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Eagle Update

Boundary Waters Blog - Wed, 03/15/2017 - 5:15pm

I’ve seen quite a few bald eagles on the North Shore lately.

Feed me, feed me!
Update from the nest

Our three eaglets are now focused on the business of growing up, eating plenty and getting strong. They’re a full-time job for the adult eagles, in need of frequent feedings and help staying warm, but these adults have proved their mettle as parents. Fish, pigeons, muskrat and squirrel have all made appearances at meal times, and both adults are taking turns keeping the chicks protected from the March winds of Minnesota.

Sibling squabbles

Competition starts early in the life of a bald eagle. As we’ve seen, bald eagle chicks hatch asynchronously, meaning they don’t all hatch at the same time. A few days difference in age means differences in size and strength for the first weeks of their lives outside the shell, resulting in sibling rivalry. At this young age, one eaglet is unlikely to really hurt another, but that doesn’t keep them from trying! Viewers may see tiny grey heads bashing each other during feeding times. This behavior is a normal and healthy part of early life for an eaglet. Working to get to the best food bits first, to have the most comfy spot in the nest and the most parental attention helps eaglets grow strong and smart. Eagles’ lives don’t get easier once they fledge and join the adult population, so it’s very important they develop a competitive spirit early on.

Parental strategies

Parenting human children, someone once said, is like making chili; everyone has their own recipe. That’s true in the animal kingdom, too, where biologists describe two basic approaches to caring for the young. Some species are referred to as precocial – their young are mobile and pretty much able to take care of themselves as soon as they’re born or hatched (what parents of any teenager might occasionally find themselves longing for). Horses, giraffes, domestic chickens, ducks and turkeys – all are precocial. The super-precocial African wildebeest has calves that can stand within six minutes of birth, and outrun their main predator, the hyena, within a day, giving them a significant survival advantage.

Other species are altricial – they need lots of care and feeding for at least a while after being born or hatched. Most backyard songbirds are altricial, as are eagles and other raptors. That’s why we get to be intimate witnesses to all that goes on in our bald eagles’ nest. If eagles were precocial, they’d fly off shortly after being hatched, and there wouldn’t be much to see.

Altricial development may offer benefits to the species, as well as to us spectators. Altricial birds, like eagles, hatch with fairly small brains, but the rich parent-provided diet after hatching lets their brains grow larger and more complex than precocial birds, providing advantages for survival. It certainly seems to work that way for humans. Altricial development also tends to promote greater socialization, as parents may need to work together to provide care for their young. Certainly we see that with our bald eagle pair!

While humans may be at one end of the altricial development scale, taking as much as 18 years for the young to become mature (sometimes more – much more!), such traits are not confined to higher order critters. Some insects such as ants and bees also can be categorized as altricial. One fascinating group of beetles, known as burying beetles, displays a surprising amount of parental care. True to their name, burying beetles chew up and bury the bodies of small animals as food for their larvae. Both parents then guard the larvae and the carcass/food from other intrusions, and they will feed the squiggling larvae a regurgitated liquid protein in response to begging. It is particularly noteworthy that male burying beetles participate in parental care alongside the females. Although the burying beetle larvae are capable of moving about and feeding on their own, the parental care shown by burying beetles is thought to produce fewer but larger and stronger adults.

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Snow Kayaking Fun!

Boundary Waters Blog - Tue, 03/14/2017 - 6:29pm

Categories: Member Feeds

3.10.2017 Come on up to ski! We still have over 70K of skiing on the Central Gunflint Trail Ski System

Bearskin Lodge Ski Trail Reports - Fri, 03/10/2017 - 3:23pm

All week people have been calling with the same two questions: “Did the rain on Monday ruin your snow?” and “Are your trails closed yet?”  The answer to both questions is a resounding “No!”

It did rain long and hard here Monday night; it sounded like being in a typhoon. We wondered what we would find in the morning and we were pleased to see we still had lots of wet snow left. Then the temperature dropped.  Our wet snow quickly turned to ice.

Fortunately, both Bearskin Lodge and Golden Eagle Lodge have good, heavy-duty equipment and very experienced groomers. Snow is our winter business. We’ve been working on the trails all week and conditions are surprisingly good.  We’ve had a very large group of experienced Twin Cities skiers here all week who seem quite satisfied with the trail conditions, especially in light of having had so little snow all winter back at home.

Expect spring skiing conditions; the trails are remarkably good, but they aren’t as fantastic as they were in February. In some places the tracks are better than in other spots. Sometimes it’s icy.  Like all of Minnesota, we’ve had phenomenal winds all week so drifting appears in places on the trails.  But we still have a good base on most of the trails, with no sign of the snow disappearing anytime soon.  There is absolutely no sense of an impending spring up here, except for the longer daylight and brighter sun.

We’ll be serving soup and chili in the lodge all weekend, as well as hot chocolate, wine, beer, and pop.  Plan to have lunch in the lodge during your day of skiing.

