This first report of the week is brought to you by Tenley, Benny, Chloe, Malin and the students from Aitkin, Hill City and McGregor!

During our trip to Long Lake Conservation Center October 17th through the 19th temperatures dropped into the low 20s and ice formed along the shore of Long Lake. It’s the first temperature in the 20s since last May. Sunrise with the mist rising off the lake is really pretty. A flock of Canada Geese stopped in for a while on their journey south. We wonder if this will be the last we see of Geese until spring.

Our group saw a sundog in the morning, a flock of Juncos, and an immature Bald Eagle flying over the lake. Nuthatches, Chickadees, Common Grackles, and Pileated, Snowy and Downy Woodpeckers have been active on the bird feeders. There was a report of a Garter Snake in the woods. It’s very late getting into its hibernaculum.

Our group had a couple of close encounters with animals. During Thicket class, a chipmunk joined a student who was hiding and sat with him the entire time. It was a very friendly chipmunk. A porcupine wandered through the heart of campus and didn’t seem to care one little bit that students and adults were nearby. Lily saw an otter feeding this morning. Long Lake’s naturalists say that this was the first sighting of otters in nearly a month. There were officially no ticks on our trip. Last year, the last reported tick sightings at Long Lake was November 5th. It’s a great time to explore nature and we want to remind everyone to unplug, get outside and to… LIVE CONNECTED.

Great job! Keep Exploring!