Gifts from the Chippewa

Fall trees surrounding a lake with the words

The Chippewa National Forest is a special place full of surprises, gifts and mystery. From the spring sound of beavers splashing on one of 1,300 lakes, to the flash of white as a whitetail deer runs through the trees, there is always something happening between the tall pines of the forest.  In Gifts from the Chippewa, Kelly Barrett, a writer, photographer and wildlife biologist, shares with readers the unique elements that make up the Chippewa National Forest. Her stories are the perfect read for people of all ages looking for a deeper connection with the Forest.


No Pictures Required

There along the side of a major highway, well, as major as they get on the way to Effie, was a little spot of open water in an otherwise frozen lake. In that spot played three otters. It was my good fortune to sit by the side of the road in my portable wildlife viewing blind (otherwise known as a car) and watch the otters play…

Otter swimming through blue water.

Rock Country Sherpa

Mom and I used to spend time together in a canoe venturing into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, with fall being the very best time for such things. 

Canoeing in the BWCAW


Morning coffee on the screen porch has been such an interesting time. The birds are not singing like they do earlier in the summer, but the activity level is way up there. 

Hummingbird enjoying a flower.

Embrace Hope

Usually I do not go straight to the coveralls and heavy orange coat with many pockets for the opening weekend of deer season

Family around a recently harvested whitetail deer

Kind of Unexpected

If you’re at all like my people, you’re struggling in the hot weather we’ve had lately. At my folks’ place we have been sitting out for a bit in the evenings, seeking a bit of breeze. It’s more pleasant beside the lake, and the resident purple martin colony provides a fun distraction.

Adult male purple martin

Do you see what I see?

There have been the most incredible skies lately.  At my Dad’s house, the one I think of as the Sunrise House because it faces the eastern sky, recently I caught a glimpse of what someone called a little bit of Heaven on Earth.

Do you see what I see article thumbnail

Eyes in the Woods

These young biological technicians make their living searching for the rare and not always easy to find. Members of the MIST (monitoring, inventory and survey team) crew, they work on the Chippewa National Forest, and they are our eyes in the woods.

Close up photo of moss on bark.

Moonlight Gull Party

A few weeks ago whilst sleeping on my mother’s couch by the lake, I was awakened by the strong glow of the moon…

A ring-billed gull on the sand

Meet Harry

Even as the sun grows stronger in a March sky, warm days tease us with plenty of cold ones yet in between. I’m afraid it’s one of those kind of springs.…

Hairy Woodpecker on a tree