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Minnesota Children’s Museum

In their book Grandparents Minnesota Style, Mike Link and Kate Crowley provide opportunities for adults and children to spend more time discovering Minnesota together. The book is designed for today’s grandparent who wants to use the time with grandchildren to laugh, have fun, create memories, and grow. The first children’s museums were established in the U.S. in the early twentieth century, but it wasn’t until the ’60s that they really evolved into the type of places we are more familiar with today. The Minnesota Children’s Museum first opened in December 1981 in Minneapolis. Attendance grew rapidly, leading to a series of moves. After 20 years of success and continued growth in attendance, the Minnesota Children’s Museum undertook a major expansion of its downtown St. Paul space and exhibits in 2015, completing it in early 2017. Minnesota Children’s Museum One of the Most Child-Engaging Places in the State Today, the museum boasts four floors that...

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Grandmother with kids

Minnesota Children’s Museum

In their book Grandparents Minnesota Style, Mike Link and Kate Crowley provide opportunities for adults and children to spend more time discovering Minnesota together. The book is designed for today’s grandparent who wants to use the time with grandchildren to laugh, have fun, create memories, and grow. The first children’s museums were established in the U.S. in the early twentieth century, but it wasn’t until the ’60s that they really evolved into the type of places we are more familiar with today. The Minnesota Children’s Museum first opened in December 1981 in Minneapolis. Attendance grew rapidly, leading to a series of moves. After 20 years of success and continued growth in attendance, the Minnesota Children’s Museum undertook a major expansion of its downtown St. Paul space and exhibits in 2015, completing it in early 2017. Minnesota Children’s Museum One of the Most Child-Engaging Places in the State Today, the museum boasts four floors that...

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Spruce Grouse

The Spruce Grouse—A Most Elusive Bird

In this week’s column, Stan Tekiela takes us deep inside the northwoods of Alaska in search of a hard-to-spot bird, the spruce grouse. Deep in the northwoods of Alaska, and stretching eastward to the dense conifer forests of Maine, lives a bird that superficially looks and acts more like the familiar Eastern Wild Turkey. It is the Spruce Grouse (Falcipennis canadensis), also known as the Fool Hen, Black Partridge, Canada Grouse, and Spotted Grouse. Standing about 15-17 inches tall, it’s a good-size bird. You would definitely notice it if you saw it, not like those small, brown, nondescript birds. It resembles a chicken or perhaps a miniature turkey. Some who might be familiar with the Ruffed Grouse might also be confused. But the Spruce Grouse is much darker then the brown Ruffed Grouse. Male Spruce Grouse are nearly black with large white spots on their sides and belly. They have a bright red patch...

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Children reading books

The Spruce Grouse—A Most Elusive Bird

In this week’s column, Stan Tekiela takes us deep inside the northwoods of Alaska in search of a hard-to-spot bird, the spruce grouse. Deep in the northwoods of Alaska, and stretching eastward to the dense conifer forests of Maine, lives a bird that superficially looks and acts more like the familiar Eastern Wild Turkey. It is the Spruce Grouse (Falcipennis canadensis), also known as the Fool Hen, Black Partridge, Canada Grouse, and Spotted Grouse. Standing about 15-17 inches tall, it’s a good-size bird. You would definitely notice it if you saw it, not like those small, brown, nondescript birds. It resembles a chicken or perhaps a miniature turkey. Some who might be familiar with the Ruffed Grouse might also be confused. But the Spruce Grouse is much darker then the brown Ruffed Grouse. Male Spruce Grouse are nearly black with large white spots on their sides and belly. They have a bright red patch...

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Waco Mammoth National Monument

Jon Kramer, Julie Martinez, and Vernon Morris, authors of Dinosaur Destinations, explore the most exciting dinosaur and fossil sites near you. Today, we take a look at Waco Mammoth National Monument, a famous enclosed bone bed of mammoths located in Waco, Texas. About Waco Mammoth National Monument On a fine spring day in 1978, Paul Barron and Eddie Bufkin embarked on a search for arrowheads and fossils near the Bosque River. They soon stumbled upon something else altogether: a very large bone eroding out of a ravine. They took the bone to the Strecker Museum at nearby Baylor University, where it was examined and identified as the femur of a Columbian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi). The museum organized a team to search for more bones, and digging soon began. This paleontology party hasn’t stopped; since then, scientists have found 19 mammoths. Today, the dig site is now enclosed and climate controlled, and it was recently named a National Monument. Waco Mammoth National Monument—A River of Mammoths When you...

