Natural History Articles

History – Articles that contain information about Natural History.

Lakeshore Logbook – Larry Johnson

Lakeshore Logbook – Larry Johnson

As part of our 50th Anniversary celebration, we are collecting and sharing the stories of people connected to the islands, whether they are park guests, former residents or former park employees. This is the second in our series called “Lakeshore Logbook,” a collection of memories provided by former National Park Service employees. Living and working in the park on a day to day basis, they’ve experienced a lot to be sure. We hope you enjoy their perspectives. After 37 years with the National Park Service, Larry Johnson retired as the Superintendent of Ozark National Scenic Riverways in...

New series: Lakeshore Logbook

New series: Lakeshore Logbook

The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is far more than the rugged beauty of the iconic sandstone sea caves, the many moods of cold and clear Lake Superior, the pristine beaches, the island forests and the wildlife. The park is also a treasure trove of human history... stories of hope and hardship... of adventure, discovery and of celebration. As part of our 50th Anniversary celebration, we are collecting and sharing the stories of people connected to the islands, whether they are park guests, former residents or former park employees. This is the first in our series called "Lakeshore...

Where in the park is Neil? The week 22 answer is Rocky Island

Where in the park is Neil? The week 22 answer is Rocky Island

As part of the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, we’re going on a virtual tour with Neil Howk, a man who has spent decades exploring the islands and teaching people about what makes them special. He knows the islands like the back of his hand. An unusual aspect of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is that hunting, trapping, and fishing are permitted in the park according to Federal and State laws.   Now that Labor Day has passed, hunting seasons are beginning to open.   Though deer populations on the islands are generally low today, that was not...

Where in the park is Neil? The week 20 answer is the Lakeshore Trail

Where in the park is Neil? The week 20 answer is the Lakeshore Trail

As part of the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, we’re going on a virtual tour with Neil Howk, a man who has spent decades exploring the islands and teaching people about what makes them special. He knows the islands like the back of his hand. Though the National Park Service’s goal is to preserve the Apostle Islands “unimpaired” for future generations, the fact is that the area changes all the time.  When you visit the same area repeatedly, you can often note of the changes.  Today, Neil is visiting an area that he has been to many times over the...

Where in the park is Neil? The week 19 answer is Bear Island

Where in the park is Neil? The week 19 answer is Bear Island

As part of the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, we’re going on a virtual tour with Neil Howk, a man who has spent decades exploring the islands and teaching people about what makes them special. He knows the islands like the back of his hand. Neil is on Bear Island, located at 46°57′55″N 90°39′51″W. From the sandstone ledge on the shore of this island named for a large furry animal you can see Devils Island across the lake to the north.    Though Bear Island may be a relatively lightly visited island today, it has seen a variety of uses in the...

Where in the park is Neil? The week 18 answer is South Twin Island

Where in the park is Neil? The week 18 answer is South Twin Island

As part of the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, we’re going on a virtual tour with Neil Howk, a man who has spent decades exploring the islands and teaching people about what makes them special. He knows the islands like the back of his hand. Beaches tend to be some of the most heavily used areas in the Apostle Islands.  The fragile vegetation on these sandscapes cannot survive frequent trampling. Today Neil is taking a close look at efforts to help revegetate the sandscape on this island. At the eighteenth stop on our digital tour, Neil is on...

Where in the park is Neil? The week 16 answer is Eagle Island

Where in the park is Neil? The week 16 answer is Eagle Island

As part of the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, we’re going on a virtual tour with Neil Howk, a man who has spent decades exploring the islands and teaching people about what makes them special. He knows the islands like the back of his hand. The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is considered an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society because of the outstanding habitat it provides for migratory and resident bird species. You can check out the different speciesfound on the islands here. At the sixteenth stop on our digital tour, Neil...

Where in the park is Neil? The week 15 answer is Raspberry Island

Where in the park is Neil? The week 15 answer is Raspberry Island

A visit to the Apostle Islands provides a recreational and rejuvenating experience for people seeking relief from the stresses of their everyday lives.  As part of the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, we’re going on a virtual tour with Neil Howk, a man who has spent decades exploring the islands and teaching people about what makes them special. He knows the islands like the back of his hand. At the fifteenth stop on our digital tour, Neil is on Raspberry Island.   Raspberry Island is a great place for many of the activities that visitors enjoy...

Share your adventure: Julian Bay after the storm

Share your adventure: Julian Bay after the storm

We love it when visitors to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore share their adventures, their photographs and their videos with us, so we can share them with you — especially now when the pandemic is limiting travel and activities for so many park lovers. This week, local sailors Erica and Mark departed Bayfield to explore Stockton Island and beyond. They ventured ashore to survey the damage from some recent storms and to enjoy some of the islands best natural features at Julian Bay, a favorite mooring spot for boaters. It was a windy, wavy day.. perfect to enjoy the sights and sounds of...

Where in the park is Neil? The week 13 answer is Devils Island

Where in the park is Neil? The week 13 answer is Devils Island

As part of the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, we’re going on a virtual tour with Neil Howk, a man who has spent decades exploring the islands and teaching people about what makes them special. He knows the islands like the back of his hand. At the thirteenth stop on our digital tour, Neil is in the light tower on Devils Island looking for the only Fresnel lens still found in an Apostle Islands tower. Devils Island is located at 47.0730° N, 90.7257° W. At various times in the 1800s, this island was also been known as Louisiana Island, Barney and...