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Category: Blog

Ick! A Tick!

Ick! A Tick!

Warmer weather brings a plethora of migrating birds to our backyards, mammals roaming about with their young, butterflies flitting around the early spring blooms, and ticks. It’s exciting to get back outside and enjoy the warm sunshine, but we also have to contend with the unwanted creatures which includes ticks. There are over 20 known species of ticks in Michigan, the most common (at about 75%) being the American Dog tick which is not the carrier of Lyme disease. Unfortunately…

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Find Your Trail

Find Your Trail

Take a hike! Saturday June 2 is National Trails Day. Outdoor recreation is as important for our well being as it is for our economy. It seems surprising that free hiking trails can help generate more than 10 billion in annual revenue, and that’s just for the National forests and grasslands. Nearly half of the country’s population participates in outdoor recreation from winter sports to summer sun. This creates a thriving industry that is also growing more each year. While…

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Replenish

Replenish

The temperature fluctuation has been quite…interesting this year. While we have had a similar amount of snowfall and overall precipitation during the first two months of the year as compared to last year, we have definitely seen more snow this April. Last year the total amount of snowfall for April was 0.2 inches. This data was gathered at the MSU AgBio Research Station and can be found at NOAA. Sure we are all tired of the snow, but for our lakes and…

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Who’s Peeping?

Who’s Peeping?

The end of March, first of April is an exciting time outside. Most movies exaggerate real life, but this time of year really is like that scene from Bambi. Happy, singing, smiling. Even the plants seem to be smiling. While the Black Bear is emerging from her forest den, hopefully with adorable cubs, the Northern Spring Peeper is lighting up the wetlands and lake edges. These tiny frogs are a sure sign the cold weather has broke. Spring peepers are true…

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Long Winter’s Nap is Over

Long Winter’s Nap is Over

Tuesday marked the first day of Spring. You may have noticed or heard the return of robins, bluebirds, and geese. While we often don’t see them, mammals will begin to emerge from their dens and underground areas of hibernation. One of these mammals is the Black Bear. These cute and cuddly animals begin venturing out around the first week of April. After having “hibernated” for the past several months, they will be looking for food (foraging) first. Black bears mainly…

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Green Snakes and Beer

Green Snakes and Beer

From a humble missionary to excessive amounts of green colored beer, what is the meaning of St. Patrick’s Day? I can assure you in the 18th century the celebrations were much quieter–people celebrated by going to church the second quietest place I know (behind libraries). I don’t care how you celebrate, I love holidays even the ones that have nothing to do with my own family heritage (Cinco de Mayo may be my favorite non-heritage holiday) mainly because I like…

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We Speak For the Trees

We Speak For the Trees

The Lorax said “I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.” Though the story is comprised of imaginary characters and a great deal of whimsy, the message transcends fiction, ages, and times. As the Lorax is a fictional character, and we are the highest evolved animals on Earth WE are the ones who speak for the trees. Our voices differ, our agendas differ, we are not one single Lorax. How can we all come together to support…

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Lions and Lambs

Lions and Lambs

If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb. Where does this stuff come from? There are several ideas ranging from astrological signs to religious signs. In a region where seasons really mean something, it seems to have more to do with the weather and the coming of spring. From February 1st (groundhog day) onward we just want winter to be over, that much is clear by these interesting…traditions. The forecast for the first few…

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GBBC

GBBC

Another acronym. This is a good one though–Great Backyard Bird Count. Maybe you’ve heard of this event, and maybe you’ve thought about getting involved with citizen science projects in the past. This project is the perfect launch pad.  The Great Backyard Bird Count is simple, can be done from the comfort of your own home (if you choose), and is important information for ornithologists (bird biologists). For most citizen scientists, having a fun project isn’t enough, they want know their…

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Day of Shadow

Day of Shadow

By the time you read this, the news is already out. As we are not one of the three P’s of importance: Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, or Phil, combined with our northern Michigan locale where snow falls when it pleases and winter lasts as long as it well likes–today doesn’t really seem like a “holiday.” Why do we care what a groundhog “predicts” when we know winter will probably last more than six weeks beyond today? Punxsutawney has been celebrating Groundhog Day since…

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