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Dinosaur Destinations

Waco Mammoth National Monument

Jon Kramer, Julie Martinez, and Vernon Morris, authors of Dinosaur Destinations, explore the most exciting dinosaur and fossil sites near you. Today, we take a look at Waco Mammoth National Monument, a famous enclosed bone bed of mammoths located in Waco, Texas. About Waco Mammoth National Monument On a fine spring day in 1978, Paul Barron and Eddie Bufkin embarked on a search for arrowheads and fossils near the Bosque River. They soon stumbled upon something else altogether: a very large bone eroding out of a ravine. They took the bone to the Strecker Museum at nearby Baylor University, where it was examined and identified as the femur of a Columbian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi). The museum organized a team to search for more bones, and digging soon began. This paleontology party hasn’t stopped; since then, scientists have found 19 mammoths. Today, the dig site is now enclosed and climate controlled, and it was recently named a National Monument. Waco Mammoth National Monument—A River of Mammoths When you...

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101 Amazing Sights of the Night Sky

George Moromisato’s 101 Amazing Sights of the Night Sky is a curated guide to the best the night sky has to offer. This magnificent full-color guide will be available in March 2017. George shares with us some tips and pointers that make a night under the stars exciting and meaningful. Once, we were all astronomers. Before electric lights banished the Milky Way, and before digital clocks announced the time, and way before GPS satellites let us know exactly where we were on Earth, the night sky was our entertainment, our timepiece, and our compass.ofUnderstanding the night sky was a matter of life or death. The North Star guided wandering hunters back home, and the rising of the constellations determined when planting should start or when the Nile might flood. Today, thousands of years later, we’ve gained knowledge our ancestors could never imagine.  We are awed by the scale of the universe, thrilled by the beauty of colliding galaxies, and humbled by the work and dedication...

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Starry sunset

101 Amazing Sights of the Night Sky

George Moromisato’s 101 Amazing Sights of the Night Sky is a curated guide to the best the night sky has to offer. This magnificent full-color guide will be available in March 2017. George shares with us some tips and pointers that make a night under the stars exciting and meaningful. Once, we were all astronomers. Before electric lights banished the Milky Way, and before digital clocks announced the time, and way before GPS satellites let us know exactly where we were on Earth, the night sky was our entertainment, our timepiece, and our compass.ofUnderstanding the night sky was a matter of life or death. The North Star guided wandering hunters back home, and the rising of the constellations determined when planting should start or when the Nile might flood. Today, thousands of years later, we’ve gained knowledge our ancestors could never imagine.  We are awed by the scale of the universe, thrilled by the beauty of colliding galaxies, and humbled by the work and dedication...

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Bobcat

Searching for the Elusive Bobcat

In this week’s column, Stan Tekiela discusses the elusive bobcat. I’ve been sitting for hours, driving for days, and staring through binoculars at distant hillsides for longer than I can remember, searching for the bobcat (Lynx rufus), the smallest of our wild cats. Today, I am in California, trekking the foothills, hoping for a glimpse. No doubt the Bobcat is the most widespread and common of our four cat species (bobcat, lynx, cougar, and jaguar). In some regions of the country, bobcats can be fairly common, while in others not at all. Here in California, they are fairly common but extremely hard to find. Days upon days of searching have resulted in seeing about eight bobcats so far. Spotting them isn’t the hard part. Getting close enough to capture some images is. When approaching these wild cats you must take into consideration not only not being seen and heard but also not being...

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Children reading books

Searching for the Elusive Bobcat

In this week’s column, Stan Tekiela discusses the elusive bobcat. I’ve been sitting for hours, driving for days, and staring through binoculars at distant hillsides for longer than I can remember, searching for the bobcat (Lynx rufus), the smallest of our wild cats. Today, I am in California, trekking the foothills, hoping for a glimpse. No doubt the Bobcat is the most widespread and common of our four cat species (bobcat, lynx, cougar, and jaguar). In some regions of the country, bobcats can be fairly common, while in others not at all. Here in California, they are fairly common but extremely hard to find. Days upon days of searching have resulted in seeing about eight bobcats so far. Spotting them isn’t the hard part. Getting close enough to capture some images is. When approaching these wild cats you must take into consideration not only not being seen and heard but also not being...

Read More