- A furbearing, arboreal weasel (Martes americana) of the North with a pronounced
taste for red squirrel. Also known as Pine Marten or Pekan. From the Middle English
martren and the Old French martrine, names for the fur of the marten which eventually replaced the
name marter (from the Middle English martre; Old English mearð) for the animal itself. Wâbijeshi
in the Ojibwe.
- One of the two popular map series for navigating Canoe Country. White
background at a scale of 2" to the mile.
- Any of several species of perennial herb of the genus Thalictrum. Represented in the North Country by
Tall Meadowrue (Thalictrum dasycarpum) and Early Meadowrue (Thalictrum
- A sharp bend, loop or turn in a stream's course. When abandoned, called a meander scar or an oxbow.
- Median Fins
- In fishes, the three unpaired fins -- anal, caudal,
- A toxic, elemental metal and environmental pollutant. Spread through the atmosphere to the most remote locations,
it can pose a risk when eating certain species of fish, from some lakes. See the Minnesota Department of Health's
Fish Consumption Advisory for details.
- The compact, jay-sized falcon of the northern coniferous forests (Falco columbarius). Very vocal in summer
and not at all uncommon in the BWCA. From the Old French esmerillon (the modern émerillon).
Also known, inelegantly, as the Pigeon Hawk.
- Applied to many features and entities in the North Country. "Iron" in the Ojibwe language of the region.
- Those crustaceans between 153 µm and 363 µm in length. From the Greek, mikro
- Tiny plankton, usually phytoplankton. From the Greek, mikro
- Mid-Continent Gravity High
- A narrow arc of measurably stronger gravitational force which runs northwest from the Lower Peninsula of Michigan
through Lake Superior and southwest as far as Kansas. It corresponds with the techtonic rift of the Superior Syncline.
- Receiving nutrients from the groundwater and therefore rich in minerals as compared to an ombrotrophic
situation deriving minerals only from the atmosphere.
- A large, aquatic weasel (Mustela vison) of the northern wetlands. Nocturnal,
solitary, and rarely straying far from water, it is most commonly seen swimming at dusk and dawn. Jangwêshe
in the Ojibwe.
- The North Star State (L'Etoile du Nord), Land
of 10,000 Lakes, and home to the BWCAW (where over 1,000 of those 10,000 lakes may be found). From the Dakota,
minisota, "sky-tinted waters."
- A lake. "Red" in the Ojibwe language of the region.
- Misquah Hills
- A range of highlands in the eastern BWCA. Perhaps best viewed from Winchell
Lake, which stretches along their northern edge. Formed of red granitic rock of the Duluth
Complex, hence their name.
- In the North Country, the Eastern Dwarf Mistletoe (Arceuthobium pusillum), a flowering parasite of Black
Spruce (Picea mariana). Not to be confused with that of the
Druids and later holiday tradition.
- Small, often minute, arthropods in the order Acarina, class Arachnida,
which includes spiders, ticks, and related critters. Mites have four pairs of legs, like ticks and spiders, and
unlike the insects, which have only three.
- Any of several species of herbaceous perennials belonging to the genus Mitella. Represented in the North
Country by the Naked Mitrewort (Mitella nuda).
- A type of Lagg, the mineral-rich drainage area surrounding a bog, where it is occupied
by standing or, occasionally, moving water.
- A lake. Name derivation unknown.
- Any of the near-blind, subterranean mammals of the genus Talpidae. Represented in the North Country by
a single species, the Star Nose Mole (Condylura cristata).
- A subclass of the flowering plants (Angiosperms). Named for having only one seed
leaf (cotyledon) they tend to have narrow leaves, parallel veins in the leaves, flower
parts usually in multiples of three, a scattered arrangement of primary vascular bundles in the stem, and fibrous
root systems. Also known as Monocot. Common North Country monocots include the grasses and sedges, and the
Blue Flag Iris (Iris versicolor). See Dicotyledon.
- A plant having the male and female reproductive structures in separate flowers but on the same plant. In the
North Country, the conifers are good examples of monoecious plants.
- Monument Portage
- An 80 rod Border Route portage between Swamp and Ottertrack Lakes.
- A small, rare, succulent fern (Botrichium lunaria) of the
northern forest. Considered a threatened species in Minnesota.
- The largest and most common of the North Country deer (Alces alces) and
one of the icons of the North. Mons in the Ojibwe.
- Moose Mountain
- A 2012' mountain on the south side of the Pigeon River, between Moose and Mountain Lakes.
- Moose Portage
- A 130 rod Border Route portage on the Pigeon River, between Moose and North Fowl Lakes.
- The deposit of rocky debris (till), usually in the form of a low ridge, at the
point where a lobe of a glacier pauses in its advance. The moraine which marks the
farthest advance of a glacial lobe is called a terminal moraine.
- Any of the delicate, bloodsucking flies of the familiy Culicidæ, all too familiar to anyone who
has spent time out of doors among the lakes and bogs of Canoe Country. Sagimê in the Ojibwe.
- Motor Route
- In the BWCAW, those lakes and streams where 1) the use of motors is currently allowed by law; 2) the use of motors
was once allowed and the routes were maintained with that in mind. Remnants of old motor routes may still be seen
in the channels cleared through rocky shallows and the remains of old boat docks at portages.
- 1) Any of several species of small rodent. Represented in the Boundary Waters by three species, the Woodland
Jumping Mouse (Napaeozapus insignis), Deer Mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus), and Meadow Jumping Mouse
(Zapus hudsonius). 2) Any of the many rodents of the Mouse Family (Cricetidæ), including the
lemmings, mice, voles, and muskrat. Represented in the BWCA by 8 species in 7 genera. Wawabigonodji in the
- The dark, wet, richly aromatic, organic soil of northern wetlands. Composed primarily of well decomposed fen
vegetation such as sedges.
- A lake. Name derivation unknown.
- 1) An expanse of acid peatland with Black Spruce (Picea mariana)
and an understory of low ericaceous shrubs, such as Leatherleaf (Chamædaphne
calyculata) in more open areas and Labrador Tea (Ledum groenlandicum)
beneath the spruce. 2) A lake
- The largest member of the Mouse family (Cricetidæ) in the North Country, (Ondatra zibethicus).
Aquatic in habit and active year round. Wajashk in the Ojibwe.
- Any of the many small carnivorous members of the Weasel family (Mustelidæ). Represented in the North
Country by 9 species in 6 genera. Includes weasels, otter,
skunk, and wolverine.
- A type of symbiosis where two (or more) organisms from different species live
in close proximity to one another and rely on one another for nutrients, protection, or other life functions. Both
(or all) of the organisms involved benefit from the relationship. The classic example in the North Country is the
Reindeer Lichens (Cladonia spp.) which are made up of a photosynthetic
algæ and a fungus.
- The thalus or vegetative portion of a fungus, consisting of threadlike tubes,
or hypæ; "roots" of the mushroom
- The fungal component of the lichen partnership, absorbing nutrients and providing structural support for the
- The scientific study of the fungi.
- A symbiotic association between a fungus and the roots or rhizoids of a plant,
providing for greater absorbtion of water and nutrients by the plant roots.