- Water Tabs
- Small tablets or pills containing iodine and used for the purpose of sterilizing water for drinking. A light
weight and portable backup to a water filter, they tend to bestow upon the water a distinctive aftertaste. (The
tabs kill, but do not remove, water borne micro-organisms. The critters in the water are dead, but you're still
drinking them. This bothers some folks, especially in shallow, planktonic soupbowl lakes.)
- A lake. Name derivation unknown.
- A lake. Name derivation unknown.
- Any of the 3 species (worldwide) of the family Bombycillidæ. Two of the three are found in the North
Country, the Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) and the Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus).
- Any of the many small carnivorous members of the family Mustelidæ. Represented in the North Country
by 9 species in 6 genera. Includes weasels, otter, skunk,
and wolverine. Weasel is jingoss in the Ojibwe.
- Webster-Ashburton Treaty
- The 1842 treaty between Great Britain and the United States which settled the dispute over the location of the
international boundary in northern Minnesota. The border was established along the main fur trade route to the west,
such that "all the water communications and all the usual portages shall be free and open to the use of the citizens
and subjects of both countries."
- 1) Land with a wet, spongy soil, where the water table is at or above the land surface for at least part of the
year. 2) Transitional area between dry land and aquatic areas having a high water table or shallow water. 3) Land
with one of the following three attributes: (a) periodically supports hydrophytes,
(b) substrate is predominately undrained hydric soil, (c) substrate is nonsoil and
saturated or covered with water during part of the growing season each year.
- Wheelbarrow Falls
- A waterfall on the Basswood River between the Upper and Lower Basswood Falls. Bypassed by the 32 rod Wheelbarrow
- White Gasoline
- A petroleum product used for fuel in portable camp and backpacking stoves. A preferred alternative to firewood
in areas which see much use at all. Generally considered safer from the standpoint of fire prevention than the traditional
wood fuel, especially important now that so much fuel covers a broad swath of the BWCA, to depths of 20' or more.
- A circle of flowers, parts of a flower, or leaves arising from a single point. From the Old English, hweorfan,
- Where three or more leaves of a plant are arranged at the same level on a stem.
- Wilderness Act
- An Act - To establish a National Wilderness Preservation System for the permanent good of the whole people,
and for other purposes. The 1964 federal legislation which established protected Wilderness Areas and which
included the BWCA, though with troubling exceptions to the general wilderness policy. Text.
- An unplanned or unwanted natural or human-caused fire, or a prescribed fire that threatens to escape its bounds.
- Any of a large number of shrubs and trees of the genus Salix. Represented in the North Country by several
species, including Bebb Willow (Salix Bebbiana). Osissigôbimij
in the Ojibwe of the region.
- Willow Herb
- Any of several species of herbaceous perennials of the genus Epilobium, represented by several species
in the North Country, most striking of which is undoubtably Epilobium
- The tipping or uprooting of trees by high winds. An obstacle commonly encountered on portages and a major impediment
to cross country bushwhacking. Since the Fourth of July windstorms of 1999, a major element in determining the future
of a large part of the BWCA ecosystem.
- The death of individual plants and animals from the rigors of winter.
- The last great ice advance into the North Country, beginning some 70,000 years ago and continuing until less
than 10,000 years ago, just yesterday in geological time. These great ice sheets carved the Superior/Quetico that
we know today.
- A lake. "Eating" in the Ojibwe language of the region.
- Witches' Broom
- A malformation of the foliage of woody plants, especially conifers, resulting from the action of a virus or fungus.
Typically takes the form of an abnormal tufted growth of small branches.
- The largest of our native weasels (Gulo gulo) and a true wilderness species. Worth reporting to the Forest
Service or DNR if sighted. Has a reputation for gluttony, ill temper, and vandalism, not altogether undeserved.
Swingwaage or gwingwaage in the Ojibwe. Also known as Glutton.
- A long billed, neckless "shorebird" (Scolopax minor) of the moist forest. Fond of earthworms and noted
for its nocturnal display flights in spring. Otherwise secretive and rarely seen. Padjâshkaaaji
or padashkaanji in the Ojibwe.
- Woodland Period
- The late archaeological cultures developed by Native North American peoples throughout the eastern and mid-western
parts of the continent. Named after the Eastern Woodlands where it first developed, it is characterized by pottery
manufacture, the construction of elaborate burial mounds, the use of the bow and arrow, and the cultivation of corn
and other crops.
- Any of the chisel-billed, wood boring birds of the family Picidæ. Well represented in the North
Country by five year round resident species, the Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus), Downy Woodpecker
(Picoides pubescens), Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus), Black Back Woodpecker (Picoides arcticus),
and Three Toed Woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus), as well as two fair weather visitors, the Northern Flicker
(Colaptes auratus), and the Yellow Bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius). Variously méme,
pakwéamo, papâsse, bigwakokweoweshi in the Ojibwe.
- Any of 37 species of small, evergreen, cool climate ferns of the
genus Woodsia; named for the English botanist Joseph Woods (1776-1864). Represented in the North Country
by six species.
- Wood Tick
- (Dermacentor variabilis) The largest and most widespread tick in our area, marked by a distinct contrast
between the whitish patterned dorsal shield and the dark-brown body. Apparently, it plays no significant role in
the transmission of Lyme Disease and Babesiosis but has
been implicated in the transmission of several other diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Also known as
the American Dog Tick. Most commonly encountered in June in the BWCA; a frequent visitor to campsites and
especially, it seems, to the fire grate area. Have tweezers or a Leatherman-type multi-plier at hand.
- One of the wild emblems of the North Country. Relatively common but rarely seen. More often heard howling in
the night. From the Old English wulf, a word with ancient origins in the Indo-European. Canis lupus
in the Latin; maingan in the Ojibwe.
- The Middle English word for plant. From the Old English, wyrt, "root, herb, plant." A common component
in BWCA plant names. Wort list.
- Perennial herb (Stachys palustris) of wetlands and water's edge. Has a long history of herbal use. Perhaps,
or perhaps not, the Ojibwe mijiwâwashk, "wound herb/wound root."
- Any of the small, brown, insectivorous birds of the family Troglodytidæ. Represented in the North
Country by the Winter Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes), House Wren (Troglodytes ædon), and the
Sedge Wren (Cistothorus platensis). From the Old English wrenna, Nonokasse in the Ojibwe. Another
kind is odanamissakadoweshi.