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Natural Connections

Apr 28, 2022

As a campfire-poking kid, I love the idea that setting fires has a scientific and ecological purpose. Fire clears out the thick thatch that can smother new sprouts. Black ashes absorb sunshine, warm the soil, and provide prairie plants with an extra boost. Fire is a form of decomposer, and makes nutrients from dead...

Apr 21, 2022

In addition to antibacterial behaviors, turkey vultures have developed excellent immune systems that can ward off and even destroy the microbes that cause botulism, anthrax, cholera, and salmonella. Their stomachs, gross as they may seem, help purify our world. Can you imagine a world in which dead things all...

Apr 14, 2022

Spring is coming, albeit slowly, to the Northwoods. Now is the time to finish up work in the woods that could potentially damage oak trees and allow for infection by oak wilt. Now is not the time to clean out your gardens, though, since pollinators and other beneficial insects need longer stretches of warmth in order...

Apr 7, 2022

Eastern chipmunks hibernate in underground burrows throughout the winter, but pop out at the first sign of spring. Learn more about their little lives!