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North Shore Morning

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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!


What's On:

SHIP Update - Andrea Orest

Andrea Orest, Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) Coordinator talks with North Shore Morning Host, Mark Abrahamson, about the Safe Routes to School initiatives and school bus safety.


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Money Matters - Scott Oeth - September

"Money Matters" with Scott Oeth is a monthly feature on WTIP's North Shore Morning.
In this segment Scott talks about the importance of investment diversification.


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Wildersmith on the Gunflint - September 04

Wildersmith on the Gunflint     by     Fred Smith
September 4, 2020    

As days fly by, so have the years. Yours truly is entering year eighteen of doing this weekly scoop on upper Gunflint Trail happenings. It hardly seems possible, but I can still remember Vicki Biggs-Anderson, then Editor of the Cook County News Herald twisting my arm to pick up the column that was briefly authored by Ginny Anderson of West Bearskin Lake, following decades of extraordinary reporting by Gunflint icon Justine Kerfoot.                                                   

Starting  September 2nd, 2002, the next seven years were spent scribing for the newspaper. I am delighted to have seen new opportunities open with this great WTIP Radio endeavor. Once again, my arm was wrenched by then station manager, Deb Benedict, and it has been a blessing for sure.                                                                                                                                                                                 

I’m so thankful for the many kind listeners who tune in each week, or read the Wildersmith website posting.  And to the staff that have been so accommodating, patient and helpful, I am so grateful.                                                                                                                                                    

So I’m off into the wild northland this week sharing tidings of autumnal arrival. A pleasant week saw “fall” gaining added momentum. Our recent step back to drought like conditions has been tempered with a timely rain in this neighborhood a few days ago. While the amount was not of the wash-out intensity, over one-half inch filled the puddles and moderated fire danger for the time being.                                                                                                                  

In spite of that dubious dry landscape situation, “Mother Nature” is a moving the ritual along toward the annual color spectacular. A trip along the Trail or back-country roads last weekend found several green things heading into the autumn times of their life.                          

Moose Maple leaves are in a state of rusty oxidation while the granite highlands are speckled with golden tokens on a growing number of paper birch. Along the Mile O Pine, the gravel pathway has begun to accumulate leaflet memories of a dwindling summer.                                    

With the Fireweed all but gone, other late season blooms are taking over. Golden Rod and lavender Asters are filling in to do battle for sun and rain along with a sundry of invasive blooms not worthy of mention.                                                                                                                        

In this mad world of un-ending technology advances, having a website or re-upping an out-of-date marketing concoction is a right of passing for survival so to speak. Living out in the wildland, somewhat distanced from urban madness, us woodsy folk still cannot escape watching web schemes either.                                                                                                                      
However, our web watch is more focused on the original fiber makers. As summer draws down, these days are the best for observing Arachnids at work, or at least, the results of their marvelous nighttime artistry.                                                                                                                           
Although “skeeters” are pretty much gone by now, there are still plenty of insects to be caught in a variety of spinner traps. After all, spiders have to eat too!                                              

At the Smith’s, we watched an orb web for several days as it hung on, glittering with dew in the early morning sun. What a remarkable creation, engineering preciseness that worked to a “T” catching night-time nutrition for some eight legged being. Before winds demolished it, the silken netting was strewn with uneaten bits of many late hour feasts.                                                                                                                     

Times of frost are nearing when the architects of thread will disappear for a few months. So put down your smartphones, get out and observe a “real” natural world web before it’s too late.                                                                                                                                                
With bear hunting season now open, and ruffed grouse seeking but two weeks away, all woods users are reminded to dig out the fluorescent apparel. “It is the season” to be seen in this dashing safety attire.                                                                                                                                                              

Another word on the “gathering season”, the tempo has stepped up around the yard with rodents of all kinds. Trip after trip with jowls packed full are the business of the day. Aside from breakfast, the gnawing little varmints are non-stop from trough to depositories unlimited. The little critters must have exceptional GPS systems in order to re-locate during cold snowy times                                                                                                                                                                  

As the meteorological summer is over, there will be some splendid days of colorful changes ahead. Plan a day trip up the Trail to enjoy this often short lived spectacle, and perhaps visit the magic of Chik Wauk. Trails and picnic sites will be splendid, and the Museum is open!                                                                                

For WTIP, this is Wildersmith, on the Gunflint Trail, where every day, is captured with natural magnetism!


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Superior Reviews - Lin Salisbury "French Like Moi"

In this edition of "Superior Reviews", Lin Salisbury reviews Scott Carpenter's book, "French Like Moi".


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Pack & Paddle - August 17

"Pack & Paddle" is a monthly feature on North Shore Morning. 
Scott Oeth talks with Mark Abrahamson about how to prepare and deal with dangerous weather while in the wilderness.



North Woods Naturalist: Butterfly Wings

Chel Anderson is a botanist and plant ecologist and she joins us periodically to report on what she’s seeing in our woods and waters right now. 


Superior National Forest Update

Superior National Forest Update - August 28

"Superior National Forest Update" with Steve Robertsen, education and interpretation specialist for the USDA Forest Service-Superior National Forest.
August 28, 2020


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Wildersmith on the Gunflint - August 28

As I mentioned thirty days ago, we’d better not blink twice, or we’ll miss month eight. Well, we are on the brink of flipping the page to September, and like most of our summer, August on the Gunflint has slipped away, nearly unnoticed.                                                                         

This whirlwind of days leads us into month nine with a quick visit from the Ojibwe, “wild rice” moon on the second day. So set eyes to the sky for another one of those great fall lunar shows.                                                                                                                                               
While talking of celestial happenings there are only two days left to tune in for the virtual dark sky caravan at Shows begin at 7:00 pm and Livestream the moon and planets at 8:30 p.m.                                                                                                                               

Northwoods weather has been of little consequence since our last meeting, not too hot and not too cold, with little precipitation in this neighborhood of the upper Gunflint. Meanwhile, the water temp on Gunflint is declining into the high sixties depending upon where readings are taken.                                                                                                                                                                   

I don’t receive many fishing reports from the area, but one of note came from a six-year-old who hooked his first big one last weekend while fishing with Grandpa on Gunflint Lake. Guess there was a lot of excitement in the boat when what turned out to be a ten-pound lake trout took the bait and ran. One can only imagine the look on the little guy’s face when the “lunker” was finally netted. See a picture of the youngster with his catch above.                   

