Northern Wilds Magazine
Artwork by Sam Zimmerman.
Along the ShoreArts

Mookise Meme (Dawn Pileated Woodpecker)

Recently, I was driving back from Gichi-onigamiing (Grand Portage) when I saw a beautiful flash of miskwaa (red) launch from the trees and dive across Highway 61. At the same time, a semi-truck was coming through the second Silver Bay tunnel. I did not see it land and then saw something on the road. I slowed down and saw the meme (pileated woodpecker) had been killed. I pulled over, put my flashers on, got out of the car and put down aseema (tobacco) for this beautiful manidoo (spirit) and got it out of the road.

It was weighing on me all the way back to Onigamiinsing (Duluth). I went home and sketched it out perched on a giizhik (white cedar tree) to honor it. Now that I’m back in the studio from Gichi-onigamiing, I was able to finish it.

Follow my studio on Facebook and Instagram @CraneSuperior or if you have ideas for a North Shore painting, you can email me at:

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