Explore the wonders of the prairie and wetland complex of the St. Olaf Natural Lands

prgrass006The Cannon River Watershed Partnership invites the public to explore the wonders of the prairie and wetland complex of the St. Olaf Natural Lands with us on May 12th.

When:  1:00-2:30 PM on May 12th

Where:  Meet the student naturalist outside the front door of Tostrud Athletic Center at St. Olaf College.

The walk will take you through the St. Olaf Natural Lands to view wetlands, woodlands, and prairie habitats. The naturalist will talk about wetland and prairie restoration as it relates to water quality.

Information: See the CRWP Upcoming Events Calendar.

Photo album: St. Olaf Natural Lands in winter

It was a little nippy yesterday afternoon when I took a stroll on the groomed cross country ski trails around the wetlands of the St. Olaf Natural Lands. I intended to take a few dozen photos as the sun set but I wimped out.  Fingers numb quickly when the wind chill is way south of zero and I’m trying to hold still for macro shots. My favorite technique of sticking my hands down my pants to warm them up in my crotch tends to draw the attention of campus security.

There’s a new information kiosk at the trailhead, with a small plaque that reads: 

Crafted by
Rebecca Rand
Class of 2010
and
Her Father, Tony Rand

Nice.

See the album of 8 photos, the large slideshow (recommended), or this small slideshow:

Forest tent caterpillars in the St. Olaf Natural Lands: more than usual?

forest tent caterpillars forest tent caterpillars

forest tent caterpillars forest tent caterpillars forest tent caterpillars
I was surprised to see the number of trees with forest tent caterpillars (FTC) while walking the St. Olaf Natural Lands trail around the wetland just west of the Tostrud Center yesterday.

The DNR has a 2009 FTC update; the UMN extension has a FTC background page, written in 2000.

Is this a normal occurrence?

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