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827 Kawishiwi Trail   |   Ely, MN 55731
  |   218-365-4720

GPS Coordinates
N 47 53.475"
W 091 42.389"

The Blue Heron embodies casual comfort with spacious, well appointed rooms and public areas.  The staff are friendly and  helpful as well as wonderful cooks.  Canoes, Kayaks and paddling gear are all provided.

Live Webcam!
See what we see out our windows.

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 in real time.

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for username and password.)



Check out our great Winter Specials! 
Click here for details!

Check out our delightful
 "Winter  Wonderland" and  "Winter Warm-up" specials under :

Winter "Packages"
(Chamber of Commerce

The Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness was named by
National Geographic Magazine as one of the 50 "must visit" destinations in the world.
The BWCAW is a federally protected pristine wilderness of
1.3 million acres, with over 1,200 miles of canoe routes.

Blue Heron B & B

827 Kawishiwi Trail

Ely, MN 55731



  • Canoes and Kayaks are free to use with your stay.
  • We gladly Accommodate Special Diets:  Low Fat, Diabetic, Allergies, Vegetarian, Vegan,  Gluten & Lactose Free.
  • Because of the higher cost of many special foods we will be charging $2/ meal for special preparations.
  • Handicapped Accessible
  • Bringing your computer?  We have free wireless internet throughout the building.
  • This is a pet-friendly, smoke free facility.
  • From our property via lake or trail you have direct access to the BWCAW
  • NEW!  Charcoal grill and all the necessaries, picnic table by the lake
Are We Green?

  Recommended Romantic Getaways          Trip Advisor

Blue Heron B & B

827 Kawishiwi Trail

Ely, MN 55731



Blue Heron B & B Cancellations:  Advance deposits are nonrefundable.  Cancellations received less than 14 days prior to arrival and no-shows are responsible for the full balance of the reservations.  We will make every effort to rebook your room so that you will not incur the charge. 


      Or at the time of your cancellation you can roll over your reservation (once) to another date within 90 days of the original reservation.  Your card will be charged and you will receive a gift certificate in that amount less the advance deposit.  See below for dates exempted from roll over.


      Canceled reservations for major holidays and local festival dates: You will be charged REGARDLESS OF THE CANCELLATION DATE unless the room can be rebooked.    This applies to the week between Christmas & New Years,  President’s, Valentines, Memorial & Labor day, Easter, 4th of July, Thanksgiving.; Blueberry & Harvest Moon Festivals.



    Please inform us of food allergies & other special food needs including foods you really don‘t like.


      Children:  Give us suggestions for what your children like to eat. We’ll be glad to make it for them.


      No Smoking in the building.


      Full breakfast and use of sauna, canoes or snowshoes are included in your room fee.



Leave Ely going N. on #169.

After about one mile or so, turn right onto Kawishiwi Trail (#16),

After 2 miles or so cross the small concrete bridge at Silver Rapids.

Continue about 4 miles more to the end of the pavement.  Go 1/10 mile more on the gravel road. You will see a sign that says "Road Narrows" and Borealis Road is on the left. The next left is The Blue Heron’s driveway #827 Kawishiwi Trail.  If you see the marker 899 you have gone to far. Please turn around and then we will be on you right.

GPS Coordinates
N 47 53.475"
W 091 42.389"



Visit the Best Chamber in the State!
Ey Chamber of Commerce
From Travel Advisor July 5, 2013 - Jennifer S. St. Paul
"When we travel we often stay at B & B's and there is no better B & B than the Blue Heron!  Jo, Bill and their staff are wonderful!  The Blue Heron is located at the edge of the Boundary Waters, providing magnificent views of the lake and lots of quiet solitude.  However, it is close enough to easily visit the restaurants and museums of Ely.  All the rooms are spacious and comfortable.  Jo and Bill have thought of and provided details that make the Blue Heron exceptional.  For example, enjoying the lake is easy as canoes and all the accessories are available free of charge.  And breakfast each day is fabulous - homemade almond cream scones, gingerbread pancakes, fritattas, fresh fruit, etc.  We plan on retuning and highly recommend this wonderful place!"  
Recent notes left in rooms:  
Dec 26th : The warmth of the wood stove(&sauna!)was wonderful, but took 2nd place to the warmth & hospitality extended to us by hosts Dawn and Mark! Joan and Darryl- Moorhead, Mn

Dec 28th: What a wonderful & relaxing place you have Mark and Dawn! We loved the ambiance, hospitality and beautiful north woods. Dog sledding was a blast! Looking forward to sharing your lovely inn with our children in the futrure.  Wendy and Steve- Elk River,Mn

Jan6th: What a lovely sanctuary for our honeymoon! Restful, warm, and quiet and full of delicious meals :) . Thank you to Dawn and Mark and all who've made the Blue Heron a place of beauty.
Diane and Katheen-Minneapolis, Mn


new mugs

These are our new mugs!! Made right here in Ely,Mn by Linda  Trapkus at The Pottery Shop

 View BH in other seasons:

this is Blue Heron in the Summer!



