Environment & Outdoors

Wildwoods

Wildwoods Rehabilitation raised some eyebrows last month after posting a video of a pigeon seizing from Avitrol poisoning.

The bird recovered with treatment and was released a few days later, but Tara Smith of Wildwoods says "With so many humane ways to evict unwanted wildlife there really is no excuse" to use poisons like Avitrol.

It's green and destroys everything it touches.

(Not permanently, but it does do damage)

It's not wildfire; it's aphids.

Gardeners might be tempted toward a Cersei-type solution, but they'd be better off taking a more ... Targaryen approach: only with a garden hose instead of a dragon.

Never fear, though.  Tom Kasper says ... winter is coming.

Goddard Science Visualization Studio, NASA

First, we've got a full moon August 7.  Then the Perseid meteor shower August 11-13.

Then the "eclipse of the century" on August 21, 2017.

No wonder Larry Weber thinks August is awesome!

When the conversation turns to climate change, there's not much good or hopeful news.

And most people find the idea of global warming too big, too complicated, too wide-reaching - so  instead of engaging, they just shut down.

Jodi Slick, founder and CEO of Ecolibrium3 here in Duluth, says the local level is where we have our best opportunities to address climate change.

Great Lakes Now

When US and Canadian governments and industry, academic and nongovernmental stakeholders gathered earlier this summer for the Great Lakes Crude Move Oil Transportation Symposium, they didn't shy away from any of the hard questions.

nrg_crisis/Flickr

Can you make car tires from trees and grass?

University of Minnesota researchers can.  They've discovered a new way to make isoprene (a key molecule in car tires) which means the tires made from biomass would be identical to the tires we're using now - the ones made primarily from fossil fuels.

©Bryan French. Used with permission.

Larry Weber's already looking forward to what he calls "Awesome August," but he's not done enjoying the cricket-sized little spring peepers, wood frogs and American toads yet, either.

And milkweed and fireweed, he says, "own July."

Duluth For Clean Water

The controversy over the proposed Polymet mine is heated, to say the least.  It's often framed (among other things) as jobs v. the environment or the Iron Range v. the Twin Cities.

But in the middle - geographically and, to an extent, philosophically - is Duluth and Duluth for Clean Water. 

Stanislav Kozlovskiy

Dead-heading your flowers: no Volkswagen van needed.

liz west [Via Flickr]

Naturalist Larry Weber talks about his many finds this week, including Indian pipe (thriving in shady woods), basswood trees that are in bloom, mushrooms, and Queen Anne's Lace, blooming in northwestern Wisconsin.  Many songbirds are quieting down now that the fledglings are leaving the nest, although goldfinches are only now starting to nest.  Young frogs are maturing, fawns and bear cubs are out exploring with their mothers, and masses of mayflies are emerging to briefly breed before they die.

There are TWO opportunities this weekend to participate in a detailed look at the natural world in the Northland.  It is BioBlitz weekend at the Sax-Zim Bog and at Hawk Ridge.   The two events will allow the avid naturalist and outdoor enthusiast to explore familiar sites with greater detail.

Friends of the Bird Sanctuary (FOTBS) of the Douglas County Wildlife Area in Gordon, Wisconsin invites members and the community to Barrens Fest 2017, a celebration of the globally significant landscape of Northwest Wisconsin.  The event is this afternoon (Wednesday July 19) from 3 pm to 6:30 pm at the Clubhouse of the Douglas County Wildlife Area, located between Solon Springs and Gordon, Wisconsin. The festival is free and open to the public. A picnic supper will be hosted by FOTBS at 6:00 p.m.

Courtney Celley/USFWS

Duluth set an all-time record for heat back on July 13th, 1936 (106 degrees - down by the lake, mind you)  but this year (yesterday) we barely crept to 57 degrees.

Berries and flowers and mushrooms, oh my - and let us not forget milkweed.

©Tom Kasper

If you've been tiptoeing through your tulips lately, you've possibly noticed a significant insect problem.

After you've controlled your primal urge to blast the garden with chemicals, you may be looking for some organic solutions, but as Tom Kasper explains in this edition of Tips for Hardy Gardeners, they're not for the faint hearted.

Jim Mullhaupt/Flickr

Cat Island, part of the Apostle Island National Lakeshore, is a great place for people to vacation.

Trouble is, it's a lousy place for bears to make a living.

This time of year,  mother bears start kicking out their adult offpsring.  And like slacker children everywhere, young bears are looking for a maximum reward for minimal effort.

In two words: camp food.

You can find more information about the status of the Cat Island Campground here

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