Register for Youth Camps or Wilderness Trips!


Phenology Update March 2024 – Early Phenological Events

March 20, 2024

By Raelynn Schuety

Wolf Ridge Naturalist, Charlie Pavlisich, recently appeared on WTIP radio, Cook County’s North Shore Morning Show.  Last week Charlie shared some insights into some early phenological events in northern Minnesota!

  • Early thunderstorms
  • Presence of tundra swans passing through the region
    • Recognizable by golden teardrop on black beak
    • Found near open water during migration
  • Early appearances of mammals like groundhogs and chipmunks
    • Early spring emergence due to mild winter conditions

Charlie also shared his recent Boundary Waters skating trip! He visited Benny Ambrose area where Benny Ambrose’s cabin used to be. Ambrose was one of the last permanent residents within the remote wilderness residing on Ottertrack Lake along the old Voyagers route just west of Saganaga Lake. Boundary Waters. You can read more about his life here.

 “It was just a very unique trip. I’ve never skated 15 miles in a day, but I did that this weekend and it was on these lakes that were just beautiful.” 

Charlie ice skated all the way in across pressure ridges and across a lot of different ice conditions, using Nordic skates! They differ from regular skates which are normally just about the size of the base of the skate. Nordic Skates have blades that are 20 – 24 inches long.

“I don’t know how to skate and so that trip was really hard on me. My companion who’s been skating his entire life. He was just having a ball. Well I looked like a giraffe, a newborn giraffe out there.”


Tune in to hear Charlie’s Phenology report the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 8:30 am on WTIP Radio, North Shore Morning Show