Keep it Wild, Keep it Free

How fortunate we are in North America to have vast, wild public lands where we can camp, travel, and be part of wild nature. We might imagine that these areas are wild because they were set aside in a pristine condition for future generations to enjoy. Restored and rescued is really closer to the truth and usually not without a fight. As demand for resources and land increases, continued political vigilance will be necessary to maintain the special protections these areas enjoy.

But we need something else. Preservation of the wilderness depends on knowledge and experience, You’ve got to know it and you’ve got to live it!  The more you can learn about the natural and human history of these wild places the better.  More important than knowledge is experience. It is the juice, the energy, that will guarantee these lands remain preserved. After experiencing the freedom, the wonder and … Continue reading

BWCA Expo, Iceland, and the Rio Grande

A shout-out and props to friends and past trip crews, and to fans of my writing that stopped by to see me, and say “hi” at the Boundary Waters Canoe Expo at Seagull Landing, near the end of the Gunflint Trail. Also, thanks to Quinn and the Gunflint Trail Association for including me.  It was a fun show. Cliff Jacobson was at his best, mesmerizing crowds with his stories and know-how. There were many canoes to test, free beer, me baking bannock. Best of all, next to the tents was the edge of the BWCA to play in.  Wildlife? Two moose, two cross fox, a beaver, and a Mourning Warbler.

I should have blogged something about the event before the show, but as I was still in Iceland on Thursday and had to fly to Minneapolis and drive the seven hours to the show Friday, I ran out of time.

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The 2016 Bird Ecology BWCA Tour

RedBreastedGrosbeakWe had an excellent crew and witnessed 57 species of birds during our four-day adventure. Owing to the early spring, the season was more advanced than the birding seminars in earlier years. Leaves were emerging, as were black flies, but birds were still visible and bugs? never more than a friendly nuisance. Showers for the most part held back until we were snug in our sleeping bags.

A Black-throated Blue Warbler, and once again, Barred Owls right in our camp were just two of the highlights. We saw a lot of evidence of Moose this year, but alas, none of the big brutes showed themselves. There were great moments with Merlins, Bald Eagles, and Gnat  Catchers.

If you are like I was a decade ago, you might visit the BWCA in search of … Continue reading