5/19/15 - Hopefully, this is the last picture of snow this season! It's only fun because the forecast is very good for the rest of the week and most of the Memorial Day weekend. - Bill
This looks like a typical summer sunrise picture of the Sawbill Store until you notice the snow on the roof and picnic table.
It's hard to get motivated to wash snow covered canoes.
When are you paddling the Boundary Waters? I have a couple of trips I’m wanting to take this summer; one with my family and one with my son and his friend. Of course my son and his friend think they should be able to canoe and camp in the BWCA by themselves since they are 14 years-old now. The problem with that is as soon as I let them go out alone then I’ll never be needed or welcome on their trip again.
I obviously can’t let them go out on their own this year, or next and possibly not until they are 21 or older. I need to accompany them for their sake and mine!
I came across an article on the Take Me Fishing Blog called “5 Simple Reasons You’re Not Catching Fish.” There’s just one reason I am not catching fish this year and that’s because I haven’t been out fishing yet. Sad as it may seem it is the truth.
Yesterday Josh had a triple header for baseball south of Duluth and Abby played in a volleyball tournament in Duluth. Today is the second day of her two-day tournament and the good news is, it’s the last tournament of the very long season. She has a play-off game for softball on Tuesday and if they lose that game then they will be done for the season. There are just a couple of weeks left of school and then it’s Trail time again.
Band concerts, dances, team dinners and sports keep us very busy during the school year. I’m not sure who looks forward to summer more, the kids or me? All I do know is Josh and I are both ready to go fishing and we don’t care if we don’t catch any fish!5 Simple Reasons You Aren’t Catching Fish
Every angler has experienced at least one crummy day of fishing that they would rather just forget. As much as no one wants to admit it, most of us have come home (GASP!) skunked at one time or another. It happens. However, if your landing net actually has cobwebs in it or if you have absolutely no clue what “bass thumb” means, you should probably read on.
Here are five simple reasons you aren’t catching fish:
1. You tend to stay in one spot even when you aren’t catching fish. There is no magic formula that dictates the precise length of time you should fish one particular spot before moving. However, if you’ve been in the same spot for a half hour to an hour without a single bite, it’s probably time to rethink your location. Take a look around. Are you fishing an area where there is structure? Are you fishing an area with current? Baitfish and other game fish prey will usually be found near structure or in areas with current.
2. You aren’t monitoring the weather or tide conditions in advance. Weather and tide conditions can play a large part in your level of fishing success or frustration. Anglers often avoid fishing on “blue bird sky” weather days because these clear days usually follow a cold front and the fishing can be very challenging. Conversely, fish will often feed aggressively right before a drop in pressure or arriving front. When fishing saltwater (or freshwater tidal areas), it’s important that you check your local tide charts and plan to fish during times of a strong incoming or outgoing tide if possible.
3. You over-think your fishing strategies. Any angler who has fished a competitive tournament has likely experienced the frustration of over-thinking his or her fishing strategy. If you start second-guessing yourself when it comes to tactics that have consistently worked well for you, you can end up spending your entire day switching baits, lures, tackle or spots without giving anything enough of a chance to work. There has to be a proper balance between this reason and reason number one above.
4. You are either not using the right lures or fishing your lures too fast. Just because you caught a nice fish on a specific lure five years ago, doesn’t mean that you will keep catching fish on the same lure regardless of the conditions. Test different lures under a variety of conditions. When it comes to the speed of your retrieve, remember that during the summer months certain species (such as trout, smallmouth bass or largemouth bass) can become somewhat lazy as the water temperatures increase. This means that you will need to slow down your retrieve in order to make your lure an easier target.
5. You aren’t tying strong enough knots or the right kinds of knots. If you are hooking up, but are losing fish before you can land them, it could be that the quality of your knots is to blame. Are your hooks, lures or leader lines coming off? Do you know how to tie a couple of good fishing lure, hook or rig knots? How about a couple of strong line-joining knots? Research and practice tying reliable knots so that you come home with a photo of your catch instead of telling a story about the big one that got away (and took your $10 lure along with it).
What other reasons have had you skunked instead of catching? Share your comments by logging into the Take Me Fishing Community.
This article about getting kids to spend more time in the great outdoors saved the best for the last. They listed a bunch of different activities you can do with your kids and guess what the last suggestion was? Yep, go canoeing! I’ll add to it by saying, “Go canoeing with Voyageur Canoe Outfitters!”
Great ways to get your kids outdoors and active Get them off the screens and get them outside
By Keith Kendrick Apr 21, 2015
Too often these days, children default to sitting in front of screens to interact with the virtual world rather than getting outside and experiencing it for real.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with playing on the computer or video console, but there needs to be a balance.
Sadly, the passive ease with which our children now choose to spend their time seems to have robbed them of the attribute we parents were forced to develop by dint of there being no computer or video games to mindlessly play when we were growing up: imagination!
So there’s now a campaign urging children to take back their ‘wild time’ by swapping 30 minutes of screen use for outdoor activities, such as conkers and camping.
The Wild Network‘s Andy Simpson said: “The tragic truth is that kids have lost touch with nature and the outdoors in just one generation.
