Memorial Weekend is like fishing opener for those of us who live at the end of the Gunflint Trail. From the Trail’s End Landing through the Seagull River and all of the way out to Saganaga Lake the water is closed to fishing until Midnight on Friday night of Memorial Weekend. This is to protect the spawning area for walleye. It used to be a really big deal when Josh was too little to take the boat out and go fishing beyond our dock but it isn’t as big of a deal now. Still, there are quite a few folks who like to fish this area as soon as the clock strikes twelve.
Anglers have been rewarded for their efforts this weekend on Saganaga. They have been catching smallmouth bass, northern pike and walleye but unfortunately the walleye they are catching aren’t the right size. Walleye must be a minimum of 17″ and only one may be over 20″ with a three fish limit this year.
The weather has been a little wet but the temperature has been warm. It has been in the 60’s and thankfully most of the rain has fallen at night. More clouds and rain are predicted for tomorrow but Monday the sun is expected to shine with temperatures in the 70’s.
We shall see what the rest of the weekend brings for weather and fishing.
Each year, Sawbill hires a number of short-term, summer staff members. These individuals, usually college students, help Sawbill run smoothly during the busiest months when some extra hands are needed.
Some crew members come back year after year, but there are always new faces as well. So, without further ado, here are (some of) the Summer 2016 crew!
Nick is new to the Sawbill crew this year. He attends the University of Northern Iowa. Nick's favorite job so far is Trash and Recycling. Emma is back for her third summer. She attends Xavier University, and is an excellent cook!
Alissa is also new this year. A Minnesota native, Alissa has been coming up to the BWCA for many years. She attends the University of North Dakota. Alissa's favorite job is canoe washing. Kevin is back for his third summer and will be a senior at University of Minnesota-Duluth. His favorite job is canoe repair.
(From Left to Right) Claire is a second year returnee. She attends University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and her favorite job is Outfitting Manager. Megan is also back for her second year, and attends University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Her favorite job is PBI (Pop, Beer, & Ice). Laura is our most senior summer crew member, here for her fourth year. She recently graduated from University of Minnesota-Morris. Her favorite job is Food Manager. Elena is another second year returnee. She attends Macalester College in St. Paul. Her favorite job is Outfitting Manager.
Several crew members will be arriving later in the summer. We can't wait to introduce them to you, too!
Whether you didn’t have time to get your gear together or you couldn’t find anyone to go with you the fact remains, you’re not going camping this Memorial Weekend. That would be sad but I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to happen any other time this summer. How can you make sure you get out camping and paddling as much as you want to this summer? Follow these simple steps below and don’t spend another weekend sleeping in a bed when you could be camped beneath the stars.
- Get your calendar out and choose two weekends from each month and write in big red letters, “CAMPING!” If you don’t have an open weekend and there are graduation parties, weddings or other things happening then prioritize and decide which ones to miss. There will surely be another get-together where you can see those same people again sometime soon.
- Get out your bucket list of where you want to camp, hopefully it includes the BWCA and a trip to Voyageur. If you don’t have a list then make one and include us on it. Pick the top 10 places you want to go from your bucket list and proceed to the next step.
- Create a private event on Facebook, start a Doodle or even create a Facebook page for your Camping Weekends. Then invite people to the group who you want to spend your weekends with. See who wants to go where and when.
- Don’t be afraid to make reservations and then find out who can come along. For some places if you don’t book in advance you won’t be able to get in. You can always go solo if no one else can go with you.
Don’t put off the things in life you really want to do. Your garage can wait to be cleaned, the lawn doesn’t have to be mowed but you need to go camping, make it a priority and make it happen.
I hope you have a great Memorial Weekend and I hope you’re camping, fishing, hiking or spending most of your time outside!
There is always a disconnect between the somberness of Memorial Day, and the official beginning of summer revelries. It is like that moment of silence between the national anthem and the start of a ball game. I think about my cousin Jimmy in Philadelphia pouring beer on the graves of his father and uncles (my grandfather being one of them), and the silent company we keep when do favorite things without the people who have gone — fishing, hiking, gardening, etc. I also think of a Prince quote our brewer Jason recently wrote on the wall of the brewery, “But life is just a party, and parties weren’t meant to last.”
After we’ve toasted the departed, we can enjoy the good times with a deeper appreciation. This weekend at Voyageur Brewing we are hosting some spectacular musicians, and rolling out some terrific beer. From this weekend on we will be open every day from noon until nine Sunday through Thursday and until ten on Friday and Saturday. We are also excited about delectable additions to our menu from our chef Charles. Voyageur is delighted to host the inaugural Le Grand Du Nord Bike Race, put on by the Superior Cycling Association (check them out at www.superiorcycling.org) this weekend. There will be packet pick up Friday night and a celebration of racers on Saturday. If you’re craving the delicious pulled pork items served by our local Double D Barbeque then you are in luck because they will be set up in our parking lot on Saturday to satisfy your hunger. On Sunday we are hosting a book signing from 12:30 to 2:30 with the authors of Waterfalls of Minnesota’s North Shore and More, Eve and Gary Wallinga. Any veterans at the American Legion (now Grandma Ray’s) on Monday are welcome to a free Voyageur beer. Thanks for your service!
We have been selling a lot of our Open Water Bohemian Ale, which, if it’s not immodest to say, is roundly adored by all. We are also still serving our Moonshadow Mocha Stout, featuring the outstanding coffee of our neighbor, Java Moose. We are brimming with all our flagships, and eager to serve you.
Tonight we are hosting Dat Dere Jazz, Friday Pushing Chain will be playing, and Saturday will feature the Plucked Up String Band — all music starts at 4 and goes until 7.
We hope to see you! Countless thanks to our veterans out there, and be safe.
The early spring in most parts of the state prompted earlier ice out dates than normal. With the ice off of the lakes the water has had more of a chance to warm up than it usually does by Memorial Weekend. While most people don’t spend much time swimming over this holiday weekend here’s something to keep in mind for a little later in the summer.
