Environment & Outdoors

October's Bright Blue Weather

When comrades seek sweet country haunts,
        By twos and twos together,
    And count like misers, hour by hour,
        October's bright blue weather.

O suns and skies and flowers of June,
        Count all your boasts together,
    Love loveth best of all the year
        October's bright blue weather.

         ~Helen Hunt Jackson (1830-1885)

Green space is a term you hear bandied about when someone is talking about reintroducing elements of nature into an environment.

Tom Taker/Flickr

Only Tom Kasper can make a story about daffodils and tulips sound like a Wes Craven movie.

©Lisa Johnson

Spiders ballooning, raptors migrating, some lingering butterflies and the World Series moths fluttering ...

And all this before Larry Weber's favorite season of aut-win!

Are you interested in getting involved in decision making? The MN DNR is looking for volunteers to join the citizen agency work groups to help decide how to manage issues. 

5 separate groups have been made to support fish species. Catfish, Walleye, Northern Pike, Musky, and Bass. 

You can focus on conserving lakes and ponds, but also address the issues of managing harvest recreation.

Applications are open!

This week on The Sea Grant Files, guest host Sharon Moen welcomes Dr. Thomas Beery, Minnesota Sea Grant coastal resilience specialist to talk about creating infrastructure with climate change in mind.  In the wake of so many weather related disasters during this hurricane season, preparing for a different climate future has been a big topic of conversation lately.  What does this look mean for Minnesota? Listen for more about green, blue-green and gray infrastructure and for more information to hear Dr. Beery speak at UMD.

©Tara Smith, Wildwoods. Used with permission.

A couple of sick, skinny peregrine falcons have been brought into Wildwoods Wildlife Rehabilitation recently ... one didn't live to be transported to The Raptor Center but the one pictured at left did.

Sharon Moen/Minnesota Sea Grant

How can you have a conversation about improving water quality in Minnesota if you don't take Lake Superior into account?

Minnesota Sea Grant decided you can't.  So when Governor Mark Dayton launched his series of "25 by 25" Water Quality Initiative town hall meetings and the northeastern Minnesota session was scheduled in Ely, they decided to assemble a panel of experts and launch an online town hall.

USFWS Mountain-Prairie/Flickr

The irony isn't lost on those who study these things.

Neonicotinoid pesticides were developed originally because they were thought to be less toxic to birds and wildlife than other options.  

The effects on pollinators are becoming widely examined  - and they're troubling - but now the MN DNR is into the third year of a study to see what happens to sharp-tailed grouse exposed to the chemicals.

And they're asking Minnesota grouse hunters to help them collect samples.

simpleinsomnia/Flickr

Back in the day, you had to work in the garden if you wanted to eat.

Then many folks (perhaps justifiably) began enjoying the convenience of fruits and veggies (canned, frozen or fresh) from the grocery store.

Master gardener Tom Kasper says the pendulum is swinging back again toward folks growing their own food, but he says the attitude now is that people get to garden; they don't have to.

The Sea Grant Files returns to KUMD this week with an exciting opportunity for public participation.  Sharon Moen of Minnesota Sea Grant visits with guest Dr. Lucinda Williams, Associate Director/Initiative Director for Water at UMD's Natural Resources Research Institute.  Dr. Johnson will a part of the Facebook Live Open Town Hall on "Solving North Shore Water Challenges" happening Monday at October 2, at noon.

©Sparky Stensaas. Used with permission.

"I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw." ~ Wm. Shakespeare, "Hamlet"

Whether or not Hamlet had spent any time at Hawk Ridge is a question for another time, but experienced birders know a northwesterly wind is best for seeing birds at what has become an internationally-recognized place to see migration.

©Pat Thomas. Used with permission.

County Commissioner Frank Jewell isn't upset at all.

Despite the fact that he'd been pushing the St. Louis County Commission for six years to ban neonicotinoid pesticides and also to add bee- and butterfly friendly native plants, it wasn't until a group of citizens from the northern part of the county got behind the effort that things started to happen.

©MN Department of Natural Resources

The age-old vacation question: to connect or not to connect?

Back in the day, with landline phones and rabbit-ear TV antennas, it was easy to disconnect from the outside world when you headed "up north."

But Minnesota's newest state park, Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park, has all-electric campsites - and wifi.

©Sparky Stensaas. Used with permission.

Photo-naturalist Sparky Stensaas joins us as guest host of Backyard Almanac this morning, and brings us a story you probably won't hear over the breakfast table.

And there's a good reason for that.

It's Jaegerfest at Wisconsin Point this weekend!  Find out more about all the events here!

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