neighbors has passed from our midst. Word was received last Saturday on the death of Julie Henricksson. Julie and renowned/author husband John were mainstays on the south shore of Gunflint Lake for many years until difficult health issues forced a move away from their beloved wild land summer home, to assisted living in Lake Elmo, MN. Gunflint Community condolences are extended to John and her daughters, along with uncountable friends and neighbors.                                                                                                                                                        
A reminder to area residents, while the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic flu shots drive through at Gunflint Lodge had to be canceled last Tuesday, the process is to be re-scheduled for another date. Please keep an ear to the ground for the new time. Get those flu shots!                            

For WTIP, this is Wildersmith, along the Gunflint Trail, where every day is great, as natural magic engulfs each day.