If you are a local resident coming to ski for the day, consider driving a little farther up the Gunflint Trail to our partner on the ski trail system, Golden Eagle Lodge. The Bearskin parking lot tends to be full by about 11 AM on weekends, while Golden Eagle often still has space.  If you want lunch at Bearskin, just ski over and enjoy hot chocolate or chili — it gives you a nice little break midway through your day of skiing fun.

The weekend forecast for Northern Lights is not exceptionally good this weekend, but if you are coming next week you have an excellent chance of seeing Lady Aurora dance. Wednesday, March 15 – Friday, March 17 look highly probably for a light show. The International Space Station will also be visible for a few minutes every morning this week; our guests always enjoy being able to see this in our very dark skies at Bearskin.

Here are Golden Eagle’s snow measurement stats from this week, as well as their summary of conditions:

Central Gunflint Ski Trail Conditions on 3-9-17

New Snow Last 7 days:  2.0”
Trail Base, Staked:  Average 7”
Snow in Woods, Staked:  Average 12”
Groomed with classic track:  70 km
Groomed with skate lane:  58 km
Surface Conditions:  Tilled snow
Total snowfall since Nov. 1:  68.48”

Comments:  Trail conditions remain good, even after yet another week of bizarre weather. A couple of inches of new snowfall allowed us to re-groom fresh snow back into the base again. Trails are still being groomed with a tiller, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Conditions are fast in some areas and slow in others. Surface conditions are a mixture of frozen snow mixed in with fresh powder; areas that had the new snow blown off will see less powder mixed in. Trail base is still hanging around an average of 6 – 7 inches in the majority of areas and is very solid. No glaze-ice spots are present the next day after grooming, though some trails have been requiring a couple passes with the groomer to get the trails to a quality we are happy with.

Tracks in snow, photo from Zach Baumann at Golden Eagle

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Painting and roofing starting this week

Eight patient rooms are almost ready to be occupied as of this week, but won’t be until the ER is completed. The temporary roof was pulled back early this week in preparation for roofers.

Once the wall comes down, this hallways will be ready for use.

Care Center rooms have been sheetrocked.

Plumbing rough-ins have been created for the kitchen area of the 200 wing.

The temporary roof has been pulled back for the roofers.

Eight rooms like this are almost completed.

New floors and studs in place.

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<p>3/3/17 - If you got your permit

Sawbill Newsletter - Fri, 03/03/2017 - 12:52pm

3/3/17 - If you got your permit through us last summer, chances are we asked you to fill out a short survey. The survey was studying the economic impact of visitors to the BWCAW, commissioned by Friends of the Boundary Waters in partnership with Conservation Economics Institute and Quetico-Superior Foundation. The results are in, and they are astounding! The study, conducted during the 2016 summer tourism season, found that out-of-region visitors spent $57 million in the three surrounding counties: Cook, Lake and St. Louis. This spending led to the creation of nearly 1,000 jobs and overall economic output of $77 million in one summer season.

Joe Friedrichs, of our local radio station WTIP, recently did a great feature on the study, which you can listen to here.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to fill out and return the survey! We are happy to know that the data supports what we've always known to be true; visitors to the BWCA are a major economic driver in our region.

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Operation Round Up 2017 Grants

Arrowhead Electric - Fri, 03/03/2017 - 10:36am

Cook County nonprofits! It is time to apply for Arrowhead Cooperative’s Operation Round Up Grants. Applications are due by 4pm on Friday, April 14th.

2017 Operation Round Up Application

Grant Guidelines

Please contact our office with any questions.

Thank you to our 3,000+ Arrowhead Cooperative members who contribute to Operation Round Up each month!

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Hygge Week launched in Grand Marais

North Shore Arts Scene - Thu, 02/09/2017 - 7:31am

Snowshoes in winter… hygge for sure. Grand Marais launches the first annual Hygge Week Feb. 9-15.

 Grand Marais is launching the first annual Hygge Week, Feb. 9-15. (Pronounced hoo-gah and is Danish for cozy, hyyge is a perfect festival for the North Shore) This week, visitors will enjoy all the splendors of a classic North Shore winter vacation, dogsledding, stargazing, fireside gatherings, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, downhill skiing, with the added bonus of unique events to encourage the celebration and enjoyment of the wonderful things that make North Shore winters unique … and cozy.

 Hygge Week events:

Thursday, Feb. 9:

Getting Through Winter at North House Folk School. This week, the Folk School will screen the movie “Sherpa,” a film about Mount Everest and the Nepalese mountaineering industry. The film will be screened at 7 p.m. in the 501 Building on campus. All invited. Free.


Mumbling Drew and Liz Draper,  house concert at Art House B&B
8:30 p.m. Doors open at 8 p.m. for a Scandi Snack Bar – cookies, crepes, cheese & drinks. To hear a preview, tune into WTIP Community Radio at 4 p.m. today.

