The arb naturalists had a great time romping around the Lower Arb last Friday with former arboretum director Myles Bakke. The winter is a great time to see evidence of the arb’s elusive mammals, like beavers, mink, and meadow voles, in the form of snow tracks.
- April 10, 2009 at 12:10 pm
If you step on something purple this spring, you will destroy a remarkable plant and your shoes will get stinky. Symplocarpus foetidus, also known as Polecat Weed, Clumpfoot Cabbage, or the Eastern Skunk Cabbage signals spring has arrived in forested wetlands.
- March 6, 2009 at 9:52 am
If you were sitting near a window around 12:45 during Thursday's snowstorm, you may have borne witness to a flash of lightning and prolonged rumble of thunder muffled by the blinding snowfall. Thundersnow is an extremely rare event ...
- March 3, 2009 at 9:40 am
If you’ve spent any time in the Arb this winter, you’ve likely seen a dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis). If not, you’ve undoubtedly heard one—a call often described as a high, smacking ‘stip’ emerging from the ground below stands of dense vegetation. One of the most common birds during the winter months in Minnesota, juncos are at first glance the least worthy of a column in the Carletonian—common, drab, begging for an yawn-inspiring article.
- February 24, 2009 at 1:35 pm
Winter colors of the Arb
I have been hearing some gripes and grumblings lately, alleging that this midwinter is “bleak.” Really? Cold it might be, but especially in the Arb, there is nothing charmless or dreary about the midwinter landscape. Our winter white blanket is returning as I write this, but even its brief, muddy, puddled hiatus left much to be appreciated and hoped for.
- February 13, 2009 at 11:13 am
North by Night
Ever gotten completely lost in the Arb? Well, don’t worry, because
with a few simple techniques, you need never find yourself adrift in
the wilderness again. In honor of Black History Month and those
slaves who used natural directional cues to help them find their way
north to freedom, here are a few ways to use nature to get your
- February 6, 2009 at 4:38 pm
It is Sunday night, around eleven or eleven thirty, and the short walk from Davis Hall to the library seems to take forever, weighted down as I am with a bag full of books. Preoccupied with dread of those books I do not at first realize what I am hearing. Crows. Wait…Crows? There throaty cries sound strange and unfamiliar in the darkness and I look up. My eyes search the darkness until, suddenly, I see it; the silent cause of all that ruckus, flying out of the pine trees that line the driveway behind Leighton. “Owl!” I yell.
- January 30, 2009 at 2:47 pm
- January 23, 2009 at 12:00 am
Beavers are afoot. Last week Arboretum Director Nancy Braker took the student naturalists on a walk along Spring Creek between Bell Field and the Upper Arb. The highlight of the trip was the discovery of a pile of sticks beneath the surface of Spring Creek. The pile of sticks that we discovered is the remnant of a beavers’ winter food stash.
- January 16, 2009 at 1:15 pm
It is snowy and quite cold these days in the Arb, and not all of the animals are present or active. However, white-tailed deer are as common in the winter as they are in the summer.
- November 12, 2008 at 10:04 pm
It’s getting chilly outside, but the Arb is heating up! Though the ground will be frozen and the trees will be naked, the Arb will be far from dormant this winter. Ever-Green Energy will be collecting the brush piles from the Arb to generate energy through their combined heat and power facility in St. Paul---electricity is going to be generated through the Arb’s waste.
- November 5, 2008 at 11:00 pm
A Walk and Talk with Mister Gary Wagenbach. Last week the Arb Naturalists explored Big Woods State Park. Big Woods nests near Nerstrand, MN, about 10 miles south of Northfield. The 2,882 acres of parkland primarily consist of mature upland forest with sugar maple, basswood, ironwood, red oak, and bur oak
- October 21, 2008 at 1:25 pm
In the Oct. 20th edition of the Arb Notes Mira Alecci discusses the Best Woods region in the northern section of the Carleton Arboretum. What is "Best" about it? How close is Best Woods to the historical land cover of the Carleton Arboretum? And where do all the garter snakes go in the winter? Do they have garter snake parties?