Week of May 14th – 20th

We welcomed St. John Vianney, Academy for Science and Agriculture, Lanesboro School, Cyber Village, HOPE Community Academy, Melrose-Mindoro Schools, La Crescent Middle School, Plainview-Elgin-Millville Schools, She Is…Outdoors, and hosted Dinner on the Bluff.


The 6th graders of St. John Vianney arrived on Monday for a visit until Wednesday. While they were here, they were able to participate in Group Challenges, Pond Life, Fungus Among Us, Birds, and South Treetops.

The Academy for Science and Agriculture also arrived for a Monday through Wednesday visit. While they were here, the 7th through 9th graders were able to take Rock Climbing, Oneota, Stream Lab, and Wildlife Ecology.

Lanesboro Schools also arrived on Monday. The 5th graders were able to experience Root River Hike, Oneota, Earth Exploration, Pond Life, and Est Treetops before leaving on Wednesday.

Cyber Village Academy brought their 8th graders for a visit from Monday through Wednesday. While they were here, they were able to take Group Challenges, South Treetops Canoeing, and GPS Pathfinders.

The 5th graders of HOPE Academy also arrived on Monday. They were able to participate in Archery, Pioneer Life, West Treetops, and Amphibians before leaving on Wednesday.

The 7th graders of Melrose-Mindoro Schools arrived on Tuesday for a day of Treetops and Rock Climbing.

La Crescent Middle School arrived on Wednesday for a visit until Friday. While they were here, the 6th graders were able to experience Group Challenges, Insects, Pond Life, Group Challenges, South Treetops, Karst Geology, and Amphibians.

The 5th graders of Plainview-Elgin-Millville Schools also arrived on Wednesday. They were able to participate in Group Challenges, Animal Signs, Oneota, Pioneer Life, Treetops before leaving on Friday.

She Is…Outdoors came for a weekend of lots of outdoor activities including Canoeing, Root River Hike, Gardening, Fly Fishing, Bee Keeping, Treetops, Shotgun/Handgun Shooting, Archery, Bicycling, GPS Pathfinders, etc.

The last Dinner on the Bluff of the year was held on Saturday night. Lauren Pelon and Gary Holthaus shared music, stories, and poems with the crowd. The meal was Sopa de Fideo Aguada (tomato and pasta soup); Ensalda de Berenjena (grilled eggplant salad); Guajolote en Mole Poblano (braised turkey in a dark, flavorful sauce); Lentejas con Pina y Plátano (lentils with pineapple and plantain); Huitlacoche con Calabacitas y Tortillas (sautéed corn truffles and zucchini served with tortillas); Flan y Platon de Fruta Fresca (baked custard and fresh fruit); Chayotes Rellenos (stuffed chayotes).



  • Eastern Kingbirdswere seen near the Root River.

    Eastern Kingbird by Jim Williams

  • Yellow-billed Cuckoos have returned.
  • Bank Swallows were seen creating nest cavities along the Root River.
  • There are lots of active Indigo Buntings in the area.
  • Canada Goslings are about football-sized.
  • A Milk Snake was seen.
  • A Baby Raccoon was seen.
  • Green Frogs have begun to call.
  • White-striped Black moths are feeding on the growing Jewelweed.
  • Tent Caterpillars can be found all over.
  • A Luna Moth was seen near our Dining Hall.
  • Wild Indigo is blooming in our prairies.
  • Cow Parsnip is blooming.
  • Cup Plant is coming up.
  • About a dozen Strawberries have been picked from our garden.


Thought for the week

“A close relationship with nature contributes joy and peace to a human life. Simple living enhances our awareness of, and openness to, the beauty of the natural world.”
Henry David Thoreau


Nature Trivia Question

Answer to Last Week’s Question:
The Tennessee Warbler doesn’t breed anywhere close to Tennessee. Alexander Wilson gave it it’s name in 1811 when he discovered it in Tennessee passing through during migration.

This Week’s Question:
What  does the Eastern Kingbird’s diet consist of during the winter months?


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