Events

Bird Language Gathering

posted Dec 6, 2018, 7:58 AM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated Dec 6, 2018, 7:58 AM ]

Please join us for our next Bird Language Gathering

Saturday, January 5 
9:00 - 1:00

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center
3815 American Blvd E
Bloomington, MN 55425

Registration for these gatherings is encouraged, but not required. Feel free to drop by--and it would be great to know that you are coming!

Birds talk to each other. We can learn to understand it. And it's fun!

In past winters, mixed feeding flocks have kept watch over owls roosting near the Hillside Trail. After several sits, our group started to get familiar with the subtle bands of suppression and excitement that surrounded the owls. The past two years, the barred owls seemed to be roosting in a different part of the Refuge. Will they return this winter? Will we get indications of a great-horned owl in the area again? One thing is for sure--the songbirds will know. Join us as we gather to eavesdrop on their conversations. And perhaps catch sight of an owl in the process.

 


What should I bring?

Bring what you need to be comfortable sitting still, outside on the ground for an extended period of time—perhaps as long as an hour. You will also need something to take notes on. You do not need to have binoculars, but there is no harm in bringing a pair if you would like. Here are a few recommended and optional items to bring:

Recommended:

Note pad & pencil
Ground cloth, blanket or camp-chair
Appropriate clothing for whatever weather we have that day
Warm footware

Optional:
Water bottle
Snack
Binoculars

Sign me up!

Registration is encouraged, but not required. Feel free to drop in and join us—and it would be great to know you are coming! If you have any questions, or to register for the event:

For a map & directions click here

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge


December Tracking Club: Winter Wanderings

posted Dec 6, 2018, 7:55 AM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated Dec 6, 2018, 7:55 AM ]

Come join us for our next Tracking Excursion at Ft. Snelling State Park: 

Sunday, December 16 
9:00am - 1:00pm 

We will gather at the Ft. Snelling State Park visitor center: 

Ft. Snelling State Park 
101 Snelling Lake Rd 
West St Paul, MN 55111
 

Snow tracking season is here! Join us as we explore Fort Snelling State Park and see what is moving around out there.

We will gather at 9:00 in the fireplace room in the Visitor Center. We will head out on the trail about 9:20 and return to the visitor center about noon for a brief mapping exercise and wrap-up session. If you need to reach us the day of the outing, please call Jon's cell phone at 612-388-4700. Please note that cell reception is poor in much of the park.

Following Tracking Club, you are invited to join our community's "Village Builder's" group for a pot-luck lunch and conversation to reflect on the past year and begin creating the coming year and beyond.

Note that you need a State Park pass to drive to the Visitor Center, but you can park for free at the Historic Fort Snelling visitor center. It is about a half-mile walk past the historic fort and down the hill to get to the State Park visitor center. The Historic Fort parking is located at 200 Tower Ave, St Paul, MN 55111

RSVPs are encouraged, but not required.

Click Here for Directions

Ft. Snelling Visitor Center


New! Trailing Practice: Sat, Dec 15

posted Nov 26, 2018, 8:16 AM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated Dec 4, 2018, 2:33 PM ]

Welcome to Trailing Practice. 


In October, several tracking club members participated in a Deer Trailing workshop and evaluation with Kersey Lawrence, a Senior Tracker from South Africa. We will be hosting monthly trailing practice sessions to practice and hone these skills in small groups. 

Saturday, December 15

9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Crosby Farm Regional Park 
2595 Crosby Farm Rd
St Paul, MN 55116

I'm curious about trailing. Can I join you and try it out?

Yes. Please know that these will be practice sessions, so there will be little to no talking while we are on the trail. 

Previous experience with trailing animals or moving in the woods is strongly recommended. 

Would this be a good event for my kids? 

It depends on the kid. Trailing is a great way to see more animals. And, it calls for extended periods of silence and control. We move in a quiet and relaxed way through the woods, so that animals are not disturbed by our approach. 

Our Tracking Club events are more family-friendly, and would be a better entry point for involving younger kids in nature.

What should I bring?

Bring what you need to be comfortable moving slowly outside for up to two hours. 

Recommended:

Appropriate clothing and footwear for the season
Notepad or journal & pencil (for trailing journal notes and mapping)
Poncho if it is raining

Optional:
Hand warmers 
Water bottle
Snack
Binoculars

Sign me up!

Registration is encouraged, as we will be meeting in different locations without warm, indoor facilities. 

