Loons are Loony, Bald Eagles are Crazy?

Crazy story!

A Bald Eagle Is Somehow Fine After Getting Stuck in a Moving Car’s Grille

The bird, nicknamed Matthew, miraculously escaped with no major injuries and should be released back into the Florida wild soon.

In life, sometimes you’re the grille, and sometimes you’re the Bald Eagle. Alright, so that’s not exactly how the saying goes, but it turned out to be true for an unlucky Bald Eagle in Florida this past weekend. 

According to a Facebook post by Florida’s Clay County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday, a Bald Eagle had to be rescued from the grille of a Saturn after the bird collided with the car and got stuck in the vehicle’s lower air intake. Fortunately for the eagle, members of the Sheriff’s Office and Fire and Rescue were able to safely remove the raptor. “The bird is alive and was turned over to the B.E.A.K.S. Wildlife Sanctuary,” the post said.  “Great job by all involved.”

Perhaps what’s more amazing than the bird’s survival is the fact that the driver apparently didn’t notice hitting the bird in the first place.

Talking to CNN, B.E.A.K.S. owner, Cynthia Mosling, said that another driver at an intersection saw an “odd shape” in the vehicle’s grille and thought it was a decorative prop until the bird’s head moved. After chasing down the other car to notify its driver that America’s national bird was wedged in the front fascia, the good Samaritan dubbed the eagle Matthew for the Hurricane that had brushed Florida’s coast the day before.

In a follow-up interview with The Florida-Times Union on Monday, Mosling said that she was surprised that the bird, an adult male at least seven years of age, didn’t have any broken wings or a single broken bone. As of Monday, after having a bit of time to recover from the ordeal, Mosling said Matthew was eating and able to fly to some of the higher perches in his cage.

“He’s feisty now,” Mosling told The Florida-Times. “His wings are working.”

As soon as Matthew passes a flight test in a larger enclosure, Mosling says she’ll release him back to wild, where, if he believes in signs, he’ll immediately go buy a Powerball ticket. 

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Fishing Rules

Sometimes the things you hear make you shake your head in wonder.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) encountered a man who was proud of his new kayak as he was just going out onto a lake for a fishing trip. The man went on to explain he didn?t know how he was going to run three fishing rods out of his kayak since he wasn’t used to it. The officer then told him that he’d make his predicament a little easier since you can only use one rod at a time in Minnesota. Officer Fagerman also had to explain what kind of fish were in this particular lake and what the limits were as the man didn’t seem to understand the rules. The man did have a fishing license on him which at least is a better start than some encountered.

Posted in fishing

Northern Lights and a Full Moon

The good news is the northern lights should be good the next couple of nights. The bad news is it’s right around the full moon so the sky isn’t very dark. It’s a good idea to to keep your eye on the sky just in case.

GEOMAGNETIC STORMS UNDERWAY: G1-class geomagnetic storms are underway around the Arctic Circle on Oct. 16th as Earth enters a stream of very fast moving solar wind.  Veteran observers in Sweden are reporting one of the best displays in recent memory as “massive auroras” dance across the sky.  Visit Spaceweather.com for updates about the ongoing light show.

WHAT DO YOU GET WHEN YOU MIX AURORAS WITH MOONLIGHT? Some photographers say that bright moonlight is a real nuisance when you are trying to record faint auroras. Jim Schnortz of Grand Portage, MN, disagrees. In fact, he says, “it’s an awesome combination.” He photographed the mixture during a geomagnetic storm on Oct 13th:

Moonlight not only lit up the landscape, providing a beautiful foreground for the auroras overhead, but also produced a lovely moonbow (lunar rainbow) in the spray of the falls.

Schnortz’s photo settings are noted here. Write them down! Auroras and moonlight may be mixing again tonight as Earth enters a high-speed stream of solar wind. NOAA forecasters say there is a 30% chance of G1-class geomagnetic storms on Oct. 16th–the same type of storm underway in the photo above.

Posted in News

Colors of the Gunflint Trail

larch treesIt may be past peak fall color time on the Gunflint Trail but that doesn’t mean it isn’t colorful. There are still some leaves hanging onto the branches and the larch trees are looking especially beautiful right now.  Larches are one of about 20 conifers that are also deciduous, which means they have needles and cones. In the fall they turn from green to gorgeous golden colors and then drop their needles.

mountain ash treeThe Mountain Ash trees have lost their leaves but their berries remain. I always thought the berries were poisonous but I guess not. According to numerous websites their leaves contain cyanide and there is probably some cyanide in the berries but not enough to do harm.  While the berries are tart and don’t taste very good in the fall after a frost or later in the winter the berries taste better and better. People make the berries into wine, jams and more.

The Gunflint Trail is beautiful in every season. It’s always changing so come see for yourself.

Gunflint Trail BWCA

Gunflint Trail Fall Colors


Gunflint Trail fall colorsFall on the Gunflint Trail

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Posted in Gunflint Trail, Seasonal activities

October in the BWCA

IMG_3657It’s been a few years since I’ve camped in the BWCA in October. I recently had the opportunity to spend a few nights in the Boundary Waters and as usual it was wonderful. It was just Rugby and me for a somewhat solo adventure.

