|This is what we look like in the Fall!
Kawishiwi Trail | Ely, MN 55731 |
N 47° 53.475"
W 091° 42.389"
Blue Heron embodies casual comfort with spacious, well appointed rooms
and public areas. The staff are friendly and
well as wonderful cooks. Canoes, Kayaks and paddling gear are
See what we see out
The web cam is working!!!!
Watch the lake...
Watch the weather...
Watch the birds...
in real time.
WE ARE NOW SERVING
WE ARE ALSO
SERVING SUNDAES ON SUNDAY FROM 2-4PM!
ABOUT OUR GREAT SPA DEALS WITH THE PEBBLE SPA CO.
Water Canoe Area Wilderness was named by
National Geographic Magazine as one of the 50 "must visit" destinations
in the world.
The BWCAW is a federally protected pristine wilderness of
acres, with over 1,200
miles of canoe routes.
Heron B & B
Are We Green?
and Kayaks are free to use with your stay.
- We gladly
Accommodate Special Diets: Low Fat, Diabetic, Allergies,
Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten & Lactose Free.
- Because of the higher cost of
many special foods we will be charging $2/ meal for special
your computer? We have free
wireless internet throughout the building.
- This is a pet-friendly, smoke
- From our property via lake or
trail you have direct access to the BWCAW
- NEW! Charcoal grill and
all the necessaries, picnic table by the lake
Heron B & B
& B Cancellations:
Advance deposits are nonrefundable.
Cancellations received less than 14 days prior
to arrival and no-shows
are responsible for the full balance of the reservations. We will make every effort
to rebook your room
so that you will not incur the charge.
Or at the
time of your cancellation you can roll over your
reservation (once) to another date within 90 days of the
card will be
charged and you will receive a gift certificate in that amount less
advance deposit. See
below for dates
exempted from roll over.
reservations for major
holidays and local festival dates: You will be charged
REGARDLESS OF THE
CANCELLATION DATE unless the room can be rebooked. This
applies to the week between Christmas & New Years, President’s, Valentines,
Memorial & Labor
day, Easter, 4th of July, Thanksgiving.; Blueberry & Harvest
inform us of food
allergies & other special food needs including foods you really
Give us suggestions
for what your children like to eat. We’ll
be glad to make it for them.
Smoking in the building.
breakfast and use of
sauna, canoes or snowshoes are
included in your room
Ely going N. on #169.
about one mile or so, turn right onto Kawishiwi Trail
2 miles or so cross the small concrete bridge at Silver
about 4 miles more to the end of the pavement.
1/10 mile more on the gravel road. You will see a sign that says "Road
Narrows" and Borealis Road is on the left. The next left is The Blue
Heron’s driveway #827 Kawishiwi Trail. If you see the marker
you have gone to far. Please turn around and then we will be on you
N 47° 53.475"
W 091° 42.389"
Visit the Best
Chamber in the State!
Travel Advisor July 5, 2013 - Jennifer
S. St. Paul
we travel we often stay at B & B's and there is no better B
than the Blue Heron! Jo, Bill and their staff are wonderful!
The Blue Heron is located at the edge of the Boundary Waters,
providing magnificent views of the lake and lots of quiet solitude.
However, it is close enough to easily visit the restaurants
museums of Ely. All the rooms are spacious and comfortable.
Jo and Bill have thought of and provided details that make
Blue Heron exceptional. For example, enjoying the lake is
canoes and all the accessories are available free of charge.
breakfast each day is fabulous - homemade almond cream scones,
gingerbread pancakes, fritattas, fresh fruit, etc. We plan on
retuning and highly recommend this wonderful place!"
notes left in rooms:
26th : The warmth of the wood stove(&sauna!)was wonderful, but
2nd place to the warmth & hospitality extended to us by hosts
and Mark! Joan and Darryl- Moorhead, Mn
Dec 28th: What a
wonderful & relaxing place you have Mark and Dawn! We loved the
ambiance, hospitality and beautiful north woods. Dog sledding was a
blast! Looking forward to sharing your lovely inn with our children in
the futrure. Wendy and Steve- Elk River,Mn
Jan6th: What a
lovely sanctuary for our honeymoon! Restful, warm, and quiet and full
of delicious meals :) . Thank you to Dawn and Mark and all who've made
the Blue Heron a place of beauty.