Fall Colrs at the Blue Heron BnB


Winter at the Blue Heron BnB!


Dawn and Mark's Blog
Jan.25,2015- Winterfest is right around the corner- starts February 5th and runs through the 15th. The Wolf Track Classic is the weekend of  February 21st with the races run on Sunday. We are also in the February issue of Minnesota Monthly. There is a nice article of Ely and  The Blue Heron Bed and Breakfast. Here is the link : http://www.minnesotamonthly.com/media/Minnesota-Monthly/February-2015/Winter-in-Ely-Minnesota/​ Jan. 3,2015- It is a winter wonderland outside. Frigid temperatures have given way to snowflakes. The forcast is calling for 8 to 12 inches by Sunday am. The shovels are ready but our backs are not. The birdfeeders have been busy with Evening Grosbeaks, Pine Grosbeaks, Nuthatches, Chickadees, Blue Jays, Gray Jays and Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers. Right now its 22 degrees. A perfect temperature for outdoor activity or you can do what the boys(Monroe and Ziggy) are doing- Keeping warm in front of the fire- A favorite past time of theirs.Happy New Year everyone. Hope to see you in 2015 !!
Oct. 26th, 2014-It is a gorgeous fall day.  The lake is calm, the sun is out,and the water temp is 47.  The leaves are about all gone around the lodge.  We have all been busy getting things done around the lodge.  Scott is cutting down trees,  Bill,Jo, Mark and I are stacking wood and we are are hauling loads of brush to the brush sight.  All the puppies are playing wwe have not gotten much help from them.   We can hear the hunters out grouse and duck hunting.  Our friend the Bar has been visiting lately.  He broke into Bill and Jo's Shed the other night .  He has been in our compost bin.  He is trying to fatten up for the winter.             Sept. 24th, 2014-It is looking like Fall.  The trees are beautiful.  Colors of Burgandy, crimson, orange, and yellow.  There is a breeze today and the leaves are tumbling down.  The weather has been great this week.  Mark taught me how to split wood yesterday.  It was a lot of fun.  Mark was collecting wood from trees we had to take down and Scott is clearing trees at Jo and  Bills.  Jack (scott's dog)  is already for hunting season.  Duck season opens this weekend.  It sad to see the summer come to an end.  The one thing I learned is Summer doesn't last very long up here.  But the warm days and cool evenings are great.  Our boys  (the dogs) are doing great.  My daughter Megan was here over Labor Day  and we had a great time . My Mom was here last week.  We had fun even if it was cooler than she wanted it, but she's from Arizona so she likes the heat.                                     Sept. 9th, 2014-Well look at that august just slipped away!  We had Harvest Moon Festival this weekend.  There were lots of great booths and food and entertainment.  I can't believe summer is gone.  Our maple trees along the path to the lake area a bright red, burgundy and orange.  The other ones have not sarted to change yet.  This week it is suppose to get down to 34  degrees a couple of mornings.  I'm not ready for that.  Yesterday was a great day warm and no wind.  Mark and I went out Kayaking on South Farm it was so beautiful. Well we have some wood to go work on for the winter.  we better take advantage of the warm weather today.  Everyone is good here. Jo and I canned peaches.  Bill's been working on the deck , Mark is working on outdoor projects., Scott is cutting down trees, and all the animals are watching us enjoying our campany.                               August 3rd, 2014- One year ago tonight we were guests at the Blue Heron Bed and Breakfast. Dawn saw Ely (God's Country) for the first time. We found out it was for sale and well what else can we say! Blueberry Festival has come and gone. The Harvest Moon Fesival is just around the corner. A moose was sighted on the north shore of South Farm by one of our guests ten days ago. He posted a picture on Facebook! Like us on Facebook!!                                                                                                           