Outdoors Posts

Wolves and Other Wildlife on the Mithrandir Trail

The Mithrandir Pack of wolves is the primary traveler seen on this trail camera footage from Voyageurs National Park, shot last summer and fall, but an array of other critters also pop in.

The Lost Coast and the Ghost Choir of Mount Shasta

My one unexplained “paranormal” encounter happened on a trip to the so-called Lost Coast of Northern California. I camped there the summer of 1994 with my girlfriend Mary, in one of our relationship’s great death spasms. Near the end of this expedition, I heard the singing of a ghostly choir in the woods around Mount Shasta. It was singing Mary said she couldn’t hear.

This vacation was important to us. Austin transplants, we’d been cooped up at retail jobs in the Berkeley-Oakland sprawl for a year. We hadn’t explored the wilds of California like it really deserved. So when she caught wind of the Lost Coast, we arranged a matching week off to go find it.

We drove north from the Bay Area in her white Chrysler minivan. We were listening to a mixtape of J.J. Cale, perfect road music with his driving early drum machine sound: “They call me the breeze, I keep blowing down the road.” We also had some Jerry Garcia Band, which we’d been seeing at the Warfield during its unofficial residency. And, we were still coming to terms with Kurt Cobain’s suicide a couple months prior, three days before my 25th birthday. His widow’s album Live Through This was released within days and we were listening to that too. We couldn’t believe she recorded the line “Someday you will ache like I ache” months before he died. Now that line screamed across the radio like live anguish. So those were the vibes.

The Slice: Amnicon Falls

Amnicon Falls State Park, located about 20 miles southeast of Downtown Duluth, is known for its upper and lower waterfalls, carved through dark basalt and Lake Superior sandstone.

In its series The Slice, PBS North 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.

Northwoods Creatures in Wild Remote Country

This latest montage from Voyageurs National Park shows critters over a 1.5-month period this past spring.

The camera was set up by the Voyageurs Wolf Project, which is focused on understanding the summer ecology of wolves in the park. But the otters kind of steal the show in this video.

Summer Vignettes of Minnesota Wildlife

This montage of trail camera footage from Voyageurs National Park includes a bobcat and her kittens, a black bear, a deer, a coyote and several moose.

The camera was set up by the Voyageurs Wolf Project, which is focused on understanding the summer ecology of wolves in the park. This particular camera has been removed because the area is kind of swampy and there were no wolves traveling on the trail all summer.

PDD Quiz: Happy Trails to You

Lace up your boots and take a hike with this edition of the Perfect Duluth Day quiz, which highlights some local trails.

The next PDD quiz will review this month’s newsworthy events; it will be published on Sept. 24. Submit question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by Sept. 20.

Beating the Heat

Quarry Park: Let’s Have Sex

Though it is important to first point out that painting graffiti on rocks or any other thing in a city park is just plain wrong, we should also not let the medium distract from the message.

An Important Announcement from Kip

Duluth’s Kip Praslowicz has made a modest name for himself in recent years as a photographer and YouTube video producer. But now he stands on the cusp of mega-influencer status, having achieved an unprecedented feat in photography.

What AI thinks “Lake Superior fish” look like

I used stablediffusionweb.com to make these, using prompts like: “Lake Superior fish,” sometimes including “angler” and phrases like “catch of the day” or “look what I caught.” Then I switched to “a meal of Lake Superior fish,” “Lake Superior fish on a plate,” and so on. You will see some “breaded fried Lake Superior lampreys.” Bon appétit!

Big Manitou Falls at Pattison Park

The tallest waterfall in Wisconsin — and fourth-highest waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains — is just outside the city of Superior. Big Manitou Falls at Pattison State Park sends water plunging 165 feet into the Black River.

Video by Douglas Feltman.

PDD Quiz: Waterfalls

With summer in full swing, it’s the perfect time of year to explore the outdoors. This week’s PDD quiz spotlights some of the region’s many parks that feature cascading water. Both the Zenith City website and Tony Dierckins’ Duluth Historic Parks: Their First 100 Years were valuable resources for this quiz.

The next PDD quiz will be pubished on July 30; it will review the month’s headlines and happenings. Submit question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by July 26.

The Slice: Sailboat Racing on Lake Superior

Captain Chris Friese has owned the sailboat Radio Flyer for five years, racing with his crew in the A-Class on Lake Superior.

In its series The Slice, PBS North 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.

Spring Vignettes in the Northwoods

This spring 2023 trail camera footage shows vignettes of wildlife in Voyageurs National Park, with several toddlers tromping through the frame.

The camera was set up by the Voyageurs Wolf Project, which is focused on understanding the summer ecology of wolves in the park.

PDD Quiz: Hartley Park

Test your knowledge of Hartley Park with this edition of the PDD quiz. Sources include Zenith City Online, the Minnesota Digital Library, and the Hartley Nature Center website.

The next PDD quiz, reviewing June 2023 headlines and happenings, comes your way on June 25. Submit question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by June 20.

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