Fab Fall Finds in Nature.

If you slow down and look, you’ll see that in every season, nature provides the most beautiful diversity in color and pattern. What an inspiration!

This big guy was cruising across the road so quickly, I hardly had time to snap a photo. At over 5 inches long and bigger around than your average hot dog, it was a hard one to miss. I can only imagine what kind of lovely winged creature will come from this great shock of color!

20140901_142731These beauties are very plentiful along the edge of the woods right now and they’re in many stages of growth and decline. Some are curled and turning a light brown color already. But the color in this early growth stage reminds me of fresh churned vanilla ice cream. All they need is a little drizzle of chocolate sauce!

20140901_150422We’ve had a lot of these little guys tucked here and there around our house – and in all different sizes. I’m not really interested in touching ishy, squishy things, but I can’t help but think their gorgeous patterning would look perfect on a pair of Tony Lama boots. Yes?



Every week there seems to be something new – especially now that we’re in the beginning stages of Fall. I hope you find it as inspirational as I do! -Wanda Boldon

New Television Celebrities in Siren, WI!


We have big news from the owners of the Acorn Pantry and Tesora! As many of you may know, Jake and Holly Mangelson own the Acorn Pantry kitchen store and Tesora Restaurant in Siren. They also recently opened a kitchen shop in Rochester, MN called Cooks Pantry. Now Holly is doing a Wednesday morning cooking segment, along with chef Jon Dykeman from Siren’s Tesora Restaurant on the FOX 47 television station in Rochester.

To watch a video of their first segment, just click on this link:http://www.myfox47.com/story/26269121/2014/08/13/make-risotto-ahead-of-time

Congratulations Holly and Chef Jon!
-Wanda Boldon


Fall Events in Northwestern Wisconsin

It’s that time of year again where the kids are starting to get ready to go back to school, the sweatshirts are being pulled out and the leaves will be turning their vibrant colors all too soon. Just because summer is slowly coming to a close, doesn’t mean that the fun should stop. There are some great up-coming events to enjoy for all ages in the Fall season.

If you’re a pet lover, then you’ll want to go to the Webster High school at 10:00 a.m. on August 30th for the Burnett County’s Human Society dog show! Want to enter your dog in the show? Contact the Burnett County Human Society for information on how to show off your beloved pet. All proceeds benefit the Human Society in support of the animals at the shelter.

The Voyager Village Arts and Crafts show is  August 30-31st, located at the Voyager Village Community Center. Come browse some talented artists work from photography, to woodworking, to jewelry making and food expertise! There’s a little something for everyone to enjoy and admission is free!

Didn’t get enough wild rice pancakes over the Fourth of July? Then it’s time to head over to Fort Folle Avoine Historical Park on August 31st from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The breakfast includes pancakes, sausage, eggs and beverages!

Crex Meadows is beautiful when the leaves start to change colors. On September 13th from 10:00 a.m. to noon, join the Crex Photography Club and learn more about digital photography while exploring the beautiful outdoors and wildlife of Crex Meadows.

Always wanted to learn how to bow hunt and get that trophy buck? Crex Meadows is offering a bow hunting class on September 19th and 20th. Gain the skills of a true hunter and take it to the woods. Time of event is still to be determined.

Head over to Yourchucks just outside of Siren for the Harvest of Cars event on September 27th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. featuring classic cars! From 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. there will also be wine and beer tasting, music and a food booth. Grab a drink and explore some great history within classic cars.

On October 4th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Tesora Restaurant in Siren will be hosting the Jordan Buck Centennial Extravaganza Banquet. For $35, this includes buffet dinner, special music performance by Sonny Winberg, the presentation of the Jordan Buck Kinetic Sculpture and the chance to win a 1914 Winchester Rifle .25-20 caliber drawing!

If you enjoy sewing quilts or simply like wrapping up in them, then go over to Webster High school on October 11th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Check out some talented quilters while gaining quilting skills through demonstrations and special exhibits. A quilt raffle and silent auction will also be present the day of the event.

