A BWCA Glossary
- The third and hindmost of the major divisions of the insect body;
consists normally of nine or ten apparent segments; bears no functional
legs in the adult stage, but may bear prolegs
or false legs in the larval stage.
- A lake. "Child" in the Ojibwe language of the region.
- Abiotic Pathogen
- A nonliving, disease-causing entity, including such things as cold,
snow, fire, wind, sun, drought, nutrients, and human-caused injury,
pollution, and acid precipitation.
- A lake, on the southwest flank of Brule Mountain in the South Brule
River drainage. "Half" in the Ojibwe language of the region.
- The scientific study of mites and ticks.
- To birders and ornithologists, a bird species which occurs so infrequently
in a given locale that it might be seen up to three times during the
lifetime of an active observer. Somewhat more commonly occurring
species are termed Casual. The American
Dipper (Cinclus mexicanus) is considered an accidental visitor
to the streams which run down to Superior along the North
- Any of the agile, long tailed woodland hawks of the sub-family Accipitinae.
Represented in the BWCA by two species, the resident Goshawk (Accipiter
gentilis) and the smaller, migratory Sharp Shinned Hawk (Acciptier
striatus). The group is sometimes called Bird Hawks
because of their preferred prey.
- A small dry hard fruit with the appearance of a seed. Does
not separate. The fruits of the sedges which line North Country waterways
- A lake. Perhaps from Ajunda, "here" in the Ottawa language.
- Acid Rain
- More properly Acid Precipitation, the acidity in rain and snow due
to reaction with atmospheric gases from the burning of fossil fuels
such as coal, oil, and gasoline.
- Characterized by a low pH (under 7). A common characteristic
of northern soils and waters. The opposite of basic.
- A plant adapted to growing in an acid environment, such as northern
- Adipose Fin
- In the fishes, a fleshy fin, without supporting rays. Typically
behind the dorsal fin.
- Aecial Stage (æcium)
- A spore stage of the rust fungi, characterized by a cuplike structure
- Pertaining to the presence of free oxygen.
- A lake. Derivation of name unknown.
- A lake. "It is small (or narrow)" in the Ojibwe language of
- A lake. Probably from Agâwate, "shadow" in the
- The sixth Great Lake, once covering some 200,000 square miles in
what are now two Canadian provinces and two states, extending east nearly
to Ely in our area. Shallow and
short lived, it originally drained south by way of the early Minnesota
River to the Mississippi until the retreating ice opened up the northern
outlets which would in time drain the lake.
- A lake. Probably from Agôde, "it hangs" in the
- A lake. Probably from Amikosow, "beaver's tail" in the
- A lake. Derivation of name unknown.
- Any of several species of large rough shrubs belonging to the genus
Alnus. Two of the most common of North Woods shrubs are Green
Alder (Alnus crispa)
and Speckled Alder (Alnus
incana). From the Old English alor,aler. Wadôp
in the Ojibwe.
- Algoman Orogeny
- A period of intensive mountain building which closed the Pre-Cambrian
in the North Country. Following upon the relative calm of the
Knife Lake Period, the Algoman was marked
by folding of the earth's crust, the rise of the Saganaga and other
batholiths, and enough heat and pressure
to metamorphize existing rock.
- A highly basic, as opposed to acidic, subtance. For example, hydroxide
or carbonate of sodium or potassium.
- In geology, something formed elsewhere than its present location.
Opposite of autochthonous.
- 1. First letter of the Greek alphabet
- 2. In wolf packs, the designation given to the dominant male
and female individuals. Also referred to as the Alpha Male
and Alpha Female.
- 3. A small lake in the North Brule drainage (X)
- A type of leaf arrangement in which only a single leaf is attached
at each node, so that leaves are not opposite one another on the stem.
The alders (Alnus spp.) are a common Northwoods example among
many. May also be applied to other plant structures which are
attached one per node.
- Alternate Host
- One of two taxonomically different hosts required by a heteroecious
rust fungus to complete its cycle; also applies to some insects.
The alternate host of the White Pine Blister Rust is currents and gooseberries
of the genus Ribes.
- An element (Al) and metal of great utility. Once the material
of choice for building canoes. Will puncture, bend in rapids, and makes
a god-awful noise when dropped on rocks. Leaves its distinctive
silvery mark on rocks in shallow water.
- Relating to materials deposited by flood.
- A flower structure composed of an often drooping, or pendulous, cluster
of unisexual, petal-less flowers, typical of wind pollinated trees and
shrubs, such as willows (Salix spp.) and birches (Betula
spp.). Also known as catkin.
- A lake. Derivation of name unknown.
- The larval young of the lamprey--a
blind, wormlike filter feeder that burrows in silt, often for years,
before metamorphosing into an adult.
- Any of the cold blooded, moist skinned members of the class Amphibia.
Represented in the BWCA by six species of salamander,
seven frogs, and one toad.