If you have any questions, or to register for the event:
For a map & directions click here

Crosby Farm Regional Park


Bird Language: Sat, Dec 1

posted Nov 6, 2018, 12:42 PM by The Center for Mind-Body Oneness   [ updated Nov 6, 2018, 12:42 PM ]

Please join us for our next Bird Language Gathering  

Saturday, December 1 
9:00 - 1:00 

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center 
3815 American Blvd E 
Bloomington, MN 55425 

Registration for these gatherings is encouraged, but not required. Feel free to drop by--and it would be great to know that you are coming! 

Birds talk to each other. We can learn to understand it. And it's fun!

Winter is coming. The canopy has opened up again, giving us a good view through the forest. Chickadees and nuthatches are traveling in mixed feeding flocks, "talking" about the goings on in the woods. Come join us on the slopes of the Minnesota River Valley as we eavesdrop on their conversations.

What should I bring?

Bring what you need to be comfortable sitting still, outside on the ground for an extended period of time—perhaps as long as an hour. You will also need something to take notes on. You do not need to have binoculars, but there is no harm in bringing a pair if you would like. Here are a few recommended and optional items to bring:

Recommended:

Note pad & pencil
Appropriate clothing and foot ware for the season
Ground cloth, blanket or camp-chair
Poncho if it is raining

Optional:
Water bottle
Snack
Binoculars

Sign me up!

Registration is encouraged, but not required. Feel free to drop in and join us—and it would be great to know you are coming! If you have any questions, or to register for the event:

For a map & directions click here

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge


November Tracking Club: That's a Deer Track!

posted Nov 6, 2018, 12:39 PM by The Center for Mind-Body Oneness   [ updated Nov 6, 2018, 12:40 PM ]

Come join us for our next Tracking Excursion at Ft. Snelling State Park, followed by a Community Meeting: 

Sunday, November 18  
9:00am - 1:00pm 
(meeting 1:00~3:30)

We will gather at the Ft. Snelling State Park visitor center: 

Ft. Snelling State Park 
101 Snelling Lake Rd 
West St Paul, MN 55111
 

Join us for a half-day exploring the art of trailing as club members share from the recent Trailing Evaluation and Workshop with Kersey Lawrence and Lee Gutteridge. We will head out onto the landscape to follow trails and practice spotting deer tracks in leaf litter--like the one in the photo here :)

We will gather at 9:00 in the fireplace room in the Visitor Center. We will head out on the trail about 9:20 and return to the visitor center about noon for a brief mapping exercise and wrap-up session. If you need to reach us the day of the outing, please call Jon's cell phone at 612-388-4700. Please note that cell reception is poor in much of the park.

Following Tracking Club, you are invited to join our community's "Village Builder's" group for a pot-luck lunch and conversation to reflect on the past year and begin creating the coming year and beyond.

Note that you need a State Park pass to drive to the Visitor Center, but you can park for free at the Historic Fort Snelling visitor center. It is about a half-mile walk past the historic fort and down the hill to get to the State Park visitor center. The Historic Fort parking is located at 200 Tower Ave, St Paul, MN 55111

RSVPs are encouraged, but not required.

Click Here for Directions

Ft. Snelling Visitor Center


Bird Language: Sat, Nov 3

posted Oct 10, 2018, 12:24 PM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated Oct 10, 2018, 12:24 PM ]

Please join us for our next Bird Language Gathering

Saturday, November 3
9:00 - 1:00

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center
3815 American Blvd E
Bloomington, MN 55425

Registration for these gatherings is encouraged, but not required. Feel free to drop by--and it would be great to know that you are coming!

Birds talk to each other. We can learn to understand it. And it's fun!

As we move into late autumn, the fall migration is nearly complete. A few raptors are still moving through on their journey south, while "snow birds" have arrived from their northern breeding grounds. Many year-round residents are now moving about in mixed feeding flocks, filling the woods with their companion calls. Come join us on the slopes above the Minnesota River as we immerse ourselves in the birds world and hear what they have to tell us about the forest.


What should I bring?

Bring what you need to be comfortable sitting still, outside on the ground for an extended period of time—perhaps as long as an hour. You will also need something to take notes on. You do not need to have binoculars, but there is no harm in bringing a pair if you would like. Here are a few recommended and optional items to bring:

Recommended:

Note pad & pencil
Ground cloth, blanket or camp-chair
Sun protection
Poncho if it is raining

Optional:
Water bottle
Snack
Binoculars

Sign me up!

