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North Shore Morning

AM Community Calendar/photo by masochismtango on Flickr

Genre: 
News & Information

News and information, interviews, weather, upcoming events, music, school news, and many special features. North Shore Morning includes our popular trivia question - Pop Quiz! The North Shore Morning program is the place to connect with the people, culture and events of our region!

 


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Sawtooth Mountain Elementary - School News December 6, 2018

Sawtooth Mountain Elementary - School News with Juniper, Sylvie, and Sofie.
December 6, 2018

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Birch Grove Elementary - School News - December 5, 2018

Birch Grove Elementary - School News with Jack, Niranjan, and Roland.
December 5, 2018

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Ice on Lake Superior

North Woods Naturalist: Ice

WTIP's CJ Heithoff talks with naturalist Chel Anderson about how ice is formed on our lakes and rivers in this edition of North Woods Naturalist.

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Cook County Shabbaton - Gary Latz

WTIP's North Shore Morning Host, Brian Neal talks with Gary Latz about the historic Shabbaton weekend that just concluded.

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Great Expectations School News - November 30, 2018

Great Expectations School News with Iris and Garrett.
November 30, 2018

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Wildersmith on the Gunflint - November 30, 2018

Wildersmith on the Gunflint     by     Fred Smith          November 30, 2018    

A week away from the keyboard finds me back at it last Sunday evening. The Smith’s had a delightful time in Iowa with our daughter, celebrating “turkey day.” The weather down in Iowa was far from frightful. In fact, barely a skiff of snow muted their tawny landscape. So travel situations made for a stressless jaunt in both directions.                                                                             

With yours truly already into the winter mood, the best part of the return was climbing up the Trail to our winter wonderland. Adding to the white patina, “Mother Nature” was in the process of a little touch-up work. Thus, the last fifty miles to Wildersmith through this byway tunnel of evergreen was not only spectacular but also energizing for our pre-holiday spirit.                                                                            

The Smith’s hope your Thanksgiving was pleasant! Thinking of the past weekend’s trek into Holiday madness, I trust “Black Friday” ventures did not have you seeing “red” much less put you into the “red.”                                                                                                                            
Speaking of this seasonal essence, Gunflint Trail residents are reminded of the Open House Christmas Party as we kick-off this first weekend of December. The event will be held at the Schaap Community Center (mid-Trail fire hall) this Saturday, the 1st.                                                        

The gala put on by the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire and Rescue crews is to recognize and thank Trail residents for their continuing support of the department. Doors open at 4:00 pm and good times will run until 7:00. Food and refreshments will be provided, and in the interest of this giving season, attendees are asked to bring an item for donation to the local food shelf.     
 
I just have to share with you an unusual critter happening, as our trip started south along the Trail last week. Some distance down the byway, we rounded a curve to find a USFS vehicle blocking traffic in the opposite lane. The circumstance was perplexing as to what was going on with no apparent human activity observed.  
                                                                                                      
As we slowed, checking out the surroundings we found the reason for this traffic stoppage. On the road shoulder to our right, a race for life was in the unfolding, and it had the attention of this forest ranger too.                                                                                                                           

A snowshoe hare came bounding along the snowy ditch right at us with a pine marten in hot pursuit. There was maybe a dozen feet separating the two, and it was hard to tell how the race was going.  Knowing who might have been declared the winner is undetermined as they eventually dipped into the forest beyond our view.      
                                                                                                        
One thing for certain is they are sprinters, not distance runners. It was all a matter of who could last the longest. We’ll never know whether a rabbit dinner was had, or there was angst of a martin finishing second? In either case, this small animal chapter of predator/prey activity provided yet another episode of wildland drama.                                                                                              

On down the road, a “king of the north woods carnivores” crossed our path, so this was a bonus observation, to say the least.                                                                                                                                                

And on another carnivorous note, a fellow living in the mid-Trail neighborhood experienced an eerie meeting with a six pack of gray wolves, just days before the Thanksgiving week. I’m told he set out in his canoe on Poplar Lake (before the ice came on) paddling to check out an eagle nest he’d been watching. Reaching the location, he put ashore and commenced into the woods a short distance.                                                                                                                                                                       

Not far on his journey, he had an uncomfortable feeling he was in the company of something or somebody, causing him to stop, listen and look around. To his surprise he’d come upon the pack, lounging in a sunny opening of the forest canopy not twenty feet away.                                               

Of course, they saw him too. He stood silently and watched them for several minutes. Then one stood up and looked him over, and the rest followed suit before meandering off out of sight. Although there seemed to be no aggressiveness, his trip was terminated.                                        