- The absence of free oxygen. Anærobic Peat is so
saturated with water as to have no oxygen, severely limiting the type
and amount of decomposition which can take place.
- Anal Fin
- On fishes, the rearmost fin on the underside of the body, on the
center line just ahead of the tail fin.
- A lake. "Crow" in the Ojibwe language of the region.
- Any of several species of spring flowering herbaceous perennials
of the genus Anemone. Two common North Woods anemones are
Canada Anemone (Anemone canadense) and Wood Anemone (Anemone
- A flowering plant. The term refers to the fact that the seeds are
enclosed within an ovary which matures into a fruit. The complement
- Angleworm Trail
- A rugged, 14 mile hiking trail, extending northeast from the Echo
Trail (BWCAW Entry Point 21) to Angleworm Lake in the BWCAW.
Reservations are required for overnight use in summer. Can be
done in a single day, but take 2 or 3 and enjoy it.
- Animikean Period
- A billion years in the geological history of the North Country (2.6
to 1.6 billion years ago) during the Middle Cambrian. Also known
- An ion with a negative electrical charge. That is, an atom that has
gained one or more electrons.
- The Ojibwe word for themselves. Also known as Chippewa.
- A lake. "Spear" in the Ojibwe language of the region.
- A plant which completes its entire life cycle in a single growing
season. Relatively uncommon in the North Woods due to the shorter
- A male flower part. The enlarged part of the stamen which holds
- In the reproductive cycle of ferns, the male organ which forms on
the underside of the Prothallium and
produces spermatazoids (or antherozoids) which will swim via a droplet
of water to the egg produced by the female organ, the Archegonium.
The fertilized egg then produces the plant that we think of as a fern.
- A fold of rock layers that is convex upward, or that had such an
attitude at some stage of its development. Opposite of Syncline.
- Relating to or located at the tip (an apex). Typically used
in describing the location of plant parts in relation to the stem, as
in apical bud.
- The cup-like reproductive structures of lichens,
found on the upper side of the thallus.
- The scientific study of spiders and related species, including the
mites and ticks.
- In the reproductive cycle of ferns, the female organ which forms
on the underside of the Prothallium and
produces the egg which is fertilized by spermatazoides from the Antheridia
or male organ. The fertilized egg then produces the plant we think
of as a fern.
- Arctic Ocean
- The ultimate destination of most of the waters draining from the
- 1) Any of several species of emergent herb of shallow waters
and waters edge belonging to the genus Sagittaria.
Generally with pronounced arrowhead shaped leaves. 2) The
general name given extreme northeastern Minnesota with its acute triangular
shape formed by the North Shore and the international border.
- Arrowhead Trail
- Cook County Road 16, which rises from the North Shore of Lake Superior
just north of Hovland, north to trail's end on McFarland Lake, at the
extreme eastern end of the BWCAW.
- Invertebrate animals of the phylum Arthropoda, characterized
by segmented bodies, exoskeletons in lieu of backbones, and jointed
legs. Includes the insects, spiders, ticks, and crustaceans.
- Any members of the family Araceae, including the Jack-in-the-Pulpit
(Arisaema triphyllum), Wild Calla (Calla
palustris), and Sweet Flag (Acorus
calmus) of the North Country. From the Greek, aron,
the name for the European Arum or Cuckoo Pint (Arum italicum)
- A lake. The Ojibwe name for Small Mouth Bass (Micropterus
dolomieui) which is known in French speaking Canada as Achigan
à petite bouche.
- A type of poplar tree in the willow
family. In the North Woods represented by two species, Populus
grandidentata, Big Tooth Aspen, and Populus
tremuloides, Quaking Aspen. Asâdi or manasadi
in the Ojibwe (probably Quaking and Big Tooth respectively).
- A lake. The Ojibwe term for an arrow with an iron head.
- Any of a large number of daisy like flowering herbs of the genus
Aster. Usually white or blue to purple in flower color
and blooming late in the season. Represented by a number of species
in the North Country, including the ubiquitous Large Leaf Aster (Aster
macrophyllus) of the forest floor.
- Aurora Borealis
- The Northern Lights, an atmospheric phenomenon occuring when particles
from the sun are thrown against the earth by the solar wind. The particles
collide with the Earth's atmosphere and the energy of the particles
is turned into light.
- In geology, something formed in its present location. Antonym of
- Completing entire life cycle on one host; especially applied to the
- Automba Phase
- A late glacial period where ice advancing from the ice sheet occupying
the Superior basin climbed the highlands of the North Shore, eventually
depositing the Highland Moraine.
To flow up and over the Superior highlands the ice would have had to
have been 2500' to 3000' thick.
- The pointed, needle like extension on some plant seeds, especially
- That part of a plant where the leaf attaches to the stem. Flowers
and other plant characteristics are often described as Axillary
in that they arise from the axil. Also known as the Leaf Axil.