Registration is encouraged, but not required. Feel free to drop in and join us—and it would be great to know you are coming! If you have any questions, or to register for the event:

For a map & directions click here

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge


October Tracking Club: Scavenger Hunt

posted Oct 4, 2018, 1:47 PM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated Oct 4, 2018, 1:47 PM ]

Come join us for our next Tracking Excursion at Ft. Snelling State Park:

Sunday, October 21 
9:00am - 1:00pm

We will gather at the Ft. Snelling State Park visitor center:

Ft. Snelling State Park
101 Snelling Lake Rd
West St Paul, MN 55111


We enter wildlife tracking with our senses open to appreciate the subtle detail of the tracks and sign we see in the field. Sometimes our focus can get very involved as we look at the shape, edge, depth, and other details of a track to the exclusion of other signs of nature around us. This month we will expand our awareness to observe more than what shows up in a mud puddle (but we will do a fair amount of that too!).

We will gather at 9:00 in the fireplace room in the Visitor Center. We will head out on the trail about 9:20 and return to the visitor center about noon for a brief mapping exercise and wrap-up session. If you need to reach us the day of the outing, please call Rob's cell phone at 612-369-2718. Please note that cell reception is poor in much of the park.

Note that you need a State Park pass to drive to the Visitor Center, but you can park for free at the Historic Fort Snelling visitor center. It is about a half-mile walk past the historic fort and down the hill to get to the State Park visitor center. The Historic Fort parking is located at 200 Tower Ave, St Paul, MN 55111

RSVPs are encouraged, but not required.

Click Here for Directions

Ft. Snelling Visitor Center


Bird Language: Sat, Oct 6

posted Sep 11, 2018, 1:43 PM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated Sep 12, 2018, 8:04 AM ]

Please join us for our next Bird Language Gathering

Saturday, October 6
9:00 - 1:00

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center
3815 American Blvd E
Bloomington, MN 55425

Registration for these gatherings is encouraged, but not required. Feel free to drop by--and it would be great to know that you are coming!

Birds talk to each other. We can learn to understand it. And it's fun!

The leaves are falling and the canopy is opening up again. “Snow birds" have arrived and joined the mixed feeding flocks while the raptor migration is in full swing. Come join us as we spend an autumn day observing the birds along the slopes of the Minnesota River Valley, and listening to what they have to tell us about what is going on in the forest.


What should I bring?

Bring what you need to be comfortable sitting still, outside on the ground for an extended period of time—perhaps as long as an hour. You will also need something to take notes on. You do not need to have binoculars, but there is no harm in bringing a pair if you would like. Here are a few recommended and optional items to bring:

Recommended:

Note pad & pencil
Ground cloth, blanket or camp-chair
Sun protection
Bug protection
Poncho if it is raining

Optional:
Water bottle
Snack
Binoculars

Sign me up!

Registration is encouraged, but not required. Feel free to drop in and join us—and it would be great to know you are coming! If you have any questions, or to register for the event:

For a map & directions click here

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge


Cedar Creek Fall Survey: Sep 22-23

posted Aug 28, 2018, 1:29 PM by The Center for Mind-Body Oneness   [ updated Aug 28, 2018, 5:49 PM ]

It's time for the Fall Cedar Creek Wildlife Survey   

The Cedar Creek Wildlife Survey is a joint venture between the Minnesota Wildlife Tracking Project and the University of Minnesota's Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve. It is a unique opportunity to improve your tracking skills, connect with nature, and help Cedar Creek scientists learn about the wildlife living on their property. You can read about our Summer Survey here.


Fall Survey, September 22-23

Our Fall Survey will include three field sessions over two days, plus an opportunity to stay overnight at Cedar Creek. We will head out in teams to survey sand roads and check track plates, then come back in to share our discoveries with one another. Each team will be led by an experienced wildlife tracker, certified in Track & Sign identification. Here is the schedule for the weekend.

Saturday, September 22
Session 1: 8:30am ~ 12:00pm
Lunch: ~12:00pm - 1:00pm
Session 2: 1:00pm ~ 5:00pm

Sunday, September 23
Session 3: 9:00am ~ 4:00pm
(including lunch in the field)

Bring your own lunches. We will have lunch at the Lindeman Center on Saturday and (weather permitting) in the field on Sunday. Cedar Creek will provide coffee and snacks.


New to Tracking?

Trackers, naturalists and enthusiasts of all levels are welcome to take part in our surveys--and having some experience with track and sign interpretation is definitely helpful. If you are new to wildlife tracking and would like to learn a bit about it before joining us for a survey, check out our free Two-Day Animal Tracking Workshop at Ft. Snelling State Park, September 15-16. It's a perfect way to prepare for our Fall Survey at Cedar Creek. Get all the details here.


Overnight Accommodations

For those who would like to stay overnight on Saturday, Cedar Creek is offering us housing on campus for the extraordinary low rate of $7 (there is an additional fee if you want Cedar Creek to provide linens). Our dorm can accommodate 10 people. Register right away to guarantee your spot. Meals will be on our own, and each dorm has complete kitchen facilities.


