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Author: missauk

World Wetland Day

World Wetland Day

This handy dandy info-graphic pretty much says it all. The end. I suppose I can elaborate a little. World Wetlands Day was established in 1971 and occurs annually on February 2. This year’s theme, if you will, is about wetlands in urban areas. While Missaukee County is quite rural, growth and expansion is still happening in our towns and before you know it, Lake City will be a suburb of Traverse City. More and more people are moving to Northern…

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Sharing is Caring

Sharing is Caring

Finally winding down after a month and a half of holiday dinners, parties, and celebrations. You are probably starting to really settle into winter now–knitting, crafting, movie marathons, and buckets of hot cocoa. Now is actually the perfect time to plan for spring planting. Saturday, January 27 is Seed Swap Day! This has been a national day for the past 12 years, but seed swapping and/or sharing is a common practice among flower and vegetable gardeners. My grandma had a…

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Pearl, Swirl, Burl

Pearl, Swirl, Burl

Have you ever wondered what those odd looking growths are on tree trunks or branches? If you are a wood turner you may already know and probably keep your eye out for them when you are driving or walking through the woods.   The burl tree. “Burl” is just one word for the abnormal growths protruding from all over the above tree. So how are these formed? Burls are made from abnormal proliferation of xylem production by the vascular cambium,…

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What About the Fish?

What About the Fish?

The snowbirds are now comfortably settled in their warm southern homes, and the migratory birds have set up their new homes, too. Temperatures are dropping below the zero mark as we hunker down and bundle up. You may wonder what has become of the outdoor animals that stay here in the frigid north…just before you take a big sip of whipped cream-covered hot cocoa. Mammals put on a thicker coat for the cold winter months and some of their fur…

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O Tannenbaum

O Tannenbaum

For many Americans, the excitement of their Christmas tree is probably old news since so many trees are put up during Thanksgiving weekend. This is not the case for everyone, so on this Friday before Christmas we celebrate the centuries old tradition of the Tannenbaum. ‘Tannenbaum’ is German for fir tree. The German tradition is thought to have begun around the time of Martin Luther or just after–in the mid-1500s. The use of evergreen boughs is an even older tradition…

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Home is Where the Nest is

Home is Where the Nest is

Now, with more than a couple inches of snow on the ground, the writing about animals tracks seems more fitting. Alas, the weather is hard to predict. Instead we will turn to an above ground scavenger hunt. Once all of the leaves fall from the hardwoods, we can peek into the activity of the tree as if opening the door to the dream house we dive by everyday and finally being able to walk inside. Maybe absent leaves from a tree…

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Who Goes There?

Who Goes There?

Many of us have mixed feelings about snow–often our ‘like’ comes with a qualifier–I like snow as long as I don’t have to drive in it; as long as it doesn’t thaw and then freeze and create a hard-pack; as long as the flakes are big, fluffy, and sparkle in the morning sun…etc. This struggle between like and dislike can be especially strong when the calendar still says ‘Fall.’  I will now attempt to give you a.) one more reason to…

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The Sick and the Restricted

The Sick and the Restricted

By this time, you either know someone who has been out deer stalking or have been out yourself. A common complaint among hunters is regarding the number of restrictions. So many rules! Why all the regulations? Believe it or not there is reasoning and logic behind this messy and confusing looking chart: The Michigan landscape and climate varies a great deal. Areas with a higher number of farm land seem to have an increased number of deer which can also lead…

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11.15.17

11.15.17

Gear up to celebrate next week’s holiday! I’m not talking about the annual kick-off of stalking white-tailed deer with rifles. While this is a celebrated holiday (generally lasting more than one day) in Northern Michigan, I am actually talking about a national  holiday: America Recycles Day! Recycling adds another facet to Environmental Awareness Month. The national recycling rate has increased in recent decades, and is currently at about 34%. This seems like a fairly small number…34% on an exam usually means…

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Dragons and Damsels

Dragons and Damsels

          These beauties are going to kick-off Environmental Awareness Month! This week the conservation district wrapped up it’s Volunteer Stream Monitoring Fall 2017 project. If you missed past posts and/or newspaper articles, Volunteer Stream Monitoring is a project designed and overseen by MiCorps (or Michigan Clean Water Corps)–a network of volunteer water quality monitoring programs. Stream monitoring involves collecting organisms and identifying those organisms. These macroinvertebrates living in our rivers and streams (and lakes too) can…

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