Diane and Katheen-Minneapolis, Mn
These are our new mugs!! Made right here in Ely,Mn by Linda
Trapkus at The Pottery Shop
View BH in other seasons:
|Dawn and Mark's Blog
|Sept. 9th, 2014-Well
look at that august just slipped away! We had Harvest Moon
Festival this weekend. There were lots of great booths and food
and entertainment. I can't believe summer is gone. Our
maple trees along the path to the lake area a bright red, burgundy and
orange. The other ones have not sarted to change yet. This
week it is suppose to get down to 34 degrees a couple of
mornings. I'm not ready for that. Yesterday was a great day
warm and no wind. Mark and I went out Kayaking on South Farm it
was so beautiful. Well we have some wood to go work on for the winter.
we better take advantage of the warm weather today.
Everyone is good here. Jo and I canned peaches. Bill's been
working on the deck , Mark is working on outdoor projects., Scott is
cutting down trees, and all the animals are watching us enjoying our
August 3rd, 2014-
One year ago tonight we were guests at the Blue Heron Bed and
Breakfast. Dawn saw Ely (God's Country) for the first time. We found
out it was for sale and well what else can we say! Blueberry Festival
has come and gone. The Harvest Moon Fesival is just around the corner.
A moose was sighted on the north shore of South Farm by one of our
guests ten days ago. He posted a picture on Facebook! Like us on
time flying! Here we are almost to the middle of July. We had a great
Fourth of July. We had Bil and Jo and neighbors Brad and Barb and our
guest and their parents for a grill out. Sam, Monroe, Ziggy and Clare(
guest puppy) were in attendance also. It did start raining so we missed
the fireworks in town bummer. Saturday the 5th of July we were in the
Boat Parade for WICOLA with Admiral Jo at the bow with first mate Sam,
the crew Bill and Dawn and Mark the Captain. It was alot of fun. there
were eight other boats and a canoe (Brad and Barb). Our
doing well, we have it up at Jo's and she keeps it watered for us.
Monday! Well a few days ago we had a visitor during the
Jo called on last Monday and said she had a bear visit her
feeders. We also had a bear visit orfeeders and our compost
But I didn't get to see him ,still can't cross that off my
We are ready for the summer. The grill is ready , hammocks
out and Mark is putting up a screen house as I type.
everyone ! We are still here. Sorry we have not blogged. We
been busy working around outside. My mom came to visit and to see our
new place. We had alot of fun. Then our friends Tom and Wanda from
Lemars came up. Tom helped Mark split wood , clean the chimneys and do
a few other "honey Do's" I had for them. We also
Ron and Lynne and Ron was out helping Mark and Tom. Mark and
went for an early morning canoe ride with Ron and Lynne and it was
beautiful. But when Mark and I went to get back in the canoe
fell in , but we laughed about it. We all had a great time.
better go for now. I hope this is better Ron!
Morning! We finally got our webcam fixed thanks to Brad from Voltz
Electronics in Ely. We have a little bit of water. The lake
flooded not bad, but the dock is partly underwater and the pathway to
the dock and to the trail is flooded. The good news is we have warmer
dry weather forcasted so that should help. Scott is back with
Jack, boy has he gotten big, but such a good puppy. Jack has a birthday
in a few months. Mark , Scott and I were out side the other night and
what a symphony we had going on. The peepers were singing joined by the
loons and an owl and then a wolf howl. It was beautiful and amazing.
Our friend the beaver is busy traveling back and forth across the lake.
He is fun to watch. I'm learning all the new springtime birds. Their
colors are all so pretty. We have company my mom and her friend Kenny
are here visiting us. It's great to see them.
