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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!


What's On:
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Money Matters - Scott Oeth - June 2020

Financial advisor, Scott Oeth talks with North Shore Morning host, Mark Abrahamson about academic research that highlights the importance of how people think about money.  He cites three major areas that have been shown to have a huge impact on personal finaces:  Time Horizon, Locus of Control, Social Comparisons.




Wildersmith on the Gunflint - May 29

Wildersmith on the Gunflint     by     Fred Smith
May 29, 2020    

May turns the reins over to June kicking-off next week, and closes the books on month five after another dry week in the upper Gunflint territory. One can never put much faith in weather forecasting, but the way things have been going, there’s a 100% chance it will be doing something, hopefully wet along the Gunflint Trail.                                                                                                                                                                    
While there have been more clouds of dust along backcountry roads than puffs of moisture in the skies, conditions for us two legged beings have been splendid. Sunshine and warm temps have brought on the green.                                                                                                    

The deciduous forest has come alive with quaking aspen and birch, exploding under the influence of chlorophyll. A trip up the Trail from the Gunflint Lake look-out mimics a glorious emerald blanket draped on the granite mountainsides. In many places the curtain of camouflage has nearly masked all Ham Lake fire evidence of thirteen years ago.                                                           

At ground level, countless varieties of verdant sprouts have pierced the earth. Marsh Marigolds and those “Dandy” lions are beaming a buttery contrast to the growing sea of green. During my daily mail box run, I’ve been watching fiddleheads uncoil their lacy fronds by several inches per day, all in readiness for summers’ concert series. And our vision into the forest is soon to be totally obscured as dense lower underbrush of the wild lands fill in the voids.                                                                                                         
As I mentioned in the last scoop, the onslaught of biting bugs was minimal. Well, I take the ill-characterized opinion back. The nasties have exploded in a fury, same as our leaf out. “Skeeters”, black flies and a zillion other gnat sized terrorists have forced the issue with “bug dupe and netting.                                                                                                                                                     

Although all things are eco-purposed, one has to wonder why in heavens’ creation these mini-monsters could not have been programmed only for plant pollination with a taste for sweets instead of flesh. Oh well, this too will pass, come September!                                                        

Speaking of the other terror about us, one would think the Pandemic had evaporated like the last winter snow. Decoration Day weekend found the area engulfed with visitors. Parking lots at outfitters and resorts seemed packed with vehicles. While these business folks surely need help, residents of the Trail and all of Cook County hope the outsiders don’t open the flood gate to the deadly epidemic which hasn’t yet invaded border country.                                                

On a less serious note, one of our visitors time fishing with dad and two grandpa’s in North Lake over the holiday weekend was great! Smiles on the young angler’s face almost match the length of the trout he displays. See his happy face alongside the Wildersmith column under the drop down Community Voices at For those fisher people not so lucky, yes, there are fish to be caught, sometime.                                                                                                                                                               

“Mother Nature” operates in unpredictable ways at times. Such was the case on the loon nest in Sag bay at Chik-Wauk Museum Campus. Word comes to me telling of the loons having departed the site after setting-up housekeeping a couple weeks ago. The couple was there one afternoon and gone the next morning.                                                                                                                                                   

It’s a good bet they were driven off by either a black flies onslaught or by a member of the Sag Lake eagle convocation. A drone observation indicated there were no eggs in the nest. It is hoped the pair might return as this is known to have occurred at other sites and in other years, but nothing can be certain.                                                                                                                 

