In the Northern Wilds, May is the month when you can put snow shovels away for the year, even though you may need to scrape frost (or snow) off your windshield on a brisk morning. Intrepid gardeners begin turning the soil, but it’s prudent to keep your precious seedlings indoors or in a greenhouse until the end of the month. While it is unlikely you’ll see blooming lilacs anywhere along the North Shore, you may need to fire up the lawn mower for its inaugural run. If you’re lucky—really lucky—you won’t have to swat any black flies until June.
And then there’s fishing. Many folks around here fish nearly year-round. But the May inland fishing opener marks the beginning of—dare we say—summer. Sure, opening day anglers sometimes brave snow, sleet and bone-chilling temperatures, but they take comfort knowing that more pleasant fishing days lie ahead. In this issue, a handful of our favorite writers tell their favorite fishing stories. We think the resulting feature is quite a catch! Elle Andra-Warner shares the history and current story of the “buffalo of the water”—the lake sturgeon. Should you tell anyone about your secret fishing spot? A parable from Joe Shead suggests you may not like the outcome if you do. Gord Ellis, our resident fishing expert, reports on very different catches: trail cam photos of mountain lions taken near Thunder Bay last winter.
Gardening in the Northern Wilds is especially challenging, because you must contend with pool soils, a short season, cool temperatures and the unpredictability of Lake Superior. Rae Poynter addresses all of these and more in her gardening primer. In another story, Poynter writes of planting trees to prepare for the future. Kim Casey introduces us to a Nipigon man whose flower gardens are a source of wonder for passersby.
Indoors, Chuck Viren introduces us to local Kombucha brewers. Boat-builder Josh Tolken has a new project to locate and restore historic Minnesota boats. Eric Weicht gives us a fascinating look inside the Sivertson Gallery framing shop. Breana Roy provides a rundown of the new art showings. Although it really isn’t an indoor story, Casey Fitchett explains why it’s a good idea to stay inside when the Montana wind blows.
If you plan to camp in the BWCAW this year, be sure to check out the information on how to get your Leave No Trace/Tread Lightly education, which you must complete to receive your wilderness permit. May is also the start of the road work season. We bring you up to speed with the major highway improvements planned for Grand Marais and Grand Portage this year. You will also find a map showing how visitors and residents can navigate downtown Grand Marais during the construction season. Best of all, summer is just around the corner. We can hardly wait.—Shawn Perich and Amber Pratt
The latest issue for May 2021 is out!
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