Who doesn’t love a good bowl of chili? On October 11th from 6 – 9 p.m, the Jackson Fire Hall on the corner of county highways A and C will be hosting their 12th annual chili cook off. For just $5, get your fill of chili tasting of area contestant’s chili recipes. Chili awards will be given as well as a sportsmans’ raffle. – Billie Ingalls

Keizer Lake Wildlife Area

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Keizer Lake Wildlife Area is located in Burnett County on the Jackson Township with 1,352 acres of trees, wetlands and up north wildlife. Similar to Crex Meadows in Grantsburg Wisconsin, Keizer Lake Wildlife Area offers several recreational fun for the outdoors enthusiasts in all seasons. From bird watching, to canoeing and hunting and fishing to cross country skiing the Keizer land, the north woods beauty surrounds you.

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As the fall season is just right around the corner, one of the most popular recreational activities in the Keizer Wildlife Area is hunting. Wisconsin hunters are starting to prepare themselves and readying their equipment, awaiting the hunting stories to be told. Some of the wildlife that has been spotted on the Keizer Lake Wildlife Area is white-tailed deer, black bear, wolves, wild turkey and other small game including pheasant, grouse, partridge and quail.

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Whether you’re planning your next hunting trip or going on a snowshoe hike, the Keizer Wildlife area has beautiful trails and views of the lakes and woods of Burnett County. Follow the trail up the hill and look over two different lakes on either side of you, or off road into the woods and enjoy the wilderness from every angle.

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To start planning your hunting trip or hike in the Keizer Lake Wildlife area, check out http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/lands/WildlifeAreas/keizer.html for more information. -Billie Ingalls

Crex Meadows: Wildlife of Northern Wisconsin

One of the greatest things about the north woods of Wisconsin is the wildlife. The deer, bear, turkeys and several other animals can be seen almost anywhere, whether you’re driving through town or in your own backyard. But all animals need a home and Crex Meadows is just one of the many scenic wildlife areas in Burnett County that is home to a wide variety of animals.

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Located at the junction of Country road D and County road F in Grantsburg with 30,000 acres, Crex Meadows is one of the largest state owned wildlife areas in Wisconsin. With marshes, brush prairie habitats and woods makes this place a utopia for the animals. Because there is so much land for animals to roam, visitors have the opportunity to drive, hike and cross-country ski these trails. There are 76 wildlife sites throughout Crex where the wildlife is more likely to be seen. With September right around the corner, this can be the perfect month to view large numbers of migrating birds where they stop to feed and rest.


Want to do more than just viewing wildlife? Crex Meadows offers a wide range of events and activities for all ages to enjoy such as the wildlife festival in October, photography contest, tours of the wildlife areas, picnics, youth-days, and nature photography classes are just a few of the events the offer.

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Crex Meadows is a paradise for bird watchers, botanists, hunters, outdoor explorers or simply anyone who loves the outdoors and wildlife of Wisconsin. Just don’t forget your camera to capture the beauty of up north. –Billie Ingalls

Condo Living at the Lake

If you want a retreat that offers minimal work and upkeep, owning a lake shore condo might be the perfect option for you. We have a great selection of lakefront condo properties for sale – and they’re all on large, premium lakes that offer great boating, fishing and recreation!

If you buy a place in a well-established and organized Condo Association, it can really be a breeze. This Twilight Point Association is a great example of that.

Wouldn’t it be nice to let someone else worry about putting in the dock, mowing the lawn and removing the snow in the winter?

What if you could stop by a restaurant for a burger and a beer on your way to the dock? You could do that at this Yellow Lake condo!

This place on Bone Lake is just a quick drive from the Twin Cities for an enjoyable afternoon of boating and fishing on this ever-popular lake.

Here’s another one on Bone Lake that’s so affordable and has so many conveniences!

If you’d like to get a closer look at any of these properties, just let us know. We’d be happy to show you any of them! Coming Up North should be more fun and less work. Condo ownership is a great way to accomplish that! – Wanda Boldon




Protecting the Lake You Love

Coming Up North, we love to spend time on the water. Whether that’s boating, fishing, swimming or even just lying on the sandy beach, we like to know our lakes are clean and ready to use. Although, sometimes our lakes can be invaded by certain species that can harm our waters and one way that this occurs is through “hitching “a ride with boaters.

