Today: Kurt Mead, interpretive naturalist at Tettegouche State Park in Finland, Minn. Parks remain open, but visitor centers and outdoors programs have shut down because of the threat of coronavirus.
Mead said in an e-mail the center’s closing at the park “feels very odd. I value my interactions with the public and I hope that folks still use state park trails and campgrounds during this unprecedented time. Without any interpretive programs to present, I am keeping busy with summer planning, and I am working on (teaching) props and other projects, as well as ‘other duties as assigned.’ ”
“Gitchi Bitobig, Grand Marais: Early Accounts of the Anishinaabeg and the North Shore Fur Trade” by Timothy Cochrane is a look at the people of Grand Marais, and the North Shore in general, during the beginnings and height of the fur trade. After a friend of mine found a map of the North Shore from 1852, I got really fired up about the Ojibwe place names on this map, which led me to a greater interest in that time period when the population dynamics were in flux due to white settlement and commerce on the North Shore.
COVID-19 is a pretty obvious story to be following right now, but as a big fan of post-apocalyptic fiction, it’s a little surreal to be living out what sounds like a story line from a novel.
Mostly, right now, I’m watching late winter as it slowly turns to spring. Some birds are returning for the summer, others are leaving, and others are actively nesting. On warmer days I keep my eyes down, looking for snowfleas (Collembola.)
Recently I’ve watched “The Good Place” TV show. It’s been entertaining and a soothing balm to the news of this past several months.
I’m a news junkie, for better or worse, and I am mostly tuned into public radio like Minnesota Public Radio and WTIP community radio (out of Grand Marais).
I just returned from a late-winter camping and fishing trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
The sap is running, and I am tapping trees to make maple syrup. I question this decision every year as it’s so much work for a luxury item, but when I have enough syrup to use it with reckless abandon, year-round, it all seems like time well-spent.