Boundary Waters Autumnal Colors

Fall colors are here! In fact, they are at peak already. If you’ve got the time, head on up to Ely and enjoy the beautiful colors. Here, two photos from recent guided canoe trips. These beautiful light purple flowers really complement the yellows, oranges and red of the autumn woods.

Bob Cary Print Sale and Our Last Hurrah of the Summer

Jackpine Bob Cary is an Ely legend: a radio personality, an artist, a fisherman, and generally a beloved character who passed away a few years ago. His daughter Barb Cary Hall is hosting a big sale of all things Cary, including his prints, both color and black & white, and his books. Many of his…

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Bluegills in Their Underwater World

We found these extraordinarily curious Bluegills on Hustler Lake in the Boundary Waters. They are called Bluegills thanks to the dot of color you can see on the side of both fish. That blue or black spot is actually an extension of the gill cover. They are excellent fish to eat, and these particular fish…

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Day Hiking in the Boundary Waters on the Sioux-Hustler Trail

I guided a group of five strong sixty-something hikers this week. It was their first canoe trip, but certainly not their first experience camping! These pleasant folks from Virginia have been hiking and backpacking on some big adventures all over the United States. With this background, the group was keen on hiking for a day…

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The Lovely Painted Lady

Greetings from this lovely Painted Lady butterfly living near Wood Lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness! This beautiful butterfly may look familiar to you, and for good reason: they are quite common, even around the world. They migrate from Mexico all the way to Canada just below the Arctic circle and are also…

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Trail Work in the BWCAW

We ran into this group of hard-working Minnesota Conservation Corps volunteers out on the trail recently. It had been a hot and humid week, and this day was certainly no exception. These folks had been working hard most days since mid-June. Often, portages require some maintenance, particulary those that are heavily-used or particularly wet. As…

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Compton Tortoiseshell Butterfly

We found this pretty butterfly out in the Boundary Waters recently. It alighted on our dark-colored life jackets, shirts and pants multiple times. Perhaps it was warming itself, even with the sun already fairly high. It is the Compton Tortoiseshell (nymphalis vaualbum), which is a species found in much of the northern half of the…

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Cedar Waxwings and Pin Cherries

Summer is a busy time for Cedar Waxwings here in northern Minnesota. Much of the summer, you will find these birds on their perfect perch waiting for dinner to pass by. When the 7-inch bird spies its scrumptious meal of mosquitoes or moths, it swoops down, snatches the bugs up, and returns to the same…

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Underwater Photography in the BWCA

Travel in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is mostly via lakes and waters. So how do you deal with cameras around all that water? Some people embrace the water and bring along waterproof cameras. They definitely take some of the stress out of the possibility of dunking an expensive camera. Kate is carrying a…

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Fly Amanita – Storybook Mushroom in the BWCAW

Fly Amanita is the quintessential toadstool we started drawing as kids in elementary school.  It’s also known as the “fly mushroom” or “fly poison mushroom” because it is believed a saucer containing Fly Amanita in milk will attract and kill flies.  The young mushroom begins covered in a universal veil and may be misidentified as…

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