Environment & Outdoors

Even after all these years, all the cool gadgets he's talked about on the show, a decades-long quest for an electric wheelbarrow ... master gardener Tom Kasper says there's still nothing better than giving the gift of your time to garden with someone you love.

December started off warmer than normal and a week ago, our snow was all gone.

Fast forward to today, and the snow is back plus we have temperatures below zero in the forecast for the first time this season.

Thanks to the Minnesota DNR and Laura Erickson, we're becoming more and more aware of the dangers lead shot poses to bald eagles.  But at this time of year, there's another hazard to an eagle's life and limb: our national symbol's fondness for road kill and its difficulty, especially after gorging on a meal of venison, to avoid becoming road kill itself.

Britt Rohrbaugh

Duluth is famous for its hiking and skiing trails, but the Duluth Area Horse Trail Alliance is trying to get the word out about its opportunities for horseback riding.

Only two things stand in their way at the moment: the repairs needed to the Ely Peak Loop on the Magney-Snively Trail ... and the gentle tendency of saddle clubs toward disorganization.

More information about their December event can be found here: 

Lisa Johnson

Tom Kasper says you can still get out and do your winter pruning without danger of insects or disease affecting your trees or bushes ... don't forget the tree wrap against rabbits, deer and sun scald ... and spring  bulbs are really, really cheap!

Rachel Breckenridge

UMD's Masters of Tribal Administration and Governance degree program was developed with the University taking a back seat to tribes.

And Howard Mooers laughs when he talks about it; saying that's a hard thing for a university to do.

But the University worked in response to and as a consultant with tribes in developing the program, just as it's doing now with a new masters degree program in Tribal Natural Resource Stewardship, a program which could be coming along at just the right time.

Lisa Johnson

As a heavy, wet snow descends on the Northland, Larry says November snows frequently don't last.

But then, most Novembers don't average 47 degrees for a daytime high, either.

Tom Kasper

Larry Weber likes to talk about the magical time of what he calls aut-win: the time between the leaf drop and the first snowfall.

And Tom Kasper says, while you're in your yard, taking time to smell the roses anyway (that's his shrub rose in bloom last Friday, November 11), you might as well take advantage of the good visibility to finish lopping storm-damaged branches off your trees.

Sharon Mollerus/Flickr

Larry Weber says our temperatures so far in this month (the average is usually 32; so far our average is 50) are not normal.

Adam Hinterthuer

This week on The Sea Grant Files we hear about the causes, threats and tracking of blue-green algae blooms.  On the heels of a large algae bloom in Lake Superior last summer,  there is a new App launched called bloomWatch, that  you can use to report sightings of Cyanobacteria algae blooms and be a part of future scientific research helping to understand  harmful patterns.  

Check it out

bloomWatch App

Lisa Johnson

The Chicago Cubs weren't the only bears in the news this week -- as so often happens, there was a black bear in downtown Duluth getting a lot of press.

The warm temps and sunshine mean get out into the toolies and look at stuff this weekend, but Larry Weber says folks around his place are wearing blaze orange, just to be on the safe side -- even in their own yards!

Tom O'Rourke/Hartley Nature Center

Why isn't there a "Yurts 'R' Us"?

Where do yurts come from, anyway?

Hartley Nature Center still has some unanswered questions after July storms destroyed their yurt, but the 100 schoolkids on their way to Hartley for a field trip today will get to enjoy the new yurt in all its 30' in diameter glory.  Plus it will be open as a learning space for kids year 'round: out at Hartley they also have a lifetime supply of firewood for the yurt's wood-burning stove.

©Lisa Johnson

It's that time again when a young buck's thoughts lightly turn to love ... and running across the road in front of speeding motorists.

When are you most at risk,  what you should  check on with regard to your insurance coverage and where the insurance companies and the Minnesota State Patrol part company, philosophically speaking.

In related news ...

www.homejobsbymom.com/Flickr

Master gardener Tom Kasper draws some flack for not being on top of the national pumpkin conversations this week.

Arturo Pardavila III /Flickr

Aut-win continues apace and with it, the dance of the crane flies and the appearance of the World Series moths.

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