While the words of the day for many months, has been “social distancing”, this scene has taken on a different look around our yard. A small gang of my “wild neighborhood” buddies gathers most every morning, like a group of human “geezers” gathering for coffee.                                                               

As listeners might recall, I have been spreading a row of seeds out on the ground in the AM for little birds and beings who care to partake. This scene is pretty much dominated by the red rodents nearby and occasionally a chipmunk or two.                                                                                       
On any number of days, there may be as many as seven or eight squirrels coming by for a bite and a little chatter. The interesting condition of this gathering is the arrangement of bodies. It seems un-imaginable these varmints configure themselves in a row, straight as a line of first graders headed for the school lunchroom. Catch this too they are evenly spaced, at about a foot or so apart.                                                                                                                                                            

If one was to physically place them in this manner, you couldn’t do it more precisely. It makes me wonder who is in charge. Is there an “alpha” in the group? Whatever, this takes “social distancing” to an unexpected level of compliance.                                                                                   

Keep an ear to the radio or eye to the web site; I’ll eventually have a camera in hand to announce and confirm this anomaly of the animal world.                                                                                                                            

Clouds of sadness hangover the Gunflint Community with the loss of two well-known friends and neighbors. Janice Anne “Rabbit” Matichuk passed away following a difficult illness on August 4/5 at her home in Atikokan.  Janice lived and traveled the upper Gunflint via Saganaga (Sag) Lake as the long time Cache Bay Ranger in the Quetico. She is survived by children Leif and Ingla and will be sorely missed by many Gunflint Trail friends and Sag Lake neighbors.                                                                                                                                                    

Dr. Kyle Edlund passed away as the result of a tragic plane crash into a lake near Ely on the night of August 20. Kyle, a dentist in Woodbury, and his family have longtime ties to the Gunflint Trail. He was an avid supporter and contributor to the Gunflint Trail Historical Society and Chik Wauk Museum. Kyle celebrated many special days at his cabin on Saganaga while fishing area lakes. He is survived by his parents, Judy and Jim Edlund of Road Lake along the Trail, his family and uncountable friends along the Gunflint.                                                                                                    

Community condolences are extended to the families of both Janice and Kyle.                                   

Another Gunflint tidbit comes from the Friends of the Gunflint Trail Fire Department. Final tabulations have been released regarding the “Safe Summer” fundraiser. Wow, a grand total of $57,543.00 was raised! Congrats and thanks to all!                                                                                    

In closing, another great day on the Gunflint found me catching a few rays and contemplating the wonderful forest around me. We Gunflint residents are so fortunate to be living in an “island of forest (Goodall).” This island of Superior National Forest and Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness satisfies a great passion for trees.                                                                                    

While varieties of trees display an ambiance separate from the cousins around them, they all have a commonality of constancy. Whether it is the expiration of life-sustaining oxygen or the absorption of our Co2 wastes, they even offer so much more.                                                                                        

One can name perhaps dozens of things trees may provide; like wide limbs of dense foliage to provide shade from “old Sol” or to protect us from the rain; homes for uncountable creatures of creation; sturdy roots to hold our earth in place; or whispering soft melodies in the breeze.      
Most of all these slender or thick, fibrous beings of the woods favor a place for peaceful refuge from the world around us. Trees are far more than leaves and needles above; they are a stronghold for order and serenity.                                                                                                                                                              

This being said, I find troubling, recent reports of visitors infiltrating this northern island of trees and abusing this precious creation with remnants of un-caring practices. There is no place for this. Attention humans, “leave no trace!”                                                                                                                                             

For WTIP, this is Wildersmith on the Gunflint Trail, where every day is a precious sample of creations genius.


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International Wolf Center Update - August

North Shore Morning host Mark Abrahamson talks with Misi Stine, Director of Outreach for the International Wolf Center about what's happening there this month.


Harvey Josin, enjoying an eBike ride in Lutsen. Photo courtesy of North Shore eBike

New Lutsen business features eBikes

A new business has opened in Lutsen--North Shore eBike. Harvey and Cindy Josin are offering a different way to explore the area using battery-powered transportation. They offer rentals, sales, and tours. 
Harvey Josin notes that there is an avid bicycling community here on the North Shore, with bikers participating in the Lutsen 99er, LeGrand Du Nord, and others. However, biking long distances on hills isn't for everyone. He says eBikes are the way to go for the "rest of us." 
He explains that with an eBike, riders of all abilities can cleanly cruise up hills, downhills, over backcountry and along mountain bike trails. All, Harvey says, with zero emissions. 
North Shore eBike is located in the former Kah-Nee-Tah Art Gallery in Lutsen. At this time, they are assisting customers by appointment. Anyone interested in learning more can contact them to arrange an appointment to rent an eBike or take part in a tour. 
They are offering a weekly bike tour starting at the North Shore Winery on Ski Hill Road. Ride & Wine Date Night Thursday tour participants will join the tour at the winery, enjoy a guided ride and then end up back at the winery to partake in a flight of wine at a reserved table. 
Visit the North Shore eBike website for more details.