- October 31, 2011 at 4:46 pm
This year, we’re turning six acres of monoculture soybean fields in the Upper Arb into prairie ecosystems. Are you curious about the process?
- October 24, 2011 at 4:00 pm
For the past few weeks, the Geology of Soils class here has been attempting to characterize and describe the soils in the Arboretum. The experience has been continually surprising.
- October 18, 2011 at 2:03 pm
Under the cover of darkness, hordes of furry critters emerge from their underground hideouts and venture onto the prairie in search of a meal. These unheralded rodents often dismissed as repulsive pests are actually some of the most important species in the Arboretum.
- October 10, 2011 at 4:28 pm
Habitat restoration takes a long time. When you plant an oak tree, it won’t reach its full girth for at least a century. Often, it seems like restorationists carry out their work with a vision that won’t be realized in their lifetime. This is why it’s so satisfying to discover (or rediscover) species that are a part of the vision that restorationists work toward. There have been a few species recorded for the first time this summer and fall that have that satisfying quality.
- October 10, 2011 at 3:55 pm
This past Friday the Naturalists got a chance to learn about some of the work being done with birds in the Arboretum. For three summers now Owen McMurtrey ('12) has been coming out once a week at the break of dawn to count birds in the Arb.
- October 10, 2011 at 3:45 pm
While working in the Arb during the New Student Week freshman service project, I was asked by several 2015ers why we are getting rid of buckthorn. The answer to the common new student week question about buckthorn is couched in a broader question about restoration: Why do we engage in ecosystem restoration at all?
- May 31, 2011 at 10:55 am
As I sit here thinking of the seemingly hundreds of things that I must complete over the next two weeks, I realize that I am losing sight of the bigger picture. There is very little that I have done lately that will be lasting. In ten years, my professors will possibly remember my name but no one will recall the thesis in my ten-page paper. Similarly, my surroundings have a sort of volatile sense to them. Even in my three years here at Carleton, three new buildings have been built/repurposed, houses have been torn down, sidewalks reconfigured, and so on. The general shape of campus stays the same (barring that the Cannon River doesn’t return to it’s paleo-valley on the football field) yet the structure is ever changing. New technology, new people, new ideas are constantly justification for the alteration of what exists.
- May 26, 2011 at 12:12 pm
Last Saturday was Rotblatt 145, Frisbee Reunion, Rugby Reunion, and “Birder’s Reunion”, the annual Carleton Arboretum Bird Count that brings back birding alums to campus. At 6am, as people were staggering back from Rotblatt for a nap, a group of birdwatchers, alums and local enthusiasts, gathered at the Arb Office to hear the details of their mission.
- May 19, 2011 at 1:08 pm
This past Friday, Myles Bakke led the Arb Naturalists and members of Dan O’Brien’s “Writing the Great Plains” class on a sort of murder mystery tour of the Arb. In the prairie near the flood-plain forest we found the femur (hip ball and socket joint) and lower leg bones of a deer. It was most likely hit by a car, and then stumbled into the Arb. But that was not the end of the story.
- April 26, 2011 at 8:57 am
The gentle golden hills of McKnight prairie emerging through the mist and driving rain were a welcome sight as we drove along the Cannon River on a cold and wet Earth Day. Along with the other Carleton student naturalists and arb director Nancy Braker, I set out into the gale to get a glimpse of what was supposed to be a spring scene at this thirty three acre slice of remnant prairie just eight miles from the Carleton campus. And in spite of the unseasonable weather, as we tromped through the wet grass we were confronted with unmistakable signs of spring.
- April 19, 2011 at 8:38 am
Now that the snow is melted, we have the opportunity to tromp around the Arb and see what the snow left behind. All of the carcasses that were frozen and buried under the snow all winter are now appearing in various stages of decay.
- April 7, 2011 at 1:11 pm
As the climate has warmed over the last week you may have noticed buds on trees, the grass growing greener, the frolicking of squirrels, or birds singing profusely in the morning sunlight. But if you are sitting indoors, feeling rather grumpy, like me, about only being able to look out at the cheerful community of plants and animals thriving in Bambi-esque harmony, you may not feel positioned to appreciate such things. What follows is a list of springtime behavior for the overburdened studentry of Carleton College, who can no longer feel joy.