Press "Enter" to skip to content

Otters in the Arb!

Historically, otters were present throughout Minnesota. Unfortunately, during the 1800s, demand for otters’ sleek and dense fur combined with wetland drainage destroyed the population in southern Minnesota. For nearly 100 years otters were locally extinct, a phenomenon called extirpation. Since then, otters in the U.S. have been monitored and their…

Fall Colors and Falling Leaves

Throughout spring and summer, the leaves of trees work as food factories. But there are deciduous trees that stop food production, experience color change, and lose leaves. Changes in these trees are the vibrant markers of fall. Chlorophyll, a chemical pigment in leaves, absorbs sunlight energy to turn carbon dioxide…

Arb notes: trapped carp

Recently, I was working on Arb Crew; our job was to walk along the floodplain, picking up any trash washed up from the recent flooding. While passing by the retention pond, a huge fish broke the surface of the water catching our attention. I asked Matt Elbert, Arboretum Manager, what…

Arb notes: trapped carp

Recently, I was working on Arb Crew; our job was to walk along the floodplain, picking up any trash washed up from the recent flooding. While passing by the retention pond, a huge fish broke the surface of the water catching our attention. I asked Matt Elbert, Arboretum Manager, what…

Avian snow angels

This past week, a crow in the middle of Bell Field caught my eye as it was picking around at something in the snow. Naturally, I tromped all the way over and found the exciting marks of a crime scene: an avian snow angel. In the snow I found the…

Avian snow angels

This past week, a crow in the middle of Bell Field caught my eye as it was picking around at something in the snow. Naturally, I tromped all the way over and found the exciting marks of a crime scene: an avian snow angel. In the snow I found the…

For the bugs

Summer is vibrant and full of life, the bugs it brings are often underappreciated. While insects may be annoying, they pollinate plants, are a key part of the food chain and help decompose past life. A study conducted by Radboud University in Germany measured the biomass of insects at 63…

Carleton Arboretum Frog and Toad Survey

Have you gone on a walk in the Arb recently? If you have, I bet you heard a few of the frog species that live in our Arb! One of the noisiest species you can hear in most wetlands is the Chorus Frog. It sounds like a finger running across…

Come investigate owl pellets in the Cowling Arboretum!

This coming Monday 5:30-6:30PM, February 20, 2018 there will be an owl Arb walk leaving from the Rec Center. We will learn to listen for owl calls, where to find them, their habits, life cycles, and more. One especially exciting experience will be investigating owl pellets first hand! There will…

Spooky, scary skeletons

With Halloween just behind us, it is the perfect time to talk about bones. Skeletons, our internal structure, are meant to be hidden, which makes them spooky to see. Whether in humans or animals, bones work with ligaments, tendons, and joints to fling our skeleton around. Besides motion they also…