I was happy to have Rugby along to use as a mini heating pad one night when the temperature dipped into the low 20’s. It didn’t get very warm during that day but the other days and nights were comfortable.IMG_3691

Paddling and camping in October you can have a variety of conditions all in one day. Snow flurries one minute, abundant sunshine the next and everything in between as the wind blows in new weather.  The majority of my pack space was filled with clothing and I’m glad I brought as much as I did. The one night I had all of my clothing on to sleep in including my hat, gloves and three pair of socks.

I’m still not putting my camping gear away just yet. As long as the lakes are still liquid there’s hope for another canoe trip into the BWCA. Try it, you’ll love it.


October in the BWCA


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George H. Crosby-Manitou State Park

I haven’t hiked in the George H. Crosby-Manitou State Park on Minnesota’s North Shore but it’s on my list because it contains a section of the Superior Hiking Trail that I still need to hike. I have wanted to camp there but whenever I have time the campsites are all reserved even though they are hike to only.

This video shows one of the many waterfalls on the Manitou River. Unfortunately the lower falls are on mainly private property so if you want to see them you either have to visit via Lake Superior or watch the video below.

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Grouse Hunting?

Gunflint Trail grouse

Grouse Hunting

I haven’t been out grouse hunting yet this year. I call it hunting but I usually just go along for the hike while Josh hunts.  This year he’s been too busy to hunt so I haven’t gone either.   Matt and the crew have been seeing a few grouse and eating them too!

Here’s a strange report from a Conservation Officer about a grouse hunter.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports one of the busiest fall weekends he has ever seen. Lots of leaf lookers, photographers, and grouse hunters. Grouse can be found off the beaten path and a few people have reported some success. The officer came across a woman who was road hunting with a fully loaded shotgun in her vehicle. When asked why her shotgun was loaded, CO Fagerman was surprised when she stated that she didn?t know how to load or unload the shotgun so her husband loaded it for her. Then he’d unload any rounds left after she got done hunting. Enforcement action was taken for AIS, ATV violations, and loaded shotguns in motor vehicles.

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Posted in Seasonal activities

Northern Lights and More Northern Sky

14500509_1310991402279989_7458186579728456259_oOne of these days I will stay awake and attempt to take photos of the northern lights myself. But each time I question myself and think, “I’m sure David Johnson will get some amazing shots.” Then I go back to bed.

He’s such a talented photographer and so ambitious too. Thank you David Johnson, your talent is appreciated.14522819_1310975262281603_4505891499313652847_n


Gunflint Trail morning


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Posted in Gunflint Trail

Another Canoe Story

Earlier this summer we had a strange thing happen at Voyageur. We have a guest who only paddles in the Boundary Waters and he only comes to Saganaga Lake through Voyageur. He comes up the Gunflint Trail a few times each summer and instead of hauling his canoe back and forth we keep it on our canoe rack across the river.  This year when he came up for his first trip and we went to retrieve his canoe it wasn’t there.

There has maybe been two times over the past 20 plus years where we’ve had anything stolen. One time it was a kid in the store and another time a man was stealing motors and fishing gear from docked boats. Other than that if anything has gone missing we haven’t heard about it.

We were perplexed about where his canoe could be. We checked all of our canoe piles and had no luck finding it so we ended up just letting him use one of our canoes for his trip. It was really disturbing to lose his canoe and we felt terrible about it.

Sometime after his trip I remembered something Josh had told me. He and a friend had been out on Saganaga Lake and walked a portage into another lake. On the portage were two canoes but there weren’t any people around. They fished, returned and still the canoes remained. I mentioned this to a few of the crew and said, “I wonder if one of those is Ron’s canoe?” No one thought there was any reason someone would take Ron’s canoe and leave it out in the woods. If they did then how would they get back or get to the canoe in the first place as it’s located across the river and you can’t drive to it.

Later in the paddling season I happened to mention it to another one of the crew members and asked him to stop to check it out when he was on Saganaga. Sure enough the canoe was still there and it was Ron’s canoe!

We have no clue who brought it there, where they went or why they left it there. We only know Ron was very happy to have his canoe back on his next trip to Saganaga.

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Posted in BWCA

Pack it in, Pack it out

The actions of people never cease to amaze me. Over the years we’ve heard and seen quite a few strange, crazy and sometimes unbelievable things. One of these crazy things happened on August 21st at the Saganaga Public Landing on Sag Lake Trail.

We spend quite a bit of time at the public landing. We take care of the outhouses, check parking permits, get our mail, pick up homeowner boats and drive by the landing numerous times each day.  One of our crew saw a group of 6 men with a beat up aluminum canoe on top of their car. Later in the day that same canoe was found at the landing, dumped into the weeds with all identifying marks removed. The serial tag was scratched out and registration numbers removed.

We don’t know who the people were, if it was a rented canoe or personal canoe or what happened to the canoe. We don’t know why they wouldn’t take the canoe home and at least scrap out the aluminum. All we know is they made sure the canoe couldn’t be tracked back to them.

If you hear or saw anything like this around that time then I’d be interested in hearing about it. Or if you know of anyone missing an aluminum canoe then let me know that too. And remember, if you pack it in, pack it out. You wouldn’t think you’d have to remind someone to take their canoe home, but sometimes you just never know.

Saganaga Landing Gunflint Trail

Damaged Canoe


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Posted in News
  • I'm guessing there are a few folks who know what entry point this is off of the Gunflint Trail.

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