This post is part of a series that highlights the making of our forest management plan for Otter Point Woods. We were fortunate to expand the footprint of Otter Point Woods this fall, adding another 12 acres for a total of about 30 acres. As I update the forest management plan, I'm realizing that I … Continue reading Otter Point Woods: Maps
The previous post looked at two different pieces of information that can greatly benefit you in your plant selection: plant hardiness zone and your growing season. This is important information for gardening, but it's not everything you need to know. These tools are limited because they use data from a network of climate stations across … Continue reading How cold is your climate? (Part 2): Microclimate
Pop quiz: What makes Earth different from all the other planets that have been discovered so far? Location. Location. Location. We happen to be in this magical Goldilocks-zone of being close enough to the sun to have warm(-ish) temperatures and liquid water—at least at some times of the year across most of the globe. And … Continue reading How cold is your climate? (Part 1) How to Find Your Hardiness Zone and Growing Season
What's your connection like with the natural world? It can be hard to find time to get outside, even though spending time in nature has enormous benefits. The Univeristy of Minnesota website has an online assessment to help you evaluate your connection to nature so that you can identify areas where you are doing well and … Continue reading Are you spending enough time in nature?
A few months ago I finally caved in and got myself a smartphone. I'd been putting it off for as long as possible, happy to be called a Luddite by my techier friends while I kept my cheapie flip phone for occasional calls and texts. But I upgraded phones* for my bike tour, and was … Continue reading 5 Free Apps for Exploring the Outdoors
Tonight was a totally gorgeous night, so I took the time to take a slow walk around our property and see what trees are out there as part of my quest to record all the plants on our property. I feel pretty sheepish that I've never done this before in the six years that we've … Continue reading All the Trees in our Woods
When I woke up this morning, I sat up in bed to look at the sun coming through big, beautiful leaves on the tress in our woods with the kind of perfect low, yellow light that makes everything look super pretty. And the first thing that come into my mind was Cat Steven singing "Morning … Continue reading Very Spring, Very Fast
Ah! The spring thaw is finally here! When snow melts in the spring, I can’t help but wonder if it’s at all like when the glaciers receded 10,000 years ago. Probably not, but I still really like the idea after 6 months of snow. So where does all the springtime water go? In short: into … Continue reading 2 Easy Ways to Find Your Watershed