Category Archives: Nature

Cove Point Loop, Superior Hiking Trail

The Inconvenience of Holding a Leash

Things tend to happen in waves at Wildwoods, which makes sense as we are working with nature. There are seasons. First squirrel and bunny babies, then fawns and fledglings in the spring. As we move into summer and “baby” season comes to a close, we enter injured adult season. Even that has its own sub-seasons. For example, over the last couple weeks we’ve gotten in at least five or six painted turtles that have been hit by cars as they try to cross the road. But there is another wave of injuries happening that is completely preventable, though not many people around here seem to think the inconvenience is worth it. Every time we talk about it people get upset, some even get very irrational and seem to believe that the responsibility of keeping wildlife safe from this particular threat is Wildwoods’ alone, and not that of the caller. Continue reading The Inconvenience of Holding a Leash

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Wild Animals as Pets

For two years I have been a volunteer with my local wildlife rehabilitation facility and this year they have made me a part-time paid staff member. This means I get to participate in more complicated procedures, handle a wider variety of animals, and learn more about rehabilitation, but it also means I am exposed more and more to the harder side of things. Euthanasia, specifically. The goal of wildlife rehabilitation is to rehabilitate wildlife so they can continue to live a full life, in the wild, as they were intended to do. One thing that really hampers this effort, I am learning, is what people do to the animals before they bring them to us. Take, for example, a young squirrel I had to euthanize yesterday. Continue reading Wild Animals as Pets

The Clouds Roll by and the Fog Moves In

The weather in Duluth, Minnesota has been absolute crap lately. Nothing but clouds, rain and fog for a week. But tonight, just for a few minutes, the clouds, fog and sunset conspired to be stunning. I took some photos, which, of course, don’t do it justice, but here they are none-the-less. Continue reading The Clouds Roll by and the Fog Moves In

Wildlife Rehab 2015 Season

I am so excited. The 2015 baby season is almost upon us and soon I will be called back to volunteer at Wildwoods, taking care of all the orphaned and sick baby squirrels, birds, fawns and Lord only knows what else. It’s bittersweet and every person who volunteers feels a little pang of guilt because we’re looking forward to injured, orphaned and sick animals so we can take care of them.

But they are so damn cute. Continue reading Wildlife Rehab 2015 Season

2015 Apostle Islands Ice Cave Trip

Living in Duluth has its perks. One of them is being within day-trip distance of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Last year was the first time since 2009 that Lake Superior froze safely enough to allow visitors to the ice formations that take over the sandstone cliffs. We were among the first visitors last year, and we made sure to go “opening day” this year too. Continue reading 2015 Apostle Islands Ice Cave Trip

Bigger than Bird-Safe

The price tag of the new Viking’s stadium has gone up, again, by half a million dollars for more concession areas. Total cost of the stadium has hit $1.024 billion. The stadium, for those who don’t know, is basically all glass. Being that it’s right on a major migratory path, environmentalists have asked that the glass be bird-safe, which would add $1 million (less than one tenth the total cost). MSFA (Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority) says they won’t take on the additional cost, even though they have $21 million left over in a fund they set aside for this project. The reason: they don’t like how the bird-safe glass looks. Oh, and my personal favorite, “but everyone else has lots of shiny, hard-to-see glass. Why can’t I have lots of shiny, hard-to-see glass?” Continue reading Bigger than Bird-Safe

Ely's Peak 01

Ely’s Peak

I am a *bit* behind in posting our adventures this summer. It’s been so busy and the short times I’ve been able to work on my blog have been spent making sure the merger of my other two blogs into this one was a smooth one. Better late than never right?

This particular hike met a couple of my goals. It was a New Thing we did in July, and it is part of the Superior Hiking Trail. The peak is named for Edmund F. Ely (pronounced ee-l-ee), missionary, postmaster, and early settler (c.1830’s) of West Duluth.

Today it’s a very popular hiking destination as it offers fantastic views of the St. Louis River. It’s a rugged hike, quite vertical (242-foot gain), but short (just about 1 mile). Just make sure you have good hiking shoes with support for your ankles. Continue reading Ely’s Peak

Cove Point Loop, Superior Hiking Trail

Cove Point Loop

I have started a bit of an Independence Day tradition. Since my husband works every 4th of July (the trade-off is he gets every Christmas off), I have most of the day to myself, and since the weather is usually gloriously sunny, I like to spend my day outside. Last year I did yard work – no fun, though necessary – but the year before that and this year I decided to go up north and hike the North Shore of Lake Superior.

This year I took my pup and headed to Beaver Bay, MN to hike the Cove Point Loop of the Superior Hiking Trail. It’s 5.5 miles and has a gain of 753 feet.

Continue reading Cove Point Loop