July 11th-Boy is time flying! Here we are almost to the middle of July. We had a great Fourth of July. We had Bil and Jo and neighbors Brad and Barb and our guest and their parents for a grill out. Sam, Monroe, Ziggy and Clare( guest puppy) were in attendance also. It did start raining so we missed the fireworks in town bummer. Saturday the 5th of July we were in the Boat Parade for WICOLA with Admiral Jo at the bow with first mate Sam, the crew Bill and Dawn and Mark the Captain. It was alot of fun. there were eight other boats and a canoe (Brad and Barb).  Our garden is doing well, we have it up at Jo's and she keeps it watered for us.                                                                                                                                                                                           June 23-Happy Monday!  Well a few days ago we had a visitor during the night.  Jo called on last Monday and said she had a bear visit her feeders.  We also had a bear visit orfeeders and our compost bin .  But I didn't get to see him ,still can't cross that off my list.  We are ready for the summer. The grill is ready , hammocks are out and Mark is putting up a screen house as I type.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            June 18-Hello everyone ! We are still here. Sorry we have not blogged.  We have been busy working around outside. My mom came to visit and to see our new place. We had alot of fun. Then our friends Tom and Wanda from Lemars came up. Tom helped Mark split wood , clean the chimneys and do a few other "honey Do's" I had for them.  We also had  guests Ron and Lynne and Ron was out helping Mark and Tom.  Mark and I went for an early morning canoe ride with Ron and Lynne and it was beautiful.  But when Mark and I went to get back in the canoe we fell in , but we laughed about it. We all had a great time.  Well better go for now. I hope this is better Ron!                                                                                                                                                                    May 20-Good Morning! We finally got our webcam fixed thanks to Brad from Voltz Electronics in Ely.  We have a little bit of water. The lake is flooded not bad, but the dock is partly underwater and the pathway to the dock and to the trail is flooded. The good news is we have warmer dry weather forcasted so that should help.  Scott is back with Jack, boy has he gotten big, but such a good puppy. Jack has a birthday in a few months. Mark , Scott and I were out side the other night and what a symphony we had going on. The peepers were singing joined by the loons and an owl and then a wolf howl. It was beautiful and amazing. Our friend the beaver is busy traveling back and forth across the lake. He is fun to watch. I'm learning all the new springtime birds. Their colors are all so pretty. We have company my mom and her friend Kenny are here visiting us. It's great to see them.                  May 5-Good Afternoon ! Mark here- Happy Cinco De Mayo! Dawn heard the first Loon yesterday afternoon. The ice is getting darker each day on the lake. The optimist in me says the lake will be open by fishing opener. Both Monroe and Ziggy took advantage of the sunshine yesterday and went for a hike along South Farm. They were nice enough to take us along too.Migrating birds are on there way back daily. The showers are back today.                                                                                  April 28- Hello All!  Mark and I and the boys(dogs) made it back from our Iowa trip.  We had a great time seeing everybody. It was nice when we returned home that alot of the snow had melted only for another 5 inches a few days later , but that is all melted too.  It has been very windy up here the last two days . We had three Eagles flying around the lodge the other day. They have returned to their nest again this year. We had a chipmunk eating out of the bird feeders stuffing his little cheeks . I have named him Alvin. Jo gave us some info on the weather from March... There were 15 days below zero, ten days with temps above freezing,on March 29th we had 36 inches of snow on the ground. And precipitation for the last 37 years was 1.15 this March was 1.03 compared to last year 2013 was 2.06 inches.  We want to thank Jo for watching the B&B while we were gone we really appreciated it.          
