Northern Lights Time Lapse

Seth Trobec put together this time-lapse compilation video to document the two best aurora displays he has witnessed in 2022. One of the two scenes was shot about 80 miles northwest of Duluth.

“The scene with the stream and trees across a field was set near Calio, North Dakota the night of March 30-31,” Trobec wrote in the YouTube description. “The other lightshow in the video was viewed from Deadhorse Lake near Marcell, Minnesota. I took thousands of pictures with my Sony A7riii, each of those nights, and compiled the best parts for this video and set it to music.”

The “Sorry” Bowl


Following up on my project to communicate with the far future using stone or metal, I have produced the first piece: The “Sorry” Bowl. This was a collaboration with Sean MacManus/MacManus Stoneworks. Thinking of likely futures, I chose the word “sorry” because it’s what I really wanted to say. The rest of the story:

Minnesota Historia: The Root Beer Lady

Dorothy Molter was the last permanent resident of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. She sold candy bars and homemade soft drinks to paddlers for decades. But there’s so much more to her story than root beer.

Minnesota Historia is a six-part WDSE-TV web series dedicated to Minnesota’s quirky past. It is hosted by Hailey Eidenschink and produced/edited/written by Mike Scholtz.

Live-in volunteers help provide care at Bob Tavani House

Kate Bradley stands on the porch of the Bob Tavani House for Medical Respite. Bradley and her partner, Kelly Wallin, are live-in volunteers who help provide shelter and care for those in need of housing after a hospital stay. (Photo by Jack Wiedner)

Kate Bradley clears off a wooden dining-room table, which doubles as her desk during the day. She switches out her laptop and office supplies for mismatched plates and silverware.

Bradley’s partner, Kelly Wallin, scrounges through the refrigerator, gathering ingredients for meatloaf. “No ketchup,” he reminds himself, as one of the residents is allergic to tomatoes. He will have to improvise.

Twin Ports breweries nab three medals at World Beer Cup

Representatives of Bent Paddle (left) and Earth Rider (right) accepted medals at the 2022 World Beer Cup.

Bent Paddle in Duluth and Earth Rider in Superior each won gold medals at the World Beer Cup on May 5. It’s the first time more than one medal was won by the region’s breweries at the competition. Bent Paddle also took home a bronze medal.

The Slice: Run, Smelt, Run Parade 2022

Magic Smelt Puppet Troupe brought back its smelt-themed second-line parade and fish fry in 2022 after a two-year absence due to COVID-19. The WDSE-TV clip above is from The Slice, a series that 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.

PDD Quiz Delayed

Greetings, PDD quizzers!

The PDD quiz will be delayed by one week; the next installment of the Duluth parks quiz will be published on May 22.

See you then!

A Weird Experience Writing About Great Lakes Shipwrecks

I got spooked by a coincidence while researching Great Lakes shipwrecks for a story. The coincidence involved a shipwreck so terrifying I decided not to write my story at all.

I had planned to write about each category of maritime disaster: shipwrecks, ghost ships, and disappearances. With a proper shipwreck, the fact of the sinking is undisputed, but the wreck itself may or may not ever be found. A ghost ship has been abandoned but doesn’t immediately sink, sometimes not for years, resulting in haunting sighting reports. I had written a story about a ghost ship already. Now I wanted to write about a ship disappearing. With such missing ships, a sinking is often assumed, but the ship is simply gone; it may as well have sailed into a black hole.

My disappearance tale remains unwritten. The story I was going to write was of a ship vanishing in plain sight as it sailed under the Aerial Lift Bridge. The mystery would be where did it go, and how — was it all an illusion/what is reality anyway, etc. The ship’s possible fates would include “what if the lift bridge acted like a teleporter.” The end would reveal a document recording an encounter with the ship in the distant past, describing the crew as phased half into the deck — a nod to the Philadelphia Experiment. The story would end with this horror image of the still-alive crew, instead of with an explanation. Dude this story was going to rock. All I needed was the name of this doomed hell ship and I could start writing.

Blush nightclub to close at the end of May

Hip-hop artist Tarli performing May 7 at Blush during the Homegrown Music Festival. (Photo by Paul Lundgren)

Owners of Blush, a community-based art gallery, music venue and drinking establishment, have announced it will close at the end of May.

Postcard from the Hotel Duluth in 1942

This postcard was mailed 80 years ago today — May 12, 1942. The recipient was Constance Jarvis of Riverside, Calif. Ray Boyer sent it from Duluth.

Monthly Grovel: May 2022

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Homegrown is over, but the music festivals keep coming. There’s the Festival of Nordic Music, Duluth Dylan Festival, Bayfront Country Jam, Bayfront Reggae & World Music Festival and on and on. The only reliable tool to help weigh the options is the PDD Calendar.

Each month we reach out with one beggarly blog post to remind everyone that human beings and not machines are at work editing and publishing calendar events. So if you appreciate it, drop a few bucks in the PayPal account.

One Year on a Northwoods Hiking Trail

The Voyageurs Wolf Project has yet another trail-camera video montage showing the array of wildlife that inhabits Voyageurs National Park. The footage is from fall 2020 to fall 2021.

Katie Switzer – “Jen”

Katie Switzer, from the central Minnesota city of Staples, won the North of Nashville songwriting contest in Duluth in February. Production of her new music video was part of the grand prize package. It was shot in Symphony Hall at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center and Sacred Heart Music Center by Bo Allen of Bopro Video.

The song was recorded as Sacred Heart and features Shane Nelson on acoustic guitar and bass, Matt Groom on percussion, and Bo Allen on acoustic guitar and background vocals.

Minnesota Historia: Superior Shipwrecks

Everybody knows the story of the Edmund Fitzgerald, the most famous shipwreck on Lake Superior. But what are the next five most fascinating shipwreck stories on the big lake called Gitchi Gumee? And is the #2 shipwreck story the scariest thing you’ll ever hear?

Minnesota Historia is a six-part WDSE-TV web series dedicated to Minnesota’s quirky past. It is hosted by Hailey Eidenschink and produced/edited/written by Mike Scholtz.

Homegrown Music Festival 2022 Slideshow

Rock and roll is complicated. But the Homegrown Music Festival made it back after two years of online events during the pandemic. I took a bunch of photos and tossed the best of them into a slideshow. I made it to 58 acts, but that means I missed 131.

The song featured here is by Cars & Trucks from the 2013 album Theatre Stardusk. The band returned from a lengthy hiatus to perform a surprise popup at this year’s festival.

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