“Time spent outdoors is down, roaming ranges have fallen drastically, activity levels are declining and the ability to identify common species has been lost.
“With many more parents becoming concerned about the dominance of screen time in their children’s lives, and growing scientific evidence that a decline in active time is bad news for the health and happiness of our children, we all need to become marketing directors for nature.
“An extra 30 minutes of wild time every day for all under 12-year-olds in the UK would be the equivalent of just three months of their childhood spent outdoors.
“We want parents to see what this magical wonder product does for their kids’ development, independence and creativity, by giving wild time a go.”
David Bond, who made the film Project Wild Thing, added: “I wanted to understand why my children’s childhood is so different from mine, whether this matters and, if it does, what I can do about it.
“The reasons why kids, whether they live in cities or the countryside, have become disconnected from nature and the outdoors are complex.
“Project Wild Thing isn’t some misty-eyed nostalgia for the past. We need to make more space for wild time in children’s daily routine, freeing this generation of kids to have the sort of experiences that many of us took for granted.
“It’s all about finding wildness on your doorstep and discovering the sights, sounds and smells of nature, whether in a back garden, local park or green space at the end of the road.”
Sarah Blackwell, from Get Children Outdoors, said: “I’ve made it my mission to to help children establish and grow in confidence, self-esteem and emotional awareness through activity in the outdoors.”
• Create some landscape art – draw or write names with twigs, stones or leaves, and then take photographs.
• Dig the garden/allotment together.
• Go collecting – pebbles, shells, pottery, hazelnuts, fungi, kindling for the fire.
• Go on a ‘blindfold walk’ to use sound and touch rather than sight.
• Climb the highest hill near where you live – race to see who can get to the top first.
• Go out in the rain.
• Roll down a really big hill.
• Camp out in the wild.
• Skim a stone.
• Run around in the rain.
• Fly a kite.
• Catch a fish with a net.
• Take a bag to collect wild treasures, and a notebook to write or draw in.
• Take your kids outside with a camera or phone, and see how many different types of wildlife you can find – for identification help go to iSpot.
• Eat an apple straight from a tree.
• Play conkers.
• Go on a really long bike ride.
• Make a trail with sticks.
• Make mud pies.
• Dam a stream.
• Play nature eye spy on the journey to school.
• Make a daisy chain.
• Set up a snail race.
• Create some wild art.
• Play Pooh sticks.
• Jump over waves.
• Pick blackberries growing in the wild.
• Snail watching – count the number of snails that you see on the walk home from school.
• Visit a farm.
• Go on a walk barefoot.
• Make a grass trumpet.
• Hunt for fossils and bones.
• Go star gazing.
• Climb a huge hill.
• Explore inside a tree.
• Explore a cave.
• Hold a scary beast.
• Hunt for bugs.
• Find some frog spawn.
• Catch a falling leaf.
• Track wild animals.
• Discover what’s in a pond.
• Make a home for a wild animal.
• Check out the crazy creatures in a rock pool.
• Bring up a butterfly.
• Catch a crab.
• Go on a nature walk at night.
• Plant it, grow it, eat it.
• Go swimming in the sea.
• Build a raft.
• Go bird watching.
• Find your way with a map and compass.
• Climb a rock.
• Cook on a campfire.
• Learn to ride a horse.
• Canoe down a river.
Started breaking ground this week for the Nature Center Building Project. What a week, they first had to cut all power, phone and internet to the museum. It was a bit hard working in the building this week without any heat or lights. I just had to make sure I wore my heavy long johns, stocking cap, gloves and heavy winter jacket while I was getting the gift shop together for the season. Then came time to start digging the power, phone and internet lines up so they could get them moved to another location. Bob Baker, Dave Tuttle along with the phone company were the foreman’s on the project they put me in the ditch to help with digging up the line. Dave did have some equipment to help with the digging process. I don’t think that was in my new job description. I kept trying to tell them I want to renegotiate my contract at least the black flies are not out yet. A huge thank you to everyone involved in getting this building project up and going. It is going to be a wonderful place to hold activities.
During the construction we will be open from 10 am to 5 pm daily. There will still be plenty of parking available for you to come up and visit the museum as well as enjoy the hiking trails on property. I hope you will stop up and visit and check out the building project as it progresses during the summer months.
It is a bit difficult to get to the bathroom right now but that will all be ready by opening day the 23rd of this month.
We have had so much wildlife activity here this week, despite the heavy machinery running around. Some hikers spotted 3 moose on the Blueberry Hill trail. Mother & father loon have been over by the nesting location. The mother has been on the nest all week. She is starting early this year, I hope all works out well for them this year.
The nesting eaglets are testing their wings but haven’t flown from the nest yet. If you haven’t checked out the eagle cam then I urge you to do so. It is so neat to see them at such a close range. The nest next to Highway 61 is in plain view but you can’t see what is going on inside. Take a peek, you’ll be glad you did.
May 14, 2015 – EagleCam Update
Up, Up, and Away
As many of you have already noticed, the eaglets have started to “branch.” Branching means they are moving onto branches neighboring the nest. Both are also exercising their wings, jumping and hovering over the nest, and will be soon taking their maiden flight. The camera cannot be zoomed out any further than it is. In order to have a great close-up view, we had to sacrifice seeing the larger area around the nest. We will pan the camera around from time to time when we are able, to provide a view of the nest as well as the branch above it.