April 19 - still Jo reporting 12' this morning with heavy fog, erie and mysterious; the world seemed muted and everything seems slow.  The Grossbeaks (evening) are back after an absense of maybe 10 days - but I don't think these are the same grossbeaks; these are considerably smaller.  I 'm guessing these are birds that wintered further south while our birds went further north for their summer.  The size difference is noted in other species.  There are dozens of goldfinches sporting their almost spring colors.  The purple finches are here in deep rose red for spring and there are more junco's each day.  Bill calls them Rosey O'finch and the nun-bird respectively.  While the weather is distinctly not lovely for Easter it actually is pretty normal for us.  I remember many childhood easters where I insisted on wearing my new shoes, refused snowboots and heavy coat (it would cover my new dress!) and an easter hat to church and then cried from the cold.
April 14 - Jo back on as substitute innkeeper here while Dawn and Mark get away.  Snow shrinking rapidly, may be summer won't be as delayed as we've been joking.  Chipmunks are out of hibernation, first Junco. first Blue Heron reported in the area - not here as we have no open water yet, but I'll keep my eye on the marsh as that will open first.  Dawn and Mark made some drainage channels in the driveway before they left (wonderful to have an excuse to play in the mud when you are an adult) and the channels are working well.  I no longer need 2nd gear on the driveway.  
Apr. 7th- Well I see my blogging needs to get better. I apologize.  We had a few visitors in March.  My son Travis and his girlfried Serena came for a week during their spring break. We had a great time showing them around,playing games, cooking and snowshoeing. We were very sad when they left ,but then my best friend from LeMars came. Tom and Wanda stayed for 5 days. We had a great time, and they loved Ely. It was raining here this morning, now the sun is out and it smells like Spring. I am so excited!!! We still have about three feet of snow and the lake still has about three feet of ice on it but it's suppose to be in the 40's all week so that should help. Mark and I went to the Hegman Lake Pictographs on Saturday. It was quite the hike but so nice out. thought we better get there before the ice goes. Well I will keep you upto date on the melting. We are all doing good. Bill is in the Spring musical Guys and Dolls. So Mark, Jo, Jo's sister Maxine and I went to opening night it was great. They have a lot of talent up here. Monroe, Zig and Sam are all doing well. Sam has a sore leg but Jo keeps a close watch on it and gives him anti inflammatories when needed. I think they are ready for Spring too. We had a fox visit two weeks ago . Jo had him up there eating out of the birdfeeders and he was down here the next night. Our guest spotted two wolves out on the lake on an early morning walk the other morning.                                                                                                                                                                               Mar. 4- I see I'm not keeping up on blogging sorry, I will work on that. Everyone is good here. Boy we sure get alot of snow up here! It seems we just get the trails clear and we get another foot of snow. I guess it's job security. Yesterday Mark and I went to Bayfield Wisconsin to look at the ice caves. They were beautiful. It was about a 5 mile or more adventure but well worth it. We have also been exploring around here, snowshoeing to the other islands on the lake.                                                                Feb.12- Well we are getting ready for a full weekend. It's Valentine's weekend and we are ready. We have Ely Winter Festival still going on .  I will try and get pictures of the snow sculptures posted, they are pretty cool. We seen our first wild animal besides deer this week. We had a fox out on the lake traveling back and forth . One of our guest seen it out traveling from the middle of the lake and then back to shore.  We had some visitors this last week. Bill our local bird guide brought out a large group of people to see our Evening Grosbeaks and Pine Grosbecks . They were from New York and we had another group from Texas. It is awesome meeting all these people and I learn alot. We also had Mark's son Craig come to visit. We had a nice time and he was able to do alittle relaxing. Mark and the boys are doing great. Monroe is in his second childhood and Ziggy just follows along .

