Wild Animals

By Mary Beth Pottratz Foggy, moist air feels soothing to breath after the harsh dryness and extreme cold of last week’s polar vortex. At 37⁰ above zero, I inhale the scents of wet bark and melting snow. This morning’s dense fog has lifted a little. Puddles form at my feet, and although the mist is…

Crabapples at the Arboretum

Photo by Mark MacLennan By Alan Branhagen, Arboretum Director of Operations Crabapples (and apples!) are in the Rose Family in the Genus Malus which is of North American origin.  They spread to Eastern Asia (and westward to Europe) which now has the greatest diversity of species. Apples evolved in the Tian Shan of western China–Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan and…

Brisk, Cold, and Frigid

By Sydney Chandler When there are no more clothes available to wear and weather reports threaten frostbite risk, walking trips tend to be short. However, the Arboretum gardens are accessible even in limited time. So here are a few short descriptions of the cold from an exceptionally brisk visit: Snowball on a Stick The white…

Turkey Tracks, Turkey Tails, and Turkeys!

By Holly Einess Two crows are raucously calling and chasing each other as I step out of my car on this cold and cloudy morning. Walking between the Oswald Visitor Center and the Snyder Building I pause to watch and listen as chickadees call to one another and flit from tree to tree. A soft…

Exploring Trees in Winter

By Greg Lecker Though the day is gray and overcast, animals are active today.  A few scattered crows caw from trees in the parking lot.  Though I had seen a hawk on a highway light pole on my drive here; the calls these birds caw seem unalarmed.  One bird carries what appears to be a…

January Thaw

By Mary Beth Pottratz Although the sun is low in the sky, balmy temperatures in the low 40s make for a January thaw. People are strolling, jogging and enjoying the sunshine and fresh air. Colored lights are everywhere on the Arboretum grounds, and curling bare branches highlighted by sprinkles of snow frame the landscape. Landscape…

The Adventures of the Arboretum Opossum

By Sydney Chandler Unique footprints mark the snow. They are in the parking lot, along the Green Heron and Ridge Trail, at the bog, under bushes near Three-Mile Drive, and by open water. Prints first made in slushy snow were frozen in time with a temperature drop. They tell the tales of the Arboretum Opossum….

Holiday Treats

By Greg Lecker The early bird finds the treats.  Just after sunrise, walking around the north edge of Green Heron Pond, I follow two sets of tracks – one larger and one smaller. Tracks in the Snow I can identify the larger ones as Canid – probably coyote – based on size and the presence…

A Taste of Spring in Early Winter

By Holly Einess On this bright and mild morning, I decide to continue my earlier exploration of the Dog Trails. As I drive past Andrus Learning Center, on my way there, I see a “Trail to Hilltop Parking” sign. Why drive when I could hike? I park my car and set off. The trail winds…

Winter Lights

By Mary Beth Pottratz The noon sun sits low in the sky as we near the winter solstice, or shortest day of the year. The sun is at its furthest point from our equator. Less than two weeks before our days will start to lengthen! Noon Sun Despite the low sun, today’s 29⁰ with low…