Environment & Outdoors

Larry Weber says purple wildflowers abound in nature right now.

The Northland Morning host is inclined to believe that's a nod to her NFL football team, but the Northland Morning host is a little funny that way.

Scot Nelson/Jamie Komata/Flickr

It's true: the warm weather, abundant rains and sunshine have produced bumper crops of just about everything - including black mold and powdery mildew.

Kevin Bolton [via Flickr]

Naturalist Larry Weber observes that, as the days grow shorter (now just 14 hours of daylight), many birds are on the move, including large families of warblers ("warbler waves"), raptors, geese, and nighthawks. The rain has brought out many mushrooms. Butterflies are on the scene, and so are cicadas, katydids and grasshoppers, and this means that spiders are on the hunt for insects! In plant life, fall flowers are blooming -- goldenrod, asters, and sunflowers (including Joe-Pye weed).

bamonahan [via Flickr]

  Now that the storm clean up has been (mostly) completed, the next big question is what we can do with the now empty spaces in the landscape. We talk with Louise Levy, an arborist and founder of Levy Tree Care in Duluth, about what kinds of trees to consider planting, when is the best time to do it, and what planning and work needs to be done first.

Gabriel F.W. Koch [via Flickr]

Even though the fog and cloud cover over the past few days have blocked our ability to see the Perseid meteor showers, the fog has highlighted spider webs beautifully. 

  After two corrective back surgeries a decade ago that should have ended her ability to exercise, Shawna Weaver restored her body with yoga and physical therapy.  Now, successfully managing her chronic pain, she is planning to run the length of the Superior Hiking Trail – all 310 miles, from Canada down the north shore of Lake Superior – over the course of nine days.

Lisa Johnson

  Before we see the end of our all-too-brief summer in the Northland, there will be possibly more thunderstorms coming.  To help folks be more prepared for storm damages we invited Jennifer Teegarden, a DNR forestry outreach specialist, to talk with us about DOs and DON'Ts in terms of damaged trees -- how to assess damage, how to preemptively prevent future damage, and when to call in the experts.

Sharon Mollerus [via Flickr]

Weeds are smarter than we think they are, says Tom Kasper. They blend in with surrounding vegetation and grow very fast. 

In the warm and often drier month of August, Tom reminds us to keep our gardens watered and weeded. Fruits and vegetables are starting to ripen, so keeping them fed and free of competition will help ensure they finish the summer healthy.  Stay vigilant.

Lisa Johnson

Folks in Larry Weber's Minnesota Master Naturalist class don't sit around the campfire telling scary stories ... they go out after dusk looking for spiders and spider webs instead.

Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless - radioactive - gas that seeps up from the ground.  That being said, it's easy to either ignore the dangers of long term exposure or freak out about them.  But there is a middle ground: check out the Minnesota Health Department's new interactive tools - including maps and charts - to help you get a better idea how prevalent radon is in your county.  And another piece of good news: testing is easy, inexpensive and only takes a few days. 

Lisa Johnson

When some radio show hosts spend a few days camping at his Jay Cooke State Park stomping grounds, naturalist Larry Weber gets stuck trying to explain what they've seen and photographed.

Tom O'Rourke

Hartley Nature Center is closed for the remainder of this week, after straight line winds in excess of 70 mph caused "trees down everywhere" in the park, blocking trails, damaging the nature playscape and the yurt and leaving Hartley still without power almost a week later.  It's a possibly hazardous - and definitely expensive situation as Hartley staff and the city continue to assess the damage and decide what happens next.

Lisa Johnson

Every year, master gardener Tom Kasper carefully tips the roses at the Rose Garden to protect them through the winter.

But trees aren't rosebushes, and trying to tip storm-uprooted silver maples and spruces back into place is a recipe for disaster.

Also: when it comes time to replant trees, Tom has some ideas for replacements with sturdy root systems.

Doug Kerr [via Flickr]

  KUMD taks with Brad Parsons, the Central Regional Fisheries Manager for the Minnesota DNR, about the DNR proposal to build a new fisheries facility at Mille Lacs Lake that would include a fisheries management station, fish hatchery and storage. The DNR would be able to more efficiently meet its Mille Lacs management goals and outreach needs with the new facility.

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