Food on a string?
Many saw the eagles bring prey into the nest that appeared to be on a string or leash. Rest assured that the eagles did not bring someone’s beloved pet into the nest. Instead we were able to determine that the prey was a fish attached to a stringer. It isn’t likely that the eagles ‘stole’ the fish from an angler though… More likely the eagles found a dead fish that an angler had abandoned or lost accidentally.
Q: Why are the eaglets’ heads and tails not white?
A: The transition from their brown juvenile colors to their adult colors with a white head and tail takes four to five years. Here is some additional information describing this transition: http://www.featheredphotography.com/blog/2013/01/27/a-guide-to-aging-bald-eagles/
Q: How old are the eaglets?
A: The eaglets started to hatch on Feb. 24. This makes the eaglets approximately 11 weeks old as of this update.
Q: When will the eaglets start flying?
A: Eaglets typically make their first flight between roughly 10 to 13 weeks of age (so it could be any day now). They may hang around the nest and their parents for another one to two months.
Watch the MNDNR EagleCam live at: mndnr.gov/eaglecam
Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MinnesotaNongameWildlifeProgram
Do not forget to checkout past EagleCam Updates.
5/15/15 - Listen to this interview with Dr. Frank Ferraro about the effect of wilderness on the brain from the WTIP-FM North Shore Community Radio show, "The Roadhouse." Ferraro's research may lead to your doctor writing you a prescription for a canoe trip! - Bill
Listen to the West End News to find out why Sawbill friend, Jenna Wagner, is sporting a surgical gown.
A lot of good things were brought up and some good conversations started.
To begin with we took into consideration the consent agenda, which included the agenda (plus a first reading of the Sunday growler sale change enacted by the MN legislature), payment of the bills, and approval of the minutes for our last meeting. Everything being in line, the consent agenda was approved unanimously.
We moved right along to the Planning Commission's Report, which included two requests from residents: one for a variance for the construction of a garage, and another for a conditional use permit the construction of a single unit vacation rental. Reviewing the Planning Commission's findings for both of these requests, the Council agreed that neither of the projects would change the nature of the area surrounding each property and that all plans were in line with the zoning ordinance. There were no residents present to oppose either request, either at the the Planning and Zoning meeting or at the Council meeting, so both requests were approved unanimously by the Council. Details for these two requests can be found in the meeting packet or in the minutes of this meeting. *We also discussed how the zoning was developed and considered the implications on future requests for variances as well as vacation rental by owner (VRBO) in the residential zone, mainly to educate ourselves on the process. The Planning Commission will present their thoughts on VRBO activity at a later date.
Next the Art Colony came before the Council with their application to use the downtown streets (Wisconsin Street, 2nd Ave W) for the 25th Annual Arts Festival this summer, July 10th and 11th. A brief conversation was had encouraging the Art Colony to strongly encourage their vendors to park their trailers and vehicles away from the downtown area so that flow is improved and downtown businesses are not boxed in. The application was approved unanimously.
One more request on the agenda: Cook County Farm and Craft Market's application for use of the public parking lot off of Broadway. The request made was for the same arrangement as in past years: use of several parking spots for Farmer's Market vendors on Saturday mornings throughout the summer. Conversation was had about how much space they use versus how much they need as well as when they block off those spots for the market. Local businesses have noted frustration about the early blocking off of those spaces and the representative of the Farmer's Market said that he would pass on the information to vendors and board members to encourage cooperation with local businesses and not to block off the parking spots until 4:30pm or later. Councilor Mills noted the importance of the Farmer's Market to the entrepreneurial spirit in Grand Marais and asked if there was some other arrangement that the City could make with the Farmer's Market so that they don't have to come back to the Council every year, but the changing needs of the Farmer's Market seem to lend toward the annual request, so the plan was to continue doing it the way that we have been doing it.
Then the Cook County Local Energy Project's representatives were on the agenda to give the Council its update on their 2014 activity as well as projects they are working on for 2015 in order to make a request to the Council for funding for the 2015 year. An extensive resume of projects and accomplishments was given to the Council to consider, and the representatives explained the projects that are currently happening. REEP (Residential Energy Efficiency Program) is one of their on-going projects, offering county residents rebates to defray the cost of having a home energy audit completed and taking action on the opportunities identified by the audit. They are also preparing a "Solar Toolbox," which is a set of information laid out so that residents of the county seeking to add photovoltaic solar systems to their properties have all of the information they need to make an informed decision without having to start from ground zero. They have put together a contractor's continuing education class in the county that has been well attended. They have worked with North House Folk School's Sustainability Symposium. They are monitoring solar (heat and PV) installations for efficiency as well. At the meeting a new potential partnership with the EDA's housing development work came into view as well, having CCLEP help to make any new construction of housing be as efficient as possible. In the end, CCLEP asked for $2000 to continue their work in the community. Seeing that this amount was the same as what was given in the past several years and seeing the value of the programs that CCLEP offers (over $100,000 of home improvement/efficiency improvement from the REEP program alone!), the Council voted unanimously to approve this amount to support CCLEP.