Afternoon ! Mark here- Happy Cinco De Mayo! Dawn heard the first Loon
yesterday afternoon. The ice is getting darker each day on the lake.
The optimist in me says the lake will be open by fishing opener. Both
Monroe and Ziggy took advantage of the sunshine yesterday and went for
a hike along South Farm. They were nice enough to take us along
too.Migrating birds are on there way back daily. The showers are back
April 28- Hello
All! Mark and I and the boys(dogs) made it back from our Iowa
trip. We had a great time seeing everybody. It was nice when
returned home that alot of the snow had melted only for another 5
inches a few days later , but that is all melted too. It has
very windy up here the last two days . We had three Eagles flying
around the lodge the other day. They have returned to their nest again
this year. We had a chipmunk eating out of the bird feeders stuffing
his little cheeks . I have named him Alvin. Jo gave us some info on the
weather from March... There were 15 days below zero, ten days with
temps above freezing,on March 29th we had 36 inches of snow on the
ground. And precipitation for the last 37 years was 1.15 this March was
1.03 compared to last year 2013 was 2.06 inches. We want to
Jo for watching the B&B while we were gone we really
19 - still
Jo reporting 12' this morning with heavy fog, erie and mysterious; the
world seemed muted and everything seems slow. The Grossbeaks
(evening) are back after an absense of maybe 10 days - but I
think these are the same grossbeaks; these are considerably smaller.
I 'm guessing these are birds that wintered further south
our birds went further north for their summer. The size
difference is noted in other species. There are dozens of
goldfinches sporting their almost spring colors. The purple
finches are here in deep rose red for spring and there are more junco's
each day. Bill calls them Rosey O'finch and the nun-bird
respectively. While the weather is distinctly not lovely for
Easter it actually is pretty normal for us. I remember many
childhood easters where I insisted on wearing my new shoes, refused
snowboots and heavy coat (it would cover my new dress!) and an easter
hat to church and then cried from the cold.
April 14 - Jo back
on as substitute innkeeper here while Dawn and Mark get away.
Snow shrinking rapidly, may be summer won't be as delayed as
we've been joking. Chipmunks are out of hibernation, first
first Blue Heron reported in the area - not here as we have no open
water yet, but I'll keep my eye on the marsh as that will open first.
Dawn and Mark made some drainage channels in the driveway
they left (wonderful to have an excuse to play in the mud when you are
an adult) and the channels are working well. I no longer need
gear on the driveway.
Apr. 7th- Well I
see my blogging needs to get better. I apologize. We had a
visitors in March. My son Travis and his girlfried Serena
for a week during their spring break. We had a great time showing them
around,playing games, cooking and snowshoeing. We were very
when they left ,but then my best friend from LeMars came. Tom and Wanda
stayed for 5 days. We had a great time, and they loved Ely. It was
raining here this morning, now the sun is out and it smells like
Spring. I am so excited!!! We still have about three feet of snow and
the lake still has about three feet of ice on it but it's suppose to be
in the 40's all week so that should help. Mark and I went to the Hegman
Lake Pictographs on Saturday. It was quite the hike but so nice out.
thought we better get there before the ice goes. Well I will keep you
upto date on the melting. We are all doing good. Bill is in the Spring
musical Guys and Dolls. So Mark, Jo, Jo's sister Maxine and I went to
opening night it was great. They have a lot of talent up here. Monroe,
Zig and Sam are all doing well. Sam has a sore leg but Jo keeps a close
watch on it and gives him anti inflammatories when needed. I think they
are ready for Spring too. We had a fox visit two weeks ago . Jo had him
up there eating out of the birdfeeders and he was down here the next
night. Our guest spotted two wolves out on the lake on an early morning
walk the other morning.
4- I see I'm
not keeping up on blogging sorry, I will work on that. Everyone is good
here. Boy we sure get alot of snow up here! It seems we just get the
trails clear and we get another foot of snow. I guess it's job
security. Yesterday Mark and I went to Bayfield Wisconsin to look at
the ice caves. They were beautiful. It was about a 5 mile or more
adventure but well worth it. We have also been exploring around here,
snowshoeing to the other islands on the lake.
