Environment & Outdoors

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.


Tom Kasper

Tom Kasper is wondering where he can get some snow.

"February 20th and my bee balm is sprouting," he writes on his Facebook page.  "I'm all for an early spring. But this is a little too early!"

Perhaps the immortal words of Simon and Garfunkel are what our perennials need about now:

Slow down; you move too fast

You've got to make the winter last ...!

Len Blumin/Flickr

Larry says the weekend's predicted mild temperatures are perfect for seeing melty "tree circles" around deciduous trees, bright red red osier dogwood, pussy willow and quaking aspen buds and maybe even a horned lark.

Meanwhile ... the maple sap is flowing!

Bag It: The Movie

The movie Bag It: Is Your Life Too Plastic? proposes that it's not just plastic grocery bags that are the problem.

It's all kinds of plastics, from single-use disposables like straws and take out containers to the plastics that end up in landfills and foul our oceans.

Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren/Flickr

Larry Weber navigated the windy conditions this morning and talks spectacular sunsets, a lunar eclipse and the new finch who showed up at his feeder this week: the white-winged crossbill. 

Gene R. Clark, UW Sea Grant Institute

No PowerPoints.

There aren't many rules to the River Talks, a series of informal science cafe-type evening talks about the St. Louis River, but that's one of them.

Wisconsin Sea Grant's Marie Zhuikov organizes the series. She wants people to sit and talk with the presenters and ask questions.

Tom Kasper

Tom Kasper is ignoring the -20 to -30 below windchills of the next few days, and the melting mid-30s after that in favor of  his plant and seed catalogs, where lawns are green,  gardens are lush and all the dahlias are above average.

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