Check back for weekly photos and observations from our students, and team of Naturalist Educators.
DEC. 31, 2021
Deep snow and bitter cold, but tracks in the fresh snow led us to a prickly friend in a tree. Happy New Year! May you have lots of great adventures in nature!
Dec. 10, 2021
Winter has settled in and it sure is beautiful. Woodpeckers, Nuthatches and Chickadees have been active on the feeders, and it's been fun to see all the tracks in the snow.
DEC. 24, 2021
Three seasons in one week? That's what it felt like, but it sure was pretty. We followed lots of tracks and saw a mysterious mustelid. Mink? Weasel?
Dec. 3, 2021
This week's phenology report is provided by the fourth grade students from St. Joe's in Grand Rapids who spent the dy exploring nature here at Long Lake.
DEC. 17, 2021
Our friends from Deep Portage Learning Center visiting Long Lake, toured the bog, fed Chickadees by hand and explored nature with us, including checking out lots of fresh tracks in the snow. Thanks for being part of the Environmental Education family!
Nov. 26, 2021
Thanksgiving edition. We have first ice, and lots of bird activity, including Hairy Woodpeckers, Nuthatches and Chickadees, but our focus this week is on our favorite mammal - children. Happy Thanksgiving.
Nov. 19, 2021
This week's phenology report is provided by Ella and Katrina, students from Underwood School who spent the week exploring nature here at Long Lake.
Nov. 12, 2021
This week's phenology report is provided by the students from St. Michael-Albertville seventh grade students who spent the week exploring nature here at Long Lake.
Nov. 5, 2021
This week's phenology report is provided by the students from St. Michael-Albertville Middle School East who spent the week exploring nature here at Long Lake. Great job! Keep exploring!
Oct. 29, 2021
This week's phenology report is provided by the students from Aitkin, Hill City and McGregor, who spent the week exploring nature here at Long Lake. Great job! Keep exploring!
Oct. 22, 2021
Long Lake had its first hard frost. As we dive headfirst toward winter, nature is racing to get ready. The beavers have been VERY busy. We have counted six freshly chewed trees, and at night, we hear their loud chomping....
OCT. 15, 2021
This week's phenology report is provided by the students from St. Michael-Albertville Middle School West who spent the week exploring nature here at Long Lake. Great job! Keep exploring!
SEPT. 10, 2021
It's starting to feel a little bit more like fall, and the critters and starting to act like it. Geese are flocking in preparation for their flight. They were observed diving under the water and staying submerged for up to five seconds at a time.- Nighthawks are migrating. Black and White, Blackburian and Nashville Warblers were spotted in migration. Our friendly neighborhood Woodchuck was out and active for the first time in a while.
SEPT. 3, 2021
A little bit of bog heaven...Bog Cranberries are starting to ripen (some are already red and juicy), and some of the sphagnum moss is turning beautiful colors. Our naturalists spied Scarlet Waxcaps, and tiny puffballs...beautiful little fungi. Naturalist Katie Murphy went underwater to capture images of minnows, perch and a Johnny Darter.
SEPT. 17, 2021
The recent rains have helped spur some life, especially mushrooms. We've spied Chaga, Coral Mushroom and lots of delicious Chicken of the Woods. The Wooly Caterpillars are out and moving, so walk carefully. We're seeing migratory birds, including Grebes on Long Lake. There are Turkeys everywhere, and the deer are on the move. We've spotted a good amount of fork horn bucks.
SEPT. 24, 2021
This week's phenology report is provided by the students from Christ the King school in Browerville, who spent the week exploring nature here at Long Lake. Great job! Keep exploring!
October 1, 2021
Autumn has settled upon Long Lake. We are at about 50% peak color, with maples putting on a brilliant red show. Oaks are slower to turn. In addition to the maples, the Pagoda Dogwood shrub has turned a bright red.
October 8, 2021
We are past peak autumn colors here at Long Lake, but it's still beautiful with lots to see. The Tamaracks in the Long Lake bog are starting to turn golden. A few Wild Geraniums, Hawkweed and Dandelions are still in bloom....
August 27, 2021
This week, the wind carried on its shoulders the promise of fall. We saw our first migratory birds, including a Solitary Sandpiper. Fungai are starting to grow, including some delicious Chicken of the Woods.
August 20, 2021
Maple leaves are turning colors, and oak trees dropping acorns. Is it a sign of an early fall or the result of stress from the drought? We've had some other interesting wildlife sightings this week, including our first baby Snapping Turtle of the season. Our otters stopped by shore to play. Fun! Garden Spiders with their spiral webs, and Woolly Aphids are abundant in the bog. Bog Rosemary is in bloom. Always a treat.
August 13, 2021
It's been a great year for Leopard Frogs with Long Lake teaming with them. We've observed a new small hatch of dragonflies. A group of European Paper Wasps was observed eating a dead shrew. There are lots of interesting flora and fauna in bloom, including the Cardinal Flower (Scarlet Lobelia), Boneset, Obedient Place, St. John's Wort, Broadleaf Arrowhead, and Wood Aster.