Come enjoy the Winter Holiday Season!
Kawishiwi Trail | Ely, MN 55731 |
N 47° 53.475"
W 091° 42.389"
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
See what we see out our windows.
It is working now!
Watch the lake...
Watch the weather...
Watch the birds...
in real time.
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
acres, with over 1,200
miles of canoe routes.
Are We Green?
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
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
Visit the Best
Chamber in the State!
From Travel Advisor July 5, 2013 - Jennifer S. St. Paul
we travel we often stay at B & B's and ther 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 view of the lake and lots of quiet solitude.
However, it is close enought to easily visit the restaurants and
museums of Ely. All the rooms are spacious and comfortable.
Jo and Bill and throught 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 pancales, fritattas, fresh fruit, etc. We plan on
retuning and highly recommend this wonderful place!"
Recent notes left in rooms:
We LOVED our stay! thank you for making us feel so at home and welcome. Mark & Laurie
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay with you again. Wonderful hospitality & delicious breakfasts. Tray & Karen
View BH in other seasons:
|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 7 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
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
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
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 needed 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.
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
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.:
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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
|Blog continued on year in review.
|LOOK FOR THE FULL MOON
CHECK FOR POSTINGS ON THE MONTHLY AVAILABILITY CALENDARS
Heron Bed and Breakfast is a great
place for lodging in Ely, MN. We are an alternate for a
lodge, motel, hotel or inn and a great romantic get away. You
will get a good night's
while enjoying canoeing, dining, birding, or taking out the sled dogs
winter; we are open all year round; reserve a room now to enjoy
this wilderness B and B.
a Review on Your Stay!
N 47° 53.475"
W 091° 42.389"