It’s orchid time again

With 30 species of wild orchids found in the Arrowhead Region of Minnesota, along with the breeding bird checklists that get pulled from a file electronic or otherwise, orchid enthusiasts are reviewing their orchid list. From the early spring appearance of fairy slippers, one after another species comes into bloom. A number of other orchids will be blooming soon including the ever popular variety of lady’s slipper species that look like small moccasins.
1. Dragon’s Mouth (Wild Pink), Arethusa bulbosa
2. Tuberous Grass Pink, Calopogon tuberosus
3. Fairy Slipper (Calypso), Calypso bulbosa var. americana
4. Spotted Coral-root, Corallorhiza maculata
5. Striped Coral-root, Corallorhiza striata
6. Early Coral-root, Corallorhiza trifida
7. Stemless Lady’s Slipper (Moccasin Flower), Cypripedium acaule
8. Ram’s Head Orchid, Cypripedium arietinum
9. Small Yellow Lady’s Slipper, Cypripedium parviflorum var. makasin


MDA to start gypsy moth fight in Ely

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is preparing to treat approximately 570 acres near Two Harbors and 565 acres in Ely to eradicate gypsy moth infestations detected last fall. Officials will conduct the treatments starting sometime between June 1 and June 15, with the exact date determined by weather conditions and caterpillar development.
In 2015, MDA’s trapping program identified these two isolated pockets of gypsy moth in the northeastern part of the state. Because of their locations, officials believe the gypsy moths likely arrived at the Ely and Two Harbors sites because of human activity.


North Country Angler - Biggest bass this week

BIGGEST BASS this week was the 22” smallmouth caught by Jessica Shaver, South Range, WI on a minnow in Shagawa Lake while a guest at Silver Rapids Lodge.


Backpackers first in two years to hike BWCA Pow Wow Trail

At the trailhead, l-r, Susan Pollock, Paul Ebert, Paul Stelter, Martin Kubik


Minnesota state parks make all campsites reservable and begin taking same-day reservations

Gooseberry Falls State Park, Tettegouche State Park and other Minnesota state parks on the North Shore are currently “full” for Memorial Day Weekend, but if people don’t have reservations yet there’s another opportunity next week, when hundreds of previously unreservable sites become reservable. The additional sites will open up not just for Memorial Day weekend, but for the entire camping season at each park.

Starting at 8 a.m. Tuesday, May 3, the additional campsites will be made available in three “batches,” based on Minnesota’s tourism regions.

Tuesday, May 3: State parks in southern Minnesota and Twin Cities metro area.

Wednesday, May 4: State parks in central and northwestern Minnesota.


Spring comes to Superior National Forest

Signs of spring can be seen across the Superior National Forest. Snow is gone from most of the west and central parts of the Forest and disappearing quickly in the east. Lakes and streams are breaking free of winter’s icy clutch. Tree buds are swelling and fringes of green are rapidly expanding in grassy openings. Other sure signs of spring include the re-opening of campgrounds and the beginning of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) quota permit season.


End of the portage

END OF THE PORTAGE into the Kawishiwi River near Three Mile Lake in this picturesque photo by Snotty Moose Studio photographer Ken Hupila.


New, $1.5 million ecology hall now open at North American Bear Center

by Tom Coombe for Ely Echo PROGRESS EDITION


Bear hunt applications available; deadline is Friday, May 6

Applications for Minnesota bear hunting licenses are being accepted now through Friday, May 6, wherever Minnesota hunting and fishing license are sold, online at www.mndnr.gov/buyalicense and by telephone at 888-665-4236.

A total of 3,850 licenses are available in 13 permit areas. Bear licenses cost $44 for residents and $230 for nonresidents, and there is a $5 application fee. The season is open from Thursday, Sept. 1, through Sunday, Oct. 16.

Notification to lottery winners will be made by June 16. The deadline to purchase licenses awarded by lottery will be Monday, Aug. 1. Any remaining unpurchased licenses will be available over the counter starting at noon on Friday, Aug. 5.


Be aware of bears emerging this spring

Anyone living near bear habitat is reminded to be aware of bears this spring and check their property for food sources that could attract bears, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said.
“With a warm spring so far, we’re already getting calls about bears out rummaging for food,” said Eric Nelson, wildlife animal damage program supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “However, leaving food out in yards that can be eaten by bears sets the stage for potential property damage and presents dangers to bears.”
As bears emerge from hibernation, their metabolism gradually ramps up and they will begin looking for food at a time when berries and green vegetation can be scarce. Bears may be tempted by dog food, livestock feed, birdseed, compost or garbage.


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