Now comes the logistical request... The hospital in Grand Marais has been in its present location for a while. Some would say a long time. It is going to stay there for a long time as well. Other things can and have changed over time, but the hospital has stayed put. Because of some of these changes, the hospital brought a Quit Claim Deed before the Council for consideration. A Quit Claim Deed is usually used to transfer land from one ownership to another, but in this instance it is being used to correct the legal description of the hospital property. 5th Ave W used to be the Gunflint Trail. That is what it says on the hospital deed. It needs to say something else... like 5th Ave W or a legal description of the property in order to make sense anymore. That is what we voted unanimously to do, to accept the formal change of the hospital's description of their property in their deed. It took up many pages in our materials, but that is the summary of it.
In other items, we brought back Ordinance 2015-1, which was the ordinance allowing growler sales in Grand Marais. Because the state legislature just passed a new law allowing Sunday growler sales, we need to change the wording of our ordinance to make sure that it complies and that we can sell growlers on Sunday as well. There was talk about skipping this as the first reading and just accepting the ordinance as changed, but because it came to the Council pretty last minute and because the language change of the ordinance could potentially need to be changed, the Council voted to accept the first reading and will re-address this ordinance at the next meeting... So in two weeks you will probably be able to buy growlers on Sundays... Unless something weird happens with the ordinance.
There was a lively discussion concerning the upcoming Joint Powers Meeting on May 28th after that. There was some conversation of things that the City would like to speak with everyone about, such as garages, spending on certain projects that share jurisdiction, biomass updates, county composting ideas, as well as a general update of how things are going at the City. An interesting conversation concerning garages came up that introduced 2 new ideas for our consideration. The first idea was brought up by Councilor Moody suggesting that we take a look at the plans that were already drawn up for a Grand Marais municipal garage facility located out in the Cedar Grove Business Park. He suggested that we should at least take a look at them and see what we think. Then Councilor Benson added a suggestion that we consider moving the administrative offices out to the new location of our garages, wherever that may be. Considering the problems that have been happening with the current City Hall (leaking roofs, inefficient heating, inflexible spaces, etc) such a plan could free up valuable downtown space that the City could lease out to businesses, etc. **Please note that these were IDEAS, not anything that was put to a vote or even taken under consideration at this time. A change of this magnitude would warrant public comment and consideration before any action would be considered.
Then we went to Council and Staff reports:
Councilor Moody said that there was an EDA meeting where the housing group OneRoof (of Duluth) came up and met with the EDA to consider possible properties/locations that would be appropriate for new housing in both the West End and Grand Marais to the East End. He also commented that the Superior National Golf Course was open early this year, a fact that has bolstered its financial numbers for the short golfing season.
Councilor Benson had no report for this meeting.
Councilor Mills attended the Park Board meeting where it was reported that the Gunflint Hills Golf Course had a miraculous turn of events with about 75% of the winter kill (grass) has recovered! The Park Board is also looking into various promotional offers to get new golfers to come up to the course. The Park Board showed positive energy toward the potential of public restrooms located at Boulder Park saying that it is in line with the Park Master Plan. Councilor Mills also attended the North Woods Food Project meeting where they continued to work through their plans to create a composting system in the county. They are going to be asking local businesses that produce compostable material (restaurants, etc) if they would be willing to participate in a composting program. He also attended the Broadband Committee's meeting where they are working on figuring out what is next for the implementation and optimization of the broadband services available (or soon to be) in Cook County.
Councilor Kennedy attended the Moving Matters meeting where they discussed the health impact assessments produced as a part of the HWY 61 RE-DESIGN project saying that there is more to be done, but that the information is very helpful.
City Administrator Roth mentioned that on Tuesday May 13th he appeared before the County Commission to present a mutual long-term agreement on bond payments for the EDA's Cedar Grove Business Park. The County Commission accepted this agreement and thus it will appear before the City and the EDA for final approval.
I had a busy couple of weeks as well. I issued a proclamation that it was National Nursing Home Week and May is Older Americans Month and attended the Care Center's Golden Gala celebration. I even got to dance with some folks!The Library Board met at the beginning of the month and discussed briefly the budget for 2016, staffing (of which we are looking to increase so we can provide better service), and the financial policy to govern the library's reserve funds.There is a small group of stakeholders getting together in the near future to discuss the Requests for Proposals that were received concerning the Market Study of the need for Assisted Living in the county. I will be giving updates as we go through that process.The contracts for the customers of the District Heating system have been completed and are being distributed to the customers. There was a bit of a delay due to the unique nature of some of the facilities that are being considered for the system, thus complicating the calculations and causing much needed double-checking. We are now pursuing signed contracts and will be preparing an application for bonding to the state contingent on getting the appropriate number of signed contracts.Myself and many of the Councilors attended the Bike Safety Rodeo that was held last Thursday at the Community Center. It was a great time with over 100 kids coming and learning about bike safety and safe riding in our community. I also helped out with the 3rd grade class on bike safety this week as well.
I think that is about it. If you have any questions, please let me know!