Blue-green algae: If in doubt, stay out
For release: May 26, 2016
Contact: Risikat Adesaogun, MPCA, 651-757-2056 or Doug Schultz, MDH, 651-201-4993
St. Paul, Minn.—With Memorial Day right around the corner, the unofficial start of summer is here. While water enthusiasts and pets enjoy swimming and boating when the weather is calm and sunny, these conditions are also perfect for growing blue-green algae, which can be harmful to both people and animals.
Last summer, blue-green algal blooms were reported in lakes across the state, from near the Iowa border all the way to the Canadian border. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) staff jointly investigated two reported human illnesses and multiple dog deaths following exposure to blue-green algae. Blooms typically begin to form in June when the weather warms, but with the mild spring weather this year, blooms may already be present in Minnesota lakes.
People and pets at risk
The appearance of a blue-green algal bloom and the unpleasant smell that occasionally accompanies a bloom typically keep most people out of the water. However, people can become sick after they swim, boat, water ski or bathe in water that has toxic blue-green algae. During these activities, people are exposed to the toxins by swallowing or having skin contact with water or by breathing in tiny droplets of water in the air. “In most people, symptoms are mild and may include vomiting, diarrhea, rash, eye irritation, cough, sore throat and headache,” said MDH Epidemiologist Stephanie Gretsch.
Dogs are at particular risk, as they are more likely to wade in the areas of a lake where algal scum accumulates and humans avoid. Dogs are usually exposed to larger amounts of toxins from algae because they tend to swallow more water than humans while swimming, especially when retrieving toys from the water. They also lick their coats upon leaving the water, swallowing any algae that may be on their fur. Dogs exposed to blue-green algae can experience symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, rash, difficulty breathing, general weakness, liver failure and seizures. In the worst cases, it can cause death. If your dog experiences any of these symptoms after visiting a lake, seek veterinary care immediately.
Tips to protect yourself and your pets
Not all blue-green algae are toxic, but there is no way to tell whether a bloom is toxic by looking at it. Harmful blooms often look like pea soup, green paint or floating mats of scum and sometimes have a bad smell. However, harmful blooms aren’t always large and dense and can sometimes cover small portions of the lake with little visible algae present. Before you or your children or pets enter the water, take a closer look at the lake and check for algae in the water or on shore to help determine if a bloom recently happened.
“If it looks and smells bad, don’t take a chance. We usually tell people: If in doubt, stay out,” said Pam Anderson, MPCA Water Quality Monitoring Supervisor. “If you’re not sure, it’s best for people and pets to stay out of the water.” If you do come into contact with blue-green algae, wash off with fresh water immediately, paying special attention to the areas your swim suit covered. Rinse off pets with fresh water if you think they swam in water where blue-green algae were present.
Addressing the algae problem
There are currently no short-term solutions to fix a blue-green algal bloom. Once a bloom occurs, the only option is to wait for the weather to change to disrupt the algae’s growth. “With intermittent rain, followed by high temperatures, blue-green algal blooms will be common on many Minnesota lakes this summer,” said Steve Heiskary, an MPCA Research Scientist.
The key to solving algae problems is to improve overall water quality by reducing how much phosphorus gets into lakes. Phosphorus is a nutrient that encourages plant growth, and it is present in soil and plants. Runoff from urban and agricultural land contains phosphorus. Excess phosphorus in lakes provides the food necessary to produce algal blooms. Aside from limiting applications of fertilizers that contain phosphorus, homeowners can help protect our lakes by sweeping up lawn clippings and soil off sidewalks and pavement, and cleaning up pet waste, so that rain storms don’t wash the material into nearby lakes and rivers.
More information on blue-green algae, including how to report a possible human or animal illness, is available on the MDH Harmful Algal Blooms website.
It’s an art fest in Cook County this weekend as shops, galleries and cultural centers celebrate the beginning of the summer season with openings, exhibits, music, receptions, art classes, demonstrations and more. A brochure, Art Along the Lake, detailing all the things to do and see in the county over Memorial Day Weekend is available at most venues. Check it out!
On Friday, the Cross River Heritage Center opens for the season with two-days of demonstrations and a new exhibit about Taconite Harbor as well as artwork by photographers Thomas Spence and David Degree and acrylic paintings by Bruce Palmer.
Demonstrations at the Cross River Heritage Center over the weekend include:
- Friday, 10 a.m. to noon, Al Sunde demonstrates German-style woodcarving and Marland Hansen shows how to make knives out of leftover stuff. From 1-3 p.m., Lavonna Czaplick demonstrates Ukranian egg painting, Polly Erickson shows how to do applique quilting and Bruce Palmer demonstrates acrylic painting. Paula Sundet Wolf will demonstrate spinning from 2-4:30 p.m.
- Saturday’s demonstrations from 10 a.m. to noon include Orlene Fisher, crazy quilting, and Jean Bushman, Hardanger embroidery and from 1-3 p.m. Lavonna Czaplicki, Ukrainian egg painting and Mary Jane Huggins, pine needle basketry.
And there’s an art opening this weekend, too. On Friday, Betsy Bowen will host an opening reception for her exhibit, “Sketches of Spain” at the Betsy Bowen Studio and Galleries from 6-8 p.m. featuring a wonderful selection of the ink and watercolor drawings she did when she visited Spain last March.
The reception for “Sketches of Spain” includes Spanish-style tapas and music by Briand Morrison. All invited.
The Betsy Bowen Studio and Galleries has a new artist on-site this year, too. Woodturner Jim Sannerud has set up a shop in a space upstairs. Other artists-in-residence include jewelers Ron Piercy and Stephan Hoglund and ceramic tilemaker Melissa Wickwire. The downstairs gallery also features a variety of regional artists including potters, painters, photographers and multi-media artists. And, of course, there’s a great selection of Bowen’s woodcut prints.
The Cook County Farm & Craft Market, featuring artwork as well as vegetables and plants, opens for the season at 9 a.m. Saturday in the Senior Center parking lot. There are a number of new artists as well as an artisan breadbaker. The market is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Participating galleries in Art Along the Lake have scheduled a variety of activities for Saturday. including lots of demonstrations.
