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Archive for January 17, 2012

Live webcam of black bear in den — soon to give birth

I have to share this amazing opportunity to observe a black bear in her den at Lynn Rogers’ North American Bear Center in Ely, Minnesota.  She is due to give birth any time now.

Northern Red Oak Identification in Winter

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While identifying an oak species by the shape of its leaf is fairly easy, there are other characteristics in winter, when leaves aren’t available (except under the snow), that serve as clues to an oak’s identity.  A mature northern red oak can be readily recognized by its bark — its ridges appear to have shiny stripes down the center.  The buds of northern red oak are also distinctive.  Like most oaks, red oak’s terminal (located at tip of twigs) buds occur in clusters.  Northern red oak’s terminal buds are conical, and are a reddish-brown color.