 Feb. 3-Happy Monday!! Well we had a great visit with Megan it was sad to see her leave. We are getting ready for Winter Festival it starts on Feb. 6th . Mark and I are very excited to see the great  pieces of art. Mark and I are excited baseball season is getting ready to start. Go Twins. I finally got to meet my favorite Baseball player here in Ely. Bert Blyleven was in Ely and I got my picture taken with him . What a great day! We are all doing good here. I have been trying some new recipes and trying them out on Mark , Jo and Bill. Watch for pictures to come from the Winter Festival. We had a very nice article written about us in the Ely Echo. Everyone up here is so nice. It is beginning to feel like home.                                                                                                    

Jan. 25
- Good Morning! It is a sunny blustery Saturday . The fresh snow is blowing across the lake making it look like a blizzard.  Thursday my daughter Megan suprised me with a visit. Mark was in on it but I'm so happy to see her I can't be mad at either of them. Yesterday we went sledding down our lane. We have a good size hill and we had a great time. Thank you to Jo for telling us about it.  I can't believe it has been three months already since we arrived here. We are taking Megan to the International Wolf Center today, which is always a great time.                                                                                                                                             

Jan. 3
- Well Happy New Year everyone. We hope everyone had a great Christmas. Mark and I spent our Christmas Day with Jo and Bill  at Jo's sister Maxine house and with her niece Kathy. We had a wonderful time and delicious food.  Monroe and Zig are doing good. Monroe likes the snow and running around outside and Zig would rather stay in where it's warm.
Now that I got the blog updated my daughter Megan will be happy, she called and told me I was falling behind.            
Dec. 15- The boys (Sam, Monroe, and Ziggy) are having a ball together. Sam is like the big brother that is showing them the ropes. We got the boys boots for their paws so now they love going for walks up the lane with no leashes. Mark, Jo and I made truffles today. We did more laughing than baking I think. Mark and I then went out on the lake and I tried snowshoeing for the first time.  It was fun I only fell once so did Mark so I don't feel so bad. It was beautiful out there the moon was up and it was just peaceful.  Bill is coming down later in the week to show us how he makes his wonderful scones.                                                  Dec.6- Mark and I finally made it back, the weather had us stranded in Iowa go figure. We had a great visit with our kids and we brought back our two dogs Monroe and Ziggy both Shih Tzus.  Sam was down and they all did really well together.  The boys(dogs) are not sure why we are here but non the less we are all glad to be together. Our daughter Megan did a great job taking care of them so we could settle in. We would like to thank Bill and Jo for inn-sitting, we knew the B&B was in the best hands possible and made it easy of us to go. We came back to a LOT of snow , but it sure made things very pretty .
Dec. 1 - This is Jo, inn-sitting while Dawn and Mark visit family,since we are just next door, and well trained it is a breeze.  A blamy 25', Bill and I are desperately moving wood from the wood yard to our woodshed - trying to beat the snow. We four ( Bill & I, Dawn and mark) had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner; we divied up the preparation, sharing favorite recipies and turned out a fabulous dinner.  It is really fun to work in the kitchen with Mark and Dawn, we have similar cooking styles; especailly important in putting away and cleaning - up...I'm pretty committend to the clean- as-I-go method but they are obsessive!! At any rate the transition is going very well and I can readily predict that the Ottos will be well accepted by our regular guests.  Sam-dog loves them as well - he has continued to think of the lodge as 'his' territory and patrols mornings and evenings.  They will be bringing back their two dogs.....I hope the dog-merger goes as well as the people one did.    Not enough snow yet to plow, but there are 5" of ice already.  Getting a good base of ice before snow bods well for lake-skiing/snowshoeing this winter!  
Nov. 29
-Today Mark and I started putting up Christmas decorations.  We had a lot of fun . We will be posting pictures soon. Today Mark saw a Grouse in the rose bushes eating the rosehips. Speaking of birds ... yesterday Jo, Bill, Mark and I had a wonderful Thanksgiving day dinner. So we were telling Jo we had 22 Evening Grosbeaks at our feeders and she had 31 at her one feeder and along the deck rail. Jo said it looked like a family on a picnic, there were Evening Grosbeaks and Goldfinches feasting on her feeder.                                                                                                                                                                        
Oct. 30-Tonight we feast with Blue Heron's new innkeepers.  Dawn and Mark Otto begin their new careers tomorrow morning.  Not only is inn-keeping new to them, so will be the Ely winter!  Watch for their adventures here on Facebook.  Mark starts piling 5 cords of wood tomorrow - in his spare time, or after he cleans the chimneys; while Dawn begins the annual 'deep-clean' cycle in the B & B - we call this "tooth-brush-level-cleaning".  Jo and Bill will remain in their house right next door (do stop by); but tomorrow they head for a holiday on Sanibel Island.  19 years!
Oct. 25 - 4 days running there is white stuff on the ground, temps hovering just above/below freezing.  I wanna complain to the BIG Boss!  Sam- dog loves the cold; he prefers to be outside and so tries to tempt me to be out with him.
Oct. 21 - There have been snow birds for the last few weeks, but last evening the real thing arrived; and is still on the ground at 12:30 PM today.  We drove back from Duluth in it last evening.  Jo treated staff to a performance of Die Fledermaus at UMD and dinner at the Top of the Radison.  The opera was a colorful romp sung in English and acted wonderfully by graduate students at UMD,  we left with Strauss melodies lifting our spirits despite the freezing rain.  Dinner will be remembered (we are all "foodies" so know that it was better than good); the revolving top was a treat even in the rain.  Jo had organized this trip (General-Jo at it again) to include a stop to pick up our new (used) mangle, and we found one of the streets in West Duluth closed.  Sally saved the day with her cell phone GPS system. Despite the hurry, we got the mangle and it is being cleaned up and tested at this moment.  Ironing pillowcase will not longer be such a time-consuming detail here at Blue Heron.  And we got to the performance just in time. 