Feb.12- Well we
are getting ready for a full weekend. It's Valentine's weekend and we
are ready. We have Ely Winter Festival still going on . I
try and get pictures of the snow sculptures posted, they are pretty
cool. We seen our first wild animal besides deer this week. We had a
fox out on the lake traveling back and forth . One of our guest seen it
out traveling from the middle of the lake and then back to shore.
We had some visitors this last week. Bill our local bird
brought out a large group of people to see our Evening Grosbeaks and
Pine Grosbecks . They were from New York and we had another group from
Texas. It is awesome meeting all these people and I learn alot. We also
had Mark's son Craig come to visit. We had a nice time and he was able
to do alittle relaxing. Mark and the boys are doing great. Monroe is in
his second childhood and Ziggy just follows along .
Feb. 3-Happy Monday!!
Well we had a great visit with Megan it was sad to see her leave. We
are getting ready for Winter Festival it starts on Feb. 6th . Mark and
I are very excited to see the great pieces of art. Mark and I
excited baseball season is getting ready to start. Go Twins. I finally
got to meet my favorite Baseball player here in Ely. Bert Blyleven was
in Ely and I got my picture taken with him . What a great day! We are
all doing good here. I have been trying some new recipes and trying
them out on Mark , Jo and Bill. Watch for pictures to
the Winter Festival. We had a very nice article written about us in the
Ely Echo. Everyone up here is so nice. It is beginning to feel like
Jan. 25- Good
Morning! It is a sunny blustery Saturday . The fresh snow is blowing
across the lake making it look like a blizzard. Thursday my
daughter Megan suprised me with a visit. Mark was in on it but I'm so
happy to see her I can't be mad at either of them. Yesterday we went
sledding down our lane. We have a good size hill and we had a great
time. Thank you to Jo for telling us about it. I can't
has been three months already since we arrived here. We are taking
Megan to the International Wolf Center today, which is always a
Jan. 3- Well Happy
New Year everyone. We hope everyone had a great Christmas. Mark and I
spent our Christmas Day with Jo and Bill at Jo's sister
house and with her niece Kathy. We had a wonderful time and delicious
food. Monroe and Zig are doing good. Monroe likes the snow
running around outside and Zig would rather stay in where it's warm.
that I got the blog updated my daughter Megan will be happy, she called
and told me I was falling behind.
Dec. 15- The boys
(Sam, Monroe, and Ziggy) are having a ball together. Sam is like the
big brother that is showing them the ropes. We got the boys boots for
their paws so now they love going for walks up the lane with no
leashes. Mark, Jo and I made truffles today. We did more laughing than
baking I think. Mark and I then went out on the lake and I tried
snowshoeing for the first time. It was fun I only fell once
did Mark so I don't feel so bad. It was beautiful out there the moon
was up and it was just peaceful. Bill is coming down later in
week to show us how he makes his wonderful scones.
Mark and I
finally made it back, the weather had us stranded in Iowa go figure. We
had a great visit with our kids and we brought back our two dogs Monroe
and Ziggy both Shih Tzus. Sam was down and they all did
well together. The boys(dogs) are not sure why we are here
non the less we are all glad to be together. Our daughter Megan did a
great job taking care of them so we could settle in. We would like to
thank Bill and Jo for inn-sitting, we knew the B&B was
best hands possible and made it easy of us to go. We came back to a LOT
of snow , but it sure made things very pretty .
Dec. 1 - This
is Jo, inn-sitting while Dawn and Mark visit family,since we are just
next door, and well trained it is a breeze. A blamy 25',
and I are desperately moving wood from the wood yard to our woodshed -
trying to beat the snow. We four ( Bill & I, Dawn and mark) had
lovely Thanksgiving dinner; we divied up the preparation, sharing
favorite recipies and turned out a fabulous dinner. It is
fun to work in the kitchen with Mark and Dawn, we have similar cooking
styles; especailly important in putting away and cleaning - up...I'm
pretty committend to the clean- as-I-go method but they are obsessive!!
