‘Twas the Week Before Christmas …

by Joan on December 18, 2013

Nace Hagemann took this shot of moose on a lake on the Gunflint Trail recently. He said there were seven of them, and some of them were fighting. He could hear the clash of antlers from where he stood.

Nace Hagemann took this shot of moose on a lake on the Gunflint Trail recently. He said there were seven of them, and some of them were fighting. He could hear the clash of antlers from where he stood.

Here’s a poem to start off the weekend:

‘Twas the Week Before Christmas

‘Tis the week before Christmas and all is a-flutter

The puppets are ready, as slippery as butter.

They’ll dance and they’ll prance in shadows and light 

And sing sweet songs to everyone’s delight.

Then  up from the Cities with fiddles in tow

Come Trampled by Turtles–you know we’ll all go.

They’ll play up a storm and we’ll  yell and we’ll scream

and be totally amazed at their musical stream.

So Come Dancer! Come Prancer! come join in the fun.

It’s the week before Christmas, the return of the sun.

Tee hee. Aren’t you glad I’m not a poet? Seriously, there is fun weekend ahead in Cook County.


The Winter Solstice Shadow Puppet show this year is entitled “It’s About Time.”

First up is a Solstice Party at Sivertson Gallery from 4-6 p.m. with elves, wine and Lola’s Sweet Life ginger cookies. All invited.

The party is followed by one of the highlights of the year: the wonderful Winter Solstice Shadow Puppet Show at North House Folk School on Saturday night starting at 6 p.m.

Neither wind nor cold will keep fans away from this iconic celebration of the longest night of the year put on by the Good Harbor Hill Players.

It’s held outdoors, followed by the lighting of the bonfire and the chance to throw all your gloomies into the flames.

(* Gloomies: little pieces of folded-up paper on which you have written something that symbolizes the weight that has accumulated over the past year, or issues you’ve had, or broken dreams, that will then go up in smoke, making space for a light and hopeful year ahead.)

After the bonfire is lit, there will be a potluck indoors at North House. Bring a dish to share. All invited. The show is free, but a freewill donation bucket will be out.

If you’d like to help at the puppet show, workshops will be held on Thursday and Friday night from 6-9 p.m. at North House. Open to all. Call Betsy Bowen at 218- 370-8077 or email her at woodcut@boreal.org for more info.

Trampled by Turtles plays at Papa Charlie's on Saturday night.

Trampled by Turtles plays at Papa Charlie’s on Saturday night. The Pines opens the show at 9:30 p.m.

Trampled by Turtles and The Pines complete a perfect evening to celebrate the Winter Solstice. They’ll play at Papa Charlie’s at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday. The music starts at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 (advance), $24 at the door.

The Pines is a one of the most popular bands in the Twin Cities and is nationally recognized as one of the most distinct and powerful indie-rock/Americana groups to hit the national scene in years.

The Pines fuses Benson Ramsey’s heart-piercing songs with David Huckfelt’s earthy, darkly romantic and rough-hewn visionary tales. With masterful guitar work, beautiful vocals and the graceful keyboard and vocal additions of Benson’s brother Alex Ramsey, The Pines captivate. They open the show on Saturday night. Click here to learn more about The Pines and listen to a few tunes.

Trampled by Turtles bring the down house wherever they perform. Their high-energy, skillful music must almost be seen to be believed. The band originally formed in Duluth but is now based out of the Twin Cities.

They have released six albums — the latest “Live At First Avenue” is their first live concert recording.

The last time they were in Cook County, Trampled by Turtles played at Unplugged for  the Mountain Stage Radio Show at North House Folk School and took over the show. The band includes Dave Simonett (guitar, vocals), Tim Saxhaug (bass, vocals), Dave Carroll (banjo, vocals), Erik Berry (mandolin) and Ryan Young (fiddle, vocals). Click here to learn more about the band and listen to a few tunes.            

And, for your Christmas music pleasure, turn into The Roadhouse on WTIP Community Radio on Friday night to hear Briand Morrison and Roxann Berglund play a few Christmas tunes and talk about their music.

The Holiday Art Underground Show includes felted animals by Elise Kyllo and wood-turned bowls by Howard Hedstrom.

The Holiday Art Underground Show includes felted animals by Elise Kyllo and wood-turned bowls by Howard Hedstrom.

In art news, the Holiday Art Underground Show at Betsy Bowen’s Studio Gallery continues through Dec. 31 with lots of artwork for local artists.

Glass, prints, paintings, pottery, fiber art and more are featured in show as well as great selection of Bowen’s prints, books and her 2014 “Who Cooks for You?” owl calendar.

The Grand Marais Art Colony‘s gift shop features fused glass ornaments by Nancy Seaton, glass barrettes by Jeri Person and pottery by Joan Farnam. The gift shop also has a variety of “Clothesline Art” including small pieces by Hazel Belvo, Marcia Casey Cushmore, Kjersti Vick and Amy Demmer.

There are also a number of beautiful Empty Bowls bowls for sale. Proceeds go directly to the Food Shelf.

Painting by Matt Kania.

Painting by Matt Kania.

The Art Colony is also preparing for the Winter Arts Festival: Painting and Photography which will be held at the YMCA Camp Menogyn Jan. 27-31. The exhibition and sale will open at the Art Colony with a reception at 7 p.m. Jan. 31. Registrations are now being taken. For more information, click here.

There is also  a call for snow sculptors to create work for the Winter Tracks Snow Carving Symposium. Stipends are available to qualifying artists. Proposals will be accepted through Jan. 15. For more information, call Maggie at (218) 387-2788, ext. 102 or email her at maggie@visitcookcounty.com.