Oct. 9 - Our world is gold-hued: green gold, yellow gold, orange gold, red gold, bright gold, dull gold.  It's been windy for days and much of the maple glory is on the ground but the sky and the lake are intense blue and all these golds lift the heart.  Sam-dog began limping about a week ago, it got worse and he was acting like an old dog so slow, so careful.   The vest suspects a partially torn ACL ligament (just like the football players!) and perscribed an antiinflamatory and exploratory surgery.  After his first pill he was frolicing with Jack-puppy!  So good to see as he has previously only tolerated Jack.  It could be that after his 10 days of pills he'll be healed. Yesterday Heidi, Scott and I paddled into So. Farm.  While the wind was a battle it was 2 wonderful refreshing hours.    We've resolved to go every day we can, and as business winds down we surely can.  Missing Bill as he is in Denver visiting with a brother.  This trip was my B-day gift to him.  
Sept. 28
- The leaves are suddenly at peak!  
Sept. 23
- Perfect Fall weather!  the trees are changing noticeably from morning to evening.  The otter has been seen by multiple guest recently.  Scott has been taking down the big balsams between the house and the lodge - recommended because of their role in fire.  Many of you know how hard it is for me to take out trees, but in this case the results are awesome!  I had forgotten just how lovely the view is.  Check it out via our web cam on the website. 

Sept. 14 - Fall is creeping slowly here.  We watch one of the maples in front of the lodge as it 'colors-up' a little more each morning; and spot new ones that have turned along the road to town.  Jack, the puppy, is back with us after an absence of a week or more; missed him.  He grew inches (seemingly all in the legs) and is no longer reticent about making his wants known.  Sam-dog puts him in his place at least once a day; Sam will play but not tolerate nips.  It is truly healthy to have another dog around - for both of them.  Sally is out on a solo canoe trip; we are watching the wind today as she has to cross big water on Burntside to get back.  On Thursday this week we celebrated the joint birthdays of Heidi and I.  Imagine having two Virgos working together (!), actually it is three as Sally's is also coming up. I'm finally getting the hang of my Kindle, and able to log onto the public library to get free books (who me?  pay for books? unlikely).  I'm presently reading War and Peace along with two mysteries and a self-improvement book.  Bill and I have been enjoying books-on-tape as well (The Cat who had 60 whiskers).    All these technologies as a result of loss of vision from last Jan.'s cornea tear.   
Sept. 4 - How time flies!  Suddenly it really is fall.  We went thru unprecedented heat, then cold and rain.  Now it is incredibly lovely fall weather: Sunny with crisp mornings and warm afternoons.  and the night skies are incredible!   Sam is playing 'chase' with a pair of adolescent ducks who are hanging out around the dock, the tomatoes are (finally) ripening,  the flower garden if at last in full glory and the lettuce is all finished.  Oh, and Sam-dog has once again become a seed-dispersal unit, and can't seem to get enough of swimming.  Staff, who have prepared the same delicious breakfasts too many times are trying out new recipes and ideas. 
Aug. 16 - Red trees, yes whole trees ablaze.  These I call our sentinel trees as they are always the first to turn.  One is right on our shore (visible from the dining room) the other is behind my house here on the grounds - they both reliably go red on Aug. 13th.  There are others which are the very last to turn year after year, isn't nature incredible?   On Tuesday of this week while driving into town two juvenile wolves dashed across the road right in front of my car!  A bit smaller than Sam-dog, but not yet full grown wolf.  They were seriously intent on chasing something!  Jack the puppy is charming everyone, a joy to watch.  Scott is doing a fine job of parenting and some morning he looks a bit harassed.  So far not a single 'accident'.  Morning temperatures have reliably been in the low 40's; day time highs might just go over 75' - truly a cool summer.  The loon chicks are loosing their fuzz, the eagle chicks are now soaring, again I can say the bugs are mostly gone.  We had to remove a wasp nest from a kitchen vent!  Bill and Scott all suited up,  Bill leading the foray, Scott as back-up and me holding the Eppi-pen. 
Aug. 10 - Scott's puppy arrived yesterday!  and what a dear, not that all puppies are not, but 'Jack' seems particularly centered and calm.  Major attraction.  We've fenced off and shaded a short portion of the deck for him and he can safely romp or sleep (mostly sleep at this point) while Scott goes about his work here at Blue Heron.  We all take frequent puppy-breaks.  Sam-dog is very, very interested and a couple of times when Jack started crying Sam, said (barked) "hey guy, I'm here, don't fear" and Jack cut off like the radio. 
July 5 - The rain continues...still folks here are having fun.  The falls and all streams are at maximum;  the greenery is absolutely lush.  Big decision:  Blue Heron will not be open for business this winter.  Bill & Jo just need to start enjoying their senior years a little more and winter is what we love most.  See you out on the ski trails. 
July 28 - rain, rain, go away!  The ground is positively soggy.  I fear Blue Berry Festival was a 'wash'.  But the fishing has been good, for those who braved the wet.  Sam-dog hasn't dried off in days, the birds are looking soggy to.  Lots of really great people here at the B & B; what a treat!
July 20 - The baby birds are coming to the feeders now...cute doesn't cover it.  Baby loons are fishing, eagle chicks are bouncing on the sides of their nest.  It has been wet, wet, wet; garden and grass growing at prodigious rates.  The beaver is back in the cove; and Sam-dog is warning him/her night after night. 
June 29 - Sam-dog developed fast growing tumors around his anus, poor guy was frantic.  He saw the Vet. on Tuesday, had surgery on Wednesday; they are non-malignant.  found usually in older males dogs ( I just don't think of Sam as older) who have not been neutered....but he has.  He is wearing that huge cone around his head and bashing into everything; the cats regard him as the monster from hell.  Today, day 3 post surgery, he is moving easier and now at noon still has not nee