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When boaters and fishermen exit one lake and travel to the next without inspecting their boat, they could be potentially carrying invasive species to the next body of water harming the fish, wildlife and swimmers. The best way to prevent this, is simply removing any aquatic plants, animals and mud before leaving the water. Many times small species can be overlooked or hard to notice, but one way to prevent this is spraying down your boat on dry land with hot water and draining the water from your boat, motor, live wells and bait containers.

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These aquatic hitchhikers can be damaging for those who love the water. Because they are so damaging, many lakes in the area are putting up signs to help prevent more “hitchhiking” to happen in the future. The Minerva Chain of Lakes as well as Devils Lake and Little McGraw Lake are just a few of the lakes that have warning signs at their landings. Rooney Lake is currently placing a new, larger sign at the public boat landing as well.

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Some things that these non-native species and plants do includes reducing game fish populations due to the invasive species taking away food sources for other fish and also reducing oxygen content because of nuisance plants. Another significant impact of these aquatic hitchhikers is the effect they can have on recreational boats. Some species such as zebra mussels and non-native plants such as hydrilla can attach themselves to the prop and around the motor which can affect the performance of the engine or actually jamming the steering equipment.

What we don’t want to happen is making our lakes and rivers unusable for boaters and swimmers. Sometimes harmful non-native species can be so detrimental that they could potentially completely cover the water they invade. Meaning, when the water becomes so blocked with these damaging plants and animals that there is no open water left for swimmers and boater to enjoy.

By checking your boat and waders or hip boots after you’ve left one of our area’s lakes or rivers and removing plants, water and species could prevent them from spreading and damaging other lake and river sources. –Billie Ingalls

Protect Your Home & Cabin Against Wildfires

The trees, wildlife and numerous lakes is what makes the northwoods a special place to enjoy and get away from the busyness of life. While enjoying the sunshine and sitting on the dock, the last thing you want is your home to be taken by a wildfire.

In 2004, the Pansey Landing Fire occurred in Burnett County consuming 71 acres of land and burned across the properties of two private land owners and county forest land. The suppression forces were able to save one structure and a red pine plantation. Alone, this fire took 35 firefighters and 22 pieces of firefighting equipment to stop the fire from spreading any further.

More recently, Burnett County faced strong straight line winds taking numerous amounts of our trees and woods along with it in 2011. Three years later, dead vegetation and debris still remains because of the devastating storm, which could be potential ignition for wildfires to harm this beautiful area more.  By taking simple steps to clear around your property could make all the difference in the event of a wildfire. Make sure your home is safe by taking the time to walk around your property and clear it of any debris and dead shrubs, leaves or grass.

3-5 feet around your home could be the most damaging if surrounded with anything that could potentially ignite during a fire. Get rid of anything that can burn, including mulch, grass, plants, shrubs and choose more deciduous plants or rock mulch compared to wood mulch. Keeping your roof and gutters clear of leaves, pine needles and other debris could make all the difference as well.


Within 30 feet of your home try and remove scattered trees and keep your grass mowed while removing any dead vegetation. Make sure that the area around your propane tank is free of any dead leaves, plants and wood piles and keeping the shed and wood pile a good distance away from your home.


Evergreens are highly flammable due to high volumes of oils within the needles and bark; by keeping these trees about 100 feet away from your home and at least 10 feet apart can reduce the likelihood that fire will jump from plant to plant.

There are several low maintenance ways to keep your home and cabin safe from potential wildfires with little to no cost. By taking the necessary steps, no matter how small, will make your home and cabin safer while still enjoying the life Up North.