I’m a sucker for those goofy Internet quizzes that answer burning questions such as “What Disney princess are you?” or “What state should you live in?” After clicking to answer a variety of nonsensical questions or choosing which picture you like best from an odd assortment, these digital Rorschach tests supposedly give you great insight. They tell you what the theme song for your life should be or which character on the Golden Girls sitcom you most closely resemble or whether you are a girlygirl or a tomboy.
These little personality tests remind me of the quizzes that used to be found in magazines. Taking those were more work. You had to jot down your answers—a., b., c., or d.—and then add to get your score. Once you tallied the points for each a., b., or c., etc., you had the score that would answer the burning question.
Seventeen magazine had quizzes every month, giving readers the chance to find out if her soulmate was Davy Jones of The Monkees or David Cassidy of The Partridge Family. As I got older, I graduated to quizzes in Redbook or Cosmopolitan. Quizzes that asked important questions such as “What career should you have?” or “How compatible are you and your sweetheart?”
I guess I like the silly cyber quizzes because I grew up on those magazine questions. And they are fun conversation starters. A friend recently shared a quiz asking “How bad were you as a child?” It was interesting to see who was 20 percent, 50 percent and 70 percent “bad.”
I took that test with some trepidation. I knew I wasn’t a very good kid. I was surprised when the results said I was 40 percent “bad.”
That is when I had an interesting conversation with my mother, who saw the results on Facebook. When I saw the 40 percent, I stated that I didn’t agree. I thought I should have been much higher on the “bad” scale. Mom, bless her heart, has selective memory. She said I was a good kid.
She is partially right, I was a good kid in elementary school and even into junior high. I was terribly shy and wanted nothing more than to shrink into the background with a book. So, aside from being a poor math student, I was a very well-behaved child.
But when I hit high school, I think I was horrible. I look at some of the journals I kept from that era and apparently the only word in my vocabulary was stupid. School was stupid. Confirmation classes were stupid. My sister was stupid. Life was stupid.
And, unfortunately, as friends from high school know, I really did misbehave. I was part of the snotty teenage crowd that hid in the woods behind the school and smoked cigarettes. I skipped school and I smarted off in class. My best friend and I snuck out of our junior-senior banquet after dinner and before the speaker because we didn’t want to be bored. There’s more, but I don’t need to tell on myself.
But what is important, what is wonderful, is that my mom was—and is—able to overlook it all. When I brought home mid-quarter slips showing failing grades or was got caught misbehaving, she didn’t scream and holler. She didn’t lecture too much. She simply shook her head and gave me “the look.”
“The look” let me know she was disappointed in whatever I had done. But it also let me know that she saw past the bad behavior. It let me know that she knew I could—and would someday—do better. Thanks for the love and support and the selective memory, Mom.
Happy Mother’s Day!
A mother is not a
person to lean on, but a
person to make leaning
Dorothy Canfield Fisher
We have quite a few water heaters at Voyageur Canoe Outfitters and many of them are only used during the summertime. I found some great tips for dealing with water heaters from the Minnesota Department of Commerce. You may only have one water heater but these tips could help you cut down on your energy use and save money too.
May 15, 2015
Water heating tips to save on your utility bill
Water heating is the second largest energy expense in U.S. homes, accounting for about 18 percent of your utility bill. Heating and cooling is first at about 50 percent. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), there are several basic ways to cut your water heating bills: use less hot water, turn down the thermostat on your water heater, and buy a new, more efficient water heater.
Some common water heating tips from the DOE and Minnesota Department of Commerce include:
- Install aerating, low-flow faucets and showerheads.
- Repair leaky faucets promptly; a leaky faucet wastes gallons of water in a short period of time.
- Use less hot water—take shorter showers, wash only full loads of laundry and dishes, and don’t let hot water run when shaving or washing dishes by hand.
- Set the thermostat on your water heater to 120 degrees F to get comfortable hot water for most uses. Set too high, or at 140 degrees, your water heater can waste up to $60 annually in standby heat losses. Temperatures over 120 can increase the risk of scalding.
- Insulate the first 6 feet of the hot and cold water pipes connected to the water heater.
- If you are in the market for a new dishwasher or clothes washer, buy an efficient, water-saving ENERGY STAR® model to reduce hot water use.
- Drain a quart of water from your water tank every 3 months to remove sediment that impedes heat transfer and lowers the efficiency of your heater.
- If your water heater is 10-12 years old, you will likely need to replace it soon. Buy a new high-efficiency ENERGY STAR water heater. A gas-fired, power-vented model, for example, is vented through a sidewall or vertical roof vent and reduces backdrafting concerns.
- It is best to research new water heaters before the old one fails. Determine the water heater that best meets your needs and look for the ENERGY STAR and EnergyGuide labels. ENERGY STAR-certified water heaters can use 50 percent less energy than equipment that meets the minimum federal standard. You can find the ENERGY STAR label on water heaters in several categories.
DOE offers guidance on “Selecting a New Water Heater” and “Water Heating Tips.” For consumer information on water heating, including water heating options and when to replace your water heater, check out the Home Energy Guide (pdf) from the Department of Commerce.
