Nature Notes

By Jim Gilbert Fireflies in Carver County have been on the wing since June 10 this year. The common names firefly and lightningbug are used for insects that communicate with pulsating “taillights” – segments at the ends of their abdomens with which these small animals are able to produce light by a chemical reaction controlled [...]

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By Jim Gilbert A common year-round resident throughout Minnesota, the black-capped chickadee is the familiar gray bird with a black cap and throat patch, and a white chest. They can be backyard birds easily attracted to seed feeders, and are usually the first bird to find a new feeder. This bird calls its own name: [...]

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Jim Gilbert Nature Notes It’s time for the common purple lilacs to begin blooming, and for mushroom hunters to be gathering morels, our official state mushroom since 1984. Morels are sometimes called sponge mushrooms because each resembles a piece of sponge growing on a short stalk. In form they are different from most mushrooms. Somewhat [...]

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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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