ded anything for pain.  We are showering him with affection, and are so glad he is again sleeping thru the night.  For a few days there it was like having a wee one again.  Sally -and all the rain - has all our gardens and flower beds looking so very, very good!
June 22 - A story from a guest regarding a previous visit:  Our 'big, big' beaver (BBB) indicated that he did not like them approaching the den by repeatedly slapping the water, then he came up to and slapped their canoe.  They backed off with BBB  following them repeatedly splashing his angst.  We haven't seen BBB for several weeks now.
June 13 - Absolutely lovely June days! warm sunny days with a light wind, cool nights.  It is hard to stay in the office.  All is green, green, green.  Our huge beaver I wrote about last month is no longer being seen....hmmm?  The birds, in their mating finery, are putting on a show every morning at breakfast; several life list birds for folks.  We have all come back from winter with new recipes to try, so guests are getting treat after treat.   Heidi and Sally are also filled with organizing energy...the kitchen shelves are being heidized then sallyiesed each week while the rest of us stand back and appreciate.  We've had monumental web site problems, first with receiving e mail then with the 'submit' button on the reservations page - Scott has patiently worked with our server enduring the repeated help calls and e mails and those two issues seem to be resolved now.  The web cam outside on the deck however may be a casulty of winter. 
June 3 - blossoms all over! Leaves fully open,  birds singing.  It is spring at last. The sun is wonderful today, 60's after two freezing nights.  Found blueberries in bloom on a walk yesterday - they survived one freeze.  I'll keep checking.    
May 31
- The peeper chorus at night is overwhelming!  For-get-me-nots, June berries and some few strawberry blossoms; tender bird sounds coming from the direction of the Pileated nest;  can't see the eaglets but the adults are making regular food runs; even a Forsythia in bloom!  Sally has begun our planting!  The water level is up from the recent rains and the water temps are only about 65'; Sam-dog has always loved the water as soon as the ice is out - but this year (at age 101/2) he has yet to do more than splash around the edges.  The traps for rusty crayfish go in on Monday - we are participating in an experiment.  Exciting times.  Today the breeze is warm and lovely, just caressing.
May 19 - Wonderful rain!  All that snow we had last month just disappeared and left us dry again, so two days of rain are welcome.  First daffodil hiding alongside the septic tanks! first crocus by the parking lot.  We have a HUGE beaver visiting regularly.  It is probably 5 ft long and 5 to 6 inches across the head; this fellow really leaves a wake!  Sam dog has brilliantly decided not to tangle with it and I have wrapped screen all around the trees I don't want the beavers to take down.  And they don't take them down.  Co existence.  The ice went out Sat. and Sunday the 11th & 12th - lots of wind piled it all up on our shore, then the wind reversed and it broke up in the bay.  
May 11, 2013 - fishing opener with very little open water.  At 9:30 this morning there were no boats in the only available open water by the Silver Rapids bridge.  Instead the 'fisherman' were clustered around a campfire on shore.  First gold finch and a guest got a good photo. 
May 10, 2013 - Ice leaving fast!!!  today there is about 6 ft of water along the shores, yesterday was only 3 and the ducks crowded in.  Hear our first loon last evening.  Birds are brilliant.  Sun shining so wonderfully, air is not warm, but still sun is so welcome.  Grass on the septic showing bits of green, the deer visit and dance on it every night, Sam-dog doing his best to tell them - from afar - that this is not their territory.  Grouse flutter across the driveway,  some drumming in the distance.  The cove if fully open.  I have learned that it is the last remaining stand of wild rice on Farm Lake and have given naturalist staff permission to use it for an experiment that will measure the effect of rusty crayfish on the wildrice.  It is widely believed that these are the critters responsible for the rice's demise. They will divide the stand in two and construct crayfish-free area on half of it.   Guests will look on active science all summer. 
