- October 4, 2010 at 11:50 am
The flooding in Northfield last weekend was bad for Froggies, but good for the Arboretum’s floodplain forest. In lower Arb river and forest ecology depend upon periodic flooding events. Some of Carleton’s floodplain tree species include: cottonwoods (Populus deltoides), silver maple (Acer saccharinum), and willows (Salix spp.). Flooding is also an important disturbance event, leveling trees or other vegetation leaving bare soil for new seeds to colonize. In this way, it works much the same as the Arboretums burning of the tall grass prairie.
- September 27, 2010 at 1:20 pm
If you get out to the Arb once in a while, you may have noticed some changes since you left last spring. That’s because while you were sitting inside looking at a computer screen, working some important internship, playing video games or going to the beach, this summer’s arboretum crew was wreaking death and destruction upon the invasive species of our beloved Arb. Armed with a variety of cutting implements and herbicides, six Carleton students boldly stepped out to wage war against the buckthorn, honeysuckle, thistle, and wild parsnip that has plagued us for too long.
- May 28, 2010 at 2:56 pm
With the end of spring term upon us, the familiar sights and sounds of summer have returned to the Arboretum: the singing of birds, the chattering of squirrels, the raucous yelling of bonfires from the Hill of Three Oaks. But there are other things that we notice more passively, like the flight of dragonflies, for example. Many of us will be familiar with the sentry-like flight of dragonflies over open areas on a summer evening, but few of us are familiar with the Odyssean struggle taking place in our lakes, ponds, and rivers that allow dragonflies to enjoy a brief moment of terrestrial sunshine at the end of their lives.
- May 21, 2010 at 6:06 pm
My alarm went off too early on Saturday morning; I groped for my clothes and shoes in the dark before embarking on the chilly ride over Lyman Lakes. As shouts and blasts of music from Rottblatt floated through the morning air a smaller, more sober and considerably older-on-average group of Carleton students, alums, faculty and Northfield residents gathered in Saturday’s dawn to complete Carleton’s annual bird survey.
- May 14, 2010 at 10:22 am
The Marc Von Trapp Memorial: Phase II
The Arb will be acquiring some sizable new residents. No, it’s not buffalo, rather, some magnificent samples of local geology will soon be residing on the crest of the prairie in the Lower Arb.
- May 7, 2010 at 9:59 am
A strange substance coating a few feet of grapevine recently attracted the attention of your student naturalists. It was so brightly orange that it resembled spray paint from a distance, but up close it looked and felt more like a damp mushroom skin full of Jell-o, and, when poked, emitted a clear liquid that tasted and smelled like water. Had an extraterrestrial invaded the Arb?
- April 30, 2010 at 11:45 am
It is burn season in the Arboretum. Maybe you’ve smelled it when the wind shifts and draws the scent of burnt prairie grasses across campus. Burning is visible in the blackened patches in lower Arb from the hill past the Memorial, and even a small patch next to the baseball fields.
- April 23, 2010 at 10:57 am
It’s spring! All those beautiful spring flowers are poking up through the earth to quench our worries that winter would never end. You probably have an image that instantly popped into your head. Does it include those blue-purple flowers that carpet Carleton’s campus each April?
- April 16, 2010 at 11:57 am
April in Minnesota brings an entire set of new sounds—the rumbling of the first thunderstorms of the year, the whir of a passing Frisbee, the chorus of birds celebrating the end of a long winter. But there is a particular spring sound that many Carls fail to notice, or at least to recognize: that of Carleton’s frogs and toads.
- April 9, 2010 at 2:32 pm
Wolves and Cougars and Bears, oh my! What an interesting first week for the Student Naturalists! Last Saturday we took a trip to the Wildlife Science Center. There Peggy Callahan (Carleton class of 1984), the founder and executive director, introduced us to the animals which the center houses, which include grey wolves, red wolves, and Mexican grey wolves, coyotes, foxes, black bears, and cougars.
- March 5, 2010 at 2:44 pm
People, trimesters, dragonflies, and blue jays fly by quickly at Carleton. This place runs at a brisk pace, and many students don’t take time to befriend the dragonflies and the blue jays. They are missing out. But the good news is that we all still have time to savor one the best things that Carleton has to offer—the Arb.
- February 26, 2010 at 3:52 pm
Death and Decay
When it comes to fauna in the Arboretum, we usually pay most attention to the bigger, brighter, or at least interesting sounding residents. While grazing deer, cacophonous frogs and flittering birds of all varieties are integral parts of our experience of the Arb none of them can help solve crimes.