Already by Jan. 6 we have gained 9 minutes of daylight since the winter solstice, a welcome gift. To many people, winter is the season of anticipation and joy, and here in temperate Minnesota, the season of survival and frozen beauty. Lake ice cracks, groans and booms as it expands and contracts with changing temperatures. This doesn't necessarily mean that the ice is unsafe for fishing or skating, but for those out on the ice, the rumbling and rolls are eerie indeed.
Updated: January 06, 2012, - 12:10 AM
For every creature seen or heard, at least a hundred pass by unobserved. Only when we see tracks in the snow do we begin to realize all of the activity going on around us.
Updated: December 29, 2011, - 11:22 PM
The grays are the squirrels of the hardwood deciduous forests. The eastern gray squirrel, with its long, bushy tail and general gray coloration, is the species seen in Minnesota. It is most common in the south but can also inhabit the mixed coniferous/deciduous forests in the northern part of the state. From extreme southern Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, its range covers most of the eastern half of the United States.
Updated: December 15, 2011, - 11:10 PM
If you have the opportunity, take a walk in the woods or in a park, or even around a city block on a December night when the moon is full, or nearly so, and there is good snow cover.
Updated: December 09, 2011, - 01:46 AM
In 1782, the turkey lost by a single vote to the bald eagle to become the national bird or national symbol.
Updated: November 18, 2011, - 01:09 AM
Opossums are slow-moving, so it will seek safety up a tree, in a brush pile, or if a retreat cannot be reached, it may play "possum," that is, pretend death. They are relatively harmless to people, but do treat them with respect, as they have more teeth than any other mammal found in Minnesota.
Updated: November 11, 2011, - 01:08 AM
The end of October is a perfect time to begin feeding wild birds. Now is when birds are establishing their feeding patterns for winter. With proper cover -- trees, shrubs and brush piles -- birds will congregate at feeding stations. On snowy days, I have recorded as many as 15 species and several hundred individual birds at the Lowry Nature Center feeding station in Carver Park, near Victoria. Home feeding stations can be as effective.
Updated: October 27, 2011, - 07:25 PM
At sunrise, an interested observer might see several thousand blackbirds leaving their roosting area, usually a low wetland area, in the space of five minutes, flying in a narrow band like a fast-moving stream. About a half-hour before sunset the same event can be seen in reverse, as blackbirds stream back to the roost.
Updated: October 20, 2011, - 06:36 PM
It's migrating time for American wigeons, northern pintails, American crows, turkey vultures and many other bird species. Daily counts of...
Updated: October 13, 2011, - 11:57 PM