Woodturner Cooper Ternes will demonstrate bowl-making in his shop at Joy and Company at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday.
At Sivertson Gallery, David Gilsvik will give painting demos from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Gilsvik has a great selection of new work at the gallery, too, entitled “Meandering Birches.”
And Melissa Wickwire will demonstrate tile-making in her studio upstairs in Betsy Bowen’s at 11 a.m. Saturday.
There’s lots going on at the Grand Marais Art Colony, as well.
Mary Bebie will give a glass demo at the Grand Marais Art Colony in the glass studio at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Free. All invited.
Then, from 2-4 p.m., it’s Community Ink Day/Screenprinting at the Art Colony. Participants can screenprint their own custom T-shirt, using their choice of ink color and one of several Art Colony designs or, they can screen a decorative frame onto their shirt to be filled in with fabric pens.
The Art Colony has a great selection of T-shirt designs by Hazel Belvo, Mary Bruno, Cameron Norman and Andrea Martin.
T-shirts, tote-bags, and onesies will be available for purchase ($10 youth-sized & onesie, $20 adult-sized T-shirt or totebag) or bring your own clothing item ($10). Explore the exciting world of screenprinting in this all-ages, hands-on event.
On Sunday, the Art Colony will host the Masterpiece Puzzle-a-thon from 9 .m. to noon.
Also this weekend, Tom Christiansen of Last Chance Gallery in Lutsen will hold a bronze sculpture pour at the gallery at 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Experience the excitement as the molten bronze is poured into molds. All invited. Free.
Kah-Nee-Tah Gallery is hosting silver jewelry making demonstrations from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday as well as lots of live music.
And on Saturday from 5-7 p.m., painter Doug Ross will teach a Painting and Wine class at Kah-Nee-Tah. The cost is $40 per person and includes all supplies needed plus wine and snacks. Reservations are required. Call 387-2585 for reservations.
Ross is currently showing his work at Tettegouche State Park, which will host a reception for him from 7-8:30 p.m. on Friday, May 27.
Kathy Rice will be the featured speaker at the first Salon of the season at Drury Lane Books.
Rice will talk about her new book, “Secrets of the Pie Place Cafe: Recipes & Stories Through the Seasons.” The salon is at 5 p.m. Saturday.
Other demonstrations over the Art Along the Lake weekend include woodcut printmaking demos by Betsy Bowen from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Joy and Company will also feature lots of hands-on art activities over the weekend.
In Thunder Bay, the Definitely Superior Art Gallery continues two exhibits: The Retrograduate Show featuring Lakehead University art graduates Ericka Anderson, Gayle Buzzi, Sarah Corley, Stephanie Todd, Fay Beery, Samantha Bachynski and Sunshine Sunshine.
The gallery is also exhibiting “Creators Project 5,” an international film/video screening. Both exhibits continue through June 11.
The Thunder Bay Art Gallery is gearing up for its annual Art Auction on Friday, June 3. The event is a fundraiser for the gallery, and artists from every media have donated work for the sale.
The works can be previewed at 7 p.m. June 3. For more info and tickets, click here.
Maria Nickolay will hold a CD release concert at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts on Thursday, June 9 at 7 p.m.
Nickolay wrote, produced, recorded, mixed and mastered “Through the Ashes.” Admission is free. Donations are welcome.
Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca, an 8-piece band from Los Angeles, will be at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts at 7:30 p.m. June 11 hosted by the North Shore Music Association. Note: There will be room to dance. Tickets are $20 adults, $5 youth, 18 and under.
The Duluth Art Institute will premiere a series of black & white photographs by Tim White. The exhibit, “In & Out of Context,” is an offshoot of White’s book of the same title. The exhibit opens with a free reception in the DAI Galleries from 5 – 7 p.m. on June 16, and related programming throughout the summer will include an evening of poetry featuring 21 poets for 21 seconds each; an ephemeral poetry workshop; and a music performance by Gaelynn Lea. The photographs and text will be on view through Sept. 2.
In other art news, the Johnson Heritage Post‘s exhibit: A Collection of a Lifetime: Fine Art & a Bit of Whimsy continues through June 19. The exhibit includes works by a number of local artists.
The Heritage Post is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday.
The Voyageur Art Club will open an exhibit of members’ work at Tettegouche State Park on June 3. Stay tuned for details.
The Summer Solstice Pageant by the Good Harbor Hill Players is just around the corner. It will be held at North House Folk School on Saturday, June 18 at 8 p.m., so put that date on your calendar. Lots of work has to be done to prepare this wonderful show, and workshops to build puppets, paint scenery, make costumes and more will be held in the big tent beside Betsy Bowen’s Studio and Gallery over the three weeks. The first workshop is this Saturday, May 28, from 10 a.m. to noon and 2-to 4 p.m. Workshops will be held on Thursdays (6-8 p.m.) and Saturdays until the performance. Open to all ages. All invited.
The deadline for banner designs for the downtown light posts is 5 p.m. on June 1. Artists are invited to create a seasonal (choose any season) design that represents our area. Designs can be one or two-color and will be printed on banners 24” wide and 36” high. (Submissions can be 12” x 18”). Submit designs to Betsy Bowen’s Studio. The designs will be exhibited June 10, and attendees will help select the best designs. Four will be chosen, earning the artist a $500 stipend. For more information, contact Mary Beams at 218-370-8682 or email PieLight@hotmail.com.
And last, but not least, check out this intriguing wood art at Upstate MN.
Here’s the music schedule for the weekend:
Thursday, May 26:
- Dat Dere Jazz, Voyageur Brewing Co., 4 p.m.
- Boyd Blomberg, Poplar River Pub, 6 p.m.
- Joe Paulik, Gun Flint Tavern, 6:30 p.m.
Friday, May 27:
- Pushing Chain, Voyageur Brewing Co., 4 p.m.
