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International Women’s Day – Poem by Maggie Noun


Posted By Maggie Noun
March 8, 2018

Dedicated to all women and girls finding their place in the environment and the outdoors!   You may think that you have no place in the woods here. That you cannot climb, run, and roll in the mud. That you are cold and weak, and full of fear. Little do you know that you are […]

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Which Woodpecker was Wandering the Woods?


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
March 6, 2018

If you go on a walk through the woods in the spring, you might hear a distinct drumming sound. Looking around, you can see a woodpecker. But alas, which one???? Here at Wolf Ridge, the most common woodpeckers are the downy, hairy and pileated. The downy woodpecker is the smallest of the three at 6-7” […]

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6 TIPS TO PICK A SUMMER CAMP PROGRAM FOR YOUR CHILD


Posted By Jenny Bushmaker
February 28, 2018

Summers are magical. School’s out, the days are long, and free time abounds. Yet after a month or so, boredom sets in and kids start gravitating toward the couch, glued to smartphones, binging on Netflix, and playing video games for hours on end. That’s where summer camps come in. Camp is designed to let kids […]

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Roller Coaster Temps and a Blizzard


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
February 20, 2018

It’s been a chaotic week in the North Woods. It reminded us of riding the Wild Thing at Valley Fair. We monitored the weather for a week, from 2-13-18 to 2-19-18. The start of the week was fairly cold with a low of -13 and a high of 11. By Wednesday, Finland experienced a high […]

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The Troll of Raven Lake


Posted By Maggie Noun
February 15, 2018

The Troll of Raven lake resides in the caves are only accessible on ice, or by canoe by Marshall Mountain. If you have seen a troll before you’ll know that trolls are terrible and unsightly, with a nose like a bumpy carrot, a few hairs on the top of its head that look like algae, […]

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Hardy Redpolls


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
February 14, 2018

What animal can withstand -65 degree F temperatures, has a pouch in their esophagus to store food and digs tunnels in the snow? The answer is the common redpoll, a small passerine bird about half the size of your fist. These little, hardy birds spend their winters in the arctic tundra and boreal forest. While […]

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Crazy Cold and Crazy People


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
February 12, 2018

What is the craziest thing that you can imagine doing? Think about it for a minute, this post can wait. What if I told you that I was offered the opportunity to go to Lake Winnipeg and camp in negative 40-degree weather in order to train to go to the North Pole. Oh yeah, and […]

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Clear Night on Wolf Lake: A Short Story


Posted By Maggie Noun
February 1, 2018

Sam was from the cities, where there were maybe one to ten stars showing up on a clear night. Even so, she loved the sight of the downtown lights across Lake Harriet at night, a reminder of how close nature and humans could truly be. Sam and her classmates arrived on the bus to Wolf […]

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Let it Snow!


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
January 26, 2018

This week in the world of phenology we explored everyone’s favorite winter precipitation, snow! In our exploration we visited several locations along the North Shore. We delved deep, observing multiple strata from the fluffy upper layer to the subnivean zone. At each site, we counted the number of layers, measured the temperature of each layer, […]

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Hoo’s watching our bird feeders?


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
January 26, 2018

This week the Forest Ecology building had an exciting visitor- a barred owl! Perched in an aspen facing the Northeast side of the building, the bird remained perfectly still observing chickadees flying to and from our bird feeders. Barred owls can be identified by their rounded head (no ‘ears’), black eyes, yellow beak, and by […]

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Silence


Posted By Maggie Noun
January 14, 2018

There is rarely complete silence on the ridge; there are usually gleeful yelps of joy, bickering, and complaints about cold and being tired from herds of sixth graders. Such was the case with birds class on Thursday. As naturalists, we practice classroom management, and usually kids respond well to when they are asked to be […]

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How did this rock “sink”?


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
December 11, 2017

Early in the week we were able to see a phenomenon normally isolated to spring. When soil freezes, the water inside it expands, pushing up and out in all directions. When the ice hits a large rock, it pushes it upward thus deforming the soil around it. This phenomenon is known as frost wedging. But […]

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From the 40th Anniversary Story Room:


Posted By Maggie Noun
December 5, 2017

Meg Blogett came to wolf ridge in summer ’95 as a camper, counselor, then an adult chaperone with Hopkins Summer Field Biology Group, and was a student naturalist 2009-10.   “The thing that strikes me the most about Wolf Ridge is the way it gets in your bones. I think the people who I know […]

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Redtail Ridge


Posted By Maggie Noun
November 26, 2017

Redtail Ridge   Redtail Ridge Elementary came from October 30 to November 3rd 2017, and enjoyed an early snow and some second degree fun in the RVs! As the liaison for this group, I noticed so much gratitude and smiles from the kids throughout the week. The adults were unphased by the RV’s water freezing, […]

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Wolf Ridge Tails and Tales!


Posted By Maggie Noun
November 25, 2017

Wolf Ridge Tails  and Tales is here to share stories of why folks come year after year to Wolf Ridge. It aims to ignite some of the stories the recesses of memory, and to highlight new ones with all sorts of voices. You’ll hear from parents, teachers, students, naturalists, permanent staff, and board members on […]

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Tracking Snowshoe Hare in Winter


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
November 16, 2017

Snowshoe Hare, Lepus americanus, is the most common “rabbit” of Minnesota’s North Woods. Living in the dense thickets of northern coniferous forests, the snowshoe hare feasts on a bounty of needles and buds during the winter months. In the summer, the snowshoe hare is overall a dark brown color with black-tipped hair and a white […]

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Leave it to Beaver


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
November 16, 2017

As the saying goes, beavers were and are busy as usual this year preparing for and living through winter. They spent the spring and summer working on their dams and lodges, making sure they remained in tip top shape. As the weather cools down, beavers need to look ahead to the even colder winter months […]

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Boeckman’s Inaugural Trip to Wolf Ridge


Posted By Hannah Edstrom
November 10, 2017

“The kids will surprise you in the most positive ways.” -Boeckman Middle School Teacher   This week the 8th graders of Boeckman Middle School from Farmington, Minnesota came up to Wolf Ridge for their first ever visit! Todd Kohorst, currently a science teacher at Boeckman, is a past Wolf Ridge Naturalist and thought it would […]

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Thin Ice! 


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
November 7, 2017

It’s that time of year again where the temperature starts to dip below freezing, especially at night. Because of this many of the puddles, streams, and ponds have begun to form ice. The ice may come quickly but generally is still thin as the days stay above freezing. Remember, ice is not safe to walk […]

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Meet Our New Animals!


Posted By Hannah Edstrom
November 3, 2017

We have a few new animal friends here at Wolf Ridge, let’s learn a little bit about them!   Our first new resident is a Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus) named Betelgeuse, who is very social and outgoing. His hibernation was disrupted and didn’t have much fur on his back when found. So he was […]

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