Warmth of the past week finished off the last reminder of winter 2019-20. Gone along the Mile O Pine is the final mound of white. In our neighborhood, we had white on the ground, in at least some form, since last November 11th, and it disappeared just a few days ago on May 23, totaling 97.25 inches.                                                                                                                                                                      
The season in general reflected our warming climate, not experiencing extended stints of bitter cold of years past. There were only three nights where the temperatures exceeded minus thirty, with the coldest Wildersmith readings of minus 34 on consecutive mornings, February 13 and 14.                                                                                                                                                                              
Official ice cover on Gunflint Lake came December 11 and departed May 5 which is about normal based on my data since 1982. Lake ice drillers tell of depth on the Gunflint being in the thirty plus range, and such hard water had difficulty gaining more thickness due to heavy insulating snow cover right after freeze –up.                                                                                                                
So that’s a wrap on winter at this wilderness place! Yes, it was beautiful, but we’re also happy to be seein’ green again!                                                                                                                                                    
On a closing note, while the Chik-Wauk exhibit facilities are closed for Pandemic reasons, an energetic crew has been planning virtual activities to maintain connections with the public.                                                                                                                                                                             
Visitors can now visit the Campus through the magic of technology by way of the website: or on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter@chikwaukmuseum. Please check the sites regularly for cultural and natural history programming snippets both indoors and out around the site. The staff would love to hear from you!                                                                                                        

For WTIP, this is Wildersmith, on the Gunflint Trail, where every day is great, as new woods adventures are revealed!


Voices of COVID19 Podcast

Voices of COVID-19 Podcast - Brian Lucas

Brian Lucas lives in the Twin Cities. His parents have property in Cook County and Brian’s daughters have been coming to the North Shore all of their lives.

The Stay-at-Home order has allowed Brian the time to pursue his passion for story telling by developing a podcast that “features conversations with people outside the limelight who are dealing with the coronavirus pandemic in their everyday lives.”

WTIP's CJ Heithoff talks with Brian about his “Voices of COVID-19” podcast in this interview.

To listen to Brian's "Voices of COVID-19" look for it in iTunes, Spotify, Google Play or click on  the link below.



Northern Sky: May 23 - June 5

By Deane Morrison

Venus has just left the evening sky, and now Jupiter and Saturn are moving in. By mid-month both will be up in the southeast before midnight. Jupiter, by far the brighter planet, shines west of Saturn and leads the ringed planet across the night sky. 
Mars doesn’t quite make it into the evening sky. But it rises earlier each day, approaching midnight from the morning side. By dawn Mars will be a fairly bright dot in the southeast. As for Venus, it reappears in the morning sky this month, but doesn’t climb out of the sun’s foreglow until late June or early July.
If you’re out at nightfall, the brilliant star Arcturus dominates the southern sky. Arcturus, the jewel of kite-shaped Bootes, the herdsman, is the brightest star in the northern hemisphere of sky. However, it’s barely brighter than Vega—the beacon to the east of Arcturus—so they can be considered co-holders of that title.
Between the 28th and 29th, a waxing moon glides between Arcturus and Spica, the brightest star in Virgo, the maiden, which shines about 30 degrees below Arcturus. Whenever Spica is up, you can find it by following the curve of the Big Dipper's handle —always somewhere to the north—to locate Arcturus, then keeping going to find Spica. In other words, “arc to Arcturus, speed on to Spica.” 
June’s full moon arrives at 2:12 p.m. on the 5th. It follows Scorpius and Antares, the scorpion’s bright red heart, across the night sky. Jupiter and Saturn follow the moon that night; between Jupiter and the moon is the Teapot of Sagittarius. 
If you like challenges, look for a very old crescent moon to the lower left of Venus, right above the east-northeastern horizon about half an hour before sunrise on June 19. Then look for an extremely young and thin crescent moon getting ready to set over the western horizon at nightfall on the 23rd. Use binoculars, and see if you can find the Beehive star cluster right below the moon. 
 Summer begins with the solstice, at 4:44 p.m. on the 20th. At that moment the sun reaches a point over the Tropic of Cancer, and an observer from space would see Earth lighted from the Antarctic Circle up to the North Pole and beyond to the Arctic Circle on the night side of the planet.

The University of Minnesota’s public viewings of the night sky at its Duluth and Twin Cities campuses have been curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, see: 
Duluth, Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium:
Twin Cities, Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics:
Check out astronomy programs, free telescope events, and planetarium shows at the University of Minnesota's Bell Museum:
Find U of M astronomers and links to the world of astronomy at


Photo by Jessica Bolser/USFWS.

North Woods Naturalist - May 19

Chel Anderson is a botanist and plant ecologist. In this edition of North Woods Naturalist, Chel talks about the spring activities she's been seeing in our woods and waters.


