Minnesota's snowfall and temps were global-warming mild through December, but here's the beautiful five-inch snowfall we received on New Year's Eve. George McCrea took the picture on January 1, 2007.
We said that Buell would "bluster the skies," and look what happened right after his memorial: lightning, wind, rain, and dark, dark clouds.
A memorial for long-time resort owner Buell Tubbs was celebrated on the dock at Camp Van Vac on July 31, 2006. Friends and family shared songs and memories of Buell and his more than 50 years on the lake.
A memorial for Buell Tubbs will be held on the dock at Camp Van Vac at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, July 31. Friends and family are invited to come and share memories of Buell and his more than 50 years on the lake.
Above: On the Point, Lee and Lydia Krebs enjoyed a bench the Krebs family donated in honor of Buell. On it, a plaque reads:
Leonard Buell Tubbs
A True Woodsman at Heart
With our early spring weather, the ice left Burntside early early this year. Lis and George McCrea reported that it had disappeared by Saturday night, April 15.
Eagles and loons are already returning to the lakes of northern Minnesota, ready to start fishing. Last August's loon count on Burntside found 31 adults and 12 chicks in residence, down from 2004's numbers of 55 adults and 7 chicks. Photo courtesy of Thomas Eisenstadt
Thanks to the about 50 emergency responders who put out the fire on Burntside's Ripple Island which started on Sunday, July 23, 2005! Crews from Ely and Morse/Fall Lake Fire Departments and the US Forest Service, Kawishiwi and Chippewa districts, worked on the ground. Two DNR tanker planes, CL215's, flew from Hibbing and dropped 1,400-gallon loads of water on the fire. Crew in DNR (Cessna 310) and USFS (De Havilland Beaver) planes directed traffic from above. A tent platform on Ripple Island was destroyed, but its cabins were saved. The fire burned deep, and crews were still working the following Tuesday and Wednesday to contain flare-ups.
In the photo above, campers watch the fire from shore. Responders encourage boaters to stay away from the action near the fire.
On Monday, August 9, the wolf pups will join the Arctics as part of the International Wolf Center's ambassador pack. I spent my last shift with the pups on August 2. Look how big they are now at 90 days for Grizzer and Maya and 83 days for Nyssa. Click each photo for a larger view.
Water was high, fast, cold, and occupied by beaver on Crab Creek off of Burntside Lake this June. Marcia Scudder (the photographer) and her family--including Jesse, Wes, and Monica--and Nancy and Bill Eccleston explored the creek on the way to Crab Lake.
Three wolf puppies are the newest ambassador wolves at the International Wolf Center in Ely. Nancy is one of the Center's wolf handlers and is spending many hours each week helping to socialize and bond with the youngsters. The pups are viewable on the Center's web site at www.wolf.org and at daily programs at the Ely facility.
Nubee gets extra coaxing to eat more so that she can catch up to Groan and Grizz, her half-sibs, who are a week older. Although Nubee's coat is black, she is a gray wolf too. Her nickname comes from "newborn," since we received her when she was less than a week old.
Groan, with the red collar, is slightly smaller than her brother Grizz. Groan was nicknamed for her many vocalizations, and Grizz got his name from the dark hairs in this coat that make him look a little like a grizzly bear.
Young pups can not self-regulate body temperature, and so snuggle together for warmth. Nubee is like a heat-seeking missile, always clambering on top of her older brother and sister.
In one of their first adventures outside, Grizz sniffed an old skull left behind by the Arctic wolves. The pups will join the Arctics in August in the Center's main exhibit enclosure.
Nubee is adventurous, and for her size, quite bold.
Grizz stalked his sister in the new spring green foliage, stopped to chew a stick, and then curled up with Nubee for a nap.
