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Too Warm Outside

Sat, 01/21/2017 - 6:04am

We are a strange breed. We tend to complain about the weather no matter what it is doing. It was too cold when it was -20 degrees but it is too warm when it’s in the 30’s in January. We still have huge snowbanks and lots of snow covering the trails but it just doesn’t feel right.  I’m ready to see some more snowflakes falling from the sky and watch the mercury drop into the teens at least.

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Eagle Eggs Coming Soon

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 9:26pm

It’s time to start following the eagle camera again.

From the MN DNR-

We’ve continued to see the two adult eagles around the nest during this past week. Fresh sticks, grasses and sedges have appeared in the nest on several days, and the pair have been seen perfecting the layout of the nest. The adult eagles have been bringing food items to the nest and nest tree. We’ve seen muskrats, squirrels and rabbits — pretty typical fare.

 Defense continues to be a top priority for this pair too. A particularly dramatic late night defense against a very sorry raccoon was recently witnessed by some of our eagle fans with sharp eyes!

 This week a juvenile bald eagle has been seen in and around the nest, even “helping” the nest’s pair with some stick arranging. Juvenile bald eagles are about the same size as their parents, but their coloring is different. The juveniles are a mottled brown and white all over, with a brown beak and brown eyes. The characteristic dark body, yellow beak, white head and tail don’t develop until the birds reach maturity at about five years of age.

 We don’t know if this juvenile eagle hatched from this nest. Regardless of its origin, if it crosses paths with the adults, it’s likely to some firm encouragement to find a different hang-out. This tough love by the mature adults is necessary to ensure that the young quickly learn what they need to know in order to eventually give back to the population.

 Egg watch

The eagles’ behavior suggest that it won’t be long before they have some eggs to brood over. We can hardly wait! Here’s when the first egg appeared in the previous four years we’ve been watching this pair:

 2016: Jan. 25
 2015: Jan. 19
 2014: Feb. 14
 2013: First week in January

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Frozen Bubbles

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 9:31pm

It has been unseasonably warm the past few days with temperatures up into the 40’s!  When the sun has been shining it actually feels warm and it feels more like spring than winter. We know this weather isn’t going to continue forever but the forecast says it’s going to stay “warm” for another 10 days.  When it does get cold again I’m going to have to try freezing bubbles, it’s pretty cool!

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Awesome Eagle Video

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 11:10am

I’ve never seen anything like this video our guest Brent Sticha posted on our Facebook Page. I had no clue eagles were capable of such a feat.

Eagle vs. Trout from Brent Sticha on Vimeo.

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Pine Martin Visitor at Voyageur

Tue, 01/17/2017 - 2:49pm

Cassidy and Matt had a visitor at Voyageur yesterday!

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Shipping Season on Superior Ends

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 9:54am

Lake Superior is an amazing body of water that has so many different personalities. It can be calm and tranquil or choppy and angry. This time of the year when the lakes begin to turn solid the shipping season closes. Sometimes in Grand Marais we get the opportunity to see the ships close by and when we’re lucky David Johnson captures the beauty of the lakes and the ships that travel it.

Here’s the ship spotter website and an article about the close of the shipping season.

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More Opportunities for Winter Fun

Sun, 01/15/2017 - 6:20am

If you’re in the Twin Cities area on January 21st then be sure to check out their Winter Trails Day extravaganza at Fort Snelling.


For an intro to winter fun, visit Fort Snelling State Park on Winter Trails Day

For an introduction to winter fun, stop by the annual Winter Trails Day extravaganza at Fort Snelling State Park on Saturday, Jan. 21, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

As in past years, people can try a variety of winter activities, including ice fishing, ice harvesting, snow shoeing, cross-country skiing, quinzee (snow shelter) building and more.

New attractions this year include fat tire biking, food trucks, outdoor ping pong and even a snowball fight.

“Our goal is to show people just how much fun winter can be,” said Kelli Bruns, park manager at Fort Snelling State Park. “We’ll have equipment you can use for free, friendly staff on hand to answer questions and a bonfire where you can warm up with hot cocoa.”

Winter Trails Day is made possible through the collaborative efforts of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Mississippi Park Connection, the National Park Service, retail co-op REI, the U.S. Forest Service and Wilderness Inquiry.

Save time, get vehicle permit in advance
All Winter Trails Day activities are free, but a vehicle permit is required to enter Minnesota state parks and recreation areas ($5 for a one-day permit or $25 for a year-round permit). Although permits are available at the park, people attending Winter Trails Day can avoid waiting in line by getting their permit in advance. Visit, log in (or create an account), click on “entry permit,” select a duration of “one-day” ($5) or “year-round” ($25), and continue as directed. Purchasers will receive an email with a permit that can be printed and displayed in vehicles during visits.

For more information, call the park at 612-725-2724 or visit the Fort Snelling State Park webpage at

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Very Cold on the Gunflint Trail

Sat, 01/14/2017 - 6:34am

By the time Cassidy and Matt took this photo yesterday morning it had warmed up about 7 degrees. The low on the Gunflint Trail was -37 degrees, not the coldest place in the state but close!

According to this article,

Winds were generally light across the Northland on Friday morning, but they were enough to send wind chills into the 30s, 40s and 50s below zero. A weather station near Birchdale in Koochiching County recorded a wind chill of 55 below, with 53 below at International Falls, 43 below at the Grand Marais airport and 38 below at the Duluth airport.


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Bobcats & Lynx by David Johnson

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 6:02am

I don’t know how many hours he gets to spend in the woods to see all of the wildlife he does but it sure must be awe inspiring.

Little one with lunch


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Free Ice Fishing during Take a Kid Ice Fishing Weekend

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 3:20pm

Here’s a great opportunity to get a line wet this weekend!

Minnesotans age 16 or older fish free with kids Jan. 14-16

Just about anywhere in Minnesota, chances are there are fishing opportunities nearby, and it’s a good time to fish during Take a Kid Ice Fishing Weekend, Saturday, Jan. 14, through Monday, Jan. 16.

During this weekend, Minnesotans age 16 or older can fish or dark-house spear without purchasing an angling or spearing license if they take a child younger than 16 fishing or spearing.

“Ice fishing is a do-able way to try fishing, even for those who have never fished before,” said Jeff Ledermann, angler recruitment and retention supervisor with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “Young people who take up fishing tend to be introduced to the pastime by someone else and then get support along the way. This weekend makes beginning that process a bit easier.”

Before heading out, anglers should check ice conditions locally. Visit for ice thickness guidelines and more information about taking kids fishing.

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For the Birds

Wed, 01/11/2017 - 9:54pm

This man is such an amazing photographer! Thank you David for always taking wonderful photos.Pine Grosbeak

Bohemian Waxwings


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Snowfall, Shovel, Repeat

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 9:42pm

It’s almost like the Groundhog’s Day movie around here. We wake up to snowflakes falling from the sky, we shovel the snow and then the next day we do it again. It’s more snow than I’ve seen in a long time and it’s early in the season. It makes me wonder where we are going to put the rest of the snow that falls this winter?

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Looking Good Mr. Moose

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 5:30pm

Thanks for sharing your awesome photos David Johnson!

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Fishing on the Ice

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 6:14pm

Matt and Cassidy went out ice fishing the other day. I haven’t heard if they caught anything yet, but at least their fishing shelter looks like a fishing shelter.

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