- Briand Morrison, Betsy Bowen Studio & Gallery, 6 p.m.
- Portage Band, Grandma Ray’s, 6 p.m.
- The Thirsty River, Gun Flint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.
- Jim & Michele Miller, Bluefin Grille, 9 p.m.
Saturday, May 28:
- Plucked Up String Band, Voyageur Brewing Co., 4 p.m.
- Eric Frost, Lutsen Resort Lobby, 7 p.m.
- Michael Monroe, Log Cabin Concert, rural Grand Marais, 7 p.m., 387-2919
- Bug Lite, Cascade Lodge Pub, 7:30 p.m.
- Earth, Wind & Todd, Grandma Ray’s, 8 p.m.
- The Thirsty River, Gun Flint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 29:
- Jazz with Briand Morrison, Gun Flint Tavern, 3 p.m.
Monday, May 30:
- Briand Morrison, Bluefin Grille, 6 p.m.
- Plucked Up String Band, Gun Flint Tavern, 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, June 1:
We found quite a variety of photos this week. Here’s a selection:
First up: Proof that spring has really arrived.
Here’s another spring shot: a fox kit by Paul Sundberg.
Moose are starting to get their summer coats. Tom Spence took this photo.
David Johnson caught these wood ducks hanging out.
Keith Crawley caught this great image of a Barred Owl.
Here’s an evocative shot.
And here, in its peaceful stage, is Lake Superior.
And finally, a full moon photo that says Grand Marais.
Have a great weekend, everyone! Enjoy Art Along the Lake!
Will you be taking a kid fishing this Memorial Weekend? There’s fish to be caught in the Boundary Waters and we can put all of the gear together for you, just give us a call, we’d love to see you at Voyageur!
DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
How do you introduce a kid to fishing?
Being part of the excitement when kids catch fish can form memories that last a lifetime. But taking kids fishing can present some unique challenges.
Jeff Ledermann knows all about the joys and challenges of taking kids fishing. He was able to start his own daughters fishing when they were just over the age of two. When they were older he helped form a girls’ fishing club after hearing one daughter say after school that “Girls don’t fish.”
Now, Ledermann works with educational programs that help teach kids and others about fishing. As the angler recruitment, retention and education supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, he’s glad to share some wisdom on how to connect kids with the outdoors through fishing.
What can adults do to make fishing fun for kids?
For the first times out with kids, focus on short and successful outings. Do some research to find a place where fish populations are high and other opportunities exist when kids get bored, such as playground equipment, rock hunting and climbing, or chasing bugs. It’s even better if there are bathrooms close by. Don’t forget to bring snacks and a camera to capture the excitement of that first fish.
How important are those first few times a kid goes fishing?
The first few times are critical. If a child has a really bad experience, it may take a lot of effort to overcome those memories and anxieties. Make it fun and keep outings short. Don’t be afraid to call it a day if they start to get bored, the bugs are bad or the weather is not good.
What are some of the biggest mistakes parents and others make when taking kids fishing?
The biggest mistake I see is that parents lose focus on the kids. As much as we all relish the opportunity to wet a line, fishing with young kids means you may have to give up some of your own fishing time.
What fishing skills do kids need the most help with?
New anglers of all ages need lots of help figuring out how to use fishing equipment. Be sure to demonstrate to them how rods and reels work and give them lots of opportunity to practice. Casting in the yard at hula hoops or other targets is a great way to get kids excited about fishing. The biggest mistake that young anglers make is not keeping a tight line while playing a fish. Teach them to keep their rod tip up. You can make it easier for kids by giving them a rod that is the right size for them. A rod that has a lighter action or more flex also provides more room for error and kids will be less likely to break off. Also be sure to check the drag on the reel so they can manage a larger fish if they catch one.
What safety pointers should people remember?
Safety should be your highest priority. Be mindful of the dangers of being on or near the water. Wearing a lifejacket is the law for kids under age 10 and a really good practice for everyone when in a boat. The other big safety concern while fishing is hooks. That risk multiplies when lots of people are casting. If I have lots of kids in a boat, I minimize casting by having them fish right off the side of the boat or slowly troll the weed edges with small spinners and jigs. For older kids, spinnerbaits are great for casting as the hook is less exposed. I would avoid any casting with treble hooks until kids have more experience.
Any tips for what kids of fish to try for and what gear to use?
Catching bluegills or bullheads is a great way to start fishing with kids. In many lakes these fish are very abundant, but also very small. If you use light line and small hooks with live bait, you will have a good chance at success.
How do you choose where to fish with a kid?
Ask at bait stores, surf the many fishing blogs on the web or ask other anglers where they would recommend taking kids fishing. In the Twin Cities, the DNR’s Fishing in the Neighborhood program manages and stocks several lakes and ponds to increase fishing opportunities. Check out www.mndnr.gov/fin for details.
What should you pack to bring a kid fishing?
Bring enough items so that you’re prepared for all kinds of weather, and distractions if fishing gets tough or kids get bored. We want kids to eat healthy, but I’m not against making the outing special by bringing a favorite treat or stopping by the ice cream shop on the way home. Bring what you think will help make the outing fun. A positive attitude is probably the most important. Your enthusiasm for fishing will rub off on them!
Where can people learn more?
Adults who want to learn more before taking a kid fishing can find answers to common fishing questions, download a beginner’s guide to fishing, and find a place to fish at www.mndnr.gov/fishmn. Resources for educators can be found at www.mndnr.gov/minnaqua.
From the time of our first history lesson in kindergarten or preschool, we know the term “Mayflower.” But despite the fact that one of the most famous -if not the most famous – ship in North American history was called the Mayflower, I just sort of assumed the name referred to any old flower that bloomed in May and left it at that. And I kind of doubt the Pilgrims put a whole lot of thought into the flower either. They probably didn’t care what their ship was named, let alone what flower it was named after, as long as it put an ocean between themselves and the religious persecution of King James I.
Occasionally I’d run into a Mayflower moving truck and that would make me think about mayflowers for about .2 seconds, but generally, mayflowers were out of mind more often than not.
