Moose rescue and a building permit

A friend just sent this photo from down the Gunflint Trail at Hungry Jack lake.  Apparently the young moose had fallen through the ice and some folks mounted a rescue mission.  Not sure I would have done the same for a variety of reasons, but this moose seems better off on top of the ice rather than under it.

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Also, received approval from the county to start building (I redacted some info in the picture to honor the privacy of neighbors but most of it is public record anyway).IMG_20170407_145551523

Stay tuned for pouring concrete piers and drilling into bedrock as soon as the weather cooperates!

Grade A medium amber

Finished boiling the sap I collected before the cold front came through last week.  Even though maple syrup is a little off topic for this blog, I decided to post about it because I like how the picture shows the glow of the syrup like it’s some sort of enchanted elixir.  I suppose maple syrup is a bit fantastical in a sense – it’s basically liquid sunshine stored in tree roots until the frozen darkness of winter passes.  And then it gets poured over pancakes.  The sap rising in maples is a true harbinger of spring and certainly phenological.  It would be interesting to know how our changing climate is affecting the springtime behavior of trees.  Perhaps syrup production documentation such as this blog post will provide insight for climate researchers in the future.

And here we go…

I’m starting this blog to document the construction of some timber frame cabins and outbuildings on two adjacent parcels situated on the shore of Saganaga Lake in northern Minnesota.  For those not familiar with the area, Sag Lake is at the end of the Gunflint Trail about an hour drive from Grand Marais on Lake Superior’s north shore.  The U.S.-Canada border passes through the middle of the lake, and the lake serves as an entry point for both the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in the Superior National Forest and Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario.  Together, these areas contain over 2 million acres of undeveloped wilderness surrounding 1700 lakes.

So, why the blog?  Since this project takes place in such a remote wilderness area, much of the construction will be done by myself using fairly basic tools and methods.  I’m hoping to document the progress both for myself and for others looking to do something similar.  I have found a wealth of information from other sites and blogs on the subject, and I hope in some way I can contribute to this valuable online knowledge collective.  Along the way, I’ll be sure to share all the links from the expertise I happen to stumble upon which I have no doubt will be crucial to figuring out how to do just about everything on this project.

Since I’ll be spending a lot of time in a beautiful wilderness with limited technological distractions, I’m sure I’ll also include various posts about other things I happen to be thinking about.  I have a background in ecology so probably a lot on phenological observations in the area or perhaps a perfect photogenic wildlife moment will occur.  Also, I expect that I may post about other topics of local interest to provide additional context for the cabins and how their design is relevant to the climate, intended use, local businesses, etc.  I’ll try to keep everything neatly categorized in case you’re here simply to get ideas for your own project.  Hope you enjoy it!