NATURE NOTES

This report is brought to you by Myla, Carsten and the students from Underwood Elementary. 

During our trip to Long Lake Conservation Center on November 7th through the 9th we noticed a lot of animals busy preparing for the winter. Many people in our group saw chipmunks gathering food, and stuffing their cheeks. A grey squirrel was busy at the bird feeder and gathering acorns. We also saw a porcupine race through campus, climb a tree and chew on the branches of a Red Oak tree. We were close enough to hear it chewing.

Though it’s late in the season, we still saw Robins, a few frogs in the bog, and Mike found a Garter Snake in his room and released it. We didn’t see any snakes outdoors, so they are now likely in their hibernacula for the winter. Our guess is that we won’t see Robins or frogs again until spring. In other sightings, we saw Black-capped Chickadees, White-Breasted Nuthatches, Bluejays, two rabbits, Hairy and Pileated Woodpeckers and otters. Long Lake naturalists say that the otter sighting was the first in a few weeks.

It’s a great time to explore nature and we want to remind everyone to unplug, get outside and to… LIVE CONNECTED.

This report is brought to you by MaKenna, Annette and the students from St. Michael-Albertville. 

During our trip to Long Lake Conservation Center on November 9th through the 11th it was rainy and cold, but it didn’t stop us from exploring nature and seeing some pretty unusual things. The rain filled the bog, and seemed to bring it to life. Our group saw a VERY slooooowwwww moving wood frog, and few bog cranberries, but the highlight was what we think was a Short-tailed Weasel, also known as an Ermine, chasing a vole. It has already turned completely white for winter. The chase lasted less than a minute. They ran out of sight before we could see if the weasel caught his prey, or if the vole survived to see another day. Because the bog was so wet, a couple of student sunk in to past their knees.

Other sightings included lots of earth worms cruising out and about, a mouse was spotted in the thicket, a few slugs were seen, the deer were out and about, and a porcupine was sitting in the hollow of a tree. Everyone was able to get a good look at it. We are still seeing lots of Blue Jays and few Canada Geese, but no Robins were observed.

Despite the rain, thunder, and snow, it was great to be outside exploring. We want to remind everyone to unplug, get outside and to… LIVE CONNECTED.

Keep exploring!