But when I read Anne of Green Gables for the first time as a teenager, I ran into mayflowers yet again.
“‘I’m so sorry for people who live in lands where there are no Mayflowers,’ said Anne. ‘Diana says perhaps they have something better, but there couldn’t be anything better than Mayflowers, could there, Marilla? And Diana says if they don’t know what they are like they don’t miss them. But I think that is the saddest thing of all. I think it would be tragic, Marilla, not to know what Mayflowers are like and not to miss them. Do you know what I think Mayflowers are, Marilla? I think they must be the souls of the flowers that died last summer and this is their heaven.'”
In fact, mayflowers must have been very significant to Canadian author L.M. Montgomery, because she makes mention of them in at least of three of her eight books that deal directly with the life of Anne Shirley Blythe, aka Anne of Green Gables. In later books, Anne’s son, Jem, makes a habit of collecting bouquets of mayflowers each spring for his mother. This becomes particularly poignant in Rilla of Ingleside when Jem enlists in the Canadian Army at the start of World War I and is unable to bring Anne her mayflowers during the first spring of the Great War.
Despite reading the entire Anne of Green Gables series all the way through at least three or four times, I never really knew what these mayflowers looked like. At one point Anne’s daughter, Rilla, makes mention of wanting to gather armloads of mayflowers, so I always assumed the mayflower was a bigger wildflower like a daisy or black-eyed Susan.
At long last, I decided to consult the font of all knowledge, Google, to figure out what these mayflowers actually look like.
And low and behold I came up with a photo of this, a wildflower we know very well on the Gunflint Trail:
We call it “false lily of the valley,” but in other parts of North American it’s referred to by the English translation of its scientific name Maianthemum canadense: Canada Mayflower.
But despite having photographic proof of what a Canada mayflower looks like, I had a hunch that I hadn’t quite cracked “the mayflower mystery.” For one thing, how Rilla planned to gather armloads of these, I wasn’t quite sure, since the flower stalks average only about 4.5″ in height. At best, a “bouquet” of these mayflowers would really be more of a “nosegay.” For another thing, context clues in Anne of Green Gables told me that on Prince Edward Island where the books are set mayflowers bloom before violets. Here in Minnesota, false lily of the valley blooms decidedly after the violets.
It turns out that in the Maritime provinces where L.M. Montgomery lived, the wildflower known as trailing arbutus is often referred to as a mayflower. Never mind that in the Maritimes, trailing arbutus blooms in April. The reason for this Canadian misnomer for trailing arbutus brings us right back to those pilgrims and refers to the fact “that it was the first flower to cheer the hearts of the Pilgrim Fathers after the rigors of their first New England winter.” The whole “bouquet” thing that L.M. Montgomery mentions to is still confusing, because again, trailing arbutus only grows to 4-6″ tall so good luck finding a vase to accommodate that bouquet, but there you have it.
I’ve been thinking about L.M. Montgomery a lot lately, because the mother of two dear friends passed away unexpectedly at the end of last month. She was a noted L.M. Montgomery researcher, deeply involved with the L.M. Montgomery Literary Society, who visited Prince Edward Island many times, although never at the time when mayflowers were blooming, I don’t think. Because it’s springtime, I keep thinking of little Jem, scrambling down the hillside in Rainbow Valley to gather mayflowers for his mother.
So I’ve been watching carefully for our version of mayflowers this spring. They’re not out quite yet, but their large (at least in comparison with their flower) heart-shaped leaves are spreading across the forest floor. It wasn’t until I was leafing through my Anne books looking for mayflower references last night, that I rediscovered her quote about mayflowers being “the souls of wildflowers.” I thought about the tiny star-shaped flowers along a stem of false lily of the valley and was impressed by how apt that description seemed for the mayflower I know and the mayflower Anne knew.
Regardless of which mayflower you see this spring, I hope they’re a peaceful patch of beauty, with just a hint of mystic.
I think it is really odd a USFS spokesperson would say, “Part of the area burning was scheduled to undergo a prescribed burn anyway.” I wonder if the costs to fight a wildfire are the same as the costs associated with a controlled burn? Or what the people that have been called away from their “normal” life to go to fight the wildfire think about that statement? I also wonder if that’s what the USFS thought about the Pagami Creek Fire they started.
That statement makes me angry. Just because no lives or structures have been lost doesn’t make it “OK” to let a fire get out of control. It isn’t a good excuse for starting a wildfire during a very dry and dangerous time of the year.
The person who started the Ham Lake Fire by accident was held responsible for all costs associated with fighting the wildfire. Will the USFS person who signed off on the prescribed burn be held to the same standards? Or because “part” of the over 1000 acres was scheduled to be burned does that make it fine and dandy to torch the rest of the area?
We all make mistakes and most of us are held accountable for them. Will they be?Fire crews make gains in BWCA May 23, 2016 — 9:36pm The Foss Lake wildfire on the southeastern edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness continued to burn Monday, but fire officials said “It was a good day,” and the fire is 45 percent contained.
Although virtually all of the fire is in the BWCA, and the Crab Lake entry point is closed, officials said all other entry points are open and vacationers are going in regularly.
Part of the area burning was scheduled to undergo a prescribed burn anyway, said Rebecca Manlove, spokeswoman for the U.S. Forest Service.
The fire is burning over 1,008 acres, she said. About 279 firefighters are working on the burn, although that number is expected to drop Tuesday, as two volunteer departments are no longer needed, she said.
Be careful with fire, it’s dry out there.
DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Be safe with campfires
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reminds everyone to be safe with campfires this Memorial Day weekend and into the summer.
“Spending time with family and friends around a campfire is a popular Minnesota tradition,” said Linda Gormanson, DNR wildfire prevention supervisor. “You can take simple measures to make your campfire safe.”
Gormanson recommends all campfires should be:
Clear of any burnable material 5 feet in all directions around the fire.
Built within a designated fire ring 3 feet or less in diameter.