Mumblin’ Drew Temperante and Liz Draper perform at Art House B&B, 8 7th Ave. West, at 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

Drew Temperante and Liz Draper play clawhammer-driven old-time, and thumb-thumpin’ country blues. Temperante (resonator guitar, banjo) has spent countless hours playing as a street musician across the country, where he has picked up a collection of unique songs. He performs with acoustic bands in the Minneapolis area such as The Dumpy Jug Bumpers, who have championed awards from The Battle of the Jug Bands in Duluth. Draper (upright bass) is a veteran bassist of the Minneapolis scene having played with Charlie Parr, Cactus Blossoms, Ben Weaver and Lucy Michell. She currently plays with the Grammy award winning Okee Dokee Brothers. Tickets are $10 and are available at the door.

Friday, Feb. 10:

Trollbeads Party at Sivertson Gallery, 4-6 p.m.

Full Moon Reading at Drury Lane Books, 5:30 p.m. Nordic Folk Tales, Poetry and Acapella Folk Songs by the bonfire, 5:30 p.m.

Performers include Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux, Erika Ternes, Yvonne Mills and Erin Swenson-Klatt, plus other singers and storytellers. Everyone invited. Free.

Friday Night Reels at the Grand Marais Public Library is screening “Blush” at 6 p.m. on Friday. Free.


Saturday, Feb. 11:

Hygge Wine Painting with Anna Hess, North Shore Winery, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Anna Hess will teach painting on glass at the North Shore Winery on Saturday. Reservations are required.

RSVP to reserve your spot at or call (218) 481-9280.

Card Stamping, Joy and Co., noon to 3 p.m.

Knitting by the fireplace, Voyageur Brewing Co., noon to 2 p.m.

Pincushion Mountain Family Ski Festival, all day at Pincushion Mountain.

Open Skate,  Cook County Community Center, skate rental $1.

Mukluk Ball with the Plucked Up String Band, 7 p.m., Voyageur Brewing.

The Plucked Up String Band will play for a Mukluk Ball at Voyageur Brewing on Saturday night.

Also on Saturday, the Grand Portage Lodge & Casino will host the 14th annual Snowarama, a fundraiser for Easter Seals kids.  The event draws in snowmobilers from around the state and Canada. Registration starts at 7 a.m. Saturday.

The 14th annual snowarama will be held at Grand Portage Lodge & Casino this weekend.

Peter Mack Bagpipe Concert, Grand Marais Public Library, Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 6 p.m. Mack, a resident of north central Minnesota, will be playing the Highland bagpipe in this concert. Concert goers will have opportunity to hear traditional marches, upbeat jigs, classic hymns and dlow airs. Mack plans to use a soft reed, however, ear plugs are available for those who might need them. All invited. Free.

At the Thunder Bay Art Gallery in Thunder Bay, Elizabeth Buset, whose exhibition “Swine” continues through March 5, will give an artist talk about her work at 7:30  p.m. (EDT) Thursday, Feb. 9 at the gallery.

One of Elizabeth Buset’s paintings in her exhibition, “Swine” at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery. She will give an artist’s talk on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

The Duluth Art Institute‘ Members Show continues through next weekend.

“Minamalist Loon” by Tyler Johnson.

Richard Gruchalla and Carrin Rosetti will give a Fireside Chat at Sivertson Gallery next week. 6-7 p.m. Definitely recommended!


 The Grand Marais Playhouse will begin a two-part Theater Education experience next Tuesday, Feb, 14, for children in grade three through grade nine. The Lion King Experience is an immersive, project-based exploration of theater-making and is
intended to introduce theater to children. They will learn a variety  of theatre skills and then work on a production of  The Lion King Jr. For more information, contact the Playhouse at 387-1284

 Window Shopping

Mary MacDonald has her weaving at Kah-Nee-Tah Gallery.

UpstateMN has a selection of Adam Gruetzmacher’s batter bowls.


Sivertson Gallery has a series of handmade dolls from Alaska natives.

An Alaskan doll at Sivertson Gallery.


Woodturner Cooper Ternes has a shop in Joy and Company.


Here’s the music schedule for the week:

Thursday, Feb. 9:

  • Bump Blomberg, Mogul’s Grille, 4 p.m.
  • Joe Paulik, Poplar River Pub, 6 p.m.
  • Mumblin’ Drew and Liz Draper, Art House B & B, 8 p.m.
  • Gordon Thorne, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 10:

  • Pushing Chain, Voyageur Brewing Co., 4 p.m.
  • Timmy Haus, Mogul’s Grille, 4 p.m.
  • Portage, Grandma Ray’s, 6 p.m.
  • Mark Darling, Red Paddle Bistro, Gunflint Lodge, 7 p.m.
  • Eric Frost, Cascade Lodge Pub, 7 p.m.
  • Michael Monroe, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.
  • Willie Waldman, Gun Flint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.
  • Timmy Haus, Papa Charlie’s, 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 11:

  • Shane Martin, Mogul’s Grille, 2 p.m.
  • Dat Dere Jazz, North Shore Winery, 3 p.m.
  • Pushing Chain, Lutsen Resort Lobby, 7 p.m.
  • Mark Darling, Red Paddle Bistro, Gunflint Lodge, 7 p.m.
  • Plucked Up String Band, Voyageur Brewing Co., 7 p.m.
  • Willie Waldman, Gun Flint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.
  • Cloud Cult, Papa Charlie’s, 9:30 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 12:

  • Black River Revue, Papa Charlie’s, 3:30 p.m.
  • Timmy Haus, Gun Flint Tavern, 7:30 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 13:

  • Briand Morrison, Bluefin Grille, 7 p.m.
  • Communist Daughter, Monday Night Songwriter Series, Papa Charlie’s, 8 p.m.
  • Pete K, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 14:

  • Fred Anderson, Poplar River Pub, 6 p.m.
  • Moors & McCumber, Wednesday Night Songwriter Series, Papa Charlie’s, 8 p.m.

We found some interesting photos this week. Here’s a sampling:

Christian Dalbec caught this Great Gray Owl making a very delicate landing.


Here’s an evocative image of a Great Gray Owl hunting by Michael Furtman.


Here are some plump-breasted beauties! Sandra Updyke said she seldom sees flocks of Bohemian Waxwings after the Mountain Ash Berries are all eaten.


Proof that winter is here. Photo by Kristofer Bowman.


“Good to be out of the house” by Ann Possis


Icy Shoreline by Sandra Updyke.


Ice Toupee by Scott Kroeker.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

P.S. If you’d like to help support this blog, click below. Thank you!









Categories: Member Feeds

Winter Sun, Winter Moose, Winter Music

North Shore Arts Scene - Thu, 02/02/2017 - 7:09am

It’s going to be a pretty quiet weekend in Cook County, as everyone recovers from the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon and settles in to enjoy the snow and quiet eves of February. There’s still lots to see and do, though — here’s a recap:

First up is the Ely Winter Festival which kicks off on Feb. 2 and runs through Feb. 12 in Ely. This festival always has an outstanding snow carving symposium, as welll as an art walk and tons of winter activities and competitions, as well as live music and dancing.

The Snow Carving Symposium is one of the highlights of the Ely Winter Festival.

Click here for more info and events schedule/

In Cook County, look forward to the Ski Party Festival at Lutsen Mountains, a weekend ski, snowboard and music festival curated by the folks at GNDWIRE Records. The festival runs on Friday and Saturday. Bands on Friday night include Dead Man Winter, Frankie Lee and The Pines.

The Pines is one of the bands playing the Ski Festival at Lutsen Mountains this weekend.

Apres-Ski on Saturday features DJ Lounge w/ Har Mar Superstar at 3:15 p.m. SIMS of Doomtree, Gramma’s Boyfriend and Night Moves perform on Saturday night.

Also on Friday, WTIP’s The Roadhouse will talk to the Minnesota band,  IfEyeMay, as well as as go over Lake Superior State University’s 2017 List of Banished Words. That interview is always fun. The Roadhouse airs from 5-7 p.m. on Friday.

Friday Night Reels continues at the Grand Marais Public Library with a film screening at 6 p.m. This week: “Indignation,”  a movie based upon a novel by Philip Roth, is on the playbill. Here’s  the trailer.

The movie is free, but seating is limited, so come early!

For live theater, this is the last weekend of the Grand Marais Playhouse‘s production of “Beauty and the Beast” at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts. Performances are at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets available at the door.

On Saturday night, the 6-piece dance band, The SplinterTones,  play at Grandma Ray’s from 7-10 p.m. Here’s a great opportunity to get out your dancin’ shoes.

The SplinterTones play at Grandma Ray’s on Saturday.

No cover charge. All invited.

And Sunday night is Classical Music night at Bluefin Grille. The music starts at 6 p.m. Free.

There are a number of intersting art exhibits up and down the North Shore.

In Duluth, the Members Exhibition is continues in the Great Hall at the Depot with the work of more than 175 member artists on view. This year, the People’s Choice Award went to Annie Schweiger’s oil on canvas, “The Winston,” chosen from a broad range of media and genres on display. The people cast their vote at the exhibition’s opening reception.

Annie Schweiger’s oil on canvas, “The Winston,” won the People’s Choice Award at the DAI Members Show.

The Members Exhibition continues through Feb. 24.

At the Tweed Museum of Art on the UMD campus, Tuesday, Feb. 7, Dr. Jennifer Webb will give a presentation  on the Italian Renaissance and Baroque paintings on view from the museum’s collection.

The Ecstasy of St. Francis by Sebastiano Ricci, detail, is one of the paintings on exhibit at the Tweed.

The presentation is free and open to the public and begins at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 7.

The Thunder Bay Art Galley is currently exhibiting Stories of Contentment and Other Fables: Recent Drawings by Amanda Burk.

