Notes from the North Country

Category archives for Notes from the North Country

Notes from Up North

Every now and then I hear a sound like a bird hitting the window. Half the time I can also hear the other parts of the noise a shotgun makes, but half the time it sounds just like a bird hitting the window and nothing else. Then, off in the distance I see between five…

I’ve heard of “carrion beetles” but this is more like a “carry-on beetle”: Amanda and I were outside the cabin in Cass County, Minnesota last week, cutting pieces of plywood for sub flooring, and we saw this creature among the debris. At first I thought it was some kind of wasp covered with tiny spiders,…

Replacing floors is a total exercise routine. Moving furniture out of the way, ripping up whatever is there, measuring and cutting new sub flooring, carting around heavy sheets of plywood, tacking and nailing, and so on and so forth works every single muscle in one’s body. That’s what we did last weekend. Also, I was…

Tamarack Wildlife Refuge

In our recent tour of the northern and western parts of Minnesota, we stopped briefly at Tamarack Wildlife Refuge. Here are a few shots:

Photos from Itasca

As you know, we just spent a few days at Itasca (see this for the meaning of the word “Itasca”) where we saw some interesting wildlife. I thought I ‘d share a few photos of the trip.

There is a swath across the map of Minnesota that runs northwest to southeast across the state, separating the major biomes of the eastern two thirds of the country, and for complicated reasons. North, it is colder, south warmer. Much of the moister in the region, especially in the summer, comes from the Gulf of…

They say Lake Itasca is the source of the Mississippi. This is why there is a big state park surrounding the lake, a park that preserves some beautiful old forest despite the best efforts of 19th century lumberjacks to cut it down. I’ve been to Itasca a number of times, and I’ve even done archaeological…

Walking around the lakes

When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time at lakes, but the idea of walking around a lake hardly every occurred to me or anyone else. This might be because the lakes were either really big (like the Great Sacandaga Reservoir) or nestled into deep sided rock canyons carved out by glaciers,…

How Young is the Grand Canyon?

To answer that question briefly, it is really really old if you mean “how old are the oldest rocks that are exposed by the Grand Canyon,” and it is probably just a few million years old (5 or 6 by some estimates) if you mean “how long did the canyon itself take to form.” An…

First there was the question of Goldilocks, a Very Cold Winter Night, And a Strange Sense of Empty-ness. Then, there was The Mystery of The Returned Outboard Motor. Which turned into The Mystery of the Missing Boat Motor Deepens. Then there was the complexification described in What makes a perfect day at the lake?. And…