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Outdoors Posts

What is the dawn chorus of birds?

In the West Duluth area we get two choruses — a din of birds sing-talking. It’s annoying. It happens at dawn and also dusk. I am wondering if there is an expert who could tell me what type of bird this might be. I don’t have a recording, but it usually goes something like wa-oh wa-oh wa-oh twitter spike. The song is really varied with each “sentence” or “question.” It happens before the crows start their cawing craziness and the seagulls start piping up.

Video: Summer Solstice Full Strawberry Moon over Lake Superior

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CcX5e_lG5E

Full Strawberry MoonDawn LaPointe of Radiant Spirit Gallery shot Monday evening’s Summer Solstice Full Strawberry Moon over Lake Superior.

“We were delighted when photobombed by the departing M/V American Century, a ‘thousand footer’ which transports iron ore pellets and western coal on the Great Lakes,” the YouTube description notes. “Minutes later the 740′ Whitefish Bay arrived under the same bridge lift.”

Northern Lights at Boulder Lake Dam

https://vimeo.com/169103810

Time lapse photography by Grant Johnson of the tail end of the Mother’s Day Northern Lights at Boulder Lake Dam near Duluth.

Paddling in and around Lake Superior

https://vimeo.com/170556601

Highlights from a year of paddling in and around Lake Superior — St. Louis, Lester, Cascade, Beaver and Baptism rivers; Lester point break, Duluth and Apostle Islands.

Team Dilly

https://vimeo.com/170323579

Video by Matt Thompson.

Public comment sought on EAW for Spirit Mountain projects

bermThe city of Duluth is accepting public comments until July 13 on an environmental assessment worksheet that was prepared for proposed projects at Spirit Mountain Recreation Area in 2016-2017. The plans include Nordic cross-country ski trails, mountain bike trails, Superior Hiking Trail extensions, rail-to-trail conversion, and an 18-hole disc golf course.

The proposed projects would initiate when all permits and approvals are received. They are part of the St. Louis River Corridor Initiative aimed at revitalizing and enhancing recreational opportunities and appropriate development in the western corridor of Duluth.

Robin Droppings

Jana Studelska - Saturday EssayWhen my boys were young, they found a baby robin in our backyard. That little bird ruled our world for a few days, but more remarkably, it brought me to my spiritual knees. My place in things — motherhood, nature, humanness — all came into question. A decade later, I am still pirouetting with the lessons, the most resonant being my wonderment at the place I hold among animals, which I find to be rather startling. The writer Wendell Berry said in one of my favorite poems, “I come into the peace of wild things.” What I learned was not — and is still not — entirely peaceful. But in being gobsmacked by a few ounces of feathers, I have been able to see the elegance and intelligence of things I didn’t see before. The skills and abilities we are given for our particular deed. It just comes to us. We are so lucky, so blessed, so capable — even while we find the limits of our own animalness.

The robin my boys found was clearly too young to be on her own. She had enough wing feathers to get herself safely out of a tree without a deadly landing, but her landing strip was a backyard ruled by boys and curious dogs. Her appearance at ground level was, of course, a breathless, wide-eyed event for my elementary-aged boys, who instantly and frantically began saving her. I was swearing silently while directing an evacuation of the backyard, contending with that horrible gut heaviness that comes when you know your heart is about to be split open. I peered hopefully out the window with the boys many times before dinner, watching to see if the robin parents would somehow come for her. That was my irrational hope.

Camping at Bear Head Lake State Park

https://vimeo.com/167225329

Bear Head Lake State ParkPranam Gurung put together this short clip of his first camping trip of the season to Bear Head Lake State Park near Ely. Day photos shot on an iPhone 6s Plus; night photos shot on a Canon 6D.

Ely’s Peak Drone Tour

https://vimeo.com/167926995

You may have noticed the PDD Drone has come out of hibernation recently. Here is a quick video of Ely’s Peak on the western edge of town. Yes, we did fly the drone through the entire tunnel. It was a bit hairy due to the darkness and the boulders that kept jumping out at our feet. The drone was wearing a small headlamp but it didn’t help much.

Devil’s Kettle Falls Drone Flyover

https://vimeo.com/167518732

Quick drone flyover at Devil’s Kettle Falls on the Brule River in Judge C. R. Magney State Park on the North Shore of Lake Superior. This specific set of falls, about 20 minutes east of Grand Marais, draws visitors far and wide for it’s unique mystery: half the river disappears into a hole (kettle) and no one knows where all that water goes.

A Duluth Mountain Biker’s Weekly Adventures – Max Fierek

https://youtu.be/KuqKgDGfxTQ

Keep up with my adventures around the world, based in Duluth. Here’s the latest video. Take a look and if you like it check out the other videos, subscribe and give it a share!

Five Mile Rock Drone Flyover

Five Mile Rock is located five miles north of Grand Marais (hence the name) and 3/4 miles off the shore of Lake Superior. Aerial video and photo shot with the PDD Drone on May 19 around 11:30 a.m. and operated by Liftoff Aerials, an FAA-registered drone operator approved for commercial use.

 

Tick Time 2016

2016FirstTickSince 2005 I’ve been posting on PDD about the first tick of the season to crawl up into my business. There’s probably no reason for it, other than to let you feel my pain and generally announce that it’s the time of year to check yourself after you’ve been in the woods.

I picked up this year’s inaugural tick at Ely’s Peak, where I never left the trail, so don’t chalk it up to bushwhacking.

Dusty the Trail Dawg

https://vimeo.com/166622701

DustyDogDusty the Trail Dog joins cyclists Jon Wells and Kyle Stark on the “Bones of the Beast” section of the Piedmont trail system in Duluth.

Price Check: Kayaks

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Price checking kayaks is like shopping for puppies, with so many colors and personalities. There might never be a perfect time to get a puppy, but May is damn-near the perfect time to buy a kayak. The summer bug starts crawlin’ in with dreams of sunshine and light campfires.