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Wildlife Wednesday: Monarchs

  • March 10, 2021

It’s Wildlife Wednesday and spring is right around the corner! March 14th is National Learn about Butterflies Day which brings us to this Wildlife Wednesday species. Soon warmer weather, sunshine, and rain showers will cause resting plants to sprout from the soil once again. The first new shoots of milkweed will tell us that monarch butterflies are not far behind. This is because milkweed is the one type of plant monarch “moms” can lay their eggs on- it’s the only…

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Wildlife Wednesday: Northern Pike

  • March 3, 2021

Welcome to another Wildlife Wednesday! Today we have one of the more predatory fish of the Great Lakes: the northern pike! This fish is found in all of Michigan’s Great Lakes as well as in inland waters. They have a high tolerance of a range of water temperatures, clarity, and oxygen levels making them extremely adaptable to many different water conditions. They do prefer to live in shallow and weedy waters. Their coloration is perfect for blending in with aquatic…

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Wildlife Wednesday: Virginia Opossum

  • February 17, 2021

This week’s Wildlife Wednesday is dedicated to the Virginia Opossum! These backyard critters are North America’s only marsupial. But what does it mean to be a marsupial? This means that the female opossums have a pouch on their stomach (much like a kangaroo) where their young, or joeys, hang out after they are born. These animals have been given the nickname “nature’s minivan” because their numerous young can be seen hitching a ride on mom’s back. They have 50 teeth-…

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Falling Snowflakes

  • February 2, 2021

Written by: Kim Sherwin, Metroparks Interpreter As I watch the recent falling snowflakes, I am brought back to childhood. The large fluffy snowflakes sashaying through the sky as I gazed up, sticking my tongue out and feeling the cold snowflakes dissolve on my warm tongue. The blanket of white snow dampened the sound of the neighborhood. Even now, as an adult, I enjoy holding out my glove to catch a falling snowflake. Little did I know, the snowflake that melted…

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Wildlife Wednesday: Groundhog

  • February 2, 2021

February 2nd is Groundhog Day but what is a groundhog? Also known as a woodchuck or whistle pig, it is a member of the rodent family, and is actually a type of ground squirrel. The name woodchuck possibly comes from a mistranslation of the Algonquin word for the animal – wuchak - while the name whistle pig refers to the high-pitched screech they make when communicating with each other. Like all rodents, they have long, sharp incisors perfect for gnawing…

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Wildlife Wednesday: Longnose Gar

  • January 27, 2021

The longnose gar is a long and slender fish commonly found in all of Michigan’s Great Lakes, except Lake Superior. They are also found in some marshes. The longnose gar has an olive-brown body, white underbelly, and dark spots on their fins and body. The juvenile gar has a dark stripe along their side which they will lose when they reach maturity. This coloration is perfect camouflage for the usually murky and calm waters they live in. They have a…

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Wildlife Wednesday: Southern Flying Squirrel

  • January 20, 2021

Thursday January 21st is Squirrel Appreciation Day. So today’s Wildlife Wednesday species is the southern flying squirrel. Despite the name, the southern flying squirrel doesn’t actually fly, but glides from tree to tree using a thin membrane of skin stretching from the wrists to the ankles. This membrane is known is the patagium or more simply called the gliding membrane. The southern flying squirrel has thick and soft greyish brown fur and a cream colored underbelly. They have large eyes…

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A Holiday Gift

  • December 14, 2020

Paul Cypher, Interpreter, C.I.G. Gift giving is basically the same, isn’t it?  It doesn’t matter if it is a holiday gift, a birthday gift, graduation gift or whatever. The mystery item is wrapped and given to an individual who often knows it’s coming but does not know what it is. Upon opening, they hopefully get excited and talk about it for years to come. But sometimes, gifts are not always planned. A few weeks ago, the crew setting up the…

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Top 10 Reasons to Keep Metroparks on Your Mind in the Winter

  • December 2, 2020

Winter is the perfect time for the cold-weather fans to get out to your Metroparks for an adventure.  But did you know, it also a great time for those who would rather avoid the cold, to get outside and make some new memories?  Here are 10 reasons why your Metroparks are a great place to visit this winter. Hike-Bike Trails: If you want to get outside for a breath of fresh air, your Metroparks Hike-Bike Trails are the place to…

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Winter at Wolcott Metropark Farm Center

  • December 1, 2020

Written By: Kathleen Clinton, Metroparks C.I.G. Animal Care Specialist As winter approaches at Wolcott Metropark Farm Center we must prepare for the comfort and safety of our farm animals. Although you might think that keeping them inside and warm is the best for them, you are mistaken. Farm animals need shelter but not an airtight structure. A slightly drafty barn will allow proper ventilation to keep our livestock healthy. The animals body heat in an airtight barn can cause the barn…

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