- April 24, 2012 at 12:36 pm
While running, jogging, or walking through the pine plantation in the northern tip of the arb, one might not realize the obstacle it poses to restoration. Covering 30 acres, the dense pine forest holds quite a bit of wood. The pines aren’t native to this part of Minnesota. They occupy land that should bear oak forests or prairie. They shade out native plants, they spread pine trees to neighboring savannas, and prevent managers from balancing these nearby plots with prescribed burns. They’re also starting to die. As the pine population slowly turns to a stand of dry snags the risk of them snapping in a windstorm increases, making upkeep more time consuming and costly. In short it's time for the pines to go.
- April 16, 2012 at 2:14 pm
All non-freshman will remember the abomination that was last year’s springtermnospring. This spring term has been far more comfortable, with temperatures over the last month averaging fifteen degrees warmer than during the same time period of 2011. Swimming in the Cannon, barbequing, disc golf, and half-heartedly doing homework on the bald spot are worthy fair weather pursuits, but if you want to have some real fun, go for a walk in the Arb and enjoy looking at some spring ephemerals.
- April 11, 2012 at 5:11 pm
Nearly every morning and evening during April and May, the Arb plays host to an elaborate spectacle as the American Woodcock performs its annual rendition of the “sky dance.” With stubby legs, a plump body and a long, unwieldy bill that is used to probe the soil for worms, this clumsy-looking bird hardly looks the part of a celebrated dancer. Nevertheless, when trying to attract a mate, male woodcocks put on quite a show.
- March 5, 2012 at 3:49 pm
Winter often brings with it to the arboretum a sense of calm, stillness, and tranquility. The snow has fallen, the trees lay bare, and often the only noticeable sound is the wind whipping over the frosted prairies. The frequent chirping of birds is absent as the prairie longs for their song. But even in its silence the arboretum is deceiving. After all, not all birds fly south.
- February 29, 2012 at 5:13 pm
Have you ever stood in the prairie in the Lower Arb and imagined that you were seeing the land before European settlement, that it stretched in all directions, and that if you walked over the next hill, you might see a herd of bison?
- February 20, 2012 at 3:46 pm
Two weeks ago, when the Arb naturalists were joined by retired Arb Manager Myles Bakke for a winter turkey-tracking outing, I also, for the first time, bore witness to some remodeling undertaken by a family of beavers.
- February 16, 2012 at 3:43 pm
Not everyone thinks of it while walking or jogging through the Arb, but managing 880 acres of restored land takes a lot of dedicated work. Each Fall and Spring 40 students are employed by the Arb, and the work they do covers just about everything.
- February 8, 2012 at 3:39 pm
The closest encounter I’d had with a turkey in recent memory was at lunch, sandwiched between two pieces of wheat bread and a slice of cheddar cheese. I was startled, then, to see one (covered in brown feathers as opposed to cheese) observing me from afar as I slid past on my skies one cold evening in the Arb.
- January 30, 2012 at 3:49 pm
Last Friday evening, Campus Security noticed a somewhat unusual visitor outside of the library sitting in one of the trees between the Bald Spot and the Library.
- January 26, 2012 at 3:53 pm
Traipsing around a cemetery in the middle of winter, right as the sun is setting may not be most people’s idea of a good time. It’s cold, it’s kind of creepy, (it’s dark and there are dead people there!) who knows what kind of weird noises one might hear??
- January 18, 2012 at 5:19 pm
If you take a stroll in the lower Arb, you may notice the distinctive smell of freshly cut pine lingering in the air or the presence of a few ungainly stumps where stately Red and White Pines once stood. These missing trees are part of a plan to remove an entire stand of pine trees located at the edge of the prairie. If the mild winter weather persists, all of the pines may be gone before spring. But why cut down healthy, mature trees?
- November 14, 2011 at 3:46 pm
Despite the looming marathon of late-nights and library sessions that inevitably come with finals, now that we’ve reached the end of 9th week, winter break is truly just around the corner.