At any rate the transition is going very well and I can readily predict
that the Ottos will be well accepted by our regular guests.
Sam-dog loves them as well - he has continued to think of the
lodge as 'his' territory and patrols mornings and evenings.
will be bringing back their two dogs.....I hope the dog-merger goes as
well as the people one did. Not enough snow yet to
but there are 5" of ice already. Getting a good base of ice
before snow bods well for lake-skiing/snowshoeing this winter!
Nov. 29 -Today
Mark and I started putting up Christmas decorations. We had a
of fun . We will be posting pictures soon. Today Mark saw a Grouse in
the rose bushes eating the rosehips. Speaking of birds ... yesterday
Jo, Bill, Mark and I had a wonderful Thanksgiving day dinner. So we
were telling Jo we had 22 Evening Grosbeaks at our feeders and she had
31 at her one feeder and along the deck rail. Jo said it looked like a
family on a picnic, there were Evening Grosbeaks and Goldfinches
feasting on her feeder.
Oct. 30-Tonight we
feast with Blue Heron's new innkeepers. Dawn and Mark Otto
begin their new careers tomorrow morning. Not only is
inn-keeping new to them, so will be the Ely winter! Watch for
their adventures here on Facebook. Mark starts piling 5 cords
of wood tomorrow - in his spare time, or after he cleans the chimneys;
while Dawn begins the annual 'deep-clean' cycle in the B & B -
we call this "tooth-brush-level-cleaning". Jo and Bill will
remain in their house right next door (do stop by); but tomorrow they
head for a holiday on Sanibel Island. 19 years!
Oct. 25 - 4
days running there is white stuff on the ground, temps hovering just
above/below freezing. I wanna complain to the BIG Boss!
Sam- dog loves the cold; he prefers to be outside and so
tempt me to be out with him.
- There have been snow birds for the last few weeks, but last evening
the real thing arrived; and is still on the ground at 12:30 PM
today. We drove back from Duluth in it last
evening. Jo treated staff to a performance of Die Fledermaus
at UMD and dinner at the Top of the Radison. The opera was a
colorful romp sung in English and acted wonderfully by graduate
students at UMD, we left with Strauss melodies lifting our
spirits despite the freezing rain. Dinner will be remembered
(we are all "foodies" so know that it was better than good); the
revolving top was a treat even in the rain. Jo had organized
this trip (General-Jo at it again) to include a stop to pick up our new
(used) mangle, and we found one of the streets in West Duluth
closed. Sally saved the day with her cell phone GPS system.
Despite the hurry, we got the mangle and it is being cleaned up and
tested at this moment. Ironing pillowcase will not longer be
such a time-consuming detail here at Blue Heron. And we got
to the performance just in time.
Oct. 9 - Our
world is gold-hued: green gold, yellow gold, orange gold, red gold,
bright gold, dull gold. It's been windy for days and much of
maple glory is on the ground but the sky and the lake are intense blue
and all these golds lift the heart. Sam-dog began limping
week ago, it got worse and he was acting like an old
dog so slow, so careful. The vest suspects a partially torn
ligament (just like the football players!) and perscribed an
antiinflamatory and exploratory surgery. After his first pill
was frolicing with Jack-puppy! So good to see as he has
previously only tolerated Jack. It could be that after his 10
days of pills he'll be healed. Yesterday Heidi, Scott and I paddled
into So. Farm. While the wind was a battle it was 2 wonderful
refreshing hours. We've resolved to go every day
and as business winds down we surely can. Missing Bill as he
in Denver visiting with a brother. This trip was my B-day
Sept. 28 - The
leaves are suddenly at peak!
Sept. 23 - Perfect Fall weather! the trees are
changing noticeably from morning to evening. The otter has
been seen by multiple guest recently. Scott has been taking
down the big balsams between the house and the lodge - recommended
because of their role in fire. Many of you know how hard it
is for me to take out trees, but in this case the results are
awesome! I had forgotten just how lovely the view
is. Check it out via our web cam on the website.