Hi! My name is Mary and I'm a 7th grader at Valley Middle School in Apple Valley, Minnesota. I vacation with my family at Camp Van Vac in the summer. I met staff at International Wolf Center in Ely with my father Mark Imsdahl recently. In June, my father and I will step into a canoe, then paddle and portage more than 200 miles along the U.S.-Canadian border to raise money for the Wolf Center. If you would like to help, you can donate $30 (just 15 cents per mile) and receive a one-year membership to the Center. Donations up to $1,200 give you lots of benefits, including a week for two at Camp Van Vac in the fall. Just e.mail from this web site and ask about how you, your school, or your business can help.
All proceeds will support the Wolf Center's new Twin Cities outreach educator and help us get a $1,000 matching grant!
Back in 1988, Patrick was 13 years old and I was 11. Both families were visiting Van Vac for their annual family vacation. (A tradition that started with my grandparents before there was even electricity available at Van Vac!) We met at the main dock one day and became friends. Before our two-week stay was over, we were "boyfriend and girlfriend."
Due to unforeseen circumstances, my family was not able to come back. But Patrick and I remained friends through letters and occasional long-distance phone calls. His family lived in Iowa, and mine lived in Illinois.
Although we often talked about it, we were never able to see each other -- until the summer of 1997. Patrick and his family had since moved to Minnesota. I took a week off from work and drove up for a visit.
The anticipation of seeing each other was almost too much to handle. It was so exciting! After almost 10 years, we were finally going to see each other again. We had a wonderful week together, and sparks flew. From there we had a long-distance relationship for about a year. I then moved to Minnesota. Patrick was in school at the time. When he graduated, he moved back to St. Paul; I did too.
Then, this summer his family was planning their annual trip to Van Vac, and the whole family was planning to attend. How exciting! On the way up to camp, Patrick proposed. It was absolutely fabulous.
Camp Van Vac is not only a place where many times we found ourselves -- we also found each other.
On June 18, 2001, Tom Speros, our dear friend and co-conspirator at Camp Van Vac, went into St Mary's Medical Center in Duluth for surgery to remove a cancerous esophageal tumor. The surgery went well, but over the next few days in intensive care his systems began to fail. On July 14 he died while his sister, Lis, and I and his nephew Marty stayed close and touched and talked to him.
Just a few days before Tom went into the hospital, our crew member Chris Johnson aimed his new digital camera at Tom and got this shot we have so often seen of our scampish friend: the fugitive evading discovery. A little while later, walking down the road with a pile of sheets, Chris saw Tom talking out front with our friend Mark Imsdahl and popped off the shot on our August page without Tom knowing. We wanted to share them with you.
Thank you to all of you who were with us through this tough time. Our hearts go out to Tom's many Camp friends for whom this is new, sad news.
Special thanks also to those of you who were able to join us in September for a memorial for Tom with his favorite music, good food, and delicious stories about Tom. --Love, Nancy jo
Tom's obituary in the Ely Timberjay: A memorial Celebration of Life for Thomas J. Speros, 62, of Winton and St Louis Park, will be held on September 9 in Ely. Mr. Speros died July 14 at St. Mary's Medical Center in Duluth after a short illness.
He was born on June 10, 1939, in Portland, Oregon, to James T. and Mary Kathryn (Hughes) Speros. He attended college at Lewis and Clark in Portland, moved to California in 1966 where he started a psychodrama institute, coordinated the drug and alcohol program for Solano County, and became an an independent film-maker. In 1983 he moved to Minnesota with Nancy Tubbs, where they managed Camp Van Vac on Burntside Lake. He will be remembered for directing the 2001 production of "Wit" in Ely; for screenwriting and acting; his casual genius on guitar, banjo, and mandolin; his love of theatre and movies; and especially as resident comedian and curmudgeon.
He is survived by two sons, Dimitri and Ted (Lita) Speros of San Francisco, California, and a daughter, Jayne Speros of Santa Cruz, California, his sister Lis (George) McCrea of Ely, his twin brother Mark Speros of Denver, Colorado, two grandchildren, Tony Licata Speros and Ruby Rudd Speros, and by nieces and nephews including Gwen, Scott, and Marty McCrea.
Memorials may be made to his favorite charities, the Southern Poverty Law Conference, Amnesty International, and the National Organization of Women.