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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Sulfide Mining on the Edge of the BWCAW

Border Lakes Outfitting and Jason Zabokrtsky teamed with the Friends of the Boundary Waters recently to raise awareness for the potential environmental impacts of proposed sulfide mining operations on the edge of the Boundary Waters.  Jason guided the group of environmental advocates and media representatives, including Stephanie Hemphill of Minnesota Public Radio and John Myers…

Ely, MN – The Coolest Small Town in America

Ely, MINN – National travel magazine Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel has named Ely, Minn. as its 2010 “Coolest Small Town in America.” The magazine received 147 nominations, then selected 21 American towns that stood out from the crowd to open up to public online voting. In online voting, 439,411 votes were received, and Ely captured 118,899 of those—27…

A Canoe Trailer That Will Last

We picked up a new canoe trailer today at Remackel Welding in Forest Lake, MN. Around Ely, canoe trailers bounce down some pretty rugged roads. Names like “Echo Trail” and “Tomahawk Trail” reflect the rustic nature of the routes here. These roads and harsh northern elements put canoe trailers to the test. Meet one of…