Sept. 14 - Fall is
creeping slowly here. We watch one of the maples in front of
the lodge as it 'colors-up' a little more each morning; and spot new
ones that have turned along the road to town. Jack, the
puppy, is back with us after an absence of a week or more; missed
him. He grew inches (seemingly all in the legs) and is no
longer reticent about making his wants known. Sam-dog puts
him in his place at least once a day; Sam will play but not tolerate
nips. It is truly healthy to have another dog around - for
both of them. Sally is out on a solo canoe trip; we are
watching the wind today as she has to cross big water on Burntside to
get back. On Thursday this week we celebrated the joint
birthdays of Heidi and I. Imagine having two Virgos working
together (!), actually it is three as Sally's is also coming up. I'm
finally getting the hang of my Kindle, and able to log onto the public
library to get free books (who me? pay for books?
unlikely). I'm presently reading War and Peace along with two
mysteries and a self-improvement book. Bill and I have been
enjoying books-on-tape as well (The Cat who had 60 whiskers).
All these technologies as a result of loss of
vision from last Jan.'s cornea tear.
- How time flies! Suddenly it really is fall. We
went thru unprecedented heat, then cold and rain. Now it is
incredibly lovely fall weather: Sunny with crisp mornings and warm
afternoons. and the night skies are
incredible! Sam is playing 'chase' with a pair of
adolescent ducks who are hanging out around the dock, the tomatoes are
(finally) ripening, the flower garden if at last in full
glory and the lettuce is all finished. Oh, and Sam-dog has
once again become a seed-dispersal unit, and can't seem to get enough
of swimming. Staff, who have prepared the same delicious
breakfasts too many times are trying out new recipes and
- Red trees, yes whole trees ablaze. These I call our
sentinel trees as they are always the first to turn. One is
right on our shore (visible from the dining room) the other is behind
my house here on the grounds - they both reliably go red on Aug.
13th. There are others which are the very last to turn year
after year, isn't nature incredible? On Tuesday of this week
while driving into town two juvenile wolves dashed across the road
right in front of my car! A bit smaller than Sam-dog, but not
yet full grown wolf. They were seriously intent on chasing
something! Jack the puppy is charming everyone, a joy to
watch. Scott is doing a fine job of parenting and some
morning he looks a bit harassed. So far not a single
'accident'. Morning temperatures have reliably been in the
low 40's; day time highs might just go over 75' - truly a cool
summer. The loon chicks are loosing their fuzz, the eagle
chicks are now soaring, again I can say the bugs are mostly
gone. We had to remove a wasp nest from a kitchen
vent! Bill and Scott all suited up, Bill leading
the foray, Scott as back-up and me holding the Eppi-pen.
- Scott's puppy arrived yesterday! and what a dear, not that
all puppies are not, but 'Jack' seems particularly centered and
calm. Major attraction. We've fenced off and shaded
a short portion of the deck for him and he can safely romp or sleep
(mostly sleep at this point) while Scott goes about his work here at
Blue Heron. We all take frequent puppy-breaks.
Sam-dog is very, very interested and a couple of times when Jack
started crying Sam, said (barked) "hey guy, I'm here, don't fear" and
Jack cut off like the radio.
- The rain continues...still folks here are having fun. The
falls and all streams are at maximum; the greenery is
absolutely lush. Big decision: Blue Heron will not
be open for business this winter. Bill & Jo just need
to start enjoying their senior years a little more and winter is what
we love most. See you out on the ski trails.
- rain, rain, go away! The ground is positively
soggy. I fear Blue Berry Festival was a 'wash'. But
the fishing has been good, for those who braved the wet.
Sam-dog hasn't dried off in days, the birds are looking soggy
to. Lots of really great people here at the B & B;
what a treat!
July 20 - The baby
birds are coming to the feeders now...cute doesn't cover it.
