Working to protect the Mississippi River and its watershed in the Twin Cities area

Phenology

Berry cool

Mid- to late-summer is the time when the fruit of our native shrubs and trees become ripe, providing important nutrition for many animal species. Read more…

The twinkling lights of summer

Ah the firefly. Who doesn’t marvel at the flickering glow of these amazing animals. But there is a dark side to some firefly species. Find out who does what to whom and why! Read more…

Ferns, Fern Allies, and Horsetails

Along with the perhaps showier forbs (wildflowers), spring is also a good time to observe ferns and fern allies, which are finally emerging from this year’s particularly long winter dormancy. If you are hunting for fiddle-heads, now is a good time to do it! Bracken and ostrich ferns are now uncurling their little heads, forming new fronds. Read more…

Prairie & Oak Woodlands Walk [canceled]

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Come explore the oak woodlands and high-quality native prairie remnants of 3M's Cottage Grove site (not normally accessible to the public) with FMR Ecologist Joe Walton and River Stewardship Coordinator Adam Flett.

Garters

One of the spectacular events to witness in the spring is the emergence of garter snakes. Seeing dozens of garters emerging from a den is a true sign that spring has arrived. Read more…

The spring chorus begins

The woods are bursting with the mating songs and calls of many birds, including one modest finch with amazing survival skills that will soon be departing for more northerly destinations. Read more…

Wow People, Lighten Up a Tad

Short day length got you down? Will the dark days of winter ever end? Take heart! Winter’s midpoint is passed, and we are fast approaching the vernal equinox, the proverbial corner around which Spring is surely waiting. Read more…

The life of the river: pee stains or what are you trying to tell me?

Everyone’s heard the advice, “don’t eat yellow snow.” Less well-known is the fact that these little marks in the snow actually serve the important role of facilitating communication among animals in the wild. While scent marking occurs throughout the year, winter is probably the best time to recognize and appreciate their visual and odoriferous qualities. ‘Just another reason to wander out and enjoy Mississippi River in winter. Read more…

'O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree...'

A major snowstorm reveals the wonders of tree form. Read more…

Winter dormancy: it’s more work than it sounds like

Like it or not, winter is upon us. How do plants prepare for the long, cold winter months? With a little photoperiodism and some clever anti-desiccation moves. Read more…