True North Broadband service is now available in Cook County throughout Schroeder, Tofte, and Lutsen (including Clara Lake). Service is available on Pike Lake Road, County Road 7, Cascade Beach Road, and along W Highway 61 at all locations up to downtown Grand Marais. Throughout the summer we will be beginning service in Croftville, Colvill, Hovland, and Grand Portage as well as up the Gunflint Trail. Information on pricing and service can be viewed here.
There’s lots going on this weekend in Cook County and at both ends of Hwy. 61 on the North Shore, including art openings, a dance recital, a concert, a Shakespeare acting workshop and a crazy/wonderful Smelt Parade.
First up is a reception for the exhibit, “Indians and Public Art: Changing the Image” which will be held at the Grand Portage Community Center from 3-5 p.m. on Thursday. Works by young artists at the Grand Portage school, Oshki Ogimaag, will be on display. They depict what the 6th graders would like the community to know about them as well as their ideas behind their work. There will also be selections of art from other schools which have been participating in the statewide project. The collection of works, including art from Grand Portage, will then be shown in exhibits throughout the state.
Then on Thursday night, there are two fantastic art openings in Duluth.
The Duluth Art Institute will open three art exhibits with a reception from 5-7 p.m. The Art Institute is located in The Depot in downtown Duluth.
The exhibits include “Port City Supply,” (Photography by Cody Paulson), “Found Horizons” (Paintings by Karen Owsley Nease) and “The Poetics of Evolution.” (Fiber/multimedia by Carolyn Halliday.) The exhibits continue through June 4.
The exhibit includes 40 originals by the world-famous artist who is known for his masterful watercolors that combine translucent colors with keenly observed details from nature, including his signature carp and other sea creatures. In a post on the Tweed Museum’s Facebook page, the curator wrote: “We have framed 39 original works of art, and they are spectacular … Like many folks, we have seen Chee’s work in limited edition prints, but when you see the originals up close and in person they are AWESOME. Be sure not to miss this show…” The exhibit runs through Sept. 20. The Tweed Museum is located on the campus of the University of Minnesota, Duluth.
On Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 12:30 p.m., the YMCA Dancers will present “The Y Spring Dance” at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts.
The dance performance celebrates the arrival of spring and spotlights what the dancers have been learning all season. It should be a great show. Tickets are available at the door. For more information, call Michaela Buchheit at 387-3386, ext. 509.
The exhibits include the RetroGraduate Exhibition, celebrating the cumulative works of Lakehead University art graduates, and the Creators Project 4, a video series profiling two internationally known artists, Phlegm and Yayoi Kusama. Phlegm is a street artist who has gained international recognition for his work. Yayoi Kusama was a contemporary of Andy Warhol in New York and is recognized as an important voice of the avant-garde.
Jake Vaillant and Tina Flank will play and refreshments will be provided by Sushi Bowl & Sweet Escape Cake Cafe and Bakery. All ages welcome. Admission by donation. The exhibit continues through June 6.
The events up and down the shore continue.
On Saturday, singer/songwriter Peter Mayer will perform at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts at 7:30 p.m. The concert is sponsored by the North Shore Music Association.
Mayer has been playing the guitar and writing songs since he was in high school. He studied music and theology in college and spent two years in seminary. He subsequently took a part-time job as a church music director, where he worked for eight years while performing in clubs and writing music.
In 1995, be began performing full-time and has recorded nine CDs and sold over 70.000 of them independently. He writes songs for a small planet — songs about interconnectedness and the human journey. Tickets for the concert are $15 adults, $5 youth and can be purchased at the door.
On Sunday, join the parade and party for the “Run Smelt Run” event in Duluth starting at 2 p.m. at the Maritime Visitors Center in Canal Park where the Smelt Queen in all her silver finery will be introduced. Puppets and participants will then parade down the Lake Walk, accompanied by the Brass Messengers, to the Zeitgeist Arts Cafe, where there will be a Smelt Fry and party at 3:30 p.m.
The public is invited and asked to wear silver on black or blue, if possible.
Jackson Nickolay and Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux will hold a workshop entitled “Performing Shakespeare” from 7-9 p.m. at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts May 20-21. Registration is $45. For more info and to register, email email@example.com.
And next Thursday, May 21, the four larger-than-life Ojibwe Heritage Murals painted by David Gilsvik at the Grand Portage Heritage Center at the Grand Portage National Monument will be revealed at an opening reception from 6-8 p.m. The public is invited. Refreshments will be served.
In other art news, Sivertson Gallery has redesigned its front windows for spring. Included are paintings by Liz Sivertson, David Gilsvik and Aaron Kloss as well as lino prints by Sarah Angst.
The gallery is featuring jewelry by a new artist, Larissa Loden. Her work is in brass and includes earrings and necklaces.
Kah Nee Tah Gallery in Lutsen is featuring acrylic paintings Douglas Ross.
Ojibwe bead artist Marcie MacIntire and painter Bruce Palmer will be the featured artists at the Cross River Heritage Center when it opens May 22.
Last Chance Gallery in Lutsen has received new jewelry by artists Kerri Norman, including pieces in her Sundew plant series crafted from gold, silver and pears.
Plans are being finalized for the Art Along the Lake gallery tour over the Memorial Day weekend.