Baby loons are fishing, eagle chicks are bouncing on the sides of their
nest. It has been wet, wet, wet; garden and grass growing at
prodigious rates. The beaver is back in the cove; and Sam-dog
is warning him/her night after night.
- Sam-dog developed fast growing tumors around his anus, poor guy was
frantic. He saw the Vet. on Tuesday, had surgery on
Wednesday; they are non-malignant. found usually in older
males dogs ( I just don't think of Sam as older) who have not been
neutered....but he has. He is wearing that huge cone around
his head and bashing into everything; the cats regard him as the
monster from hell. Today, day 3 post surgery, he is moving
easier and now at noon still has not nee
anything for pain. We are showering him with affection, and
are so glad he is again sleeping thru the night. For a few
days there it was like having a wee one again. Sally -and all
the rain - has all our gardens and flower beds looking so very, very
A story from a guest regarding a previous visit: Our 'big,
beaver (BBB) indicated that he did not like them approaching the den by
repeatedly slapping the water, then he came up to and slapped their
canoe. They backed off with BBB following them
splashing his angst. We haven't seen BBB for several weeks now.
Absolutely lovely June days! warm sunny days with a light wind, cool
nights. It is hard to stay in the office. All is
green, green, green. Our huge beaver I wrote about last month
is no longer being seen....hmmm? The birds, in their mating
finery, are putting on a show every morning at breakfast; several life
list birds for folks. We have all come back from winter with
new recipes to try, so guests are getting treat after
treat. Heidi and Sally are also filled with
organizing energy...the kitchen shelves are being heidized then
sallyiesed each week while the rest of us stand back and
appreciate. We've had monumental web site problems, first
with receiving e mail then with the 'submit' button on the reservations
page - Scott has patiently worked with our server enduring the repeated
help calls and e mails and those two issues seem to be resolved
now. The web cam outside on the deck however may be a casulty
June 3 - blossoms all over! Leaves
fully open, birds singing. It is spring at last.
The sun is
wonderful today, 60's after two freezing nights. Found
blueberries in bloom on a walk yesterday - they survived one freeze.
I'll keep checking.
May 31 - The peeper chorus at night is
overwhelming! For-get-me-nots, June berries and some few
strawberry blossoms; tender bird sounds coming from the direction of
the Pileated nest; can't see the eaglets but the adults are
making regular food runs; even a Forsythia in bloom! Sally
has begun our planting! The water level is up from the recent
rains and the water temps are only about 65'; Sam-dog has always loved
the water as soon as the ice is out - but this year (at age 101/2) he
has yet to do more than splash around the edges. The traps
for rusty crayfish go in on Monday - we are participating in an
experiment. Exciting times. Today the breeze is
warm and lovely, just caressing.
- Wonderful rain! All that snow we had last month just
disappeared and left us dry again, so two days of rain are
daffodil hiding alongside the septic tanks! first crocus by the parking
lot. We have a HUGE beaver visiting regularly. It
is probably 5 ft long and 5 to 6 inches across the head; this fellow
really leaves a wake! Sam dog has brilliantly decided not to
tangle with it and I have wrapped screen all around the trees I don't
want the beavers to take down. And they don't take them
down. Co existence. The
ice went out Sat. and Sunday the 11th & 12th - lots of wind
it all up on our shore, then the wind reversed and it broke up in the
11, 2013 - fishing
opener with very little open water. At 9:30 this morning
there were no boats in
the only available open water by the Silver Rapids bridge.
Instead the 'fisherman' were clustered around a campfire on
shore. First gold finch and a guest got a good photo.
10, 2013 - Ice
leaving fast!!! today there is about 6 ft of water along the
shores, yesterday was only 3 and the ducks crowded in. Hear
our first loon last evening. Birds are brilliant.
