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North Woods Naturalist

Sunrise west harbor  from the Sunrise Series by Stephan Hoglund

Chel Anderson
Chel Anderson is a botanist and plant ecologist. She lives in the Hovland area and keeps close tabs on daily changes happening in the great outdoors. She shares her insights with WTIP listeners every Tuesday during North Shore Morning and North Shore Digest.  Subscribe to our North Woods Naturalist podcast.

Arts, cultural and history features on WTIP are made possible in part by funding from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Check out other programs and features funded in part with support from the Heritage Fund.



What's On:
Life under the snow

In winter plants may be dormant, but their chemistry works overtime

Dormancy021510Mixdown.mp310.19 MB

We all know animals have various ways of dealing with winter. Some hibernate; some stay active under the snow. Much the same is true for seeds and plants. It’s called dormancy and it has a lot to do with chemical changes, both in the plants and in the rodents that eat the plants. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with a local phenologist about the dormant plant world under the snow.

A marten takes a peek over the snow

The winter world beneath our feet

UnderSnow_0216.mp39.16 MB

While most of us are skiing, snowmobiling and snowshoeing on top of the snow, there’s a whole world of activity under our feet. This is the subnivean environment. Small rodents and some insects live in this very special place – and the snow below can be a lot different from the snow on top.  Jay Andersen spoke with a local phenologist Chel Anderson about the mysteries and activities of the subnivean world.

A Barred Owl

Hooo’s hooting? It’s owl courtship season

021110OwlsMixdown.mp39.14 MB

If you’re out in the woods these days you may be hearing the sounds of courtship. At least two species of owl are getting romantic for the Valentine season. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with a local phenologist about who’s doing the hooting.


Close up of a snow flea

Snow fleas have an important ecological function

020810SnowFleasMixdown.mp37.5 MB

Now that we have some fresh snow, you might be seeing little spots of stuff that looks like pepper. If the spots jump around they’re more than likely snow fleas. WTIP’s Jay Andersen talks with phenologist Chel Anderson about these fascinating wintertime insects.