Birchbark Books & Gifts has copies of Lonnie Dupre’s “Life on Ice” with lots of great photos as well as Timothy McDonnell’sA Whole Forest for a Backyard,”  Mary Alice Hansen’s “Sawbill History and Tales” and Kathy Rice’s book, “The Pie Place Cookbook.”

"Gus Again" by Liz Sivertson.

“Gus Again” by Liz Sivertson.

Sivertson Gallery is featuring framed prints of Liz Sivertson’s cuties, including a print of “Gus Again.”

The Attic Gallery of Fine American Craft has a wide selection of nutcrakers this week.

Threads has handmade jewelry, pottery and clothing by local artists as well as handpainted dishes by Stephanie Mitchell.

The Garage is exhibiting work by more than 90 local artists including photographs by Nace Hagemann, knitted items by Cindy Everson, jewelry by Nancy Haarmeyer and jewelry by Terry Lewis. Raven’s Beak Design, featuring handknit and woven items, is also located at The Garage.

The Lake Superior Trading Post has lots of great socks to choose from including Keen, Smartwoold, Fits, Acorn and Darntough. Most are made in the Midwest.

In other news, Michael Monro’s Log Cabin Concert will be on the Jason Davis “On the Road” show on KSTP-TV Dec. 29. Stay tuned for details.

Photographer Bryan Hansel has been included in 121 Click’s list of the 100+Landscape Photographers You Should Follow. To find out more, click here.

He was also interviewed for a story about winter photography by National Geographic. To read the story, click here.

Here’s the music for this weekend:

Thursday, Dec. 19:

  • Gordon Thorne, Gunflint Tavern, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 20:

  • Mark Darling, Gunflint Lodge, noon
  • Briand Morrison & Roxann Berglund, WTIP’s The Roadhouse, 7-0 p.m.
  • The Joe Paulik Trio, Gunflint Tavern, 9 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 21:

  • Mark Darling, Gunflint Lodge, noon
  • Rod Dockan & Al Oikari, Gunflint Tavern, 9 p.m.
  • Trampled by Turtles with The Pines, Papa Charlie’s, 9:30 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 22:

  • Joe Paulik with Briand Morrison, Gunflint Tavern, 6:30 p.m.

And now, for the photos. It was a great week for them, so hold on.

Let’s start out with this great historical photo that Dan Helmerson found of the bubble pool at Lutsen Resort. DuPont manufactured the mylar bubble and installed it — the first one in the world. It was apparently in use during the 50s and early 60s (check out the old Cadillac in the foreground), but we found the photo late tonight and couldn’t confirm when it was taken down and a more permanent structure built. Meanwhile, enjoy this great photo!

The "bubble pool" at Lutsen Resort, circa 1950-60.

The “bubble pool” at Lutsen Resort, circa 1950-60.


Where to go to next? How about this candid shot by Thomas Spence? When he posted it on his Facebook page, many people commented that the deer seemed to be talking. What do you think it was saying? Our take? “Yikes! A photographer!”

Photo by Thomas Spence.

Photo by Thomas Spence.

Let’s continue with wildlife… how about this one of a chickadee contemplating the sunflower feeder? This one was taken by Gail Murton.

gail murton chickadee

Photo by Gail Murton.

For total drama and beauty, check out this photo by Kelley Marquart. She doesn’t have a Web site yet, but you can look at her photos here.

kelly marquart swans

Photo by Kelley Marquart.

From wildlife to weather. This will set us up — it’s a NASA photo taken from a satellite documenting lake effect snow on Lake Superior.

Photo courtesy of NASA, taken Dec. 18, 2013.

Photo courtesy of NASA, taken Dec. 18, 2013.

We’ve had really cold days, too. Here are some of the results.

Boreal Access has a new feature — alerting people when ships are passing close to shore when there is an off-shore wind. Jim Boyd saw the notice and caught the Presque Isle as it churned up the shore.

Photo by Jim Boyd.

Photo by Jim Boyd.


Travis Novitsky captured Hollow Rock covered in ice after our December gales.

Photo by Travis Novitsky.

Photo by Travis Novitsky.

Duluth photographer Jamie Rabold knows this window leaks, but he’s content to keep it that way, because he can get photos of beautiful ice formations on the glass. This one was taken at sunrise.

Photo by Jamie Rabold.

Photo by Jamie Rabold.

Mary Amerman took this great shot of kids playing in a snow-covered forest.

mary amerman i shall never lose them in the snow

“I Will Never Lose Them in the Snow” by Mary Amerman.

Bryan Hansel took this sunrise shot at his favorite tombolo.

Photo by Bryan Hansel.

Photo by Bryan Hansel.

And here’s a Kathy Gray-Anderson shot of a peaceful sunrise over her favorite lake — Devil Track.

kathleen gray-anderson sunrise

Photo by Kathy Gray-Anderson.


And here’s one of the most spectacular photos of a sun dog we’ve seen in awhile. It was taken by Paul Pliskwik. Click here to see more of his work.

Paul Pluskwik took this incredible photo of a sun dog in Virginia (Minn.) the other morning. Enjoy!

Paul Pluskwik took this incredible photo of a sun dog in Virginia (Minn.) the other morning. 

And, finally, ’tis the season of family and friends. Tim Young took this wonderful photo of  home on a winter’s eve. Enjoy.

Photo by Tim Young.

Photo by Tim Young.

Merry Christmas, everyone!











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