Archive for the ‘Photos’ Category

Falling leaves

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008
Saturday, October 11, around 5 PM —  View from Main Lodge window of trees along shore of East Bearskin Lake

Leaves. Now you see them....

Monday, October 13th, around 5 PM  — View from Main Lodge window of trees along shore of East Bearskin Lake you don't!

William Cullen Bryant called autumn “the year’s last, loveliest smile.”  This fall on the Gunflint Trail that “last smile” has been exceptionally lovely, as well as long lasting.  For weeks callers have been asking, “How’s the color now?”  We’d peer out the window at the trees along the lake and honestly answer, “Oh yes, the colors are still pretty nice.”  This part of the Gunflint Trail only has a smattering of trees with dramatic red leaves — the hues of the birches, moose maples, and tamaracks tend more towards oranges and yellows, a vivid but less flashy leaf palette that seems to last longer.  Realistically we could see that the color was not at its official “peak,” but the landscape was still vibrant.

And then, for no apparent reason, yesterday it started raining leaves –- yellowish orange birch leaves fluttering down from the trees everywhere.  It wasn’t especially windy, so the leaves landed in great yellow circles around the bases of the birch trees—proving to us that the phenomenon was not just a product of our imaginations. By midday today, most of the leaves were gone.  Here and there an intermittent reluctant birch was still gripping its bright yellow leaves, conspicuously colorful compared to the surrounding naked birches.

Tonight a noisy, blustery wind is gusting through the trees.  In the moonlight we can see leaves blowing by the windows almost horizontally. By morning the big yellow circles of fallen leaves will undoubtedly be dispersed. Most likely, the remaining colorful leaves still clinging to branches will not survive this wind. 

The flamboyant phase of fall is ending on the Gunflint Trail.  Leaves are lovely, but they do have a drawback –- they conceal far too much.  As the leaves finally fall from the trees, we begin the second, less appreciated, but possibly more interesting stage of autumn on the Trail.

High adventure — best bear cub picture ever

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

By far the most popular entry in the Bearskin Blog now is this moose picture, taken in June by our head housekeeper, Crystal:   It’s not uncommon for 50-70 people to click on that blog entry every day. Statistically it has routinely been Google’s most clicked moose image. That moose makes people happy.

We might just have a little competition, though, in the “best animal picture” category: 



3 bear cubs high up in birch tree near Loon Lake. Photo by Clayton Spolum.

 Long time Bearskin guest Glenn Spolum sent the cutest picture ever of 3 little bear cubs having some “high adventure.”  Glenn and his son Clayton had returned for their second trip of the season to Bearskin, spending lots of time fishing the lakes of the area. They were near Loon Lake when they spotted these 3 rambunctious cubs high up in a tree. Fortunately Clayton had a digital camera along and was able to snap several photos of the little bears.  Lucky shot of a lifetime!  

A closer view of one of the cubs in the tree. Photo by Clayton Spolum.



Sunday, February 24th, 2008

Moose on Bear Cub

Everybody loves to see a moose.  The most well-read blog entry we’ve ever published continues to be Moose – vs – Andy McDonnell  (   For some reason, people are very taken with Andy’s story.  Numerous guests have told us that they would greatly enjoy being chased by that same bull moose.  It is undoubtedly more fun to retell a story about a charging moose than to actually live the story. 

Skiers at Bearskin come back from the trails enthused about finding moose tracks (very, very common) and absolutely overjoyed when they actually spot a moose (not so common.)  This moose in the above picture was sighted yesterday on Bear Cub Trail by guest Jim Zyskowski while he was out skiing.      

More moose-sighting pictures at 

So anyone who appreciates seeing moose will find this StarTribune article, The Case of the Missing Moose, to be informative.   Thirty-four moose were tagged and radio-collared last week as part of a project to examine whether brainworm is affecting moose in the area.  The close-up pictures in the slide show of vets taking the blood samples from an 850 pound cow moose and then placing a radio collar on her are especially remarkable. Very few of us will ever get that close to a giant moose head. 

Now we’ll not only want to see a moose out on the trail, but it will also be intriguing to see if we ever spot one that is part of this study.

First snow!

Monday, November 5th, 2007


The view out of the upstairs window of the Big Staff House this morning was a complete surprise.  I love looking at the lake each day out this window (in spite of it being a funky old paint-spattered window) because the view of East Bearskin Lake from this spot is exceptionally gorgeous and ever-changing — one of the secrets of Bearskin staff housing.

I had no idea it was snowing last night, so that first glimpse of the snow-coated, white tree branches was totally unexpected. 

The first “real” snow has shifted the entire Bearskin staff into fast forward on the winter chores.  Of course, we have gradually been changing to winter mode, but today’s snow seems to have inspired more serious winter preparations.  The last boat came out of the water (“The water was too cold, should have done that last week!”), the few remaining floating docks were pulled in, the plow truck is being readied for action and, of course, the final preparations and maintenance chores are being done on the Pisten Bully. 

Saturday and Sunday were truly beautiful fall days on the Gunflint Trail, among the best ever.  On Monday fall was over. Welcome to winter.

More first snow photos at:

Photos–lots and lots and lots of Bearskin Lodge photos

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

One day a few weeks ago a Bearskin staff member asked if I ever went anywhere without my camera.  Only when I lose or misplace it (which unfortunately usually occurs several times a day.)  Since July 20th, I’ve taken 600+ digital photos with my trusty little Panasonic TZ1.

The long-term goal is to have a hefty supply of year-round photos to add to the Bearskin web site, but meanwhile people keep asking, “Did that picture work? Can I see it?”  Yesterday I uploaded a fraction of them to a Flickr web site in date and time order.  I will continue to add pictures to the site on a regular basis, as well as adding more of the pictures from the past few weeks when I find the time. 

It’s a great way to see the daily activities and changes at Bearskin over the seasons.  If you are in one of the pictures and want a copy, feel free to make copies. They can be found at: