Outdoors Posts

North Country Trail in Wisconsin: Green Undies in Gordon

There generally isn’t a lot to say about a good hike, nice weather and beautiful scenery. They are enjoyable, but they don’t help create a classic story one tells his friends about and sits down to record in an essay. Good stories involve things not happening as planned. Something must go very wrong, very right or very strange to have a good story. If someone shows up in green underwear, for example, it at least provides the foundation.

So before I write about the numbers and geography of my hiking, let me assure you that green undies are coming up.

If you’ve been following along on my North Country Trail in Wisconsin series, you know I’m slowly hiking 214 miles across the Badger State. I started in 2017 and as of this writing have completed 65 miles, taking my sweet time.

In the summer of 2020 I hiked from Pattison Park to the edge of the town of Gordon and ended part four of my essay series there. I thought I was done for the year, but just a few days after publishing the essay I headed back to Gordon for one more trek.

Video: Bobcat kittens pestering their mom

A bobcat and her two kittens put on a little show for a Voyageurs Wolf Project trail camera recently. Although the University of Minnesota research project has caught bobcats on camera numerous times, this is the first clip that includes kittens.

Things I saw on Park Point

I woke up this morning and said to myself, “I’m going to Park Point to take pictures of mushrooms in sunbeams,” and indeed I did (some sunbeams not included). Along the way I saw many strange and wondrous things, it was like The Odyssey. Pics below the fold:

Successful transplanting of phallus impudicus


 

I successfully transplanted these phallus impudicus (“impudent phallus,” aka the common stinkhorn) from one end of town to another in my diabolical plan to expand the range of this deLIGHTful species.

Great Gray Owl Tightrope Walking

Birder Richard Hoeg was in Sax-Zim Bog last week and observed an interesting tightrope act. He assembled 95 photos into this clip, showing a great grey owl training for the circus.

The Slice: Where the Hummingbirds Go

Local bird watcher Laura Erickson explains where ruby-throated hummingbirds go each fall, and how they get there.

In its series The Slice, WDSE-TV presents short “slices of life” that capture the events and experiences that bring people together and speak to what it means to live up north.

The Fishing Wolves of Voyageurs National Park

The discovery that wolves in Voyageurs National Park hunt freshwater fish came in 2017 and was reported in the Duluth News Tribune, New York Times, USA Today, National Public Radio and other outlets in 2018, when the first videos emerged.

PDD Video Lab: Inside the Wolf Den

In this edition of the Perfect Duluth Day Video Lab we nabbed another clip from the Voyageurs Wolf Project and made some minor manipulations. Specifically, we slowed it down a tad and added Mary Duff singing “The Nearness of You.”

On patrol: Boat propeller blades

While on patrol I found these two big iron flower petal things not too far offshore, wedged among the rocks. They were about 50 feet from each other in around ten feet of water. I think they may be blades from a large boat propeller. Yes I wore a shark fin for this patrol — a couple years ago I encountered a three-foot muskie in this area, and felt it best I should shark up.

Sunday Afternoon at Brighton Beach

Sunday, August 8, Duluth

I take my grandkids to Brighton Beach once or twice a summer. It’s one of the beaches we visit every year. Today I take them because it’s the last day Brighton Beach will be open to the public for a year, maybe two. The Lakewalk will be extended, Brighton Beach Road will be relocated, and the shoreline will be restored. I wonder how much it will change. I hope “restoring the shoreline” doesn’t mean depositing wide swaths of immense jagged rocks on the beach that become a barrier which hinders kids from pitching stones in the water and from gamboling on the ancient lava formations along the shore.

Chester Creek Landscapes

 

The Size Difference Between a Wolf and Coyote

It can be a little tricky at times to tell the difference between a wolf and a coyote. In general, wolves are much larger. In the video meld above, shot by a Voyageurs Wolf Project trail camera, two coyote and a wolf share the screen.

Wolves in Voyageurs National Park are smaller than wolves in other areas but still noticeably larger than coyotes.

Lake Superior Aquaman on patrol

Duluth MN circa 15 feet deep: All clear

A crabapple floating down Tischer Creek toward Lake Superior

SubSuperior: Day 1


 

Beta-test/proof of concept/first annual; video to come. Making music underwater and projecting it on land with hydrophones.

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