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June is Bustin’ Out All Over!


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
May 22, 2015

Saskatoon, sugarplum, shadbush, serviceberry, sarvisberry, chuckley pear.  Juneberry is a sweet tree with many common names, and many species under one genus: Amelanchier.  The small trees are in bloom en masse here, with their 5-petaled white flowers in long groupings called racemes. The many names of this early blooming tree indicate various associations with its seasonal timing.  […]

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A Ground Nesting Bird


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
May 21, 2015

Over the weekend I took a stroll to a gravel pit near my house to do some rock picking. The vegetation was sparse; a few grasses and ferns poking through the dirt and rocks. Fresh tire tracks from an excavator left a trail of freshly dug up pebbles. As I bent over to examine a […]

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A Disappearing Act: Spring Ephemerals


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
May 12, 2015

Every year, spring puts on a magic show. As soon as the snow has retreated and the days lengthen, the forest floor comes alive with spring ephemeral wildflowers. Spring ephemerals are, as their name suggests, short-lived. Many spend the winter underground as roots or bulbs until conditions are just right for them to send out […]

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Ravens on Raven Lake Cliffs


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
April 30, 2015

The raven nest on the side of Marshall Mountain can now be clearly seen from the Raven Lake canoe dock. Typically for a raven cliff nest, it’s below an overhang, and located slightly within the safety of a shallow recess. One or both of the parents can often be seen flying back and forth over […]

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Kits Out and About!


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
April 27, 2015

With every day here at Wolf Ridge it becomes clear that spring is here! The ravens on the ridge are caring for their young, and the beavers are doing the same. At the ridge, we have three different beaver lodges, each sporting some adorable new kits. This last week while running along the Wolf Lake […]

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Sharing Stories


Posted By David Butcher
April 27, 2015

This morning I went for my first paddle in a canoe on Wolf Lake for the season. Every year I look forward to the first paddle after the spring thaw and the ice goes off the lake, and this year I wasn’t disappointed. The temperature was brisk with the promise of warmer temperatures to come, […]

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Spring Drumming


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
April 17, 2015

It is that time of the year again and animals are beginning to mate. The grouse is no exception and the males have begun their unique way of attracting a female. The male Ruffed Grouse will sit on a low log, stump, or rock and create a deep, thumping sound that starts slowly and builds […]

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Hidden Treasures


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
April 15, 2015

Here in the Northland, there are hidden treasures that can be found beneath the leaf cover that was left from last fall. If you gently brush away a leafy area, underneath you are able to find a thick, rich layer of dark soil that makes a nice base for little plants to be sprouting up. […]

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The 5 E’s learning cycle- Evaluate Phase


Posted By shannonwalz
April 14, 2015

The 5 E’s learning cycle- Evaluate Phase   For the month of April we are exploring “evaluate” phase of the learning cycle. Last month we looked at “elaborate”. Elaboration enables learners to apply concepts from the lesson to different contexts and preform activities that deepen their understanding and skill within those concepts. The “evaluate” phase provides both […]

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Ermine Suits-Up for Spring


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
April 7, 2015

In the past few weeks there has been an ermine (also known as short tail weasel or stoat) visiting our trail camera. We have been able to track our ermine friend through a striking springtime change. Ermines are carnivores that hunt for small rodents such as mice, moles, and voles that may reside underneath the […]

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Welcome Back, Wanderer!


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
April 2, 2015

Yet another sign of Spring has shown itself on North Shore. Peregrine falcons have once again completed their long journey north. Peregrine comes from a latin word meaning “wanderer”. The name fits them well as peregrines are known to migrate as far as South America during the winter months. It was good to see our feathered […]

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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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