Press "Enter" to skip to content

Clues to the origin of life found in the Arb

Did you know that the Arb is home to evidence of early microbial life? A large ancient stromatolite is visible along Spring Creek in the Upper Arb. Stromatolites are microbial reefs created by the activity of cyanobacteria. Microbial mats, or complex communities of microbes (primarily bacteria and archaea) organized into…

Arb notes: pasque flowers arrive

A clear sign that spring has sprung is the annual arrival of the pasque flower on the prairie. The pasque flower (Anemone patens), or prairie crocus, is the first native prairie flower to bloom each spring.  They are an important pollination resource for female bees, and blooming early ensures more attention…

Life in the subnivean zone

Have you ever wondered how small animals such as mice, voles, and shrews survive the winter? Unlike those who migrate and hibernate to avoid the cold, small mammals make their homes beneath the snowpack. The subnivean zone, or the area between the surface of the ground and the bottom of…

For Goodness…. Snakes! Sneaky Slitherers in the Arb

Chances are, if you’ve ventured into the Arb recently, a snake likely crossed your path. The Arboretum is home to the eastern garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis), the little brown snake (Storeria dekayi), and the red-bellied snake (Storeria occipitomaculata), all nonvenomous. Oft misunderstood and underappreciated, snakes are actually quite beneficial to…