Galleries and shops from one end of the county to the other have activities, music, demonstrations and classes planned throughout the entire weekend. It should be a really exciting time. Demonstrations include a bronze pour, plein air painting, bowl turning, pot throwing, silver jewelry making, Ukranian egg painting and more.
There is lots of live music, too, including a dance concert with the SplinterTones and a Spring Fling Jazz Concert with Chris Gillis & Friends, both at What’s Upstairs? above Betsy Bowen’s Studio.
We will give all the details next week, but there are a few events that require registration, including a number of different fiber art classes and workshops at the Grand Marais Art Colony: papermaking, bookbinding, screen printing T-shirts and more. See www.grandmaraisartcolony.org for all the details and class times. Joi Electa is teaching a painting class at Joy & Company (formerly The Garage), too. To see the complete schedule, click here.
Here’s the music schedule for this weekend:
Friday, May 15:
- Timmy Haus, Voyageur Brewing Co., 8 pm.
- The Ginstrings, Gun Flint Tavern, 9 p.m.
Saturday, May 16:
- Pete Kavanaugh, Cascade Lodge Pub, 7 p.m.
- Peter Mayer, Arrowhead Center for the Arts, 7:30 p.m.
- Eric Frost, Voyageur Brewing Co., 8 p.m.
- The Ginstrings, Gun Flint Tavern, 9 p.m.
Sunday, May 17:
- Gun Flint Tavern, TBA, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, May 20:
- Open Mic Night, Gun Flint Taern, 5 p.m.
Luckily, we found some wonderful photos again this week. Here’s a selection:
We’ll start with some wildlife shots.
We found some wonderful landscapes, too.
This photo by Kelly Marquardt looks like it was taken at the Poplar River at Lutsen Resort.
Staci Drouillard calls this one, “Rock Steady.”
Karen Sunderman has a great title for this shot.
Bryan Hansel took this amazing shot at dawn the other day.
Paul Sundberg caught the full moon behind the lighthouse in this beautiful photo.
Sandra Updyke took this photo of sweet waterfalls on one of her hikes.
And finally, we found two dramatic cloud shots. The first, by Travis Novitsky.
The second, by Kirk Schleife.
Have a great weekend, everyone!
Kratt Chat – Memorial Day Weekend and more | May 13, 2015
Despite the snow falling from the sky yesterday, the summer season is just around the corner. Next week is already Memorial Day Weekend and we’re kicking off the season with Art Along The Lake. The weekend is chockfull of activities including hands-on experiences, a hot bronze pour, and galleries full of art – download a complete schedule of event. Art Along the Lake is a campaign bolstered by a weekend event highlighting our regional talent. If you have not yet seen our beautiful new gallery guide, you must. Stop in for your own guide or download one here.
(and don’t forget to welcome our Canadian neighbours over the weekend, it is Victoria Day on Monday 5/18)
Another event you won’t want to miss is the Opening Reception for the new mural installation at the Grand Portage National Monument Heritage Center on Thursday, May 21 from 6-8pm. Painted by Two Harbors artist David Gilsvik, the mural celebrates the Grand Portage Ojibwe way of life.
We are only one month away from the first ever Boundary Waters Expo at the end of the Gunflint Trail June 12-14. Help us get out the word by promoting this event on your social media channels, e-newsletters, and website. Click to download a social media guide to help you connect and reach out to sponsors and speakers. You will also find images that have been created to fit properly in social media newsfeeds and as banners for your Facebook pages. With over 20 sponsoring exhibitors and 11 speakers it is going to be a really exciting weekend on the trail. We hope to see you over the weekend as a visitor participant or a volunteer.
Visit Cook County in action
It has been a busy few weeks as spring approaches. From Canoecopia in March to Midwest Mountaineering in April we have been on the road telling folks about why they should Visit Cook County this summer. I also attended Pedal MN and North Shore Scenic Drive Council meetings to see how we can better tie into the rest of the state as well as Zenith Social Media Conference to brush up on social media marketing.
Our summer marketing campaign is in full swing with busses, billboards, elevators, summer video pre-roll ad, emailers, magazines, and more scheduled to run throughout the summer. As part of the summer campaign we will be hosting a popular Twin Cities radio station, morning show hosts of KDWB on May 27-28. We will be giving them a taste of the activities to do in America’s Coolest Small Town before they broadcast live from outside our building on Thursday, May 28.
New content and maps
The past few months we have been working on updating our website to enhance the visitor experience. We recently completed a new Bike Map highlighting routes that have been blessed by our biking committee and U.S. Forest Service. If you would like a stack to hand out to visitors, stop by our office and we’ll send you home with some. The bike map is a general guide to show all the biking options in our area with detailed maps and descriptions available for download from our website.
With the spring comes the annual bird migration. This year we have focused on adding more content to our birding page. We have an excellent PDF guide to birding in Cook County as well as several great links to more information. We have also just launched our current Photo Contest around the theme of birding. Please encourage your guests and staff to submit photos by using #SuperiorBirds on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Check out my new feathered friends “Knock” and “Squirt”. They find life on the patio at my house pretty comfy.
