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Tracking Snowshoe Hare in Winter


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
November 16, 2017

Snowshoe Hare, Lepus americanus, is the most common “rabbit” of Minnesota’s North Woods. Living in the dense thickets of northern coniferous forests, the snowshoe hare feasts on a bounty of needles and buds during the winter months. In the summer, the snowshoe hare is overall a dark brown color with black-tipped hair and a white […]

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Leave it to Beaver


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
November 16, 2017

As the saying goes, beavers were and are busy as usual this year preparing for and living through winter. They spent the spring and summer working on their dams and lodges, making sure they remained in tip top shape. As the weather cools down, beavers need to look ahead to the even colder winter months […]

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Boeckman’s Inaugural Trip to Wolf Ridge


Posted By Hannah Edstrom
November 10, 2017

“The kids will surprise you in the most positive ways.” -Boeckman Middle School Teacher   This week the 8th graders of Boeckman Middle School from Farmington, Minnesota came up to Wolf Ridge for their first ever visit! Todd Kohorst, currently a science teacher at Boeckman, is a past Wolf Ridge Naturalist and thought it would […]

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Thin Ice! 


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
November 7, 2017

It’s that time of year again where the temperature starts to dip below freezing, especially at night. Because of this many of the puddles, streams, and ponds have begun to form ice. The ice may come quickly but generally is still thin as the days stay above freezing. Remember, ice is not safe to walk […]

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Meet Our New Animals!


Posted By Hannah Edstrom
November 3, 2017

We have a few new animal friends here at Wolf Ridge, let’s learn a little bit about them!   Our first new resident is a Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus) named Betelgeuse, who is very social and outgoing. His hibernation was disrupted and didn’t have much fur on his back when found. So he was […]

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Changing Chickadees


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
October 30, 2017

Keep an eye out for changes in chickadee behavior in the coming weeks. To prepare for winter, chickadees form flocks in the late fall. The flocks are formed around a dominant mating pair and contain other adults and juveniles. These flocks of 6-10 individuals provide protection and food security for the birds.   Try at […]

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It’s Winter!


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
October 30, 2017

Wolf Ridge experienced its first snow of the year this week! An unexpected 10 inches! The heavy wet snow stuck to the trees, bending tamaracks and small shrubs over the paths onto the ground, making for creative path walking experiences. The view off the observation deck has totally changed, with only a few big-toothed aspens […]

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Fall Phenology: Setting the Stage


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
October 8, 2017

  The change of colors in autumn never fails to bring a sense of wonder. People will travel hundreds of miles to witness brilliant oranges, bright yellows, and deep reds. Leaf peepers, a term that I heard just recently, are those that travel to view and photograph fall foliage. So, what is going on “back […]

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Which Hawk is Soaring By?


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
September 15, 2017

Sharp-shinned hawks and broad winged hawks have started their migration over Wolf Ridge! Several were documented near the observation deck behind the science center. A notable difference between the two is the flight behavior. A sharp-shinned hawk will flap much more than the broad winged hawk, who glides smoothly through the air.   These hawks […]

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Shovels and Ribbons: June 3 in Pictures


Posted By JohnChandler
June 28, 2017

On Saturday, June 3, 2017 we gathered to celebrate the culmination of two important milestones in the Making Waves $9.4 million capital campaign – completion of the Lakeview Staff House and Maintenance Buildings, and kicking off Phase 2, the Margaret A. Cargill Lodge and Lake Superior classroom access. These milestones would not be possible without YOU! Here’s […]

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Change is a-foot in the West Dorm


Posted By Carrie Anderson
June 28, 2017

  I’ve often thought of the West Dorm as a “home away from home.” School kids move in on Mondays ready to make the place their own. They haul their sleeping bags and clothes off the bus and up into their rooms, thrilled to be on this grand adventure north. Summer campers gather around the […]

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Fun Ephemeral Finds


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
May 22, 2017

May is the optimal time to engage in a wildflower hike. Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensi), a flower with 8-10 white petals, can be found in the lower valleys of Wolf Ridge. The name bloodroot comes from red juice that emerges from a broken stem. This juice is poisonous, but can be used as a natural dye. […]

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Belted Kingfisher Nesting


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
May 8, 2017

One of the many birds migrating back to Wolf Ridge this spring is the Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon). These birds that let out a loud, rattling call are primarily fish eaters, which means that their homes can be found near a body of water. A male Belted Kingfisher will obtain a territory that may include […]

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Love is in the Air


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
April 7, 2017

This time of the year in northern Minnesota we are witnessing some interesting behavior from the birds. Though seemingly unusual, these visuals and sounds are all typical of mating behaviors. All birds have their own unique songs and actions, but some highlights around this area include that from Common Ravens, Bald Eagles, Pileated Woodpeckers, and […]

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Tap, Tap, Tap!


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
April 7, 2017

It’s that time of year when the maple sap is running! Wolf Ridge happens to be right in the middle of a sugar bush, a section of forest dominated by sugar maple trees. We waited to begin tapping until the right time – when the temperature is below freezing at night and above freezing during […]

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Chemis-tree


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
March 22, 2017

Earlier this week, Maria and I were enjoying a steaming hot cup of cedar tea. Cedar tea is not only tasty, but nutritious!  The northern white cedar (thuja occidentalis) was called ‘arbor vitae’, or ‘tree of life’ in Latin by early European explorers because its high vitamin C content prevented diseases like scurvy. As we […]

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Making Waves Update – Living Building Challenge Beauty Petal


Posted By shannonwalz
February 8, 2017

By Lori Walewski and Shannon Walz Living Building Challenge believes that beauty inspires caring for communities and the environment.  The Beauty Petal challenges LBC projects to recalibrate what people accept for the built environment. The purpose is to create joy and inspiration. There are two imperatives – 1) Beauty and Spirit and  2) Inspiration and […]

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Making Waves Update – Living Building Challenge Water Petal


Posted By shannonwalz
January 31, 2017

By Lori Walewski and Shannon Walz Freshwater is a precious resource.  Access to freshwater is becoming a serious issue around the world due to climate change, pollution and our current water habits around water use.  The Water Petal’s intent is to rethink our water usage and what happens with wastewater so that buildings, campuses and […]

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Making Waves Update – Living Building Challenge Petals


Posted By shannonwalz
January 24, 2017

By Lori Walewski and Shannon Walz Living Building Challenge has been mentioned many times in this blog.  Living Building Certification consists of three steps. Registration – Wolf Ridge registered the West Dorm remodel to the LBC version 2.1 in September 2014. Documentation and Operation – We are currently in this phase which includes constructions and […]

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Making Waves Update – Finishing the guts inside the walls


Posted By shannonwalz
January 3, 2017

With 2016 behind us, we are looking forward to wrapping up work on some of the pieces of a house that people don’t often think about – the electric wiring, heating, plumbing, and more. In the case of the Naturalist House, this also includes special wiring that will transmit information to the graduate student naturalists who will live there. The […]

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