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Outdoors Posts

A Boat Ride on the Lake

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDs52DXWQDw

Best Underwater Footage of Duluth’s Atlantean Ruins

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2srpiWdd0kw

Underwater footage of Uncle Harvey’s Mausoleum off the Duluth Lakewalk in relatively clear conditions. First I videoed the collapsed column in 9 feet of water, Then because visibility was so good, I swam around the base of the building structure too. That is 16 feet deep according to a depth chart I saw once.

Web Woods Trail

Web Woods Trail entrance

New hiking paths pop up in Duluth faster than I can keep track of them. Web Woods Trail was in the news when it opened in 2012, but I didn’t check it out back then, and soon I’d forgotten about it. So when my wife asked if I’d ever been on the trail off Oak Bend Drive in Duluth Heights all I could respond with is: “What trail?

Exploring Ruins of Column at Uncle Harvey’s Mausoleum

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=453VotIIJ94

Ruins of the column that collapsed this winter at “Uncle Harvey’s Mausoleum” off the Duluth Lakewalk. Water is really murky as its proximity to the shipping lanes stirs up a lot of silt this time of year. I intend to keep trying to get clearer shots but this is all I could manage during this initial foray. Water depth: 9 feet. Basically what you’re seeing here is a base of concrete sprouting metal bars and telephone-pole-like wooden posts that in some cases are splintered or splayed. The tops of some posts were sheared off and smoothed by ice sheet movement and lie just below the surface. The concrete top of the column lies on its side at the bottom, along with eroded steel jacketing that sheathed the base.

I was very cautious during these dives as the danger of getting snagged or nicked in the gloom was fearful to contemplate. I heard nearby swimmers claim a member of their party had scraped himself on the posts while swimming. Not to be a bringdown but this area has to be considered a hazard to swimmers and boaters alike. It is also the most interesting thing to look at in Lake Superior right now.

Found Lake Paraphernalia

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFa-debrYUM

I was freediving Duluth’s amazing rock beach one afternoon, and started finding pot-smoking paraphernalia in a few feet of water just off shore. I realized I was reassembling some poor stoner’s fully stocked stash tray which he/she must have set too close to the waves. Within a relatively small radius I found pieces of two glass pipes (one largely intact), pokie tool, rolling tray, grinder, cigarette roller, and a broken glass jar. Archeological evidence of a beach culture of leisure.

Northern Pike Swims By

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZOTeqnHWzg

A brief encounter with a Northern Pike in several feet of water. It looks injured as if by a propeller across its back.

A tale of three organic farms defying the odds, and one on the way

NH 1

I am enjoying a short stint as an author-in-residence at the Food Farm. What fascinates me most about my stay here is that there are several young couples in their 30s choosing organic farming as a legitimate career and lifestyle, though they endure long odds and poverty wages. Learn more about a cross-section of this remarkable community that provides the Duluth area with great food here. Today I was amazed¬†during a short visit at Northern Harvest Farm, and also at Stone’s Throw Farm just across the street. The perseverance of these people is unbelievable. There are lessons here for all of us in choosing our lifestyle rather than letting one choose us.

Mountain Biking in Duluth When it’s Wet

Cyclists of the Gitchee Gumee Shores do a great job of keeping trail status up to date after a rainfall. I always abide by their recommendation to stay off trails when wet. Are there any trails that are rideable when wet or damp? Maybe some snowmobile trails or something similar?

Kids Playing on Logs at the Beach

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dq4SP4eyNgA

Photos of Last Night’s Northern Lights in Duluth

By Brian Barber

By Brian Barber

It’s fairly rare that the aurora borealis is this visible in Duluth. Solar eruptions triggered a severe geomagnetic storm over the weekend, causing brilliant colors last night that kept photographers and sky gazers up into the morning. Gathered here are a few images from the PDD Facebook page and other social media.

Is this bear poop on my front lawn?

poop

These droppings were six feet from my front door this morning on North 42nd Avenue West in West Duluth.

Knife River Fawn

https://vimeo.com/131107187

Video by Frank Sander from out the window of the Blau House at the Little Knife Sanctuary in Knife River, with music by Ryan Clover.

Does anyone know why the pond at Bagley is being drained?

We walk the dog in the Bagley Nature Area at UMD daily, and since Saturday we’ve noticed the water level in the pond has been quickly dropping. It looks to be two-to-three feet lower than it was last week. There is a drain at the far end of the pond that sounds like it is open. If this is intentional, it seems like an odd time of year to be draining a pond that is home to so much wildlife.

Water

https://vimeo.com/130560041

This video by Mickie Keuning celebrates the emotions of water in Duluth. The song is “Lakehouse” by Of Monsters and Men.

Dead tree or stunted bloomer?

northern pin oak close up

A recent news release from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reports that “foresters are seeing many silver maples and some elms with stunted or no leaves and an abundance of seeds this spring. These trees are not dead and will rebound over the next couple of years.”

The image above is of a tree I planted last fall that hasn’t produced leaves this spring. I can’t remember what kind of tree it is, but I think it’s a northern pin oak. The DNR lists elms, maples, ashes and oaks as potential stunted bloomers.