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Friday: Outdoors

Outdoors North: Brilliance of nature appears encased in an opaque bubble

“Walking in the sunshine, sing a little sunshine song, put a smile upon your face as if there’s nothing wrong.” — Roger Miller Walking out the door into a cold rain, it felt like I was wrapping a soaking wet, woolen blanket around my naked body. The images I was recording on the ...

Honoring conservation officers with military backgrounds

MARQUETTE — Veterans Day was one day to appreciate and thank soldiers, Marines, airmen and sailors who spent years of their lives defending our country’s freedom and protecting the rights of the American people. Some of those military veterans continue to actively serve the people of ...

Evolution in action

LANSING — Whether on your front lawn or college campus, if you live in the Great Lakes region, you may have seen a black squirrel or two or more. That’s especially true in Michigan, which along with Ontario, had the highest frequency of black-squirrel sightings in a recent study. ...

Outdoors North

“Yesterday is just a memory and tomorrow is never what it’s supposed to be.” — Bob Dylan After the countryside had been cloaked in a flowing white and sparkling gown, the blossoms and the dried milkweed tufts that had long-since bowed their heads crumpled further in deference to the ...

Gone fishin’

Upper Peninsula Little Bay de Noc: Walleye anglers were fishing from the “Black Bottom” north to the Center Reef. Catch rates were spotty, as some reported fair to good catches while others caught little or no fish. Those fishing the “Black Bottom” were jigging minnows and crawlers ...

Growing nature’s clean-water engineers

MARQUETTE — Although small, snuffbox mussels carry a lot of weight when it comes to the health of Michigan's fish and wildlife. A freshwater mussel that reaches up to 3 inches in length, the snuffbox has been on the federal endangered species list since 2012. They are known to exist in ...

Outdoors North

“You’ll find out when you reach the top, you’re on the bottom.” — Bob Dylan Gusting winds picked up down south somewhere were doing their part to make sure any last leaves clinging to their branches were shot skyward or tumbling — tip over tail — to the ground below. At the ...

A wildlife paradise: U.P. couple improves their land for nature

IRONWOOD — When Bill and Betty Perkis of the Upper Peninsula plan their vacations each year, an enthusiasm for the outdoors always shines through; they love to camp and tour national parks to explore the beauty of nature. That passion led the couple to wonder — how could they bring the ...

Outdoors North: Autumn echoes of days gone by

“Sit by my side, come as close as the air, sharing a memory of gray,” – Phil Ochs The sun coming up over the trees sent a mellow feeling moving through me as warm as the sound of a piano. I’m sure the tree branches were cold though, encrusted in snow and frost and ice. The past few ...

Gone fishin’

Keweenaw Bay: Mixed weather brought in mixed bags of fish, as those who got out were rewarded. No limits, but they did catch lake trout, steelhead, splake, coho and the occasional Chinook. A couple boats jigging for lake trout found fish on the bottom. Marquette: Has seen a major cold ...

U.P. Habitat group continues work

MARQUETTE — Having gone through several iterations since its creation in 2015, the Upper Peninsula Habitat Workgroup re-emerged recently after a months-long hiatus, with several new members, but an unchanged focus: to conserve and improve deer wintering habitat across the region. To avoid ...

Gone fishin’

Upper Peninsula Keweenaw Bay: Most boats are being pulled from marinas, as boat activity is slowing down. Shore anglers have caught a few here and there. Those fishing a few of the river mouths found some coho and a few splake. Marquette: Fishing activity was on the upswing, with more boat ...

Gone fishin’

Keweenaw Bay: Reports of slow fishing, with a few boats out trolling and a few catches of salmon and trout. Marquette: Boat angling season is winding down, especially with windy weather limiting angler opportunities. A few boats have been out in the lower harbor and fishing the mouth of the ...

Outdoors North: Late autumn reflections

“How many roads must a man walk down, before you can call him a man,” - Bob Dylan The wind was rolling colored leaves on end across the earth in a pinwheel fashion. The maple leaves seemed to be rolling the best. They were reds and golds, mostly. Over the next few hours, the ...

Self-cloning salamanders?

MARQUETTE — There’s an unusual creature right in our midst, although the vast majority of Marquette residents don’t know it. Eli Bieri, a Northern Michigan University senior majoring in ecology, has discovered rare forms of the blue-spotted salamander on Presque Isle called ...

Conservation in times of COVID

MARQUETTE — Studying a worksheet can lead to fun in the outdoors. The Upper Peninsula Land Conservancy, based in Marquette, acknowledges education is challenging in the age of COVID-19 and its related restrictions. So the UPLC, in partnership with Michigan State University Extension, has ...

Outdoors North

“Somewhere along the high road, the air began to turn cold.” — Bob Seger With the autumnal equinox fading fast in the rearview mirror, the shift in the cosmic scene and the arrival of the new season seemed abrupt, like a curtain dropping or a door slamming shut, likely the door to ...

Gone fishin’

Upper Peninsula Keweenaw Bay: Fishing has been difficult over the past week. A little bit of everything is being caught, but no significant numbers. Anglers are marking lots of fish but had few hits. Those caught were full of small baitfish, which seems to be hindering the bite. Marquette: ...

Remembering the birth of Isle Royale’s wolf-moose study

LANSING — When L. David Mech arrived at Isle Royale in 1959, he had no idea he would pioneer the nation’s longest-running prey-predator study, one that would become a model for wildlife biologists around the world. Nor did he likely expect to eat beaver brains or loon there. Mech’s ...