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Out of sight, out of mind?

Freshwater mussels are a generally under-recognized and under-appreciated group of river inhabitants. They lie unobtrusively in the sediment along the bottom of waterways, small(ish), dark and sedentary. However, these underwhelming animals are, in reality, incredibly important for the ecology of riverine ecosystems. Mussels contribute to the functionality of the waterways…

Foxing Out Winter Animals

When most people think about the Arb in winter, it seems cold, bleak and devoid of life, however, while it may be a little quieter than in the summer months, it is still inhabited by a number of animals, some of the most active of which are the warm-blooded mammals.…

Arb Notes

This month 100 years ago, the last Passenger Pigeon, a bird named Martha, living in the Cincinnati Zoo, died, leaving the world with the question: how could such a numerous species disappear so quickly? The Passenger Pigeon, occurring only in North America, was one of the most abundant bird species,…

ArbNotes

You know that spring has finally arrived when colorful warblers can be seen flitting through the trees of the Arb. The spring bird migration is one of the more amazing feats of endurance that occurs in nature. About 40 species of birds that are considered Minnesota birds actually spend half…

ArbNotes

Now that spring has finally arrived, the leaves have returned to the trees and flowers to the ground! It’s the perfect time to get out into the arboretum and look around for spring wildflowers. Here are some things to look for when exploring: White Trout Lily – Found in upland…

ArbNotes

“Than Oars divide the Ocean, Too silver for a seam— Or Butterflies, off Banks of Noon Leap, plashless as they swim.” –Emily Dickinson Despite our own disbelief that spring is just around the corner, all we have to do is look up now and again see that spring is truly…

ArbNotes

Owls are fast becoming one of the most popular types of birds. However, unlike most other admired birds that are known for being colorful, quick, or vocal, owls’ most celebrated characteristic is their aura of mystery. Almost ghost-like as they swoop through the dark, these silent and deadly hunters have…

ArbNotes

Fall may be my favorite time of year, and October my favorite month. I love the transformation of colors that happens so quickly it’s hard to catch, the crunching of leaves while walking to class or through the Arb, the growing excitement for Halloween, and the smell in the air…