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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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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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Is Finland the New Miami?


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
January 27, 2015

When observing bird feeders this time of year in Northern Minnesota, you may notice many striped little birds fluttering about. There are three primary birds that you are likely seeing, all of which may look similar without the use of binoculars. These three birds are Black-Capped Chickadees, Common Redpolls and Pine Siskins.          […]

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Is it Cold Enough for Minnesota’s Plants?


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
January 13, 2015

Last week was the coldest of the year (alright, alright, it was the first week of the year). While some of us might not have enjoyed the frigid weather, it was actually crucial to many of the plants at Wolf Ridge. Cold temperatures help plants go through a process called vernalization, during which the flowers, […]

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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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