Full Circle (unrest) 2015, detail by Amanda Burk.

And, in Grand Marais, Betsy Bowen’s Studio continues exhibiting local and regional artwork through the winter. Pottery, paintings, prints, fiber art, jewelry and more are on exhibit.

Morning Sky by Heidi Sobanja. acrylic.

The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.


This year, Grand Marais is launching its first annual Hygge Week, Feb. 9-15. Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah)  is the Danish ritual of embracing life’s simple pleasures. Feeling relaxed, cozy and surrounded by the warmth of family, friends, community and fire, hygge encourages us to embrace all of winter’s pleasures and unique opportunities.

The Grand Marais Hygge Festival is set for Feb. 9-15.

There are lots of great activities planned, including Scandinavian themed menu items, a full moon reading with Scandinavian singing, a mukluk dance, cabin concert, art show openings and more. Stay tuned.

The Grand Marais Writer’s Guild will meet at the library at 6 p.m. Feb.16. Open to all writers. Free.


Interested in having a booth at the Grand Marais Arts Festival this year?

The Grand Marais Art Festival is July 8-9 this year. Applications are now open.

Jury applications are open via Zapplications Jan. 13 – March 12. Each summer the Grand Marais Arts Festival draws over 70 local and regional artists. Artists showcase their unique handcrafted work by the shores of Lake Superior and provide insight into their artistic process through demonstration and dialogue. The Festival will be July 8-9 this year. For more information, click here to learn more.

In other Art Colony news: A call has gone out for applications for a development manager at the Art Colony. The purpose is to establish, cultivate and lead a robust development program that includes donor relations, annual giving, planned giving, grant writing, event sponsorship and fundraising, and building towards a capital campaign. 2017 is the Art Colony’s 70th Anniversary, providing a unique opportunity for fundraising activities.

The Grand Marais Art Colony is hiring a development manager.

Click here to see a job description. Call 218-387-2737 for more information.

Local artists of every age are invited to participate in the Spirit of the Wilderness’ 8th annual themed art show. Each year, artists are challenged to produce work on the intersection between creativity and spirituality.This year, artists are asked to consider the phrase “Kindling Curiosity–Lighting the Creative Spark.” Artists may submit a maximum of two pieces of work. They can be dropped off at the Johnson Heritage Post Gallery March 20-21. The exhibit opens at the Heritage Post with a reception from 5-7 p.m. March 24.  The exhibit continues through April 9. Questions? Contact the art committee:  Bonnie Gay Hedstrom, Ellen Stubbs, Mary MacDonald, and Mary Ellen Ashcroft.

Intern postition open for MN Pottery Festival. Organizers of the MN Pottery Festival (Coyote Clay) are looking for an intern for this year’s festival.
The position includes social media marketing, e-newsletters, website updates, signage and surveys.
Advance work can all be done remotely, but we would like to have the Intern on site for both days to handle personal interviews and surveys. Ideal for a college student–looks great on a resume!

Throwing blind… one of the competitions at the MN Pottery Festival.

For more info, click here.

Window Shopping

Sivertson Gallery Staff just returned from Alaska. Here’s one of the beauties they found– a new carving by Ron Apangalook.


These treasure pots can be found at Upstate MN.


Great Gifts of Lutsen has these whimsical pieces by Brian Andreas.

Natalie Sobanja has new work at Kah-Nee-Tah Gallery in Lutsen.

In Other Art News:

Songwriter Leah Thomas was recognized for two songs in the 2016 SongDoor International Songwriting Competition “Skylarkin'” and “Angel Motel” both  received Honorable Mentions in the Soft Rock category. “Skylarkin” was recorded by The SplinterTones in 2016 and is on their self-titled album.  “Angel Motel” is available on Amazon, iTunes, and Spotify.
All songs entered in the annual SongDoor International Songwriting Competition are screened by industry
professionals with real connections to music publishing, producers, artists and labels, and are judged by
industry pros who have worked with Neil Young, Justin Timberlake, Tony Bennett, Britney Spears, Kenny
Rogers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Fray, Train and dozens of other notable artists. Congratulations, Leah!

Sandra Updyke‘s photograph, Old Hovland Fish House,” was selected as the Best of the Year (architecture)  category at

Old Hovland Fish House by Sandra Updyke.

Artists continue their winter work. Here’s a new painting by Betsy Bowen.

Winter Studio Chair by David Sawyer. Painting by Betsy Bowen.

And here’s one by Tim Pearson.

Bear, by Tim Pearson.

And here are self-portraits in glass created by the staff, instructors and artists at the Grand Marais Art Colony the other day. The class was called “Faces.” It was the first time working in glass for many of them.

Faces… self portraits in glass.