For more information and steps on how to protect your home and property against wildfires, go to http://firewise.org/wildfire-preparedness.aspx -Billie Ingalls

10 Ways to Keep your Lake Clean


If you have a cabin or home on a lake, you want to be able to have the best swimming, fishing and recreational lake possible to enjoy while the sun is shining and the grill is cooking. Although, sometimes we are harming our lake’s water in ways we didn’t realize, so here are 10 practical ways to keep your lake clean according to the Freshwater Society. 

1. If you live on a lake or river, plant strips of native and wild plants along the water. It gives the lake a natural look, is healthy for the water and plants and is easy to take care of.

2. Don’t use fertilizer or pesticides on your lawn if it is located next to the water because the chemicals can travel into the water and could threaten wildlife.

3. Drive slower in your boat near the shore. For many this may sound silly, but big wakes can erode the shoreline.

4. If you have a septic system, make sure it functions properly and meets current standards. Consider looking into an alternative wastewater treatment system, such as a composting toilet.

5. Plant a rain garden, use a rain barrel to catch water from your roof or consider using permeable pavement in your driveway. Runoff that stays on your property will not wash contaminants into streams and lakes.

6. Never dump wastes into a storm drain or on the ground. Storm sewers run directly to rivers and lakes.

7. In the winter, use less salt on your sidewalks and driveways. Chloride from road salt is building up in lakes that runoff from main roads.

8. Believe it or not, don’t use the lake as a bathtub. Soaps and shampoos contain nutrients and pollutants that are harmful to the lake and organisms living in it.

9. When you buy a boat motor, choose a 4-cycle rather than a 2-cycle engine. You will lose less gasoline into the water and cause less air pollution.

10. If you fish, consider putting away your lead sinkers and jigs and switch to non-toxic tackle. Loons, swans and other animals are susceptible to contracting lead poisoning from tackle they pick up off lake bottoms.

These are just some practical simple ways to keep your lakes clean to not only the wildlife, but also for your friends and family and visitors to our area’s lakes. – Billie Ingalls

Great Public Beaches in Burnett & Washburn County

Even if you don’t own property here, you can still enjoy the outdoors Up North. Burnett and Washburn County have some great public beaches with picnic tables, outdoor grills, playgrounds and more for everyone to enjoy. Just remember to grab a towel and some snacks because the kids won’t want to leave when you can spend the day playing in the sun.

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Crooked Lake

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The Pier at Crooked Lake

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The Park at Crooked Lake

Crooked Lake Park in Siren, Wisconsin has an expansive playground right next to the water. There is plenty of space to spread out and enjoy the day swimming and relaxing at the park with covered patios with picnic tables and grills, public restrooms, sand volleyball court and horse shoe. Crooked Lake also has a boat landing for anyone who is ready to get on the water. It’s located just North of Siren and within walking distance from restaurants, hotels and shopping.

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Lake 26 beach

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Lake 26 public beach and boat landing has a large sandy beach, picnic tables and room to run and play. Located east of Danbury on Elliot Johnson Road, Lake 26 public beach has outdoor grills, restrooms and nature trails adjacent to the beach for more outdoor adventures.

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Devils Lake beach

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Devils Lake

Located just four miles northeast of Webster on Country Road C, Devil’s Lake has a large sandy beach with great sand bottom swimming and enough room to spread out and enjoy the sun. Some facilities include parking, restrooms, picnic tables and a dock and boat launch for anyone’s use.

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Shell Lake beach and pier

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Shell Lake

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Shell Lake play area

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Shell Lake shelter

Shell Lake is 36 feet deep at its deepest and is clear and clean with excellent swimming. With lifeguards on duty, Shell Lake public beach has a large sandy beach with two docks and two swimming rafts. Pick a spot either under the shade of one of the many covered pavilions or out on the large sandy beach and start heating up one of the outdoor grills for a cookout. With restrooms, public boat landing, playground and picnic tables this beach has something for everyone to enjoy. Shell Lake public beach is located south of Spooner on Highway 63 and right across the street from restaurants and shopping!

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Whether you want to read your book on the beach, plunge into the water or fish from your boat, these local public beaches sit on some of the area’s best recreational lakes. It’s time to get outdoors and hit the water. – Billie Ingalls