Environment & Outdoors

How to spice up your life with a little domestic drama surrounding the garden ... and what happens when your plants don't get adequate vet care before you adopt them.

Have a gardening question for Tom Kasper?  Drop him a line at tompkasper@gmail.com and he'll be in touch!

Birch Trees
Joshua Mayer Flickr

With clear skies and sunlight this February, birch trees are creating tree wells, or tree circles, as Larry Weber calls them. Find out what else is in store the rest of February and join Larry tracking this Sunday, weather permitting of course. 

©Minnesota DNR

Maybe we don't think about aquatic invasive species unless  it's summertime and we're in a boat.

But maybe we should.

Not only do they pose a serious economic as well as environmental impact, there IS something we can do to stop them.

More information on the Aquatic Invaders Summit and how to take part online is available here:

This week, The Sea Grant Files is all about rivers, the power of rain, raging rivers, and the power of high water. Host, Jesse Schomberg, talks with Karen Gran, Fluvial Geomorphologist and Associate Professor with the University of Minnesota Duluth's Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences who shares specific and helpful local information about damage and safety surrounding the power of water.

M​N Sea Grant​ 

©Lisa Johnson

Today marks the 12th straight day of below-zero temperatures and 40 days of them so far this winter.

Despite that, the low angle of the sun means we have wrap-around sunrises and -sets, we're up to ten hours of daylight, and Larry Weber is leading a Critter Walk as part of the Sam-Zim Birding Festival!

Terry Kearney/Flickr

Storms, insects and street improvements have taken a toll on Duluth trees in recent years, and it turns out Duluthians take the loss of trees pretty seriously.

So tonight, a panel assembled by the McCabe Chapter of the Izaak Walton League and the League of Women Voters will be asking a lot of questions and encouraging the public to do the same.

Chris Harwood

While your garden is slumbering (yet surviving) under the cold snow and ice, now is the time to contemplate the coming season.  Tom Kasper reminds us that while gardening activities are dormant out-of-doors, there are still preparations to be made indoors and in our imaginations.  Seed catalogs are beginning to circulate, providing many options to consider.

©NOAA

A lot of folks still remember where they were on the February 2 in 1996 when Tower hit a record -60 below zero and Duluth recorded -39.

But do you remember where you were a week later when the temp jumped 84 degrees?

©Jessica Phoenix/Rivers Cross Photography

In the end, it just came down to faster dogs.

Last year's Beargrease Marathon winner and three-time-champion (also the only person to ever win the marathon and the mid-distance race) missed his chance to tie Jamie Nelson and Nathan Schroeder's record of four marathon wins, crossing the finish line at Billy's this morning at 8:00am.

©Jessica Phoenix/Rivers Cross Photography

Pupparazzi / Lisa Johnson

Now 51 hours into the marathon, Ryan Redington has arrived at the Finland checkpoint.  At nearly the same minute, the next closest competitor, Denis Tremblay, was just leaving Sawbill for Finland. 

Today on The Sea Grant Files, Minnesota Sea Grant Director, Dr. John Downing, joins us to share the importance of Federal Sea Grant funding, coastal science, and other areas of water research that affect our community. Hurrican preparedness, food fish aquaculture, and other areas of study that affect millions of people are all under the umbrella of Sea Grant.

©Lisa Johnson

The GPS isn't telling the whole story when it comes to the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon.  It's not just how fast you get to the finish line; it's how fast you get to the finish line WITH your 30 hours of mandated rest!

Read the article on race strategy  by Jason Rice here:

Flip through a slideshow of scenes from the race midpoint at Grand Portage here:

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