And here’s the music for the week:

Thursday, Feb. 2

  • Jim & Michele Miller, Mogul’s Grille, 4 p.m.
  • Boyd Blomberg, Poplar River Pub, 6 p.m.
  • Jon Miller and the Home Brews, Gun Flint Tavern, 7:30 p.m.
  • Gordon Thorne, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 3:

  • Briand Morrison, Voyageur Brewing Co., 4 p.m.
  • Billy Johnson, Mogul’s Grille, 4 p.m.
  • Jim & Michele Miller, Bluefin Grile, 6 p.m.
  • Mark Darling, Red Paddle Bistro, Gunflint Lodge, 7 p.m.
  • GNDWire Ski Party, Papa Charlie’s, 8:30 p.m.
  • Joe Paulik Group, Gun Flint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 4:

  • Gordon Thorne, North Shore Winery, 3 p.m.
  • Har Mar Superstar, Papa Charlie’s, 4 p.m.
  • Pete K, Voyageur Brewing Co., 4 p.m.
  • Gordon Thorne, Cascade Lodge Pub, 4 p.m.
  • Mark Darling, Red Paddle Bistro, Gunflint Lodge, 7 p.m.
  • Plucked Up String Band, Lutsen Resort Lobby, 7 p.m.
  • SplinterTones, Grandma Ray’s, 7 p.m.
  • GNDWire Ski Party, Papa Charlie’s, 8:30 p.m.
  • Joe Paulik Group, Gun Flint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 5:

  • Briand Morrison, Jazz Brunch, Mogul’s Grile, 10 a.m. to noon
  • Classical Music, Bluefin Grille, 6 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 6:

  • Molly Maher, Monday Night Songwriters, Papa Charlie’s, 8 p.m.
  • Boyd Blomberg, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 7:

  • Briand Morrison, Poplar River Pub, 6 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 8:

  • Ben Kyle, Wednesday Night Songwriter Series, 8 p.m.

We found some great shots this week. Here’s a selection:

Sarah Reller caught this dynamic moment in the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon as a musher comes into the Sawbill check point.

Sawbill Checkpoint by Sarah Reller.


Here’s a portrait of a Pine Marten by Paul Sundberg.


Snowy Owl by Jim Christiansen.


Spruce Grouse by Thomas Spence.


Red Fox on the Hunt by Paul Pluskwik.

Bryan Hansel took this photo last week, but you’d never know it was winter.  The reflected early light made the snow glow.

Winter at the Kadunce by Bryan Hansel.

Here’s an evocative image by Tom Kasper.

Gardens in Winter by Tom Kasper.

And finally, this invitation to contemplate the beauties that are Grand Marais.

Stone bench. Photo by Kristofer Bowman.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

P.S. Putting this blog together is a joy and is my contribution to the arts on the North Shore. If you like getting this post every week, please consider making a donation to help support it. Thank you!







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Ham Lake Fire – Tenth Anniversary Exhibit

Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center Blog - Mon, 01/16/2017 - 12:14pm

This summer the Gunflint Trail Historical Society & Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center is planning a special temporary exhibit to be on display in the Museum to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Ham Lake Fire. We are very happy to work with the following organizations on this project; Gunflint Trail Scenic Byway CommitteeGunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department, U.S. Forest Service, WTIP radio, and Good Measure Media. We will have additional financial assistance from the Gunflint Trail Association/Visit Cook County, and the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation.

Of course we could not put any of this together without the entire community helping us. The Ham Lake Fire started on May 5, 2007 and burnt over 75,000 acres.

We need your stories or photos to preserve history, if you would like to share for the exhibit you can go to or contact or

After the 2017 season this temporary exhibit will be moved to a permanent location in the Museum to keep the history alive for future viewing.

Anyone with questions or concerns, or difficulty uploading something should contact Sue Weber at; Nancy Seaton at; or Joe Fredrichs at

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How to harvest the perfect Christmas tree in the Superior National Forest

Visit Cook County - Thu, 12/01/2016 - 11:32am
How to harvest the perfect Christmas tree in the Superior National Forest Have you ever harvested your own Christmas tree from the forest? If you are someone who likes to choose your own adventure and drink hot chocolate from a thermos while wearing a festive flannel – Christmas tree hunting is for you! For as little as $5 you can embark on a memory filled adventure out into the forest to find the perfect Balsam fir tree.

What you’ll need to make your outing successful:

