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Poop on a Stick?


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
October 10, 2016

Fondly known as “poop on a stick,” black knot fungus often grows on chokecherry trees around Wolf Ridge. A fungal disease, black knot fungus can prove fatal for many young trees. However, on the larger trees, it serves as nothing more than a pest for the branches it targets. This fungus overwinters on trees in […]

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Watch One Leaf Change Color!


Posted By Carrie Anderson
September 28, 2016

Watch a single leaf change color through time-lapse photography! As we observe the changing seasons at Wolf Ridge, one of the brightest signs of fall has been the changing leaves. When I first started closely observing the maple leaves changing color I had lots of questions- did they change from one side to the other? […]

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Balls from Insect Galls


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
September 26, 2016

This past week during a phenology hike, we came across a strange growth on an unknown plant which led us into some further research, discovering that it is something referred to as a gall. Some galls can be a result of infections by bacteria, fungi, or nematodes, but they can also be the result of […]

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Mooning over Tettegouche Ferns


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
September 20, 2016

We found a few leathery grape ferns near Shovel Point at Tettegouche State Park recently. If you look at the photo, you can see some immature lighter green spores and some mature browning spores.  It gets its unusual look from how it grows, divided into the sterile fronds (three leaflets), and the fertile part, which look like “grape bunches” of […]

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Spring in the Christmas Trees?


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
June 1, 2016

It’s spring! And all around are signs of life. One tree which is as ubiquitous to the North Woods as the green grass that grows all around is beginning to show signs of new growth. The bright green on the end of spruce branches begin forming under brown papery scales like pine cones but rather […]

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Have you tried these spring wild edibles?


Posted By Carrie Anderson
May 17, 2016

Spring Beauty Spring Beauty is flowering! Spring beauty is a tiny flower that comes out in the spring. The entire plant is edible – you can put the whole thing in a wild greens salad. With some careful digging, you can find a spring beauty tuber deep down on the root (about 2-3in) of the […]

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Return of the Birds!


Posted By shannonwalz
April 27, 2016


Raven Lake Nest — Up Close!


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
April 11, 2016

As winter is attempting to come to an end we have observed a pair of Ravens nesting at Wolf Ridge’s own Raven Lake! During winter months, ravens congregate in groups to forage for food while other birds are migrating south. As spring arrives, they are quick to break up into their mated pairs and begin […]

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Ravens Are Nesting!


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
March 22, 2016

Standing on the dock at Raven Lake, we used our binoculars to watch a sleek black bird dip its wings and gently land on a dark ledge on the cliffs of Marshall Mountain. The “diamond of doom” shaped tail gave the bird away – it was a Common Raven. We watched as the raven settled […]

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Sappy Spring Run


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
March 15, 2016

As we are experiencing the early signs of spring, naturalist and sap alike are starting to run! During one of those runs, we noticed blue bags hanging from a group of trees a little off highway 6. Upon inspection, we realized some of the locals have begun their annual process of tapping maple trees and […]

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Mystery Creature From the Deep


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
March 1, 2016

We have a new education animal with an exciting story. Our local bait shop contacted us this week. They had caught what looked to them like a mudpuppy or salamander larva in a bait trap. Once bait is taken out of a lake and transported elsewhere, it can no longer be released into the wild, so they […]

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A Rude Awakening


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
February 25, 2016

With such mild temperatures, some trees here in the north woods are experiencing early leaf out.  All around the Wolf Ridge property, we continue to see the opening of buds when the temperatures rise. February 12 Tree buds are grown at the end of the summer using excess sugars, and then go dormant until spring time rolls around. […]

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How are Deer Doing This Winter?


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
February 9, 2016

This morning, during our weekly phenology walk with Peter Harris, we spent a considerable amount of time tromping through deep snow, covering our cheeks form the cold wind, and mentioning how chilly out it was. Although this winter has been relatively mild according to Northeastern Minnesota standards, today was harsh. Click to see full size […]

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Winter Birds: A Chilly Thrill


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
February 6, 2016

Long before the first curls of sunlight hit the frosty trees this Friday, a group of Wolf Ridge naturalists hopped in a van to visit a nearby birding hotspot- the Sax Zim Bog. The Sax Zim Bog is a beautiful winter habitat for birds, moose, wolves, and lots of other wildlife, and the bog draws […]

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Oak Abscission


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
January 10, 2016

Pin oak fall leaf photo by Rod Kuehn We’re in the bitter cold of January, but the Pin Oak outside Wolf Ridge’s Science Center is still holding onto its leaves as though it were fall. You’ve probably seen oak trees near you that also hold onto their leaves through the winter. What’s the story? Did […]

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Keeping Our Heads in the Clouds


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
November 12, 2015

This past week, Wolf Ridge was in a fog that lasted for multiple days. Fog occurs when the temperature of the air cools to the dewpoint: the temperature at which water condensates onto particles in the air. Over the past week, a front of warm air moving across the colder surface of Lake Superior cooled […]

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Snow Bunting Season


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
November 6, 2015

Here at Wolf Ridge we are starting to see the first signs of the upcoming winter season. One of these signs is the presence of winter bird species. A particular species we have seen in large amounts is the snow bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis). These birds travel from their breeding grounds in the Arctic tundra down […]

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Cranberry Road?


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
October 7, 2015

“Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelled of ELDERBERRIES!” – Monty Python What’s in a name? The Wolf Ridge road, otherwise known as Cranberry Road, has its namesake in the high bush cranberry. Otherwise known as cranberry viburnum, the high bush cranberry has been in full fruiting fabulous-ness the last two weeks. High […]

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Spotted Tussock Moth


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
October 5, 2015

One of the first critters we noticed here at Wolf Ridge was a very unique looking caterpillar. Walking around campus we all noticed these fuzzy black and yellow banded caterpillars with spiky white hairs and had no idea what they were! We very quickly learned they are called the Spotted Tussock Moth. The Spotted Tussock […]

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Mushrooming on the North Shore


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
September 30, 2015

This fall season mushrooms were abundantly lining the forest floor. We saw many different sizes, colors and shapes! There were the bright orange and yellow, Fly Amanitas, a 5 pound Giant Puffball, uniquely shaped Lobster Mushrooms, and the Orange Jelly on decaying wood. Not only were the mushrooms visibly appealing but we were pleased to […]

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