Sunday, August 05, 2007

All Dried Up

The fire ban is back on. For campers, it’s a huge bummer. I took a trip just a couple days ago into North Lake for a night, and definitely missed the camp fire action we usually have. But that’s the way things go. The last thing any of us needs is another forest fire. We had a few really hot days that contributed to the dryness, and it hasn’t rained in a while. It’s true that everything is very dry. Just this morning, we were doing Make a Boat and Race it Down the River, and we spent about forty-five minutes making boats only to find that the creek was completely dry. All that was left was a mud puddle in the slow spot where we usually race the boats. Hard to believe, considering that in the beginning of the summer it was overflowing. Instead we just floated the boats in the lake, but I realized that the lake is down, too. You can see it when you go through the narrows, or even when you jump off the end of the dock. When I first arrived, Tanner (Lee’s nephew) said that it was nine feet off the end. Now it can’t be much more seven. That’s a lot, considering that Gunflint Lake is eight miles long and about a mile wide.

There’s been a lot of guests that I’ve talked to about a website that forecasts the northern lights. Well, I finally found the site, and it’s actually one that can be understood by people other than astronomers. It’s You go to the site, and then click the button near the top left that shows the North Polar view. They use a scale of one to eight to show how likely it is that you’ll see northern lights. It’s pretty cool. The next few days are supposed to be pretty quiet.

A reader (okay, it was actually my brother) pointed out to me that I really should have put up a picture of the fireweed that I talked about in my last post. So here it is, fireweed, which is growing closer and closer to the end of its bloom and the end of the summer.

On one of our last fishin’ fun excursions, with Hannah and Maddie, we caught fourteen fish. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera. We were all still pretty excited at our catch. A lot of them would have been keepers, too! We could actually watch the fish come up to the leach and eat it, as we said, “Okay, here comes one! Get ready… wait… wait… okay, REEL!!!” On another trip just recently Emma caught four bass on her first-ever fishing adventure. Andrew and Ben also caught five and two fish, respectively, for their first time. Fishin’ Fun has been especially exciting lately. I just had to brag about those kids catching fish.

Another local event happening up here is the Fisherman’s Picnic. It’s a local festival that has been going on for a long time. Last night there was a street dance and fireworks. All over the street vendors were selling glow sticks and other flashing things, like glasses, rings, light sabers, and bracelets, and just about every kid was running around with them. It was beautiful; the beach was nearly completely lined with people, with spots of colorful light glowing here and there, reflecting off the water with the fireworks, waving around with people dancing in the street, or doing cartwheels, or having swordfights. It felt like something out of a picture book. The band that played was spectacular, too. I hear that it’s one of the busiest nights of the year in Grand Marais.

Just a bit of random trivia: “Grand Marais” is French for “big swamp”

The Bug Report: Almost no black flies lately. Still some mosquitoes, but not terrible. Starting to see some horseflies and deerflies, but not a tremendous amount.


Katie R. said...

Thanks for all your work with the kids. Isaiah (and Anna too) really miss all the fun they had with you.

Inorganik_1 said...

Wow, I got mentioned in the blog! Awesome! Everyone, you can all thank me for the fireweed photo. ;)

Too bad it has been so dry up there. Down here in Denver we've been getting tons of rain. It's kind of nice for a change. Hopefully some of that moisture will be heading up North.

I would have liked to see a picture of the Fisherman's picnic.... ;)

Gail said...

My granddaughter, Angie, really loved participating in several of the naturalist-led activities. It has been a great program for the kids, as well as the adults who joined in some of the craft activities too. We also enjoyed the activities that were more geared to adults--Great Lakes shipwrecks were very interesting. Thanks for all of your efforts.

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