Environment & Outdoors

Susan Worner [via Flickr]

Naturalist larry Weber observes that following the 5th coldest April on record we moved into a warm start to May, then colder again.  Some much needed rain finally arrived (not much, but a good start), and many plants and blooms are beginning to emerge.  We've now reached over 15 hours of daylight.  Frogs and turtles are awakening, and many birds are returning.

University of Minnesota Duluth

KUMD's Adam Reinhardt has a conversation with UMD Assistant Professor Randel Hanson, the Co-Director of the Program in Environment and Sustainability.

©MN Department of Natural Resources

April left and took the snow with her, says Larry Weber.

But the lack of moisture in many spots, plus the breezy conditions, means a high fire danger.

©Lisa Johnson

Many wild animal moms leave their babies alone for lengths of time human moms would never consider.

Unlike two-legged mothers who love to show off their kids, animal moms disappear so they don't draw attention from predators to their little ones.

It's just one of the many ways caring for baby animals seems counter-intuitive to humans, and mistakes on our part can have fatal consequences. Luckily for us, help is just a click - or a phone call away.

©Emily Ford. Used with permission.

Emily Ford isn't the kind of gardener to sit around twiddling her thumbs when winter drags on.

The harsh winter took her bees, but she's already planning to restock the hives. And while she was waiting for spring to arrive, she tapped some friends to borrow gear and then tapped some maple trees.

Suffice it to say that this year, Glensheen will be abuzz with bees, in bloom with roses, and dripping with maple syrup.

Internet Archive Book Image/Flickr

If you're already bored gently raking up the soggy leaves and snow mold from your yard, Tom Kasper says it's the perfect time to divide things like rhubarb or hostas - and you certainly don't need a delicate touch.

Larry Weber with a wrap up of April stats (three times as much snow, but precipitation still below normal), the migrants who've shown up just in the last week, and happy news on the frog front.

Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory

Maybe it's not as warm as Hawk Ridge in September.

But Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory Count Interpreter John Richardson says it's a lot more exciting.

The counters are headquartered at Enger Tower for spring migration, and even if a piece of West Skyline Parkway is closed and you have to park and walk in,  Richardson says there are a lot of species to be seen.

The koi and goldfish that appeared in Bagley Nature Center's Rock Pond a number of years back were the tip-off that UMD had a situation to address.

©Tone Coughlin Photography. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

The first half of April ended in a most dramatic fashion: record-breaking (low) temperatures, high winds, crashing waves and a record snowfall.

And while it certainly wasn't appreciated by everyone, Larry Weber says it was still fascinating.

Roger Smith/Flickr

Administrators at the College of St. Scholastica are surely still shaking their heads.

The CSS Student Senate just passed a resolution asking to be charged for single-use plastic bags.

That's right.  Asking to be charged.

And what's more, in three days, they got a quarter of the student body to sign onto it.

Stephanie Bower, Architectural illustration.

Take an idea from the feudal land systems of centuries ago.

Add some modern-day best practices from a legal anthropologist.

Then use art to translate law and the technology of solar energy into "layman's terms."

More information about Solar Commons is here.

©Laura Erickson. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Listeners to Laura Erickson's For the Birds program this morning heard about the plight of our early arrivals in the Northland - and it's not good news.

In case you missed it, here is the contact information Laura shared on the program:

REGI (Raptor Education Group of Antigo) at 715-623-4015

Locally, you can reach Wildwoods at 218-491-3604

KUMD members love their KUMD tshirts and sweatshirts as thank-you gifts during membership drives, but as usual, we strike pay dirt when we give away Tom Kasper.

Northlanders rejoiced when we hit an official high temperature of 47 degrees Wednesday.

Trouble is, that's supposed to be the average temperature for this time of year.

Pages