A BWCA Glossary


Valders
The period of the last great advance of Superior ice on the South Shore. The North Shore remained largely unaffected; the ice covering the Superior Highlands did not move during Valders.
Vaseux Portage
A 40 rod Border Route portage on the Pigeon River, between Fan and Vaseux Lakes (the so-called Lily Lakes).
Velum
A thin, membranous covering enveloping young mushrooms, remnants of which may form a ring or spots.
Verendrye
Sieur de la Verendrye, French explorer and fur trader, who visited the area in 1731, returning in the spring of 1732 to establish trading posts on the border lakes. This marks the beginning of the fur trade and the era of the French-Canadian voyageur.
Vermilion Massif
A batholith from the Algoman Orogeny, extending from just north of Ely, northwest some 80 miles towards International Falls; 35 miles wide. Boundaries are schist, giving way to a characteristic grey-pink granite towards the center.
Vermilion Moraine
A terminal moraine of the Rainy Lobe of the Ontario ice sheet. It marks the northernmost boundary of the vast area of significant glacial deposits extending far south into Iowa. North of the moraine, the glaciers scraped the land to its very bones. The little glacial drift is thin and scattered; the lake basins carved out of bedrock.

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Vireo
Any of several species of small, insect-eating birds of the tree tops belonging to the New World genus Vireo. Represented in the North Country by three summer residents, the Red Eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus), Philadelphia Vireo (Vireo philadelphicus), and Solitary Vireo (Vireo solitarius). From the Latin vireo, a name originally applied to the European Green Finch (Carduelis viridis).
Virgin Timber
Timber from an original forest that has not been previously disturbed or influenced by human activity. Also known as First Growth or Old Growth.
Vole
Any of several species of small mouse-like rodents. Represented in the North Country by three species, the Boreal Red Backed Vole (Clethrionomys gapperi), Yellow Nose Rock Vole (Microtus chrotorrhinus), and Meadow Vole (Microtus pennsylvancus).
Voyageurs National Park
Minnesota's only national park, comprising 218,055 acres (over one third being surface waters) along the Canadian border immediately to the west of the BWCAW, and dominated by the four large lakes, Kabetogama, Namakan, Rainy, and Sand Point. Motors are allowed in the park and houseboats are especially popular. The best canoe bets are the smaller lakes on the Kabetogama Peninsula.
Vulture
The vulture of the North Country is the Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura). Commonly seen soaring high over wilderness lakes on slightly upcocked wings, where they are often mistaken for eagles.
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Last Updated on 11 April, 2004