Not the Best News for Winter Lovers

We all know climate change isn’t good and for people who love winter it’s even worse.

From the MN Department of Natural Resources

Nature Sightings – Winter is Changing!

If you grew up in Minnesota, what childhood memories do you have of winter?  Did you ever ice skate on a frozen pond or ice fish on a lake?  Do you remember snow days, when school was cancelled but all of the neighborhood kids would be outside all day long building snow forts and sledding on the mountains of piled-up snow left by snowplows? Have you noticed that the cold and snowy winters that define us as Minnesotans seem to be on the decline?

Indeed, one of the leading symptoms of climate change in Minnesota has been rising winter and overnight minimum temperatures.  Winter temperatures have been rising twice as fast as the average annual temperatures, and ten times faster than summer!  So what does this mean for the future of cold, snowy winters here?

State climatologists have observed our Minnesota winters changing.  The cold season is shrinking, even while major snow events seem to be increasing. So we are having a shorter winter period with heavier snowfall. Climate change trends and models indicate our extreme cold winters will continue to rapidly decline beyond the year 2025, and with the much warmer winter temperatures, the frequency of heavy snow fall will also begin to decline.

With this understanding of changing winters in Minnesota, it is interesting to wonder what winter memories our great grandchildren will have as Minnesotans continue to adapt to a changing climate.

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Posted in environment

Holiday Hints

Holiday hints from the Minnesota Department of Commerce!

‘tis the season… to brighten your holidays with LED lights that save energy & money
SAINT PAUL – Are you still stringing the same old incandescent decorative lights for the holidays?

The Minnesota Commerce Department advises that you can save money this year and for many holiday seasons to come by replacing outdated, energy-hogging lights with high-efficiency, long-lasting light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs.

When shopping for new holiday lights, look for the ENERGY STAR® label to ensure that the product meets strict federal energy efficiency guidelines. ENERGY STAR-qualified lighting, as well as appliances and electronics, use less energy than their older, inefficient counterparts.

ENERGY STAR-qualified LED decorative lights are an economical choice because they use 75 percent less power than conventional lights and they can last up to 10 times longer.

Other advantages of LEDs include:

Safety. LEDs are cool to the touch, reducing the risk of fire.

Durable. LEDs do not have moving parts, filaments or glass, so they are much more resilient and shock-resistant than other light strings.

Wide range of choices. LEDs are available in a variety of colors, shapes and lengths.

Up-to-date features. LEDs offer the latest features and functions such as dimming and color shifting.

The cost of buying and operating LED C-9 lights for 10 holiday seasons is about $18 compared with $122 for incandescent C-9 bulbs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy Energy Saver. Using timers or dimmers can save even more energy.

Watch for rebates to help defray the cost of LEDs and other energy-efficient lighting products. Many electric utilities offer rebates for LEDs. (Visit to learn about utility rebates or contact your utility directly.)  Learn more about decorative LEDs at the ENERGY STAR website.

Finally: Be sure to recycle your old holiday lights. The Recycling Association of Minnesota provides a guide to recycling locations in Minnesota.

Posted in News

Chance of Sunshine

There’s a chance we’ll see the sun this weekend. Then again there’s a chance we won’t.
Partly Cloudy
Snow Showers
Snow Showers
Posted in News

Mr. Sun

I had to find a picture with blue skies because I have forgotten what they look like. Another 1/4 of an inch of rain today and no sunshine. Oh Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun, shine your light on me.

blue skies

Posted in News

Rain and more Rain

It’s been raining off and on since early this morning. The temperature was in the high 30’s and 40’s all day so it was too warm for snow. Up the trail we received over a half of an inch of rain while closer to town they received over an inch. The rivers are running like it’s springtime and the majority of the snow has been eaten away. It’s suppose to cool off this week which should result in snow flurries  which would be a little more normal for this time of the year.

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I Love the Enthusiasm

Ok, don’t spoil this by watching the video from the beginning, well you could, but I want to suggest you start at 3:36 into the video. This guy is so enthusiastic about skipping rocks on ice, I love it! This could easily be done on a number of lakes on the Gunflint Trail(or anywhere) before the snow piles up. Believe me, I have done it and it is super fun. And I’ve thrown the really big ones on top of the ice to try to break it. You can have a ton of fun with a frozen sheet of ice!

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Posted in Gunflint Trail

Fireworks in Grand Marais

In the summertime we have fireworks in Grand Marais for the 4th of July and again in August for Fisherman’s Picnic. The days of summer are long and it doesn’t get dark enough for fireworks until around 10:00pm. Last night we had a parade, the lighting of the town Christmas tree and fireworks. What was the difference between last night’s fireworks and the fireworks in the summer? About 5 hours!  Just as beautiful.

Posted in News

Never Tire of the Pines

Sometimes I wish the entire Gunflint Trail had trees as majestic as these pines, but then these ones wouldn’t be as special.

Beautiful pine trees on the Gunflint Trail

Gunflint Pines

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Happy Thanksgiving All!

From our house to yours, we’re wishing you all the best this Thanksgiving. We’re thankful for you!


Posted in News

Heavy Wet Snow

It snowed again today and it was perfect snow for building a snowman, if you didn’t want the snowman to last too long. With the temperature in the 30’s it was heavy wet snow. Abby and a friend found out it wasn’t good snow for sledding down a hill. One very slow trip down and the snow was packed into a slush, not very slippery to say the least. It wasn’t fun snow to shovel either. It’s the back breaking kind of snow where you barely need any in your shovel and you can’t lift it off of the ground. But it’s snow and it’s pretty and there will be more of it.

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