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What Feeds on a Dead Deer?


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
March 27, 2015

Have you ever wondered what animals might clean up that dead deer on the side of the road?? At Wolf Ridge we are fond of investigation and discovery. Let’s get to the bottom of this mystery… First we need some road-kill deer. Check. Next we need to set up some trail cameras. Check. Now we […]

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Spring is in the Air!


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
March 17, 2015

A keen observer will notice that spring is beginning to “sprang” already at Wolf Ridge. Today we mark the first day of the year with more than 12 hours of sunlight. Beaked hazel catkins are softening and elongating and under last year’s leaf litter, mycelium grows. The warmth of the last ten days has changed […]

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The 5 E’s learning cycle- Elaboration Phase


Posted By shannonwalz
March 11, 2015

The 5 E’s learning cycle- Elaboration Phase For the month of March we are diving deeper into the “elaboration” or “extend” phase of the learning cycle. Last month we looked at “explain,” once a learner can explain or put language to their experiences and exploration, it is time to build upon that knowledge in the […]

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Winter “Otter” Be Fun!


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
February 26, 2015

  photo credit A fresh snow fall at Wolf Ridge makes winter transparent! On the Sawmill Creek there were Otter tracks and slides visible up and down the creek bed. Be on the lookout for animal signs near you! – Haley Marks and Grace Theisen -photo by Grace Theisen  

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Is There Value in Explaining Experience?


Posted By shannonwalz
February 24, 2015

The Learning Cycle:  Explain   The 5 E Learning cycle is based off of developmental research of Jean Piaget and education research done by Karplus and Atkin. This month we explored the “Explain” step in the cycle.  In the explain step students are asked to verbalize their understanding of the concept and demonstrate their new […]

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Be a Winter Weather Detective


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
February 24, 2015

There are many ways you can practice your detective skills in the winter. Blades of grass moving around can tell you which way the wind has been blowing. Snags of grass caught along the creek bank can tell you which way the water travels, and how high the water level was before it froze! – […]

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POP goes the Weasel


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
February 10, 2015

The hole by the energy center has a visitor! Most likely this is the same weasel we were tracking in the previous blog post. Read on to learn a bit more about this curious predator. According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Martens were at one time in danger of disappearing. Around 1920, logging […]

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What’s That Bark I Hear?


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
February 6, 2015

On Tuesday this week, we walked out of the West Dorm around a quarter to seven and were greeted by a beautiful scene: the moon was just setting over the horizon and was a bright orange pink as it sank out of sight. Watching the moon set, we tuned our ears to listen to the […]

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The Cold-Loving Snowfly


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
February 2, 2015

Over the last few weeks I’ve been occasionally surprised by the sight of tiny, arachnid-like creatures ambling across trails, dark and clear against the white snow. Upon closer inspection, these beings, though having their legs raised above their bodies spider-style, turn out to be true insects of some sort. They are wingless craneflies of the […]

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Is Finland the New Miami?


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
January 27, 2015

When observing bird feeders this time of year in Northern Minnesota, you may notice many striped little birds fluttering about. There are three primary birds that you are likely seeing, all of which may look similar without the use of binoculars. These three birds are Black-Capped Chickadees, Common Redpolls and Pine Siskins.          […]

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Is it Cold Enough for Minnesota’s Plants?


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
January 13, 2015

Last week was the coldest of the year (alright, alright, it was the first week of the year). While some of us might not have enjoyed the frigid weather, it was actually crucial to many of the plants at Wolf Ridge. Cold temperatures help plants go through a process called vernalization, during which the flowers, […]

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Tracking a Wily Weasel


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
January 13, 2015

Next to a pile of firewood is a story written in the snow. Scrambling tracks, blood, and a fresh pile of feathers paint a picture. Reddish, brownish, and blackish feathers belong to the unfortunate victim, a Ruffed Grouse. Classic bounding weasel tracks nearby reveal the predator to be a Pine Marten. Depressions in the snow […]

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The Naturalist’s Frozen Five: Staying Warm in the Cold


Posted By David Butcher
January 6, 2015

It’s the beginning of January and we are heading into what might be the coldest week of the year so far.  Sometimes being outside in the cold can be intimidating, but here at Wolf Ridge we believe it is also a great opportunity to learn and explore in a unique setting.  During these frosty times […]

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Dressing for FUN Cold-Weather Learning


Posted By David Butcher
January 5, 2015

Winter can be amazing. When the temperatures hover around zero and below the snow squeaks when you walk and those clear azure skies and sparkling white snow can take your breath away. And if you’re dressed right, that breathe will be warm and comfortable. You’ve probably heard the expression ‘There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.’  Wolf Ridge has been teaching […]

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The Month of Winter Fog


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
December 23, 2014

View From the top of Mystical Mountain, December 15, 2014 This month Wolf Ridge has seen its fair share of fog. Why is this you may wonder? Well fog is a type of cloud formed when the relative humidity is close to 100% and the dew point and temperature are close together. These conditions allow […]

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Trees like ghosts!


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
December 22, 2014

  Last weekend the icy ghost of hoar frost overtook the flora of Wolf Ridge ELC.  Hoar frost forms when water vapor in the air comes in contact with a surface at or below the dew point temperature. The dew point must be below freezing causing the water vapor to immediately freeze as ice crystals on […]

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The Florida of the North


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
December 9, 2014

Did you know that heading south for the winter is all relative? While most of us consider “the tropics” to be Florida and Mexico, for some migrants, Minnesota is as far south as a snowbird needs to travel. Oh and when I mean snowbirds, I’m talking about actual birds! One species, the white-winged crossbill, will lay their eggs […]

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Sunken Treasure


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
December 8, 2014

Northern Minnesota was known for the logging industry. Many logs were floated across Lake Superior to other areas of Minnesota and Wisconsin. While the industry boom has now died down a new industry has popped up in its place. A company in Ashland Wisconsin is now logging hardwood trees that lie preserved on the bottom […]

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Cracking Trees


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
December 1, 2014

This week maple and pine trees were cracking from the cold. The reason they crack is because the sap inside the tree freezes and expands. You can hear the cracking happen and feel it cracking when you touch it. Head outside on a cold night and see what you can hear! ~Sydney Stock and Megan […]

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November Snowfall Before and After


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
November 11, 2014

  In the morning…      Later that day…  Over the course of one day we went from zero to four inches of snow! Wolf Ridge has been transformed into a winter wonder land. This snow fell before the ground froze creating a warm layer between the ground and the snow. This layer is great […]

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