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An End and a Beginning


Posted By Summer Camp Staff
August 21, 2015

As summer camp winds down, I walk along the trails and feel pangs of nostalgia. This is due in part to the normal process of leaving a place; as I visit my favorite spots for possibly the last time, memories of the past year flash through my mind. But the nostalgia is heightened by the […]

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Musings on a Morning Moment


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
August 10, 2015

The view of the valley overlooking Sawmill Creek   I went outside this morning to observe everything I could in five to ten minutes. After all, life is busy around Wolf Ridge and sometimes when you remember to appreciate where we work and play you only have five to ten minutes to devote to it. […]

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Edibles Everywhere


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
July 30, 2015

This past week I taught a Wild Edibles class with a group of Junior Naturalists excited to learn about edible plants they might find on their trip to Quetico Provincial Park. Lucky for them, late July is a wonderful time to sample the bounty of the Northwoods forest. Before heading out to harvest, we first discussed […]

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A Woolly Alder What?


Posted By Summer Camp Staff
July 29, 2015

At the beginning of my Wolf Ridge adventure, back in October, I was walking up the trail from Wolf Lake when I spotted something strange. A wispy, fuzzy, white substance coated the branch of an alder tree. Was it a mold? A fungus? I had no idea. Upon questioning my professor and doing some research, […]

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Mutualism: You Scratch My Back, I’ll Scratch Yours!


Posted By Summer Camp Staff
July 17, 2015

It has often been said that “it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there”. However, upon closer inspection, it appears that many organisms work together to survive rather than competing with one another. This type of relationship is called “mutualism” because the organisms involved both play a role in helping each other survive and thrive. A prime […]

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Caught on Camera


Posted By Summer Camp Staff
July 3, 2015

This past weekend was full of animal encounters via the trail cam. A group of phenology enthusiasts led by naturalist Jim Gilbert (known for his nature articles in the Star Tribune and his Sunday morning radio show on WCCO) set up a camera next to Sawmill Creek to see who utilized one of many beaver […]

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Chestnut Sided Who?


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
June 23, 2015

Pleased-pleased-pleased-to-meet-you. High pitched songs burst through the trees as we walk the still dewey trails. This week a lively group of adult learners are at Wolf Ridge for the Beginning Bird Banding course hosted on campus and offered through the Institute for Bird Populations. They rise early each morning to learn the practices of bird banding, […]

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Forest Lightshow


Posted By Summer Camp Staff
June 16, 2015

If you wait long enough after dark, you will be treated to a magical sight. Tiny dots of greenish yellow light drift through the forest and then disappear, only to reappear moments later in a new location. Are they fairies? Wood nymphs? No, they’re fireflies! Fireflies, also known as lightning bugs, are not actually flies or […]

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Butterfly Bonanza!


Posted By Summer Camp Staff
June 10, 2015

Flutter, flap, oooh what’s that? The north woods are teeming with new life this time of year as we welcome birds, buds, blooms, buzzing bees, and of course, BUTTERFLIES! Though they can be hard to see for more than a few seconds, butterflies are exciting to look for. This week we’ve been seeing lots of […]

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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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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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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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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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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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