A crack in the rock & a beach in the forest

Crystal Spring Scientific and Natural Area (SNA) in Scandia was established just four years ago. It contains a crystalline spring that pours out of the side of a rock wall, deep in an emerald chasm.

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Search for hidden treasure, and sometimes you find goats

Charlie and I excitedly watched our beacon move ever closer to the hidden cache as we hiked down a trail into the woods. 350 feet to go. 300 feet to go. 100 feet to go! Then we heard a plaintive bleat from behind the trees. Had I heard a goat?

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What goes down, must come up

Ask anyone with young kids and they’ll tell you about the strain of parenting in COVID times. With schools, summer camps, and daycare closed, we dance a wiggly cha cha as we attempt to somehow do a full day’s work while simultaneously caring for stir-crazy children who’ve been stuck at home since March.  This summer,…

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Paddle, Bike, Repeat: Four days on the Namekagon and St. Croix Rivers

We started our trip at the County Rd K landing (Namekagon River), near Trego, Wisconsin, and ended four days later at the Lower Tamarack landing (St. Croix River), 47-miles downriver. To avoid using a shuttle or bringing two cars, I brought my mountain bike along and rode back to our put-in at the end of each day to bring our truck and camping gear down to the next location.

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Rumor has it there’s a rumor in town

Tanners Lake is part of the Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District (RWMWD), and the district has worked hard to improve and protect water quality in the lake over the past 20 years. In fact, Tanners was one of the first lakes in Minnesota to be removed from the state’s impaired waters list (in 2004) after phosphorus levels went down and algae stopped being a problem.

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Meandering in the woods

There is an art to meandering in the woods. For Trout Brook and other naturalized streams, the “wiggles” allow for different types of habitat that fish need.

Sometimes people need a pause to wander in the woods as well.

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Find wilderness close to home

Like any good wilderness adventure, our day featured a stimulating mix of peaceful solitude, surprising discoveries, playful rest time, and harrowing travel.

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One woman’s weed is another woman’s salad

Look! There’s a yellow flower growing in that jagged sidewalk crack, but watch out! You almost stepped on the crack and everyone knows that would break your mother’s back. Is it a weed or is it a flower? I guess that depends on who you ask, but rub it on your chin and see if…

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A walk in the woods, a planted seed, new skills to learn

We went to the woods on Sunday afternoon to enjoy fresh air, warm sun reaching through frostbitten air, and no other humans in sight. For the dog, it was just like any other day. She had no idea that the world was turning upside down as she galloped across the blackened prairie, still charred from…

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Nurturing the Wild

Design with Nature Conference: Sat., Feb. 29 in St. Paul “What is that over there?” “It’s the wild,” said the mole. “Don’t fear it.” “Imagine how we would be if we were less afraid.” – Charlie Mackesy, The Boy, the mole, the fox and the Horse A friend gave us a new book for Christmas…

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