Saturday, June 28, 2008

Bed, Breakfast and Birding in the Boreal

Bird watchers will find an astonishing variety of birds, both migratory and resident along the Gunflint Trail's Boreal Forest where Poplar Creek Guesthouse B& B and Cabins are located. Also you are sure to see many more birds at the feeding station located around the property. These bird-feeding stations are maintained year-around.

Further up the Gunflint Trail a few miles is the site of the Ham Lake fire of 2007. Venture into the burned over area and you are likely to catch a glimpse of the Black-backed and Three-toed Woodpeckers. They like to feast on the insects that multiply in burned trees.

New this year at the B&B- guided and self guided Birding Packages are now offered.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Residents History of the Gunflint Trail's Poplar Lake

Nancy Olmen-The history of Poplar Lake is diverse as the people who reside there and something that should be saved. For this reason, it is important that all Poplar Lake cabin and resort owners complete a history of their property. Your cabin or business history can now be save in the PoplarLake History blog. A few histories are now posted. These can be used as a model for your history or please feel free to express yourself in any way that you please. Some of the histories on this blog are rather long, but that is not necessary. Thing that can be included are when the cabin was built, previous owners, when your family purchased the property, "old time memories" (especially if you spent your childhood or teen years on Poplar), and even favorite things that you have done or now doing at the lake. . Pictures would also be encouraged. Thank you for helping in developing the history of the best lake in Minnesota (am I showing my bias here?). Send you histories to: Nancy Young Olmem ( to have your lake history included in this new Lake History blog.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

More Moose along the Gunflint

With this years young moose calves now old enough to get around. People are spotting moose regularly around the Gunflint Trail. A great sequence of picture of a mother moose and her calf were taken by Sarah Hamilton, Trail Center lodge the other night. To view click on Moose and Calf.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Local Man Held Captive on Impromptu Wildlife Spotting Adventure

Lisa Wagner, Gunflint Trail, MN — On Monday night, Gunflint Trail resident Ted Young was taken against his will on an impromptu wildlife spotting adventure sponsored by his wife, Barbara Young, who was piloting the family Subaru home from a delicious dinner at the Gunflint Bistro. (Mrs. Young had drawn the short straw, and as such was the designated driver of the party of three, which included Lisa Wagner who was visiting from St. Paul).

The first indignity suffered occurred as Mrs. Young passed two fox kits on the south side of the Gunflint Trail, which necessitated a U-turn to allow further investigation. Mr. Young protested vaguely from the backseat, but soon found himself looking at two “cute” and “darling” fox kits, no larger than house cats. He grumbled accordingly and the incident passed without further comment.

Not long after that, as the party approached the Iron Lake campground turnoff, a car was spotted in the oncoming lane, driving zero miles per hour. Noting this as a sure sign of moose on the Gunflint Trail, Mrs. Young slowed the car and indeed, in the swamp on the right, there was a bull moose grazing on the aquatic plants. Its antlers were covered in a rich chocolate-colored velvet that matched its coat, and Mrs. Young and Ms. Wagner were most taken with the sight. The Subaru was now going zero miles per hour as the crew gazed at the bull moose, not ten yards away.

“Jeez, Barbara, get going,” implored Mr. Young. “I’ve seen a thousand moose.”

“Dozens,” she said. “Not thousands.”

“Ten thousand,” he retorted. “Now get going before people think we’re tourists.”

Just about then, a second bull moose was spotted in the same area. Groans ensued from the back seat. The front seat passengers were all the more delighted with the wildlife bonanza.

As if things couldn’t get worse, not a mile further down the Trail, another car was spotted in the opposite lane, also going zero miles per hour. The passing glance revealed a cow moose dipping her head into the water for another mouthful of weeds, and at the first opportunity, Mrs. Young turned the car around to go back for a better look.

Mr. Young’s protests became nearly unbearable. “Barbara! Please! Let’s just go home. This is EMBARRASSING.”

To which Mrs. Young replied, “Damn it, Ted…you KNOW you like seeing these moose as much as I do. OK, I am coming back tomorrow night and I’ll smear mud on the license plates so no one will recognize us, but I gotta’ see this.”

Ms. Wagner, equally eager for the opportunity to see the moose cow, encouraged Mrs. Young to make another U-turn.
Upon closer investigation, the cow moose did have a calf in tow, just a few yards behind her. So, make that (by Mr. Young’s count) 4 foxes, 2 bull moose, 2 cow moose and 1 calf, (since two of these animal pairs had been spotted twice).

Mr. Young slouched down in the back seat and tried his best to become invisible. The indignity of it all was just too much for him.

After admiring the moose cow and calf, Mrs. Young put the vehicle in gear and proceeded home.

Mr. Young became somewhat hysterical as he recounted the sightings of “at least 27 moose and a dozen foxes,” and “an extra 20 minutes” that was added to the drive.

He was taken home, and spared any further humiliation of U-turns or stopping in traffic, and was administered two medicinal shots of cognac. He is expected to be fine tomorrow morning.

At last sight, Mrs. Young and Ms. Wagner were applying mud to the license plates of the Subaru and plotting to be back at the swamp the next evening about 9:00 (with a camera this time). They will leave Mr. Young home.


Monday, June 16, 2008

June- Wet and Cool on Poplar Lake; Grand Marais Floods

Halfway through June, the month is shaping into one of the wettest and coolest in years. It has rained everyday but four since the beginning of the month. A total of 5.41 inches has fallen to date at Poplar Lake. This put us well on the way to topping the highest monthly total in the past ten years of 5.7 inches of rain set in 2003.

The greatest rainfall for this month of 2.2 fell on June 6. This is the same day that at the Grand Marais Ranger Station 6.5 inches of rain was recorded. In Grand Marais much of the business district flooded and many roads near Lake Superior washed out.

The first half of the month will also be remember as one of the coolest. The temperature at Poplar Lake average 54.41, which if the cool weather continues, will likely exceed the coolest June in the past ten years of 55.25 recorded in 2002.