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Archive for the ‘Natural Events’ Category

While we were dodging a thunderhead and hammering the walleyes on Upper Red Lake on Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, there were storms passing through the entire region.  Apparently, while we were on the lake 70 miles north, Bemidji had been hit with hail.  Then I received these photos from friends Aaron and Katie Guthrie, who were visiting family in Whipholt, Minnesota, on Huddles Bay in the southeast corner of Leech Lake.

When I sent Aaron a reply asking him if I could have his permission to post these incredible photos to my blog, I also made the comment that I was glad I wasn’t fishing Diamond Point (the point just to the right of the twister in the photos) that day.  The following was Aaron’s reply:

Wayne,

They are pretty cool huh?  All credit due to Katie Guthrie, the photographer, with me in the background saying “Are you getting this.”

The pictures were taken the Sunday of Memorial weekend, right around 3ish.  We were just sitting outside of Katie’s mom’s.   Storms had been blowing through all day, but none had come directly over us.  The clouds you see never went over us directly either, but seemed to swing in and converge with some other front from the northwest.

Anyway, Katie says, “Look at that cloud, it looks like its rotating.”  I’m like, “Yeah right.”   Then I stood up and walked towards it and said “Holy $#%@!  It is rotating.”   We, and about every other Whipholt resident, watched the whole thing from beginning to end.   And, Wayne, there was a boat on Daimond Point, they never moved position the entire time.  We were like, “Get the hell out of there!”  They had the best seats in the house!

You can put the pictures anywhere you want to.  Glad you enjoyed them!

Guthrie out!

Again, because of the number of photos in this post, it was not feasible to display them in a larger format within the post itself.  Click on the individual thumbnails to get a better look at these amazing photos.

Leech Lake Twister 5-25-08-001Leech Lake Twister 5-25-08-002Leech Lake Twister 5-25-08-003Leech Lake Twister 5-25-08-005Leech Lake Twister 5-25-08-006Leech Lake Twister 5-25-08-007Leech Lake Twister 5-25-08-008Leech Lake Twister 5-25-08-009Leech Lake Twister 5-25-08-010Leech Lake Twister 5-25-08-011Leech Lake Twister 5-25-08-012Leech Lake Twister 5-25-08-013Leech Lake Twister 5-25-08-014Leech Lake Twister 5-25-08-016Leech Lake Twister 5-25-08-017Leech Lake Twister 5-25-08-018Leech Lake Twister 5-25-08-019Leech Lake Twister 5-25-08-020Leech Lake Twister 5-25-08-021

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Josiah A. King and his three-man crewRecently I was finally able to visit a place that I had only heard about since moving here to Bemidji.  A place where towering giants live.  A place where majestic white and red pines have been spared the lumberjack’s ax and saw to become an old growth sanctuary.  This place is the Lost Forty.

It takes a little doing to get there as the name of this place would suggest.  Not exactly on the main route today, one can only imagine what the territory looked like 125 years ago.  A survey crew’s error in 1882 mapped the Lost Forty, which is actually 144 acres, as being underwater in nearby Coddington Lake.  Surveyor Josiah A. King and his three-Lost 40man crew had traveled over 40 miles from the nearest white settlement of Grand Rapids for the project of finishing one of the first land surveys of Northern Minnesota.  For a month, in the unsettling winds of November the survey team lived in canvas tents and on rations of flour, pork, beans, and dried apples.  An error at the time has created a testament to our North Woods heritage.

Today, with only two percent of Minnesota’s forested land considered to be old growth, this stand of virgin pine has Monster white and red pinesbecome a monument within the Chippewa National Forest.  These magnificent trees are between 300 and 400 years old.  That’s well over 100 years older than this great country itself, dating back to the 17th century and the first colonial settlements.  Many of the behemoths are up to 350 years old and are just now reaching retirement age as compared to our life span.  White and red pines can live to about 500 years old.  Between 22 and 48 inches in diameter, this old growth stand, and others like it, are valuable habitat for bald eagles, hawks, woodpeckers, weasels, red squirrels, and other wildlife.

A View to the NorthMy visit was not long, but I will make the trek back to this special place again, as walking the trails felt like I was entering the corridors of some great hall or temple that has stood the test of time.

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Whitewater State Park manager Garry Barvels reports that the recovery efforts at Whitewater State Park are making steady progress in a news release from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  The park sustained over $4 million in damages during a flash flood last August.  A Grand Reopening Celebration is set for June 7, but parts of the park will begin reopening March 1.

There are two crucial reopening dates for my spring wild turkey hunt: 

  • April 1, when a limited number of the parks trails and streams will open for the catch and release trout fishing season.
  • April 11, when the Upper and Lower Cedar Hills Campgrounds will reopen.

Looks like there will be camping and trout fishing mixed in with our spring turkey hunt this year after all, and according to their upcoming events we can even do a little maple syruping.  This park is truly one of my favorite places in the state.  My reservations are made and I am excited to see the results of all the hard work by the recovery team and I applaud their efforts.

Our local Headwaters Gobblers Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federationwill be holding their fundraiser banquet this Thursday, February 28th, at 5:30 PM at the Eagles Club in Bemidji, MN.  Get out and have some fun and support the gobblers!

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Winter MoonThere is a total eclipse of the moon tonight visible from most of North America (where most of my constituency is located).  Mid-eclipse should be about 9:26pm Central Time.  It should be worth checking out, and even more impressive if you have a telescope or camera worthy of the show.  Let me know if anyone gets any good pictures.  Iwould love to see them.  I pulled the following information off of the NASA website:

A total eclipse of the Moon occurs during the night of Wednesday, February 20/21, 2008. The entire event is visible from South America and most of North America (on Feb. 20) as well as Western Europe, Africa, and western Asia (on Feb. 21). During a total lunar eclipse, the Moon’s disk can take on a dramatically colorful appearance from bright orange to blood red to dark brown and (rarely) very dark gray.

An eclipse of the Moon can only take place at Full Moon, and only if the Moon passes through some portion of Earth’s shadow. The shadow is actually composed of two cone-shaped parts, one nested inside the other. The outer shadow or penumbra is a zone where Earth blocks some (but not all) of the Sun’s rays. In contrast, the inner shadow or umbra is a region where Earth blocks all direct sunlight from reaching the Moon.

If only part of the Moon passes through the umbra, a partial eclipse is seen. However, if the entire Moon passes through the umbral shadow, then a total eclipse of the Moon occurs. For more information on how, what, why, where and when of lunar eclipses, see the special web page lunar eclipses for beginners.

The last total lunar eclipse visible from the entire continental United States occurred on August 28, 2007. North Americans will have their next opportunity to see a total lunar eclipse on December 21, 2010.

Total Eclipse of the Moon

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