Environment & Outdoors

Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy

Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy, published a new book, called Eyewitness: Minnesota Voices on Climate Change, that features short stories, poems, and artwork authored by prominent figures and ordinary people across the state.  KUMD speaks with Erin Sharkey, poet, essayist, and graphic designer who was a member of Climate Generation's Selection Committee for the anthology.

From the Heavens exhibit at the U.S. Library of Congress. [Public Domain]

Bob King tells us tonight could be a great night to see the Perseids, an annual meteor shower that occurs when the earth passes through the debris left by the Comet Swift–Tuttle.

Gale Oxley/Minnesota Mycological Society

Could it be?

We're halfway between the June solstice and the autumnal equinox?

NRRI/University of Minnesota Duluth

With the help of researchers at NRRI, ash trees killed by the emerald ash borer are being repurposed in pilot projects in Minnesota as biochar.  This material can filter harmful chemicals from storm water runoff, enhance soil microbial health, increase soil drought resistance and store carbon in soils to mitigate climate change.

Tom Kasper

Gardening is not only a wonderful activity that can be enjoyed along or at a social distance ... it turns out so is garden appreciation.

The Western Garden Tour is going on on Saturday, August 8 and a garden tour benefitting CHUM is slated for next Tuesday.

You can contact CHUM for more information.

Peter M. Dziuk/Minnesota Wildflowers

Much cooler weather seemed strange and remarkable this past week, but Larry Weber says, that's because temperatures dropped down to "normal" from nasty hot.

Brenda LaFrancois/Nat'l Park Service

We've pretty much gotten the message that we - and our dogs - need to look out for blooms of cyanobacterial (blue-green) algae on lakes.

But now they may be popping up on Lake Superior.

Two factors contribute to algal blooms on the big lake: warm temperatures over a period of weeks that warm the lake water, and heavy rainfalls.

There's not a lot of data yet, but those conditions were present in 2012 and 2018 - and so were big blooms of blue-green algae in the big lake.

Duluth-Superior Interstate Council

You don't have to hike or bike to get the full measure of our pretty community - just wandering around your neighborhood or to the store or a park has its charms.

What would it take to get you out walking more, though? Curb cuts? Mid-block crosswalks? Slower speed limits?

Copyright Bob King. Used with permission.

Comet NEOWISE is beginning to fade, although it's still visible through binoculars.  Bob King's got a map to help you find it through the rest of the month and you can read more about the comet here (Comet NEOWISE Has A Brush With The Aurora).

Lisa Johnson/JR Kelsey

July has lost its crack at record-setting heat for the month, and its regained a couple of inches on the rainfall deficit.

But what it's losing in hours of daylight and birdsong in the morning, it's more than making up for in young birds and animals, the next batch of wildflowers, and, of course, berries.

www.nautique.com

The controversy over wake boats, the pricey recreational craft designed to make a huge wake for folks to board or ski on, threatens to swamp lakes, townships and counties across the state, particularly since Minnesota boating laws don't yet have anything to say about them, specifically.

Tom Kasper

Tom Kasper's discovery of a black swallowtail butterfly caterpillar munching on one of his fennel plants sparked quite a bit of introspection about how we're changing when it comes to acceptance, tolerance, and what triggers the reach for the pesticides.

Jim, the Photographer [via Flickr]

Larry Weber observes that if this month's weather continues as it has, we'll have one of the wettest and hottest Julys on record. But the rain has benefitted the many ripening berries around the region.  Basswood trees are in bloom right now which some beekeepers say creates the best honey.  Many late summer flowers are beginning their bloom cycles as well, including tall sunflowers.  Canada thistle is starting to seed, providing food and nesting material for American goldfinches who mate later in the year than many other songbirds.

Patrick Hendry at Unsplash/Office of the MN Attorney General

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has listened to oil companies try to dodge responsibility for pollution and climate change by arguing there are a lot of potential polluters and who can say who'se really responsible?

Copyright Bob King. Used with permission.

We finally have some clear nights in the forecast, and the timing is perfect to see Comet NEOWISE.

By the way, star gazing is a social-distance-friendly activity and your mask may prevent mosquitos from getting up your nose!

Find out more about how to locate Comet NEOWISE here.

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