Kept to 3 feet or less in height.
Legal—check if to see if local municipality requires a permit.
For people who don’t have a campsite with a designated fire ring, select a safe place for the campfire. Choose a level area away from dry grass, shrubs or logs that is free of overhanging branches. Then scoop out a depression in the center of the area and put a ring of rocks around it.
An adult should attend the fire at all times – even a light breeze can cause the fire to spread. Always have a shovel and water available at the campfire to extinguish it. Stir the embers repeatedly with water or dirt until every ember is out cold.
Discover more by visiting Smokey Bear’s campfire safety website at www.smokeybear.com/campfire-safety.asp.
Cook County News-Herald staffers love to get out and about the county. So we decided, while we are traveling the highway and bushwhacking through the forest, to take pictures to see if our readers can guess WHERE ARE WE?
Although News-Herald Editor Rhonda Silence thought the April WHERE ARE WE? would be really easy, we only received a few correct entries. Drawn from the correct entries was Bonnie Kabe of St. Joseph, Minnesota, who knew that the bench in the photo is at the Grand Marais Recreation Park. The bench sits at the top of the steps near the Arrowhead Animal Rescue building. It overlooks the rocky shoreline west of the Grand Marais harbor.
Bonnie wins a free subscription to the Cook County News-Herald.
Try your luck! Take a look at the May photo. If you think you know where this photo was taken, send us your answer.
You don’t have to be the first to reply. The location will be announced next month and a winner will be drawn from all the correct answers. Whoever is drawn from the correct entries receives a free one-year subscription to the Cook County News-Herald (a $32 value). Good luck!
Answer to the May WHERE ARE WE? must be received by June 13, 2016.
Send your entry to:
Cook County News-Herald
PO Box 757
Grand Marais MN 55604
Drop it by our office at:
15 First Avenue West
We all know how awesome it is to spend time in the Boundary Waters but I’m not sure everyone knows how fun it is getting to the BWCA from the Gunflint Trail. When you choose an entry point off of the Gunflint Trail(all of which Voyageur outfits to) you get to see the most amazing scenery in the state of Minnesota.
The North Shore of Lake Superior is gorgeous even if you don’t get out of your vehicle to look around. You can take the Scenic Highway from Duluth to Two Harbors for even better views of the lake. If you do want to stop but not hike there are some places to see that offer beautiful vistas. Palisade Head, the Baptism River Falls in Beaver Bay or the Cross River Falls in Schroeder are just a few of these places where no effort is required.
Hiking to amazing scenery is an option to. From a quick 5 minute walk to a strenuous longer hike you have options galore to choose from. I hope you will take advantage of the opportunities to see wonderful sites along the way and visit us this summer on the Gunflint Trail.
The crews are busy on the exterior of the Care Center additions putting up siding and erecting structural steel in front to the new entryway. Inside the ceiling tiles are being installed, but if you notice in the below picture, quite a few are “custom cuts” to include light fixtures, sprinklers, smoke detectors, call lights, cameras and air vents. In the mechanical mezzanine, one of the new air handlers is up and running, providing air to the new Care Center additions and existing Care Center.
A wildfire is burning near Burntside Lake outside of Ely, Minnesota. It began as a prescribed burn conducted by the USFS that turned into a wildfire because it jumped the lines. Dry conditions, warm weather, wind and low humidity have been factors working against the USFS in the effort to suppress the prescribed burn/wildfire they started.Incident Overview
Foss Lake Fire Update Saturday, May 21, 2016, 9:00 p.m.
MNICS Team C, Brian Pisarek, Incident CommanderFire Information Web address: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4740/#
Phone: 218-208-4544 Location: US Forest Service office, 1393 Hwy 169, Ely, open 8 a.m.–8 p.m.
Size: 1008 acres Containment: 30 percent Fire Start Date: May 19, 2016
Resources: 6 crews, 2 helicopters, 2 engines, 1 water tender, 180 total personnel
There was little growth on the fire today. Accurate mapping resulted in the large increase in acreage. Crews on the southern half of the fire walked the perimeter with handheld GPS units and aircraft flew the northern half. Crews working north along the east side of the fire installed fire hose along a quarter mile of saw line. Crews on the west side of the fire continued saw-line construction from the wilderness boundary on the south to Clark Lake on the north. Aircraft dropped water on three distinct areas of heat within the fire perimeter on the northeast side and assisted ground crews elsewhere on the fire. Two crews will camp overnight in the wilderness on Crab Lake, eliminating a long morning commute and getting to the fireline early in the morning. Local firefighters from the Lake Vermilion Fire Brigade and Morse/Fall Lake Fire Department continued assessing residences on the west end of Burntside Lake.
Weather and Fire Behavior: Today’s red flag warning expired at 8:00 p.m., but conditions tomorrow will also be hot, dry, and windy. Winds will be from the south and southwest: sustained 10–15 mph, gusts to 25 mph. These high winds will start early and will continue overnight. Fire-behavior analysts say there is potential for significant fire activity tomorrow (for example, single-tree or group-tree torching and some quick fire spread). Smoke might be visible. However, smoke does not necessarily mean the fire is growing larger: smoldering “islands” of unburned fuel within the fire perimeter could burn more actively.
Safety Message: The towns of Ely, Winton, Tower, or Soudan are not threatened. Fire managers are planning for Sunday’s strong winds. Residents on the west side of Burntside Lake should be aware of changing weather conditions.
Closures: Currently, just one BWCAW entry point—Crab Lake entry point #4—is closed; all other entry points remain open. The following BWCAW portages and lakes/rivers, including campsites, are closed:
- portage Burntside Lake to Crab Lake (entry point #4)
- portage from Cummings Lake to Korb Lake; portage from Cummings Lake to Korb River
- lakes and associated portages: Crab, Boulder, Phantom, Battle, Sprite, Meat, Clark, Glimmer, Hassle, Saca, Little Crab, Korb, Maxine, Barefoot, Little Jig, Silaca, Coxey Pond, Lunetta, Schlamn, Soroll, Glenmore, Western, Blick, Chad, Dugout, and Pine.