Superior National Forest Update

Superior National Forest Update - May 22

Superior National Forest Update with Steve Robertsen, Education and Interpretation specialist with the USDA Forest Service-Superior National Forest.
May 22, 2020


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Wildersmith on the Gunflint - May 22

Wildersmith on the Gunflint     by     Fred Smith
May 22, 2020    

Although we Gunflint folk could be fooled, it looks as though spring is in full swing.  May’s third weekend along the Trail was splendid. Although it was breezy at times, “Sol” warmed temps into the fifties and sixties sending “the old man of the north” packing back that direction.                                                                                                                                                                           
Winter reminders are now few and far in between. By next week, pockets of white will be gone, and it’s likely I can share statistics of winter trivia for 2019-20.                                                                                                                                                                               
The wild land drought was tempered some last week when a couple showers netted just about one-half inch around Wildersmith.  The sogginess was short lived as we’ve dried out quickly, putting residents back on the edge of fire danger once again.                                                                   

Meanwhile, wild fire sprinkler systems are being rapidly installed. I talked to one fellow who mentioned he put sixty of the systems into area lakes last week alone. Since about 98% of wild fires in Minnesota are caused by careless humans, it seems to be a good thing these WFSS are in readiness as campfire restrictions in the BWCAW have been lifted. Why, is hard to understand.   
The opening of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness has seen a distinct up-tick in Trail traffic over the past few days. Paddlers and uncountable fishing craft are on the water, in spite of camping facilities still being under lockdown. Of course this restriction might be history by the time this scoop hits the air.                                                                                                                    
 Up-ticks in “Bruno” sightings are becoming an almost daily occurrence. Although I’ve not heard of any bear break-ins, with the critters rambling through the woods, its “bearly” a matter of time until human miscues will tempt a larcenous act.                                                                                 

Up around Seagull Lake and the Chik-Wauk Campus, the big “Cinnamon Bear” of yore has been making the rounds. A photo of the chestnut colored brute can be seen on the Chik-Wauk Museum Facebook page. More “wild neighborhood” citizens can be seen by scrolling further down the page to see the loons nesting, bears ruling the roads and two swans a swimming.                                                                                                                                                                     

Another heart-warming confirmation of spring was noted at Wildersmith a few days ago when the first hummingbird streaked by. At least it was thought to be such as the scarlet breast was at break neck speed. The nectar station is now open for dine-in delight.                                                       

Speaking of other things that fly, I hesitate to mention, but black flies have yet to be of bother. I did a little grubbing around in the dirt the other day to remove an old tree stump and did not stir up any of the nasty nippers. Saying this probably marks me for the “kiss of death’, or at least, a few bloody bites around my hat brim in the days to come.                                                                                                                                     

While there has never been a bad sunrise or sunset, we’ve experienced more beauties of late on the Gunflint Gal. “Sol” has now crossed back over the international border, edging toward the summertime solstice. Those molten iron bars etched on the lake surface at days beginning and end have been ever so spectacular. One can add on some gauzy tints of peach, pink, lavender and purple for a heavenly mosaic that boggles the mind. Not that a frosty December/ January sunrise/sunset doesn’t have its unique character, but there’s just something awesome about a warm season onset and conclusion to a days’ journey!                                                                                        

For WTIP, this is Wildersmith, on the Gunflint Trail, where every day is glorious, as we count the days ‘til green leaves are quaking!


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Zelda's Incredible Journey - Seneca Krueger

Seneca Krueger has fostered many dogs over the last 12 years but none touched her more than Zelda.  When Zelda was adopted in February by a family in Chanhassen, Seneca thought she would never see her again.  Zelda had other plans.



Scams to Watch For During COVID-19

Attorney Ruthanne Hedstrom Vos talks with North Shore Morning host, Mark Abrahamson about scams to watch out for during the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Pack & Paddle - Scott Oeth - May 2020

"Pack & Paddle" with Scott Oeth
May 18, 2020

In this episode, Scott discusses "Essential Skills & Gear" - what to know and what to take with you when heading out into the woods.