Sun shining so wonderfully, air is not warm, but still sun is so
welcome. Grass on the septic showing bits of green, the deer
visit and dance on it every night, Sam-dog doing his best to tell them
- from afar - that this is not their territory. Grouse
flutter across the driveway, some drumming in the
distance. The cove if fully open. I have learned
that it is the last remaining stand of wild rice on Farm Lake and have
given naturalist staff permission to use it for an experiment that will
measure the effect of rusty crayfish on the wildrice. It is
widely believed that these are the critters responsible for the rice's
demise. They will divide the stand in two and construct crayfish-free
area on half of it. Guests will look on active science all
5, 2013 -Blue
Heron, White Throated Sparrows, Juncos, Purple Finches all firsts this
week. But the ice here is tight and solid even around the
edges. The April snow has melted off the top, the mush has
either drained off or evaporated.... just ice. It will be a
hard water fishing opener.
24, 2013 - The
birds did not get the memo about delaying spring for the
north-county. I've now heard both robins and redwing
blackbirds and seen juncos! It is reaching toward 45' this
afternoon and sunny, but there is slush predicted for this
evening. Yes! slush - not snow - 4 inches
predicted. Never heard that before. I'm told this
month holds the all time record for snow fall in Minnesota - and 7 days
April 19, 2013 -
year the lake was fully open On March 25!! so different this year.
Snow, snow and more snow!!! and still more
As much as I know we need the moisture I sure would welcome a
of green. The deer too evidently: they are seen now
groups of 4 to 10 hanging around the roadsides every
afternoon/evening. Oh and Sam-dog: This morning I
the door to let him out, we were met by a snow drift about 4 ft
tall. Sam's look said "you've got to be kidding" he turned,
back into the house and climbed back into bed. Glad he has a
great bladder! Later I was ready to tackle the drifts and Sam
came along. Initially he plowed in front of me as I shoveled
12" wide path, after a bit he stood rather irresolutely surveying the
tall drifts in front of him, turned and came back to follow behind
me. That's a smart dog. I'm including here the
sightings from the Wed. morning Naturalists hike near Winton,
observations written up by Bill Tefft.:
April 9, 2013
- We are between snow storms: 4 inches on Friday, 3
more on Sunday and 3 more expected tomorrow! But the world is
all wrapped in beautiful white! And in the midst of all that
winter is spring! At every bit of open water you see Golden
eye's, Canada geese, hooded mergansers, mallards. Immature
bald eagles (e.g. newly arrived, only adults winter over) have been
spotted, and the eagles have been sitting on eggs for several
weeks, blue herons spotted in the area rookeries and in shallow
streams. Calls from crows and ravens, gulls heard but not
seen yet. A friend reported seeing wooly bear caterpillars on the road
before the snow storms - it wasn't likely that they would have
survived. Another friend saw moths in her headlights,
followed by snow. Yesterday morning there were BIG wolf
tracks down the middle of the driveway. The Ely area has been seeing a
whole lot of big owls who came down from further north because of lack
of food there. We here at Blue Heron haven't been seeing
them - probably because the wolves, fox and coyotes eat the same mice
and voles. Meanwhile we were all having a wonderful time
with Ely's annual Aprils Fools stunt. If you hear or saw it,
let us know. The word travels farther each year.
- An otter just upstream from
the second (east culvert)
- A mink and then later two otter
just upstream for the first (west culvert)
- 2 adult bald eagles sitting
in a tree above the river
- 2 trumpeter swans flying
side by side and making several passes over Hwy 169 before passing over
our heads and trumpeting and then setting down out of sight on the
river between the the two culverts.
- ducks including several common
mergansers, hooded mergansers, and common
- many Canada geese
- the first red-winged blackbirds
that I have seen and heard this spring, but still very few
- red crossbills were heard
calling just about everywhere in town and a number of them and evening
grosbeaks were at feeders at Packsack Cabins and Outfitting
along the Winton Point Road.
- 8 turkey vultures roosting
between Winton Point Road and Shagawa River.
- 1 ruffed grouse sitting on
the ground under the same spruce tree as we went past at 3 different
times. No drumming heard.
- American crows chasing a red-tailed
- tracks along the Winton Point Road in the mud
that I think from the size - 2 3/4 inch long by 2 1/4 inch wide are
probably coyote? tracks.
|Blog continued on year in review.
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