The Ridges Sanctuary

Preservation, Education, and Research

Category: Nature Notes

Nature Notes: A Forest Days Hike in the Woods

Posted on May 12, 2024 by Jackie Rath   No Comments Yet | Posted in Blog · Nature Notes

Ridges Educators work relentlessly to bring quality Forest Days programming to Gibraltar students in grades K-6. Forest Days are designed to bring students outside and into their local forest for place-based environmental education. Forest Day lesson topics include the carbon cycle, patterns in nature, the role of decomposers in the forest, food webs, and other [..Read more]

Nature Notes: Creating Environmental Stewardship

Posted on Apr 10, 2024 by Jackie Rath   No Comments Yet | Posted in Articles · Blog · Nature Notes

By Libby Humphries, WisCorps Environmental Educator When I was a child growing up in the metro-Atlanta area, my public education was greatly limited to the confines of a brick-and-mortar building. Tales of plate tectonics and photosynthesis were recited like oral tradition, with only illustrations in textbooks to supplement my teachers’ words. Learning about these real-life [..Read more]

Nature Notes: Documenting the Natural World 

Posted on Mar 27, 2024 by Jackie Rath   1 Comment | Posted in Blog · Nature Notes

By Jackie Rath, Program Coordinator On most weekdays around noon, Ridges staff make their way to the center table in the back offices to eat lunch. While this routine might feel repetitive, the conversations from these gatherings are anything but. Around this table, I have learned so much from my coworkers through their fascinations and [..Read more]

Nature Notes: Birding at a Time of Transition

Posted on Feb 28, 2024 by Jackie Rath   No Comments Yet | Posted in Blog · Featured · Nature Notes

By Dan Scheiman, Visitor Engagement Specialist During this mild El Niño winter, it feels like spring is just around the corner here in Door County, and it certainly is according to the calendar, if not according to phenologies such as bud burst and frost-free days. Birds’ annual cycles are better defined as breeding, non-breeding, and [..Read more]

Lake Level Changes: The Impact and Unpredictability of a Warmer Winter

Posted on Feb 4, 2024 by Jackie Rath   No Comments Yet | Posted in Blog · Nature Notes

By Anna Foster, Director of Programming As we delight in above-average temperatures this January, it’s easy to forget how the warmer days occurring now could impact what Lake Michigan looks like next summer. While we’re complaining about the lack of ice fishing and snowmobiling (or, in my case, snowshoeing), we don’t often consider how this [..Read more]

Nature Notes: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Posted on Dec 20, 2023 by Jeanne Farrell   1 Comment | Posted in Blog · Featured · Nature Notes

By Dan Scheiman, Visitor Engagement Specialist On Saturday, December 16, I participated in the Ephraim Christmas Bird Count. As a new Wisconsin resident and Ridges employee, it was my first time on this count, which has been going on for 60 years as part of an annual community science program, now in its 124th year. [..Read more]

The Volunteer Magic Behind Natural Christmas

Posted on Nov 27, 2023 by Jackie Rath   1 Comment | Posted in Articles · Featured · Nature Notes

By Anna Foster, Program Director This November, while the rest of the peninsula is winding down, The Ridges is preparing for one of our biggest – and certainly the most festive – events of the year. Staff and volunteers spend countless hours getting ready for the event of the season. Two volunteers in particular have [..Read more]

Nature Notes: Monarch Madness

Posted on Aug 17, 2023 by Jeanne Farrell   No Comments Yet | Posted in Blog · Featured · Nature Notes · Uncategorized

by Anna Foster, Director of Programming A symbol of summer, monarch butterflies are widely recognized for their bright orange, black, and white spotted wings. Their scientific name, Danaus plexippus, translates to “sleepy transformation” in Greek, referring to their incredible ability to metamorphosize. From their larval stage, they form a chrysalis, spending two weeks metamorphizing into [..Read more]

Nature Notes: The Hidden Gem of the Sanctuary

Posted on Jul 27, 2023 by Jackie Rath   No Comments Yet | Posted in Blog · Featured · Nature Notes

By Jackie Rath, Program Coordinator Did you know that one of the most precious species of The Ridges Sanctuary is the Hine’s emerald dragonfly (Somatochlora hineana)? This winged wonder is listed as Federally endangered and its largest populations are found in Door County, particularly in The Ridges Sanctuary and surrounding wetlands. In fact, the Hine’s [..Read more]

Nature Notes: Evergreens & The Boreal Forest

Posted on May 25, 2023 by Jeanne Farrell   2 Comments | Posted in Articles · Blog · Featured · Nature Notes

By Anna Foster While Trillium, Yellow Lady’s Slippers, and Columbine are starting to unfurl in wooded lots along the peninsula, Dwarf Lake Iris and Marsh Marigolds are on display in the Sanctuary. Throughout the year, Ridges blooms trail slightly behind the rest of Door County. In fact, it’s about 10 degrees cooler in Baileys Harbor [..Read more]