Nature Notes

By Jim Gilbert Narcissus is the scientific name for the well-known spring blooming plants called daffodils and jonquils. All three names are used indiscriminately for the perennial plant that comes up each year from a bulb and has a star of petals surrounding a trumpet-like structure. Daffodil is the name most often used in Minnesota. [...]

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By Jim Gilbert As lake ice melts we are seeing animals coming out of hibernation. Leopard frogs began leaving Lake Waconia on April 12 when there was a ring of open water around the lake. A snapping turtle emerged at Kelzer Pond in Victoria on April 7, and a painted turtle was seen sunning there [...]

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The first migrating wood duck arrived on March 28 this year, and now many are seen on the open waters of temporary ponds, creeks and rivers, and open edges of lakes and ponds. This is a good time to put up one or more wood duck nesting boxes in a yard or area, even if [...]

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By Jim Gilbert A few eastern bluebirds attempt to winter-over in Minnesota but nearly all of them spend the cold months in states south of us, returning in greatest numbers between mid-March and mid-April. This year it was late March when the first migrants were spotted in the area. Their habitat includes farmlands, orchards, roadsides [...]

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By Jim Gilbert The northern cardinals, black-capped chickadees and white-breasted nuthatches, in our neighborhoods, are very vocal now, and soon migrant American robins, red-winged blackbirds and eastern bluebirds will be adding their songs to the chorus. The singing of birds increases manyfold in March, not only due to migrants returning north but also because the [...]

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By Jim Gilbert When we have a fresh coating of snow overnight, I know that even if I get outdoors before sunrise there will be many cottontail tracks in our yard. The neighborhood cottontails seem to be the first animals out and about. Actually they are active from early evening, through the night, and on [...]

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