A BWCA Glossary

The sum total of environmental factors which support a species, including food and shelter.
A general term for a deciduous broadleaf tree species and for the wood produced from such trees. Has little or nothing to do with actual or relative wood hardness.
The "rabbit" of the North Country, the Snowshoe Hare (Lepus americanus) is prey for many species, including the elusive Lynx (Lynx canadensis). Known for its large feet and seasonal change of color. Missâbos in the Ojibwe.
A low perennial wildflower (Campanula rotundifolia) of rocky places.
A lake in the Isabella River drainage. Name derivation unknown.
Any of several slim, low-soaring hawks of the genus Circus, the sole North American species of which is the Northern Harrier, (Circus cyaneus). Often seen flying low, hunting over wetlands. Formerly known as Marsh Hawk.
Peg-shaped projections of the Mycobiont (fungal element of a lichen), inserted into the algal cell to feed on the cell's sugars.
Any of the diurnal birds of prey of the family Accipiteridæ, and in particular of the sub-families Accipitrinæ, Circinæ, and Buteoninæ, the Bird Hawks, Marsh Hawks, and Buzzard Hawks respectively. From the Old English haðuc, heafoc, from the root hað, haf, "to seize."

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Any of several species of nut bearing shrub or small tree of the genus Corylus. Represented in the North Country by two common species of tall shrub, the American Hazel (Corylus americana) and the Beaked Hazel (Corylus cornuta). Pagânimij or ogebwamij in the Ojibwe.
A low shrub of the family Ericaceae. Well represented in the North Country, particularly in bogs. These Heaths include Bearberry, Cranberry, Labrador Tea, Leatherleaf, Bog Rosemary and Laurel, and, of course, the Blueberries.
Heinselman, Myron
Ecologist and author. His book, The Boundary Waters Wilderness Ecosystem, is the best written on the subject. Published by University of Minnesota Press.
1) Any of several species of wetland herb of the genus Circuta. Represented in the North Country by two species, Bulb Bearing Water Hemlock (Cicuta bulbifera) and Spotted Water Hemlock (Cicuta maculata), both of which are extremely poisonous. 2) In other parts of the North Country, though not the BWCA, the coniferous tree Tsuga canadensis. Kagagiwanj in the Ojibwe.
Non-woody plants whose above ground growth lives for but one season, dying back to the ground in winter. Known as herbs in the non-culinary sense.
Animal whose diet is made up exclusively of plant material. The preeminent herbivore of the North Woods is, of course, the Moose. From the Latin, herba, "vegetation", and vorare, "to swallow."
The scientific study of reptiles and amphibians, known collectively as herps.
Herriman Lake Trails
A 14 mile system of hiking and cross-country ski trails off St. Louis County Road 424 near Crane Lake (BWCAW Entry Point 13).
Height of Land Portage
An 80 rod Border Route portage between North and South Lakes. So named because it crosses the Continental Divide, from the St. Lawrence River drainage to the drainage of Hudson Bay.
Shark like. Generally used to describe the shape of fish tails where the upper lobe is considerably longer than the lower, such as that of the Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens).
A plant species requiring two taxonomically different hosts to complete its entire life cycle. The rust fungi, such as White Pine Blister Rust, are classic examples.
Highland Morraine
The terminus of a late glacial advance of the Superior ice sheet onto the highlands of the North Shore during the Automba Phase.
A sugary liquid discharged from the anus of certain homopterous insects.
Any of many species of woody vine or shrub of the genus Lonicera, represented in the Northwoods by several species, including the Fly Honeysuckle (Lonicera canadensis).
Horse Portage
The 340 rod Border Route portage around Upper Basswood Falls and the rapids of the Basswood River downstream.
The large biting fly of the North Woods, represented by several species of the genus Tabanus. Loves to bite wet skin and will bite through light-weight fabric. Misisâk in the Ojibwe.
Any of several species of ancient and primitive plants of the genus Equisetum. A close relative of the ferns and clubmosses, represented by several species in the North Country, including the Water Horsetail (Equisetum fluviatile) and Tall Scouring Rush (Equisetum hyemale). Kisibanashk in the Ojibwe.
Horsetail Rapids
A Border Route rapid dropping 5' into the Granite River at the outlet of Maraboeuf Lake. A 27 rod portage bypasses the rapid on the eastern (Canadian) side.
A living organism serving as a food source for a parasite.
Houghton, Lake
Another predecessor of Lake Superior, larger than Lake Duluth and later (about 9500 years ago), it occupied most of the current Superior Basin.
A small North Shore community on US Highway 61, near the Arrowhead Trail turnoff.
Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis (HGE)
A disease carried by the Deer Tick. The signs and symptoms of HGE can include fever (over 102°), severe headache, chills and shaking rigors, and muscle aches. Less frequent symptoms include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, weight loss, abdominal pain, cough, diarrhea, aching joints, and change in mental status. Ehrlichiosis is treated with antibiotics. Other tick-borne diseases that occur in Minnesota include Babesiosis and Lyme disease.
In northern bogs, mounds built up by successive generations, and species, of Sphagnum Moss.
That part of the organic materials accumulated in the soil, generally dark in color and relatively stable, which has decomposed to a point where the original sources can no longer be identified.
Hunters Island
The largest island in the Superior/Quetico region. Marked on most maps, its outline is initially quite difficult to ascertain. Surrounded by water, it may still push the definition of island.
Huronian Period
A billion years in the geological history of the North Country (2.6 to 1.6 billion years ago) during the Middle Precambrian. The great iron deposits of Northern Minnesota were laid down during this time. Also known as Animikean.
Soil that is saturated for sufficient periods of time to produce anærobic conditions.
Plant typically found in wet areas or in water with periodic oxygen deficiencies.
The individual filaments which make up the fungi, branching out to form a network called a mycelium. A hypha grows only at its tip, not throughout its length. Outer hyphae on the surface can exhibit pigmentation.
In a lake, the layer of cold, dense waters extending below a depth of 15'-30'. Separated from the warm, oxygen-rich water of the epilimnion by the thermocline and only mixing during spring and fall turnover.
The physiological condition where the internal temperature of the human body drops. Usually a result of environmental conditions, it can be sudden and fatal and should be a concern for anyone traveling outdoors in areas with wet and changeable weather, including Canoe Country.
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Last Updated on 11 April, 2004