July storms

liz west [Via Flickr]

Naturalist Larry Weber talks about his many finds this week, including Indian pipe (thriving in shady woods), basswood trees that are in bloom, mushrooms, and Queen Anne's Lace, blooming in northwestern Wisconsin.  Many songbirds are quieting down now that the fledglings are leaving the nest, although goldfinches are only now starting to nest.  Young frogs are maturing, fawns and bear cubs are out exploring with their mothers, and masses of mayflies are emerging to briefly breed before they die.

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.

Hartley Nature Center

April showers bring May flowers ... and this year, July storms brought August fundraisers.

The community raised over $10,000 for Hartley Nature Center's Yurt Got Hurt event to restore damaged outdoor education centers, but the scramble to get the park back up and running for the over ten thousand kids who come through on field trips every year continues.

Luckily, so do offers of help from local volunteers.