7/31/14 - Yesterday afternoon Britta spotted this Goldenrod Crab Spider hanging out on a life vest destined to be washed by the pressure washer. Luckily Britta has a soft spot for creatures large and small and decided not to blast it away. Instead she gathered nearby crew members so we could take a gander at this lovely little gal (female Goldenrod Crab Spiders are twice the size and much brighter colored than their male counterpart). We snapped a few pictures before safely removing it to a nearby tree. -Jessica
Goldenrod Crab Spiders have the unique ability to change color from yellow to white or vice versa. They lie in wait, camouflaging themselves to the flower they are perched on, waiting to ambush their prey. You can tell how small she is when you compare her to the nail in the lower right corner of the picture.
7/26/14 -Our own Cindy Lou & Co. took a four-day trip ending last weekend. The group came back smiling with great tales of their trip. Three main themes included talk of the portages being hard in an awesome way, gorgeous scenery, and minimal traffic. For two days they saw only one other person! The group put in on Round Lake and cruised to Gillis, Little Sag, Crooked, and Tuscorora lakes and back to their start at Round.
The area Cindy, Jeanne, Sue & Carol paddled through on this trip was impacted in the springtime of 2007 by the Ham Lake fire. At that time, it was the most extensive wildfire in Minnesota in over 90 years, burning for 15 days and covering over 76,000 acres of wilderness. As the permit video says, "Remember the wilderness is always changing. Wind and fire are a natural part of this process." It's beautiful and inspiring to see the now vibrantly green area impacted by the Ham Lake fire thriving seven years later. This certainly is a destination to keep in mind when planning your next trip. Entry points in the area include Cross River (#50), Missing Link Lake (#51), and Brant Lake(#52). You can also reach this area through routes from Sawbill Lake including the Little Saganaga East and West Loops. Happy trip planning! -Carla
Smiling campers clockwise from Left to Right:
Jeanne Rysdahl, Cindy Lou Hansen, Carol Perkins, and Sue Davis.
Sunset on Crooked Lake
7/26/14 - Here is this week's edition of the Cook County West End News from WTIP-FM, North Shore Community Radio.
7/22/14 - There was a large storm that came through the Northland last night, and there are some rescue operations occurring farther west in the Boundary Waters. However, here at Sawbill and in the lakes surrounding us there have been no reports of injuries and no rescue operations are currently occurring.
We also got some updates about conditions in the Sawbill area from the Tofte Ranger District wilderness crews today. Here's what they have to say:
The beaver dam on the Ada Lake to Skoop portage has blown out and now visitors have to skirt the drainage. The Lujenida portage also has some associated beaver activity that has flooded out a portion on the south end of the portage. There was a system of boardwalks that are now floating around. People have been generally skirting the water and making it through. After the wind storm last night there may be trees down across the portages.
Blueberries are not even close to being ripe yet. The water is still very cold on the larger lakes like Brule and Cherokee, so please remember to wear life jackets! - Peter
7/21/14 - The summer is in full swing, with fewer bugs, plenty of sunshine, warm water, clear starry nights, and good fishing. Unfortunately, we have already had to say goodbye to our wonderful crew member Laura Hoppe, who left yesterday to begin a semester studying abroad in Mexico. - Peter
Best of luck in Mexico, Laura! We miss you already.
Steve Hagen was nice enough to send this picture of himself from Patagonia, Chile today. - Bill