Isle Royale In Lake Superior

July 28, 2012


Greenstones, Wolves, Moose and
Thimbleberries

On the map, Isle Royale looks like the eye in the wolf’s head
shape of Lake Superior, with Duluth its snout and the Keweenaw Peninsula its
mouth. It is precious since there are few places left on this planet that have
been preserved like this. It is unique; some of the oldest rocks on this planet
form Isle Royale, its plants and animals and minerals. There are copper mining
pits on the Island where native Americans dug rich veins of copper long ago.

When I think of Isle Royale, I think of Eden, a place away from cars and
the noise of machinery. There is no traffic on Isle Royale; only hiking trails.
The sounds of Isle Royale are of bugling moose, the silvery songs of northern
songbirds, the lapping of waves on rocks and the quavering voices of loons.
Sometimes there is the slap of a beaver’s tail. The resident pack of wolves is
elusive and seldom seen. We did not hear them at all.

My husband and I
hiked the trails there and I’ll never forget the thimbleberries higher than our
heads along a trail. We picked the large berries like none other I have ever
tasted, copper color, tangy and delicious.

We found greenstones,
Michigan’s semi-precious stone. We stayed on Isle Royale for a week and every
day we took a different hiking trail. We watched a diving duck teaching her
young to dive. We saw a fox near its den, and had a close encounter with a
moose. As we hiked, my husband Norm said, “I smell a moose.” I didn’t believe
him, but as we came around the bend, there it was, bigger than life, standing
athwart our trail. We kept a respectful distance and it casually strolled off.

We did not fish, but the rocks off of the island are the place where the
Isle Royale redfin lake trout spawn as they have for millennia. This is an
endemic species and its good to know it is still returning to Isle Royale every
year before returning to the depths of Lake Superior.

 

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One Response to “Isle Royale In Lake Superior”

  1. vitamin said

    Not what I was thinking but awesome anyway! Nice one!

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