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Arb Notes

Arb Notes: Mammal Hibernation in the Arboretum

On February 2,  Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his burrow in a sunny Pennsylvania town. His prediction: six more weeks of cold fronts and snow flurries. Three weeks later and a thousand miles from Pennsylvania, groundhogs in the arboretum are at the tail end of a long winter spent below ground. …

Arb Notes: Bird Nests in The Arb

During the spring and summer months in the Arb, birds are building their nests and raising their young. After the chicks have fledged, many birds abandon their nests and build a new one the next year. For this reason, you can find empty nests throughout the Arb during the winter! …

Arb Notes: Enjoying Winter!

Our Northfield winters are so very cold, and it can be difficult to find any reason to brave the outdoors. However, I’m here to share a few of the things that motivate me to don an alarming number of layers and step into the crunchy snow, so that you, too,…

Arb Notes: Magestic Migrations

With the icy wind blowing and the geese amassing once again on Lyman Lakes, we have come to the time of the year when the idea of migration resurfaces from the back of everyone’s mind. The Franklin’s gulls (Leucophaeus pipixcan) have already embarked on their southward journey. Their summer breeding…

Arb notes: night life in the Arb

Ever taken a walk (or a nap) in the Lower Arb when the sun is down and the moon glares bright? The woods, steeped in milky mist spiked with moonlight, slumber in the absence of the scorching sun that has been bothering us for the past week. Nevertheless, plenty of…

Arb notes: coyotes!

A few weeks ago, I was in the Arb after sunset and heard a strange dog yowl… and then I heard many others join in, high-pitched and even a bit spooky, and I realized that I was hearing a pack of coyotes! Coyotes are interesting animals; they are common in…

Arb Notes: prairie roots run deep at McKnight Prairie

Rising out of the landscape like tiny islands in a vast sea of corn and soybeans, the hills of McKnight Prairie provide a refuge for rare native prairie plants.  This 33-acre plot of land located eight miles east of campus was purchased by Carleton in 1968 for conservation purposes.  McKnight,…

Arb Notes: spring warbler migration in the Arb

As the weather in southern Minnesota warms and insects begin to emerge, the Arb will soon become host to a stunning group of migratory visitors. These are the wood-warblers, a diverse family of exceptionally colorful, tiny songbirds. Almost 30 species pass through the Arb during spring and fall migration. Some,…