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6/30/09 - June leaves me wanting more. On the way to town today I stopped for a few hours to fish for brook trout. After taking a few, I continued driving and found the roadside lupins in full bloom. With insect hatches and stormy weather, June sometimes makes the sunny afternoons of midsummer seem distant, but days like today make the meantime a thing to revel in, indeed. - Lee
A couple of young campers eye the brook trout brought back to the outfitter.
Two nice brookies.
Lupins: A view from above.
The Sawbill Trail packed with wildflowers.
6/29/09 - The Sawbill summer crew is here. We gathered in front of the outfitter for the annual crew photo the other day. Sixteen of us are working day to day now, and Jim and Rachel Ter Beest, campground hosts, will soon arrive from Nebraska. Returning crew members who showed up since the last personnel update are Caitlin Coomes, who is on her way to law school this fall at St. Thomas, in Minneapolis; Ellyn Phearman, who is between semesters at Luther College, in Decorah, Iowa; Tess Dornfeld, who this fall begins her senior year at Carleton College, in Northfield, Minn.; Marc Levoir, who is going to be a junior at Bemidji State University in north central Minnesota this fall; and Kari Anderson-Hermann, who has returned to the north country for another summer after spending the last year and a half traveling in New Zealand and working at a marine biology camp in Florida. Welcome back, gang. Looking forward to a stellar summer. - Lee
Homer, Sawbill's golden retriever, presides over his ninth crew photo.
6/25/09 - Adam Hansen just sent along these shots from the crew's annual lake trout fishing trip. Current and former Sawbill crew members unite each spring to goof off, retell old stories, and see who can find the biggest lunker. We're going to keep the name of the destination lake to ourselves, but we'd like to let readers know that bragging rights for most and biggest fish this year go to Nathan Ter Beest, former crew member from Omaha, Neb. He caught four nice keepers across three days, and with the help of Adam and Josh, brought in a precarious but necessary load of firewood in their canoe on day two. Nice work guys, and great trip. - Lee
The gang gathers on the landing before the trip for a parting snapshot.
Nathan and Adam proudly hauling a load of sticks for the evening fire. Despite how it may appear, they had the bulk of the weight in the bottom of the canoe, in order to help keep it steady.
6/23/09 - The annual Sawbill Ladies Night Out: The group got off to an exciting start yesterday when they encountered a moose cow with twins along the Grade Road. They were on their way to Grand Marais for dinner, but stopped to take photographs. Once in town, they found a few former Sawbill babes, Jessa Wallendal, Laura Greensmith and K.B. O'Neill, who joined the party. The ladies hit up the Sivertson Gallery to check out the regional art on display, the Angry Trout for a delectable local dinner, and Syndey's Frozen Custard for dessert. They even rescued a few painted turtles from the middle of the road on the way home. - Lee
The Sawbill Babes on the bay in Grand Marais.
The ladies take time out during dinner to savor the moment.
The calves emerged from the woods looking for the mother.
The moose cow overseeing the actions of her young.
6/21/09 - The Lenox complete outfitting group, from San Francisco, Calif., found these spider webs on a rock outside the outfitter this morning. The webs were covered with baby spiders. Because of their small size, we couldn't tell what kind they were. Interesting to note, very few of the hundreds of these little ones will survive, as food sources within and around the web are scarce. - Lee
The yellowish patches on the rock are the webs covered with spiders.
One of the Lenox kids put his finger up next to the web to show how small the spiders were.
6/20/09 - Our season's first orchid sighting happened today. Pay close attention while walking the trail during late May and June and you may encounter one of these, a pink ladyslipper (cypripedium acaule), also commonly known as a moccasin flower. Of about thirty-thousand orchid species in the world, six live in Minnesota. This specimen stands about twelve inches tall. The bulbous pink pouch is about two inches long. A sight indeed, and a marvel to think that this delicate perennial may bloom up to one hundred seasons. - Lee
A closeup of the bloom.
Orchid information: Mark Stensaas, Canoe Country Flora
6/17/09 - Peter Grover sent along this photo of a pale corydalis he and his family observed on Alton Lake. Peter writes, "It was fun to see some color out there," of the beautiful flower. - Lee
Pale Corydalis (capnoides sempervirens) is a perennial wildflower that stands between two and three feet tall at maturity. It blooms from early summer into fall on open rock faces and clearings.
6/15/09 - Troy Kubes and Dan Gliszinski found good walleye fishing in the area this weekend. The pair drove north from New Prague, Minn., to camp and fish with friend and Sawbill crew member Brian O'Neill. A nice stringer of walleye came with highs in the mid sixties, light wind changing directions throughout the day, and brief afternoon showers on Saturday. - Lee
Troy (left) and Dan hold up their catch before selecting a few choice morsels for a shore supper.
Brian displays a smallmouth bass he just landed.
6/12/09 - John Berg, Charles City, Iowa, sent us some nice snapshots from his recent trip out of the Sawbill Lake entry point. John, brother Jeremy Berg, and friend Craig Carlson spent five nights in the Boundary Waters and reported that the area around Burnt Lake was teeming with wildlife. Great news, John! Thanks for the email and awesome photographs. - Lee
Bald eagle perched on dead tree.
Hold on tight! The cameraman caught this little insect suspended from a stick above the water.
What luck! A moose lingering near shore.
And to top it off, the party saw a wolf on the way home.
6/10/09 - Here's a fungi update brought to you by Ellyn and me. Spring and fall bring the boreal forest a bounty of funky mushrooms, and it's interesting to keep an eye out for what's going to pop up next. - Lee
This is a false morel. Please note: it is inedible, very poisonous, in fact.
Any one know what this one is? Ellyn saw it in a patch of moss. It must have been hard to spot. Notice the size. The sticks next to it are pine needles.
I took this picture of a redbelt shelf fungi during my walk last week. Notice the old man's beard (a type of lichen) in the foreground.
6/9/09 - Robert Shrewsbury sent along these nice pictures from his visit over the Memorial Day weekend. - Bill
A beautiful morning on Sawbill Lake just north of the wilderness boundary.
A successful fisher-person at the Sawbill campground accessible fishing pier.
6/6/09 - A Sawbill customer and lake trout aficionado sent us these pictures from a recent trip. Mike and his son Orion caught a few nice lunkers on an undisclosed lake. They also went bushwhacking and found a small glacier-like ice formation. It's holding on thanks to a sheltered location on the shady side of an embankment and a cool start to spring, as mud season (or when the snow melts) began more than a month ago. That's endurance, but it can't last forever. Summer temps are just around the corner. Thanks for sharing your trip with us, Mike! - Lee
With some attentive camera work, Mike captures Orion in the act of retrieving a lake trout.
A grin to fit the catch. Nice work, Mike.
With the young fisherman posing next to the ice, we get a nice sense of its scale.
The beautiful pattern on a trout's flank against the water's sheen.
6/1/09 - Jessica and Dain Carlson camped at Sawbill last weekend and sent along two great wildlife photos. - Lida
The Carlsons spotted this big guy on a drive over to the Hog Creek BWCA Wilderness entry point. It looks like he is sticking his tongue out at the Carlsons!
A wild Roy appeared right in the Carlson's campsite. He is generally tamed quite nicely with a dog biscuit and a pat on the head.
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