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What is that Clump of Leaves in the Tree?

           It is winter and the leaves have left the trees bare. At first sight there is not much besides the bark and branches. A closer look reveals a clump of leaves and sticks that is messy and quite large in appearance. Upon further investigation, it appears to be a grey squirrel nest.             Grey […]

Make your own maple syrup — feel like a pioneer

  In an age of grocery stores, dancing celebrities and robotic floor sweepers, we can sometimes feel pretty far removed from our pioneer ancestors.  That’s when it’s nice to be able to do something as rugged and self-sufficient as turning tree sap into food.   Yes, you too can be like the native people and […]

Groundhogs Set to Prognosticate!

Groundhogs (or Woodchucks as they are often called) are a strictly North American species. Having entered the doldrums of winter, it is now, more than ever, that we need a holiday to bolster our spirits.  Thank goodness Groundhog’s Day is nearly here!  Unfortunately, Groundhog’s Day is not nearly as prominent of a holiday as one […]

An Exquisite Corpse Flower…Leaf

Perry the Corpse Flower’s leaf continues to grow as an increasingly astonishing rate.  The exquisite sculptural beauty of the growing leaf is surreal, giving rise to the title of today’s blog post. On Monday afternoon, Tuan and I measured the height of the leaf shoot at 61 inches.  On Wednesday afternoon it was 74 inches […]

Perry the Titan Arum to Bloom Soon!

This afternoon, July 4, 2010, the spathe of Perry’s inflorescence was revealed.  The lettuce-like appearance shows that this will be an inflorescence. The first sight of the spathe on Perry the last time was on the evening of April 26, 2007, and the inflorescence began to open on the afternoon of May 12.  It was […]

An Animalically Fragrant Ruby Tuesday

For all of you Perry the Corpse Flower fans out there, Perry’s smaller cousin, Ruby, is now putting on a spectacular display, both visual and olfactory, in the Gustavus greenhouse (click here and here for posts on Ruby and her/his fans from last spring, along with graphic descriptions of his/her vile/sublime fragrance). Below are thumbnails […]

New Hire in the Linnaeus Arboretum

The Linnaeus Arboretum has hired its new Naturalist to start in August.  Bob Dunlap is an ’08 graduate of Gustavus with tremendous experience in both plant and bird identification.  He brings with him vitality and excitement and will surely do a wonderful job in the position. His knowledge of birds is amazing and as you […]

Happy Arbor Day

“He that plants trees loves others beside himself” – unknown It is important to remember the value trees hold in our world. Arbor Day reminds us to look around and appreciated trees and nature that surround our homes. They offer so many special gifts to us as inhabitants of the Earth. Thank a tree today, […]

Trees for Heart, Mind, and Spirit Begins Today

Today is the kick-off of our Arbor Week activities in the Linnaeus Arboretum.  Come enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery.  Lunch is available for purchase, so all should join us for a brief visit.  The schedule for the next three days is as follows: Wednesday, April 23rd 11:30 – “Yoga in the Arboretum” – Kari […]

Hawk Watching with Bob

Here are the results from hawk-watching on September 25th. I did two observation periods:the first from 1:30 to 2:30 PM, and the second from 4:00 to 5:30 PM. Turkey Vulture: 11 Sharp-shinned Hawk: 2 Broad-winged Hawk: 5 Red-tailed Hawk: 3 That makes 21 individuals of 4 raptor species. Not bad. Other birds observed migrating: Franklin’s […]