  1. Permit. You’ll need to obtain a Christmas tree permit from the US Forest Service. It is $5 and can be picked up from any forest service office. Pro tip: pick up a map of the Superior National Forest. It can be purchased at the same time as your permit or from a local outfitter. Not only will it guide you through the backroads and identify the US Forest Service boundaries but is also a handy companion for year round navigation.
  2. Balsam Fir Forest. The Superior National Forest is filled with perfect trees dreaming of brightening up your home this holiday but you’ll need to know what you are looking for. Only certain types of trees can be harvested for Christmas. Balsam fir trees are the preferred species because they smell wonderful, are ideal for displaying ornaments and grow back rapidly so it keeps the forest healthy. Pro tip: bring a tape measure. You cannot return the tree to the forest if it is too big for your living space so it is important to know what you can accommodate.
  3. Saw. A folding handsaw or a chainsaw are the ideal tools for the job but any kind of cutting device or axe will be sufficient.  Pro tip: look for tree of six inches or less in diameter and cut near the base of the tree at a slight angle. This will help determine the direction that the tree will fall.
  4. Rope. You’ll need something to secure your prized tree to the roof of your car. Similar to tying a canoe to the roof of your vehicle, you’ll need rope or locking straps to attach. Pro tip: bringing a blanket or tarp wrap the tree to protect it during travel will ensure the majority of needles stay intact as well as keep the roof of your vehicle scratch free.
  5. Winter clothing. It is not allowed to harvest a tree within 200 feet of a road or trail so you will have to venture into the woods to get your tree. Therefore, wearing appropriate winter clothing is a must. Besides you would never want to miss an opportunity for an impromptu snowball fight with your loved ones, would you?  Pro tip: bringing a sled along to help pull the carefully selected tree out of the woods.

Learn more about the types of trees you can harvest and the nitty gritty details from these resources:

Permit locations in Cook County MN: 

  • Gunflint Ranger District -

    2020 W. Highway 61, Grand Marais, MN 55604 |  PHONE:

    (218) 387-1750  |


  • Tofte Ranger District - 7355 West Hwy 61, Tofte, MN 55615 | PHONE: (218) 663-8060 | Email:

Happy hunting!

The post How to harvest the perfect Christmas tree in the Superior National Forest appeared first on Cook County Minnesota.

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Talking helps

Unorganized Territory - Wed, 09/21/2016 - 9:23pm

I recently received a heartbreaking news release from the Minnesota Department of Health. The email was full of statistics about suicide deaths in Minnesota in 2015.

It’s painful to read. The Department of Health reports that there were 726 suicide deaths in Minnesota in 2015, up from 686 in 2014. That equals 13 deaths per 100,000 Minnesotans.

And that means that all of us have likely been touched by the tragedy of suicide.

As Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper said, “Let us never forget that this is not about statistics; each and every one of these 726 deaths is someone’s friend, relative and neighbor. We need to work together by focusing on prevention.”

I’m extremely fortunate that I have never been that low. I had a bit of postpartum depression when I had my first child, but I went for counseling. Talking to a caring professional helped me figure out that my sadness could be attributed to exhaustion and the loneliness of living far away from friends and family. Talking helped.

But I have been an observer of the challenges a person with mental illness faces. I’ve watched family and friends struggle with social situations and normal day-to-day living. I’ve seen people I care about become so depressed that they have considered suicide as a way to escape their emotional pain.

I’ve also seen the difference that community support, medication and counseling can make. Talking helps.

The Department of Health news seems to bear that out. There is a bit of good in the report. The number of suicides went down for Minnesota residents under 25 (from 119 in 2014 to 114 in 2015). Most prevention efforts have focused on this age group in recent years.

So it appears that the old belief that talking about suicide will cause someone to harm him or herself is not true. The state and national efforts reaching out to teens and young people—talking and listening— to them is working.

We need to expand those efforts, which Minnesota Department of Health officials have pledged to do. The 2015 Legislature invested $47 million in new spending for mental health services. This additional funding is the largest investment in state history, which is great, but we as individuals need to do our part.

It’s not just up to mental health care practitioners and law enforcement. All of us can help those who face mental illness by being there, by talking and listening. By asking, “Are you okay today?” and really listening for the answer.

And for those that face the challenge of mental health issues, if you reach the point of wanting to hurt yourself, please reach out for help.

A loved one, a suicide survivor, received some excellent advice during treatment and counseling. A behavioral health practitioner gave some tips on what to do if my friend reached that critical point again.

She said to make a list. Write down the names and phone numbers of trusted friends or family members. Not just one person, make it a list of 10 or a dozen. Before contemplating taking your life, call the first person on the list. If you get voice mail, call the next. If you text the next person and they are unable to reply right away, contact the next person… and the next and the next until you find someone to talk to.

I love this advice. It is gut wrenching to receive such a call. But it is horrifying to think that you may not be available to answer that call or text. So as part of a support network, it is reassuring to me to know that there are other options.

The tattered list remains in my friend’s billfold. Thankfully, because of medication and counseling, it hasn’t been needed. But it is a lifeline that needs to be there.

If you face depression that could lead to death by suicide, please make a list. Please, please, please talk to someone.


Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your
perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack in
everything. That’s how the light gets in.

Leonard Cohen

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2016 Banadad Trail Association Annual Meeting and Trail Clearing Weekend

Banadad Bulletin - Tue, 08/23/2016 - 6:09pm

Banadad Ski Trail, BWCA’s Longest Tracked Ski Trail will hold their annual Trail Clearing Event and Annual Meeting/Dinner.

