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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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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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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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What Feeds on a Dead Deer?


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
March 27, 2015

Have you ever wondered what animals might clean up that dead deer on the side of the road?? At Wolf Ridge we are fond of investigation and discovery. Let’s get to the bottom of this mystery… First we need some road-kill deer. Check. Next we need to set up some trail cameras. Check. Now we […]

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POP goes the Weasel


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
February 10, 2015

The hole by the energy center has a visitor! Most likely this is the same weasel we were tracking in the previous blog post. Read on to learn a bit more about this curious predator. According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Martens were at one time in danger of disappearing. Around 1920, logging […]

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Tracking a Wily Weasel


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
January 13, 2015

Next to a pile of firewood is a story written in the snow. Scrambling tracks, blood, and a fresh pile of feathers paint a picture. Reddish, brownish, and blackish feathers belong to the unfortunate victim, a Ruffed Grouse. Classic bounding weasel tracks nearby reveal the predator to be a Pine Marten. Depressions in the snow […]

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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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A River Otter Outing


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
May 5, 2014

On April 26th I went tracking with a professional nature and wildlife photographer named Benjamin Olson. He is interested in what I do as an animal tracker and I am interested in learning the technical side of photography; good companions for a day in the woods. The weather was as follows: in the high 40’s, […]

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The Phantom of the North Woods Returns!


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
May 5, 2014

  On 04/01/14 (Yes, April Fools Day) the Wolf Ridge Organic Farm Manager, David Abazs, left a phone message for me with the naturalist wing at the West Dorm. “David wanted to let you know that there is a Lynx sleeping behind his house” says naturalist Susan Delfs. I didn’t believe it at first and […]

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The Ghost of the North Woods


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
March 17, 2014

 At the beginning of last month, Wolf Ridge ELC had the sighting of a lifetime. On January 29th 2014, Head- Chef at Wolf Ridge, Barret Stavseth showed me pictures on his cell phone of SIX large gray cats crossing the driveway, down by the proposed Farm site…Rumors and descriptions of sightings began to fill my […]

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A Wild Porcupine Adventure


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
February 10, 2014

The class is North Woods Mammals…The group of twenty from Oak Park Elementary and I have already descended the “Stairs of Health and Happiness” off of the ridge and into the valley below… yes all 245 steps later. We are searching intently for signs left behind by warm blooded, fur bearing, milk drinking, live-birth-giving creatures […]

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Deep Snow, Tracks & a Trail Cam


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
January 21, 2014

Last week naturalists Tessa Olson, Dan Hnilicka and I ventured down behind the science center to explore a low-lying wetland and set up a trail camera. We scrambled over a snowbank (almost getting stuck in the giant drift!) and made our way toward a white cedar grove. The snow was up above our knees and […]

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