Registration

Registration is required. To register, email Jonathan Poppele <poppele@umn.edu> or use our contact form. Let us know which sessions you plan to attend, and if you plan to stay overnight.


Want to Carpool?

We have a new tool to help coordinate carpooling. If you would like to share the trip to Cedar Creek, you can use our Group Carpool page to offer or request a ride.


About Cedar Creek

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve is a 5,400 acre experimental ecological reserve operated by the University of Minnesota. It is located about 35 miles north of Minneapolis and St. Paul, just east of Bethel.

Cedar Creek lies at the boundary between prairie and forest. It is a mosaic of uplands dominated by oak savanna, prairie, hardwood forest, pine forests, and abandoned agricultural fields and of lowlands comprised of ash and cedar swamps, acid bogs, marshes, and sedge meadows. The area was first set aside in the early 1940s to be kept in its natural condition for scientific and educational purposes. Much of the land remains pristine, and has never been developed for agriculture. You can learn more at www.cedarcreek.umn.edu

The diverse, pristine habitat supports a wide variety of mammals. Species seen on the property over the Reserve's 75 year history include white-tailed jackrabbits, badger, fisher, fox squirrels, porcupine & spotted skunks. Reserve staff and scientists are looking for our help to update their index of mammals. If you are a beginner, the surveys will offer an overview of the diversity of Minnesota Mammals. For the advanced tracker, you might get to try your hand at distinguishing fisher from otter; fox squirrel from grey squirrel; and a variety of tiny mammal tracks. You can take a look at some of what our tracking teams have found on our iNaturalist Project Page, or look read about our past surveys on our blog.

The property includes 25 miles of sand roads, which catch tracks beautifully. The roads will be grated shortly before our surveys, offering optimal tracking conditions for us to locate and identify a rich diversity of species.

Public access to the Reserve is limited. The Cedar Creek Wildlife Survey program offers you the rare opportunity to explore this exceptional landscape.


Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve
2660 Fawn Lake Dr NE
Bethel, Minnesota 55005


For a map & directions to Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, click here

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve

2-Day Tracking Workshop & Tracking Club: Sep 15-16

posted Aug 28, 2018, 1:11 PM by The Center for Mind-Body Oneness   [ updated Sep 14, 2018, 7:34 AM by Jonathan Poppele ]

Otter Track
Join the Minnesota Wildlife Tracking Project for a two day introduction to the fundamentals of animal tracking--or just come Sunday for September Tracking Club!


September 15-16
9:00am - 2:00pm Sat
9:00am - 1:00pm Sun

Ft. Snelling State Park Visitor Center
101 Snelling Lake Rd
West St Paul, MN 55111

Thanks to the generosity of the State Park system, this program is free--but registration is required for Saturday's class.
To register call 612-725-2724 or email krista.jensen@state.mn.us


This workshop qualifies as training for the Cedar Creek Wildlife Survey. Workshop participants are invited to join us at Cedar Creek the weekend of September 22-23 for our fall survey. More information about that here.

Over the course of the weekend you will build a foundation for your own study and interpretation of animal tracks. Tracking may be the most ancient of all sciences. Tracking is the study and interpretation of the tracks (footprints) and other signs left behind by animals as they go about their lives.

Fort Snelling Tracking Workshop
Tracking begins with identifying the animal that left the tracks and signs behind and grows into understanding the intimate details of that animal's life. Our distant ancestors learned to read the signs of passing animals. For them, it was a matter of survival. For most of us, tracking is a way to connect more deeply with the natural world around us.


Saturday will begin at 9:00am and conclude by 2:00pm with a break for lunch (please bring your own). Sunday runs 9:00am - 1:00pm. We will spend much of Saturday and most of Sunday in the field. Dress to be comfortable inside and outside both on and off the trail. You may also wish to bring:

Notebook and writing utensil
Small ruler (6" plastic rulers work well)
Measuring tape
Camera
Lunch and or snacks
A water bottle


Registration is required for Saturday.

To register, call 612-725-2724 or email <krista.jensen@state.mn.us>


A state park permit is required on each vehicle parking at the Visitor Center ($7/day pass or $35 annual pass. Available at park office upon entry to park). You can park for free at the Historic Fort Snelling visitor center. It is about a half-mile walk past the historic fort and down the hill to get to the State Park visitor center. The Historic Fort parking is located at 200 Tower Ave, St Paul, MN 55111


Click Here for Directions

Ft. Snelling Visitor Center


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