The annual meeting of the Banadad Trail Association (BTA) will be Friday, October 21, 2016 at the Schaap Community Center on the Gunflint Trail. (Next to the Fire Department, close to the Lima Grade intersection). The meeting will be at 5:30 and will follow with a Potluck Dinner; all are welcome.

The volunteer Trail Clearing Event will be Saturday, October 22, 2016 beginning at 9 a.m.; Meet at Boundary Country Trekking/Poplar Creek B&B at 8:30 a.m. for tools and instructions.

The purpose of the BTA is to maintain and enhance the Banadad Ski Trails, preserve the history of the forest and the trail and promote appreciation and care of the BWCA wilderness. The BTA is a volunteer organization open to all who share these goals.

Subscribe to the Banadad Bulletin, our free quarterly e-mail newsletter.

Questions contact:

Andy Jenks,
Banadad Trail Association

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The Trapper’s Daughter & the…..

Sivertson Gallery - Sat, 04/25/2015 - 3:06am

The Trapper’s Daughter & The…..

The day we have all been waiting for is finally here!!!

It is my great pleasure today, on April 25th 2015, to present to you for the first time,

Wow, isn’t she a beauty??

After their long sail along the Lake Superior coast, the Trapper’s Daughter, Bear & Raccoon are finally able to relax on the shore near a big campfire. With beautiful bright embers floating toward the starlit sky, this print … read more

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Trapper’s Daughter Day 5!!!

Sivertson Gallery - Fri, 04/24/2015 - 5:07am

Day 5! Day 5! Day 5!

Today is the last day of our countdown before we reveal the NEW Trapper’s Daughter print for 2015!!

We kick off today’s countdown with a truly incredible print from 2013,

“The Trapper’s Daughter Crosses the Height of the Land as Winter Fades From the Woods & Waters.”

“The Trapper’s Daughter and the Spring Moose” came into the gallery like a hurricane. We could hardly keep this image on the walls and in the bins after … read more

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Day 4 of Our Trapper’s Daughter Adventure!

Sivertson Gallery - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 3:24am

Day 4 of Our Trapper’s Daughter Adventure!

Day 4 of our Trapper’s Daughter adventure beings with the winner of our 2014 Summer Solstice Trapper’s Daughter Bracket Competition….

In 2010, Rick Allen decided to try something new. With 26 different wood blocks, and 26 individual passes through the press, Rick and his famous helper Janelle, the Warrior Printress, worked their tails off on this one!!!

But wait…. there’s MORE!

The Kenspeckles decided to add a beautiful moon to the Long … read more

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Day 3 of our Trapper’s Daughter Voyage!

Sivertson Gallery - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 3:17am

Day 3 of our Trapper’s Daughter Voyage!

We commence day 3 of our Trapper’s Daughter voyage with the eighth image in Rick Allen’s series….

Back in 2009, you could hear all of our jaws collectively drop, “KER PLUNK,” as we viewed “The Trapper’s Daughter Takes the Otter Slide” for the first time. What a beauty! Rick Allen really went to town with this gem.

One of my favorite parts about Rick’s prints is that so often they spark a wonderful, rich memory. … read more

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The Trapper’s Daughter & the Second Day!

Sivertson Gallery - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 1:50am

“The Trapper’s Daughter & the Second Day”

We kick off day two of our Trapper’s Daughter countdown with Rick Allen’s 4th image in this enchanted series. Released in 2006, this beauty is a gallery staff favorite:

Our first glimpse of the Trapper’s Daughter out of the winter, we see her strong, axe wielding arms and bare feet. A vision of strength and courage, she crosses the lake atop two loons. When looking at the clouds, I can’t help … read more

The post The Trapper’s Daughter & the Second Day! appeared first on Sivertson Blog.

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The Trapper’s Daughter & the Unwritten Story

Sivertson Gallery - Mon, 04/20/2015 - 1:31am


The Trapper’s Daughter & the Unwritten Story


This year’s Gallery Hop Earth Day Celebration at Siiviis in Duluth will be unlike any other event before! Why, do you ask? Well my friends, because this year’s celebration is truly a dream come true. On April 25th, the ladies of Siiviis, along with the Kenspeckles of the Kenspeckle Letterpress present to you:

A THIRTEEN year retrospective featuring all 17 of the Trapper’s Daugher breathtaking appearances in print, including this year’s truly amazing addition to … read more

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“Early”Winter at Poplar Creek Guesthouse B&B

Poplar Creek Courier - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 1:47pm
November 20, 2014- This morning the temperature dipped below zero (-1) for the first time this fall. About 4-5" of snow on the ground. Yesterday Poplar Lake was frozen over. Winter is arriving earlier then we have had in a few years.
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Down Trees from July Storm Block Ski Trail

Poplar Creek Courier - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 1:47pm
Volunteers Log Productive Day on the Banadad; But alot More to do “Imagine going out for a lovely ski on the Banadad Ski Trail and coming across a very large clump of down birches, balsams and a twenty inch aspen flanked by two other large aspen blocking the trail. ...
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