Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Flowers with Magnetic Personalities by Rachel

Sue's note:  I have such fond memories of hiking the Magnetic Rock Trail through the old growth forest...and those friends I hiked with back in the 80's...before wind storms and fires cleared it...and when I think about it.....especially those friends that I hiked with...  Now I'm so happy with my little route by the pond, over the bridge, and to the windy overlook on top of the alpine meadow, that the other day I found myself wishing away the jack pines that have taken a growth spurt lately.  Yikes, they're going to take over the meadow!! And then I have to slap the side of my head and say.....'Let it go Sue'.  I know I can't stop the change by clinging, but I sure can expend a lot of energy with the struggle.   Life is change, it was good then, it is good now.  And aren't the woods full of metaphors?  Thanks to Rachel for sharing her hike.  P.S. The blueberries are a little sparse this year, but some are already ripe!

On Wednesday, Justin, Denali and I went for a hike along the Magnetic Hiking Trail just across the Gunflint Trail from Tuscarora.    We're glad to navigate guests through routes of old forest upon request, but variety  is beautiful when you are walking through the sunshine through fields of flowers. So what if there are no towering pines or thickets of alder shading your portage? Without a dense canopy, the wildflowers go nuts in the spring. Every ecosystem needs variety, and here that means a riot of color. The yellow hawkweed is blooming so abundantly I gave up on taking pictures of it a while ago. The wood lilies are so charismatic it is hard to not stop and take a picture of each one. Harebell is one of my favorite delicate little flowers that tenaciously hangs on to bare rock. I spotted one little columbine being attacked by a neighboring hawkweed. Little splotches of pink vetch were here and there along with blooming shrubs like serviceberry. I know not all of these beauties are native to this part of the world, and that they indicate a disturbed soil environment, but when I walk through miles of them in the bright sun sometimes I like to forget all that and just enjoy.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Tuscarora Summer by staffer Caleb

 Up until this year I had never experienced the beauty and wonders of the true great outdoors. I left home from Indiana curious and exploding with excitement for what my summer was going to include, could it be a big mistake or the experience of a life time?
 I soon found the answer to this driving question in my mind as I soon began work at Tuscarora. My new-found deeper love of the outdoors overcame any homesickness I might have and proved that this will be the greatest summer of my life.
I am truly happy with the life here at Tuscarora, as I cannot imagine working for any other outfitter now that I have spent nearly a month here. The staff here at Tuscarora is a very well equipped team willing and ready to overcome any obstacles to improve our clients visit, I could not ask for better people to work with.  The sheer amazing atmosphere found here is well worth the visit to our clients. Once you have witnessed the whisper of the pines, the splash of a fish, and the relaxation of an evening paddle you will be hooked, like me, on the BWCA.
I also came to the trail to experience the world class fishing that is available in the abundance of lakes and rivers that are the BWCA. Since I have arrived the Smallmouth have left the beds and the top-water bite is on as I have experienced the thrill with my fly rod. Round Lake is filled with Smallmouth, Perch, Northerns, and  Walleye. The normal jig and leech have proven to be the best go to bait if all else fails. Tuscarora is truly the place to be this summer so we hope to see you  very soon!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Duluth is Flooded

The word is that people are encouraged to detour around Duluth today.  We don't exactly know HOW the detours are playing out, but we do know that people have been able to travel safely around the disaster area.    Boy, our hearts go out to those people reeling from the floods.  (check out the link for flooding photos), including the seals until they were returned safely to the zoo.

Cook County travel is fine, the phones, and internet are all back in service.
Tuscarora and our trees are soaking up the water, as the woods always do.
The path up to my favorite overlook on the Magnetic Rock trail was like a little stream this afternoon. Only Denali's waterdish overflowed....  and we're all looking forward to some sun tomorrow.

A Little Rain Never Stops the Turtles....

But today, it is stopping the traffic in Duluth, interfering with the phone lines, and with the emails.  All is well at Tuscarora.  Thanks for being patient with our lines of communication---we'll get back to you as soon as we can!  Meanwhile, the labor continues...

Monday, June 11, 2012

School's Out....Summer's ON!

 This Monday, the kids got up and went to paddle.


 And Denali- still-kept her eye on the turtle.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Turtles and Feathers and a Murder Mystery

The turtles are laying.  This mother was obviously earning her living.   Having gone into labor a couple of times  myself, I felt a little bond with her as I witnessed.   Only she was alone, and she had to dig for herself.  Can you imagine?  

She must have been mighty uncomfortable, enough to drive her up onto the beach where Caleb and I stopped to watch for awhile.  We really really wanted to see her actually lay an egg, but we were too close.    Then she had to stop and make a break for it, and halt the labor process.  Ooof.  I felt a little sorry about that..

The next night, Denali discovered another mother up on the driveway.   This one didn't even make it to the squat position, because when Denali is investigating, she is patient and curious for long periods of time.  She stood absolutely still, and eventually discovered that the turtle only came out if she waited silently behind the turtle tail.  Eventually the turtle's head would emerge, and Denali would POUNCE.  But turtle neck reflexes are much speedier than a black lab pounce.   So Denali would waaaaaiiit and waaaaaiiiiiit...and then pounce again.  

The other morning, we couldn't resist an early  paddle, and we quietly slipped out to Round Lake near the Yogi rock when a witchy raven broke the silence with rude squawking directed right at us.   She was loud and harsh, and she might well have been swearing she was so testy  about it all.  I wanted to recite the BWCAW rules video and tell her "keep the noise to a minimum, you might even see more wildlife that way."  I was looking up at her wondering what she was so angry about when we floated into a smelly smattering of feathers.    Denali had to investigate that one too.  What happened?  Did the ravens get a gull or an eagle?  I haven't seen any gulls lately, and we couldn't find any dead body.  Did the raven put the spell on another bird?   I have no idea what kind of bird even.  Some were big, some were little and fluffy in clumps.   She was squawking so fiercely, we never figured out what happened, but I agree with Denali when she chases the teasing ravens down the road.  I don't call her back, I say "Get the evil ravens girl."

The fishy feathers went on and on for a while, and we never got to the bottom of that mystery.

Friday, June 1, 2012


 Stephan used to call it brooming.  Why not?  You swing on the swing, you brush with the brush, can't you broom with the broom?  At any rate, on days like this, sweeping might be the best job in the world. You can't hear it from this photo, but the loons were singing loudly, and Karl was singing softly. It's a great day to be alive in the North Woods!!