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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Flowers of the North Shore..............

RJ called me over to a shaded spot just off the main trail to see these Lady Slippers.     He knows how rare a find they are.

The lupines are in full bloom in the ditches throughout the North Shore.      One of my garden favorites!

Since I didn't grow yellow flowers in my garden, I have no idea what these are.

Hope you have enjoyed your break from waterfalls, but they will continue tomorrow.     The North Shore has them everywhere!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Tofte to the Canadian Border............

Today we drove north from Tofte up to the Canadian border.     (We were so close to the border that I actually got a text from Sprint saying I was entered the Canadian Roaming Zone)

 This rainbow was the first thing I saw as I rounded the corner to view the falls.

A few feet from the border crossing is Grand Portage State Park.     The Ojibwe Indians named the place because it was a 9-mile portage to transport items around these great falls and the surrounding rapids, cascades and huge boulders.

High Falls is 120 feet and when the river is running high, it drops 3,200 gallons per second over these falls.

There is a platform where you can see all three falls at one time.

One final rainbow as we were leaving.

We also stopped at the Susie Islands overlook.      These 13 islands are important conservation sites in part because of their rare native plant communities.    Large varieties of moss and lichen, more usually seen in arctic and subarctic regions, have been spared the frequent forest fires and heavy human traffic.     A 1 to 3 foot thick blanket bog of sphagnum mosses has spread over the islands.

In this isolation, a community of plants continues to thrive.     Species that disappeared from the rest of Minnesota after the glaciers receded northward still survive here.

Back at the resort, we were joined by a couple birds and the beautiful sound of the waves hitting rocks.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The North Shore Revisited.........

Gooseberry Falls is Minnesota's most visited park and that was obvious on a late Sunday afternoon.     I got a bit creative trying to get shots with a couple hundred people enjoying the falls.

The Gooseberry River roars over rugged cliffs of billion year old volcanic bedrock in two giant stairsteps.    

We decided to take the hike around the falls where I got the next two shots.     See the bridge in this picture.      Cars are on top and there is a pedestrian walk underneath that brought us back to our starting point.

I love this view of the falls from the opposite side.  

The area known as Gooseberry Falls State Park is intricately tied to human use of Lake Superior.    At different times the Cree, the Dakotah and the Ojibwe lived along the North Shore.

As early as 1670, the Gooseberry River appeared on explorer maps.    It was either named after the French explorer Sieur des Groseilliers or after the Anishinabe Indian name, Shab-on-im-i-kan-i-sibi.  When translated, both refer to gooseberries.

In the 1870's commercial and sport fishermen began to use this area.      The 1890's brought logging to the area.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Magnolia Market ...........

I'm a fan of "Fixer Upper", an HGTV show hosted by Chip and Joanna Gaines.     We were in the area, so decided to visit their store in Waco, Texas.

The grounds are very family friendly with this large open area equipped with games and bean bags.   The main store is in that large building on the left.

There are also lots of picnic tables.       We had lunch here since there were several food trucks on the perimeter.      Do you recognize "the silos" from the show?

The Seed & Supply shop opened just a few days ago.     The Bakery is still under construction.

Of course there are goats.............

The shop is large and filled with true Joanna type items.    

I got out of there without buying anything for myself - RJ was impressed!