Environment & Outdoors

Barbara Friedman/Flickr

Just when you think you've had it with the gray, sleety weather, Larry Weber reminds us of crocuses and vernal ponds.

©Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

It's mud season.

Which has Minnesotans thinking about spring which has them thinking about summer which has them thinking about being outside.

This year, the Minnesota State Parks and Trails unveil a new park, a new bison, and a variety of times and places to get yourself seriously sticky.

©John Krumm

John Doberstein says he cringes when the conversation becomes "What's better?  Good mining jobs or tourism jobs paying minimum wage?"

In fact, the Duluth for Clean Water organizer has gone on the record more than once saying he rejects the ideas that it's "jobs v. the environment" or "the Iron Range v. the Cities."

Doberstein isn't afraid of tough conversations - he just wants them to start - and focus on - what brings people together, and one of those things, he believes, are good-paying jobs that allow people to live, work and raise families in the Northland.

Tom Kasper

Those weird lights glowing at all hours in Tom Kasper's basement?

Grow lights, trying to give his onion seedlings the 60-70 degrees and the 14 hours of daylight they need to grow into fine, big, grown-up onions.

That's our story and we're sticking to it.

©Lisa Johnson

We're seeing the "effect" in "lake effect" this week ... but late season snows make it tough on birds and animals, returning migrants and winter-long residents.

USGS Wisconsin Water Science Center

There it sits at the end of the breakwater in Chequamegon Bay, much as it has since 1915: the Ashland Breakwater Lighthouse.

But it's more than a tidbit of history or a photo op these days; it's part of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, a USGS weather station and home to monitoring equipment for everything from currents to water quality to time-lapse photography.

Fyn Kynd Photography [via Flickr]

Larry Weber talks about the return of the cold temperatures - not really as unseasonable as people may think - as well as the return of many migrating birds, and other signs that, regardless of the cold snap, spring will be here soon.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

With the abnormally warm temperatures in the region over the last couple months, ice safety is a paramount concern, as ice is much thinner than usual for this time of year.

Apium [via Flickr, modified]

In these turbulent March days where perennials may start to peek out of the ground, a few days of drastic cold may come around as damage their early growth.  Tom Kasper advises covering those garden beds with loose straw to provide an insulating layer to help keep out the cold air.

"It's the 'Arctic Riviera,'" says the executive director of Friends of Sax-Zim Bog. "There's a new cast of characters every winter."

Sparky Stensaas subs for Larry Weber this morning, and talks boreal chickadees ("they sound like regular chickadees with a cold"), some upcoming programs that will extend past the Visitor Center's regular season, and why an apparent absence of owls is a good thing.

Hicle Outdoor

We've got world class mountain bike trails, gorgeous scenery, arts and craft (beer) - who wouldn't want to use some of the four weeks of vacation Europeans get and spend it cycling in Duluth?

You can read more about Dave Grandmaison and his efforts to attract European visitors to our shores here.

©Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Cleaning up Minnesota Slip - containing 2500 cubic yards of contaminated sediment and sealing it off - isn't the hard part.

Nor is repairing the dock walls lining the slip.

Not even getting the  610 feet by 60 feet by 32 foot SS William A Irvin out of the way so it can undergo some needed maintenance the hard part.

The hard part is figuring out how to do it at the same time.

Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians

Wild rice is the Minnesota state grain and this week MN Sea Grant host Jesse Schomberg welcomes UMD professor John Pastor to share his recent research about sulfide effects on wild rice.  Listen for more about the details of his findings and the future use of his work with sulfate and sulfides.

This week:

  • the snowstorm that wasn't
  • some early migrants to look for
  • one month before the vernal equinox and
  • only two weeks to Daylight Savings Time!

The Food Farm

"Burning agricultural questions"

A Food Farm event at the Zeitgeist.

Ivy Vainio, Askov's Rutabaga Queen.

And a free rutabaga for everyone.


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