May 5, 2013 -Blue Heron, White Throated Sparrows, Juncos, Purple Finches all firsts this week.  But the ice here is tight and solid even around the edges.  The April snow has melted off the top, the mush has either drained off or evaporated.... just ice.  It will be a hard water fishing opener. 
April 24, 2013 - The birds did not get the memo about delaying spring for the north-county.  I've now heard both robins and redwing blackbirds and seen juncos!  It is reaching toward 45' this afternoon and sunny, but there is slush predicted for this evening.  Yes! slush - not snow - 4 inches predicted.  Never heard that before.  I'm told this month holds the all time record for snow fall in Minnesota - and 7 days to go.
April 19, 2013  -  Last year the lake was fully open On March 25!! so different this year.  Snow, snow and more snow!!!  and still more predicted.  As much as I know we need the moisture I sure would welcome a bit of green.  The deer too evidently:  they are seen now in groups of 4 to 10 hanging around the roadsides every afternoon/evening.  Oh and Sam-dog:  This morning I opened the door to let him out, we were met by a snow drift about 4 ft tall.  Sam's look said "you've got to be kidding" he turned, came back into the house and climbed back into bed.  Glad he has a great bladder!  Later I was ready to tackle the drifts and Sam came along.  Initially he plowed in front of me as I shoveled a 12" wide path, after a bit he stood rather irresolutely surveying the tall drifts in front of him, turned and came back to follow behind me.  That's a smart dog.  I'm including here the wildlife sightings from the Wed. morning Naturalists hike near Winton, observations written up by Bill Tefft.:
  • An otter just upstream from the second (east culvert)
  • A mink and then later two otter just upstream for the first (west culvert)
  • 2 adult bald eagles sitting in a tree above the river
  • 2 trumpeter swans flying side by side and making several passes over Hwy 169 before passing over our heads and trumpeting and then setting down out of sight on the river between the the two culverts.
  • ducks including several common mergansers, hooded mergansers, and common goldeneyes.
  • many Canada geese
  • the first red-winged blackbirds that I have seen and heard this spring, but still very few
  • red crossbills were heard calling just about everywhere in town and a number of them and evening grosbeaks were at feeders at Packsack Cabins and Outfitting along the Winton Point Road.
  • 8 turkey vultures roosting between Winton Point Road and Shagawa River.
  • 1 ruffed grouse sitting on the ground under the same spruce tree as we went past at 3 different times.  No drumming heard.
  • American crows chasing a red-tailed hawk
  • tracks along the Winton Point Road in the mud that I think from the size - 2 3/4 inch long by 2 1/4 inch wide are probably coyote? tracks.
April 9, 2013 - We are between snow storms:  4 inches on Friday,  3 more on Sunday and 3 more expected tomorrow!  But the world is all wrapped in beautiful white!  And in the midst of all that winter is spring!  At every bit of open water you see Golden eye's, Canada geese, hooded mergansers, mallards.  Immature bald eagles (e.g. newly arrived, only adults winter over) have been spotted,  and the eagles have been sitting on eggs for several weeks, blue herons spotted in the area rookeries and in shallow streams.  Calls from crows and ravens, gulls heard but not seen yet. A friend reported seeing wooly bear caterpillars on the road before the snow storms - it wasn't likely that they would have survived.   Another friend saw moths in her headlights, followed by snow.   Yesterday morning there were BIG wolf tracks down the middle of the driveway. The Ely area has been seeing a whole lot of big owls who came down from further north because of lack of food there.   We here at Blue Heron haven't been seeing them - probably because the wolves, fox and coyotes eat the same mice and voles.   Meanwhile we were all having a wonderful time with Ely's annual Aprils Fools stunt.  If you hear or saw it, let us know.  The word travels farther each year.    

Blog continued on year in review.

Blue Heron Bed and Breakfast is a great place for lodging in Ely, MN.  We are an alternate for a resort, big lodge, motel, hotel or inn and a great romantic get away.  You will get a good night's sleep while enjoying canoeing,  birding, or taking out the sled dogs in the winter; we are open all year round; reserve a room now to enjoy this wilderness B and B. Write a Review on Your Stay!
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N 47 53.475"
W 091 42.389"