While he made his way safely back to his watercraft, another wolf crossed his path. It is unknown if this was a pack member. In any event, this wolf went on without causing further concern. I’m betting there was a lot of glancing back over his shoulder in-route to getting in that canoe.                                                                                                                                                                                             
It might be thought that the wolves, though curious, had less concern with this human in close proximity than he had of the wolf presence, but one can never be sure. It is well known they prefer venison, so he probably didn’t make their mouths’ water. The Gunflint Community is happy this adventure ended free from harm.                                                                                                                                                              
In closing, during the recent Mile O Pine absence, my foxy friend was left to fend for itself. However, a good neighbor down the road picked up the slack, accommodating the oft hungry critter. Along with his grandson Merrick, the two of them had an enjoyable time treating this bushy red “buddy” of the neighborhood.                                                                                                                                                            

The two have since departed back to metropolis, breaking the short term act of kindness. I’m guessing “Braer Fox” will find its way back to Wildersmith because the food service has re-opened with Turkey parts on the menu. I hope the “moccasin telegraph” is getting the word out.                                                                                                                                                           

For WTIP, this is Wildersmith on the Gunflint Trail, where every day is great, with adventures behind every tree or around every curve.
 

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Superior National Forest Update - November 30, 2018

National Forest Update – November 29, 2018.

Hi, this is Jon Benson, Assistant Ranger for Recreation and Wilderness, with this week’s National Forest Update.
To start with, I would like to wish everyone a very happy holiday season.  As the weather turns cold the types of recreation opportunities on the Superior National Forest transition from warm weather activities to cold weather activities.  Whether you are waxing up your skis, checking the bindings on your snowshoes, or just digging your mukluks and choppers out of storage; winter is here and it is our hope that everyone has a safe and enjoyable time recreating on your National Forest.

One type of recreation that is common this time of year is the collection of boughs and Christmas trees from National Forest System land.  Please remember that you must have a permit prior to participating in any activities that involve removal of boughs or trees.  These permits are available at any Forest Service office between the hours of 8:00 am and 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday.

In terms of conditions on the Superior National Forest, snow and ice continue to make roads slippery.  Give yourself and your fellow travelers a little extra space to avoid any undesirable experiences.  If you are someone who lives along a Forest Service Road and hopes to plow that road, please make sure you have checked with the local Ranger District Office to ensure that you have a road use agreement in place.  Unauthorized plowing can create unsafe situations and it is not legal.

Some of the area ski trails are starting to have some snow and a few folks have been out with their skis.  Keep an eye on the Superior National Forest website or the Visit Cook County website for links to ski conditions.  If you are a fat tire biker, please make sure you are aware of trails that are open to fat-tire riding.  If the snow conditions aren’t right then you shouldn’t be on the trail.  Always “Think, before you sink”.

Lake ice isn’t ready yet.  Many of the lakes are starting to freeze over, but the ice is not thick enough to trust.  The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources recommends to stay off all ice under 4 inches thick, and that no ice is 100% safe.  It may be time to clean the tackle box or put new line on the reel, but it isn’t time to get out on the ice just yet.

Muzzleloader deer season is still going through December 9 and there also could still be grouse hunters out there, so make yourself visible.

If you’re headed out the road, you'll run into truck traffic on the Tofte District on the Trappers Lake Road, Dumbell River Road, Wanless Road, Lake County 7, the 4 Mile Grade, the Perent Lake Road, Ball Club Road, North Devil Track Road, and The Grade. The Gunflint District will have hauling on the Caribou Trail, the Murmur Creek Road, Greenwood Road, Firebox Road, South Brule Road, Lima Grade, and the Otter Trail. A good rule of thumb is if a back road is plowed in the winter, there is probably going to be log hauling on it.

This has been Jon Benson with the Superior National Forest Update wishing all of you a happy and safe holiday season.
 

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Sawtooth Mountain Elementary - School News November 30, 2018

Sawtooth Mountain Elementary - School News with McCoy and Talon.
November 30, 2018

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Snow-filled Tree

North Woods Naturalist: Snow

Some of the wildlife in our area is more visible after the first snowfall of the winter season.  Naturalist Chel Anderson speaks with WTIP's CJ Heithoff about some of the activity she has seen in our woods and waters over the last couple of weeks.

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Northern Sky: November 24 - December 7 2018

Northern Sky by Deane Morrison
November 24 - December 7, 2018

Deane Morrison is a science writer at the University of Minnesota.        
 
She authors the Minnesota Starwatch column, and in this feature
she shares what there is to see in the night sky in our region.
 
Deane's column “Minnesota Starwatch” can be
found on the University of Minnesota website at astro.umn.edu. 
 

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