Hopefully everyone had a successful fishing opener. With the number of boat trailers we saw passing through town, I expect a good time was had by all. While more work is still to be done, we have been updating our fishing page to help entice visitors to try breaking some of our state records fish. Also, we are looking for great fishing photos to use on our website and in ads, if you have any photos you are willing to share we would be grateful.
For those who are eligible, remember to update your Hot Deals. We will be scheduling tweets over the next few weeks highlighting some of the special deals in the area. Not sure if you have Hot Deals? Contact Anna for more information, firstname.lastname@example.org or (218) 387-2788.
5/13/15 - Long time Sawbill customer, Frank Ferraro, is a psychology professor at Nebraska Wesleyan University. In recent years, he has conducted experiments on the effect of wilderness on the human brain.
Recently, Dr. Ferraro was interviewed on WTIP-FM, North Shore Community Radio show, "The Road House." His research and the findings seem to confirm what many people feel intuitively about the benefit of wilderness on the human psyche. - Bill
I often wonder what type of frog is making a particular sound when I’m listening by a pond or marsh on the Gunflint Trail. When you’re out in the Boundary Waters you can hear a lot of different frogs and birds and it’s fun to be able to identify the sounds. I have a compact disc somewhere of frog sounds and bird sounds but haven’t listened to them since my kids started complaining to me when I put them in the c.d. player in the car. While none of the frog sounds I listened to on this website sounded exactly like, “ribbit,” it was fun to listen to them and jog my memory a little. I’m looking forward to going listening again and being able to remember what each frog says. Now if I can just find those cd’s and make the kids listen to them again…
Frog Facts – did you know?
- Frogs absorb water through their skin so they don’t need to drink.
- Frogs can lay as many as 4,000 eggs in frogspawn.
- The eyes and nose of a frog are on top of its head so it can breathe and see when most of its body is under the water.
- Frogs need both water and land to live.
- A frog can change the color of its skin depending on its surroundings.
- Frogs have long back legs and webbed feet for jumping and swimming.
- Certain frogs can jump up to 20 times their own body length in a single leap.
- Frogs usually eat meat (bugs and worms) and swallow their food whole.
- The world’s biggest frog is the goliath frog from Cameroon in West Africa. Their body can be one-foot long.
- The smallest frogs in the world are less than half-an-inch long.
- The eggs of the marsupial frog are laid in a brood pouch on the mothers back and the young hatch out in a zipper-like fashion from the pouch.
- In the Seychelles, there is a male frog that carries its young around on its back until they become adults.
- Research has shown that Ammonium Nitrate (a fertilizer) can cause agonizing death for frogs. This fertilizer is spread on fields in the spring when frogs are migrating. Frogs suffer a massive toxic attack if they come in contact with it.
- Asian tree frogs build nests in trees over water so when their tadpoles hatch, they drop directly into the water.
- People who study frogs and toads are called herpetologists. Herpetology is the study of amphibians and reptiles.
- Frog bones form a new ring every year when the frog is hibernating, just like trees do. Scientists can count these rings to discover the age of the frog.
- The wax frog retains moisture in dry weather by producing wax from its skin and coating itself in it.
- Because frogs come out in the rain, people used to think that they fell to earth in the rain! And in nineteenth century England, people tried catching them to prove it.
- One type of desert frog can wait as long as seven years for water by surrounding itself in a type of transparent bag that becomes its first meal once the rain comes.
- Amphibians’ eyes come in all shapes and sizes. Some even have square or heart shaped pupils. But amphibians don’t see color — they only see in black or white.
- A frog’s skin reflects the same amount of ultraviolet light as its immediate surroundings. This way it can protect itself from predators like snakes.
- The golden dart frog is the most poisonous frog on earth and the skin of one frog could kill up to 1,000 people.
- In recent years, a painkiller with 200 times the power of morphine has been found in the skin of a frog.
- Some frogs can survive in conditions well below freezing. The Grey Tree Frog. for example, can survive even though its heart stops. It does this by making its own antifreeze, which stops its body from freezing completely.
- The male Darwins Frog takes its mate’s eggs into its mouth as soon as they show signs of life and they stay there until they emerge as fully grown froglets.
- Frogs cannot live in the sea or any salt water.
- There are more than 4,000 types of amphibians in the world, but Europe has very few–only 45 species.
- Many of the most brightly colored tropical frogs are colored in this way to warn predators that they are poisonous.
Facts are from the Irish Peatland Conservation Council and are used with permission.
5/12/15 - It is normal to have a day of two of snow in May up here in the north woods. This morning we woke up to a lovely coating of snow on the trees and the canoes. We love it, especially because tomorrow's forecast is warm and sunny. - Bill
The Wenonah canoes were a little heavy this morning. Within a few hours, they'll be back to their lightweight selves.
You asked, and we listened! Tuscarora is pleased to announce that we have added four brand new Souris River Quetico 17 canoes to our rental fleet. We are excited to be able to offer another quality option for our guests to paddle. Based in Atikokan, Ontario, Souris River Canoes have been making fine canoes for over 30 years. The popularity of Souris River canoes has been growing and we have heard many of you ask for them by name. We are already impressed with the quality of construction, paddling performance, and overall style of the canoes. The new boats are set to head off on new adventures and so shinny they reflect the trees and sun from this land of shinning blue waters!