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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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First Snow!


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
November 3, 2014

On Thursday afternoon snow fell and stuck to the ground for the first time this season at Wolf Ridge! There was much celebration, as snow is a sign of winter coming that makes everyone excited around here. Overnight the snow continued to fall and the accumulation at 7 am on Friday morning was 0.3 inches. […]

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Aspen Clones


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
October 30, 2014

As the last of the trees lose their leaves, I always wonder why some trees keep their leaves for so long. I wondered even more when I saw a group of Aspen trees all keeping some of their leaves. This is because Aspen trees have interconnected root systems. It is common for Aspen trees near […]

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What’s a Catkin Anyways?


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
October 29, 2014

Late autumn is a great time to observe tree buds and catkins. The buds will become next year’s leaves, and catkins play different roles on different trees. Trees form buds to protect the leaf axils, the buds can be hard and sometimes even fuzzy! Paper Birch tree catkins contain seeds that look like tiny butterflies […]

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Dead or Alive?


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
October 21, 2014

With lots of the leaves now fallen from maple trees and other tree types, it can be hard to tell if the tree is dead or alive.  A closer look can help us decide!  If there are buds on the branches, the tree is alive.  Can’t tell if that bump is a bump or a […]

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Blood Moon


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
October 9, 2014

During the wee hours of Wednesday morning, some of us here at Wolf Ridge decided to brave the wind and cold to get a peek at the lunar eclipse that occurred. A lunar eclipse is when the sun, earth and moon all align so that the earth casts a shadow across the moon. During a […]

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Busy Beavers of Sawmill Creek


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
October 6, 2014

When I returned to Wolf Ridge ELC this fall for a second year I quickly returned to my old hobby of tracking and photographing the resident campus wildlife. Within the first few weeks I was tipped-off by a summer naturalist that a family of busy beavers had constructed a fresh lodge; very close to one […]

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Heat Riders: Raptor Migration in Full Swing


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
October 6, 2014

This morning I woke up to the sight of swirling silhouettes in the sky. Called “kettles” for their likeness to the appearance of rising steam from a kettle, these groups of migrating raptors (sometimes hundreds together at once!) are riding the currents of a thermal updraft in order to conserve strength and gain altitude as […]

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Fall Colours in Unexpected Places


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
October 3, 2014

This weekend just passed saw the fall colours truly kick into action, and for those of us from other climes (read: yours truly from Ireland), especially from anywhere further south, it’s been a shock to see the riot of seasonal colour kick in so early. But some coniferous trees lose their leaves at this point […]

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Bumblebee Caterpillars?


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
September 25, 2014

All over Wolf Ridge we have been seeing these caterpillars that have black and yellow bodies with white tufts of hair on their heads and tails.  These bumblebee looking caterpillars are the Spotted Tussock Moths, Lophocampa maculata, and are in their larvae form from July through September.  Keep an eye out for them hanging out […]

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I’m Here! I’m Trained!


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
September 6, 2014

  The past two weeks have been two of the craziest of my life. It’s gonna be hard to put to words what I’ve done, experienced, the people I’ve connected with, or where I see this whole program going. I will do my best though… It took almost no time at all to get the […]

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Summer Camp: “10,080 Minutes: a week’s worth of moments away from the normal pressures of life”*


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
July 30, 2014

by Jenn Gingery, Director of Camp Health Services The problems of our times vary widely. With global issues, childhood obesity, and the amount of time kids spend looking at a screen, the next generation has a lot to deal with.  “The average American child spends 270 minutes watching television, 82 minutes on the phone, 27 […]

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Camp Updates: Friendships


Posted By Jenny Bushmaker
July 15, 2014

It has been said that friendships forged at summer camp can be some of the best relationships children have, giving more insight into themselves – and the bigger world.  Camp friendships have a strong hold on children. Not only do they meet new people who set the tone for the friendships they make later in […]

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