- Pine Creek east of Trout Lake
- portage from Trout Lake to Pine Lake
Closure signs are posted at normal access points to delineate the closure area. The closure order and map are located at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4740/#.
The Forest Service does not currently recommend BWCAW travel
south of Big Moose, Big Rice, and Bootleg Lakes.
Basic Information Current as of 5/21/2016, 5:54:27 PM Incident Type Wildfire Cause Human Date of Origin Thursday May 19th, 2016 approx. 11:00 PM Location Near Foss Lake; ~10 miles SW Ely, MN Incident Commander Brian Pisarek Incident Description Escaped Prescribed Burn Current Situation Total Personnel 180 Size 1,008 Acres Percent of Perimeter Contained 30% Estimated Containment Date Wednesday June 01st, 2016 approx. 12:00 AM Fuels Involved Timber (Grass and Understory) Outlook Planned Actions Secure, anchor, and continue to secure flanks, using aircraft to cool ahead of crews. Projected Incident Activity When rH and wind activity increases, fire activity will increase in /wilderness. Next 24 hours, Potential for run to the ENE with predicted winds. Current Weather Weather Concerns Red Flag warnings today, similar weather conditions forecast tomorrow with a significant shift in wind direction
Have you ever seen Noctilucent Clouds? If you are like me with most things you probably have heard of them but can’t remember what they are. They are the clouds that shine at night and that is why they are called Noctilucent. Sometimes we get the chance to see these this time of the year at the end of the Gunflint Trail.
Jörgen Norrland Andersson
According to Earth Sky, “Noctilucent clouds form in the highest reaches of the atmosphere – the mesosphere – as much as 50 miles (80 km) above the Earth’s surface. They’re are thought to be made of ice crystals that form on fine dust particles from meteors. They can only form when temperatures are incredibly low and when there’s water available to form ice crystals.
Why do these clouds – which require such cold temperatures – form in the summer? It’s because of the dynamics of the atmosphere. You actually get the coldest temperatures of the year near the poles in summer at that height in the mesosphere.
Here’s how it works: during summer, air close to the ground gets heated and rises. Since atmospheric pressure decreases with altitude, the rising air expands. When the air expands, it also cools down. This, along with other processes in the upper atmosphere, drives the air even higher causing it to cool even more. As a result, temperatures in the mesosphere can plunge to as low as -210°F (-134°C).
In the Northern Hemisphere, the mesosphere often reaches these temperatures by mid-May, in most years.”
The challenge with viewing these clouds is you have to stay up late. They don’t appear until the sun is below the horizon so 1-2 hours after sunset or before sunrise. You can recognize the clouds by not only the time of the day but also where they are located. If you see a clear sky except for cirrus like clouds low in the north then you can probably assume you are seeing night shining clouds. You’ll want to start looking now because they usually only appear from May through August.
Diagram from Astro Bob Blog
If you’ve ever driven up the North Shore then you know what an awesome place it is. All of the State Parks, hiking trails, scenic vistas and of course waterfalls that line the road make it a spectacular trip. This time of year is especially amazing because of all of the water rushing towards Lake Superior.
The rivers & creeks are swollen with water and the waterfalls are majestic. Some of these masterpieces are right next to the road and require very little hiking if any. Others require a small trek but most are quite accessible and easy to reach. It’s worth taking a drive up the North Shore even if you can only spend a night. You can easily stop at a hand full of them in the same day and then hit more on the way home if you want.
Yesterday I made a trip down to Silver Bay, MN and much to my surprise I saw a moose! I have only seen 1 other moose on Highway 61 in the 20 plus years I’ve lived up here. It caught me by surprise and I found myself pulling over to get my camera out. It is much more common to see other wildlife like deer, bald eagles, wolves and the occasional bear.
There’s lots to see on the North Shore and don’t forget about all of the great shops and restaurants. And if you’re up in this neck of the woods, make the trip to see us at Voyageur too.
A potpourri of fun events are scheduled for this weekend, a fitting precede to next weekend when the Art Along the Lake extravaganza in galleries and shops is set to play throughout the county.
This weekend, look for two stellar concerts, a great talk entitled “Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask,” the Beaver House Family Fishing Festival and a demonstration by a sculpture artist who loves to create houses in clay.
Here are the details.
First up is “Treble Time.”
Three groups, the Cook County High School Choir, the Sutton Family Trio and Lake Effect, will perform at Bethlehem Lutheran Church on Thursday at 7 p.m.
It should be quite a concert. It will offer a broad spectrum of songs, including folk, Americana and jazz, with lots of beautiful women’s voices and spot-on harmony.
A free-will donation at the door will be accepted.
Then on Friday, Dr. Anton Treuer, director of the American Indian Resource Center at Bemidji State University, will present “Everything you wanted to know about Indians but were afraid to ask” at the Grand Marais Public Libary at 6 p.m.
Treuer, an author and Ojibwe scholar, will give a frank, funny, and sometimes personal tour of what’s up with Indians, anyway. The event is open to the public and is free.
Also on Friday, the Heck Yeah Holler String Band will be featured on WTIP Community Radio’s “Scenic Route,” at 4 p.m. And Phil Heywood, who will be in concert at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts on Saturday night, will be on WTIP’s The Roadhouse at 6:15 p.m. or so to talk about his music and play a few songs.
Saturday events include the Family Fishing Festival and Grand Re-Opening at the Beaver House with activities for kids, like minnow races and other games and prizes, and a scavenger hunt for all. There’s also a walleye fishing contest, which started May 14 and continues through Saturday. The family festivities get underway at 10 a.m. and continue throughout the day.
Also on Saturday, the Grand Marais Art Colony will host a clay demo at 10 a.m. with clay sculpture artist, Korla Luckeroth Molitor. Molitor creates whimsical, three-dimensional landscapes, farmsteads, houses, and people in clay and will demonstrate some of her techniques in the Art Colony’s ceramic studio.
