Larry gives his phenological year-end summary. Temperatures for the past year have been warmer than normal for every month but one. Icy snow over the last week caused difficulties for human travelers, but also for many animals living in the snow, such as the ruffed grouse and the deer.
This week on Backyard Almanac, Larry Weber details the dramatic highs and lows from this past week with a nearly 50 degree swing. He shares the surprising fact that snow fall so far this year is average and answers a listener question about why the trees didn't drop all their leaves in fall. Listen for details about who is moving about over the snow and of course details about the Annual Christmas bird count.
Hartley Nature Center says they're just taking advantage of the snow cover to safely burn a series of debris piles (and a little storm damage) left over from a logging operation this summer.
It's not an official park activity or anything, but the park is still open, and if you're out for a ski or a walk in the 20-below wind chills and you happen upon some folks tending a nice blazing fire ... and you happen to have some marshmallows in your pocket, well - so much the better.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.