Molitor, a fifth-generation Minnesotan, teaches Art History and Ceramics at Concordia University in Saint Paul. She received her BFA in Ceramics and Art History at the Kansas City Art Institute and her Masters of Fine Art from the University of Minnesota. $10 suggested donation. The public is invited.
On Saturday night, look to the Arrowhead Center for the Arts for a stellar concert with award-winning fingerstyle guitarists Phil Heywood and Tim Sparks.
Heywood’s performance encompasses an array of styles, from the down-home rhythmic groove of a Mississippi John Hurt and Leadbelly, to the sheer fluidity and melodic flair of such contemporaries as Leo Kottke.
Guitar Player Magazine describes Sparks’ music as “fresh, exotic, and totally cool.” The musicians share the bill, and will perform some songs together. Tickets are general admission: $20 adults, $5 youth, and can be purchased at the door.
And, next Wednesday, the String Quartet from the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra will play at the Grand Marais Library at noon. The program will include Dvorak’s “American Quartet,” Haydn’s “Lark Quartet,” and Piazzolla’s “Four for Tango.” The public is invited. Free.
Art Along the Lake: May 27-29 — Savor the Art on the North Shore. Galleries and shops in Cook County celebrate the beginning of summer with exhibits, receptions, demonstrations, meet-the-artists events, workshops and more.
Here’s a taste: The Cross River Heritage Center in Schroeder opens for the season on May 27 with a new exhibit, “Boomtown” as well as an exhibition of work by local painter Bruce Palmer and photographers Tom Spence and David Degree.
The Heritage Center has also scheduled craft and art demonstrations throughout the day, including Ukranian egg painting and German woodcarving. To find out more, click here.
But that’s just the beginning. Betsy Bowen will open exhibit of the studies she did in Spain this winter entitled, “Sketches of Spain.”
Kathy Rice will be at Drury Lane Books for a Salon at 5 p.m. May 28 to read from her latest book, “Secrets of the Pie Place Café: Recipes & Stories Through the Seasons.”
Kah-Nee-Tah Gallery will host silver jewelry making demos and there will be a bronze pour at Last Chance Gallery at 4 p.m. May 28. David Gilsvik will do painting demonstration sat Sivertson Gallery when his exhibit “Meandering Through Birches” opens.
Stay tuned for more details next week. For a preview of all the activities, click here.
In other art news, Ann Mershon’s new book, “You Must Only To Love Them: Lessons Learned in Turkey” is out.
Mershon said the book is “part travelogue, part romance and part adventure, though mostly a heartfelt account of the seven years I spent teaching in Istanbul.” Copies are available at Birchbark Books & Gifts as well as on-line.
There are lots of new classes and instructors at the Grand Marais Art Colony this summer. In the literary arts, for example, William Durbin is teaching a class in fiction, Marlais Brand is teaching a class in history writing. In the glass studio, Helen Otterson, Northern Clay Center’s 2016 McKnight Artist in Residence, will teach a class in combining clay and cast glass in artwork. David Gilsvik is teaching a class in Autumn Painting in the fall. There are a number of classes offering in printmaking, photograph and the book arts, including a class by Amanda Dagener and Becky and Tedd McDonah will teach a jewelry making class in June. For details about these and other classes, click here.
By the way, Marlais Brand’s book, “The Hungry Coast” with illustrations by Noah Prinsen, just won the Midwest Book Award in the short story/anthology category.
The awards were given by the Midwest Independent Publishing Association, North Star Press published the book, which is available in local shops.
The Upper Shop at the Blue Moose Gallery has been redesigned with lots of new artwork, including stained glass pieces by Shelly Bouquet.
David Steckelberg has brought in new cards to Joy and Company.
Upstate MN has just received new watercolor paintings by Kate Oberreich.
Kah-Nee Tah Gallery is featuring leather and tila wrap bracelets by Deb Levens.
Betsy Bowen has completed a new hand-printed woodcut.
And last, but not least, Sivertson Gallery re-designed its front windows and includes the new Trapper’s Daughter print by Rick Allen entitled: “The Trappers Daughter Runs A Mid-Summer Race.”
Here’s the music schedule for this week:
Thursday, May 19:
- Joe Paulik, Poplar River Pub, 6 p.m.
- Gordon Thorne with Chris Gillis & Mike Roth, Gun Flint Tavern, 7 p.m.
Friday, May 20:
- Gypsy Lumberjacks, Gun Flint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 21:
- Jim & Michelle Miller, Voyageur Brewing Co., 4 p.m.
- Gordon Thorne, Lutsen Resort, 7 p.m.
- Heck Yeah Holler String Band, Cascade Lodge Pub, 7 p.m.
- Phil Heywood and Tim Sparks, Arowhead Center for the Arts, 7:30 p.m.
- Gypsy Lumberjacks, Gun Flint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 22:
- Jazz with Briand Morrison, Gun Flint Tavern, 3 p.m.
- Timmy Haus, Gun Flint Tavern, 6:30 p.m.
Monday, May 23:
- Joe Paulik, Bluefin Grille, 9 p.m.
Again we found some great photographs this week. Here’s a sampling:
Let’s start with the youngsters.
No youngsters yet, but soon, maybe. Paul Sundberg caught this endearing shot.
Here is another type of “youngster.”
Not a youngster, but having as much fun. This is Kjersti Vick.
And here’s a playful aurora– a laser beam instead of cascading light.
And finally, sweet, peaceful Lake Superior.
Enjoy your weekend!
It’s not much yet, but a small sampling of siding was installed this past week and gives a glimpse into what the new exterior will look like. The concrete crews were busy pouring the footings for the hospital addition and the ironworkers have been setting steel for the new entryway. Crews continue to put in ceiling tiles in the hallways and resident rooms, the resident’s bathroom’s got their mirrors, and the mezzanine now has its’ permanent lighting. It’s always amazing to see how much low voltage cabling goes into a healthcare facility; nurse call, computers, media, fire alarms, wonder guards, etc.