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‘They fly through the air as if on wings’

By Michael Murray Leaning over a burn barrel at the bottom of a ski-jumping hill, tracking young European daredevils as they defy the very idea of gravity, you might find yourself contemplating the existential questions of winter: Could I do that? What would it take for me to strap on a pair of skis and […]

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Within the icy depths

Story and photos by Scot Stewart “The reason that fish form schools, birds form flocks, and bees form swarms is that they are smarter together than they would be apart. They don’t take a vote; they don’t take a poll: they form a system. They are all interactive and make a decision together in real […]

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Birds at the Frozen Shore

Story and photos by Scot Stewart “When you go out in a boat you don’t want to get that sinking feeling.” — Anthony T.Hincks It is not a great feeling walking across the ice of Lake Superior either. But the best things in life often come with risks, right? Sometimes the risks are greater than other […]

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A Christmas story

By Noah Hausmann Its needled boughs twinkle with dazzling lights as it stands poised and conical before the ivory dome of Michigan’s Capitol building. It’s traveled far, some 400 miles from one peninsula to another. If it could, it should be proud. Not just any evergreen can become the official state Christmas tree and preside […]

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Fungi, Nature’s recyclers

Story and photos by Scot Stewart “Nature doth thus kindly heal every wound. By the mediation of a thousand little mosses and fungi, the most unsightly objects become radiant of beauty. There seem to be two sides of this world, presented us at different times, as we see things in growth or dissolution, in life […]

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Dragons and damsels

  Story and Photos by Scot Stewart Imagine living in the depths of a murky pond for a year or two, waking one morning, crawling out of the water, cracking and climbing out of your skin and flying away. That is the life of many aquatic insects, but none does it more gracefully than dragonflies […]

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Total eclipse of the heartland

By Craig Linde There will be a total eclipse of the sun on August 21—however it will only be visible from inside of a narrow path that travels across the center of the United States. Outside of this very small band of totality, the majority of the country will see a partial solar eclipse. Residents […]

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The Big Spring

  Story and photos by Lee Arten Between time on some islands in the Pacific, I went to sixth grade in the Copper Country. I shoveled snow, read most of the books in the school library, went trout fishing in the Traprock River and watched TV. There had been no TV in New Guinea. There […]

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Rocking around the lake

Photos and story by Scot Stewart “Geology is a capital science to begin, as it requires nothing but a little reading, thinking and hammering.” — Charles R. Darwin in a letter to his cousin W.D. Fox Charles Darwin began a mineral collection in his youth with great interest and excitement, especially for new discovered/named specimens. […]

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Where the green ferns grow

Photos and story by Scot Stewart “I fell in love with flora of all types, especially ferns. Loved the sparse structure and repetition of shape––almost fractal.” –– Jack Dorsey  They were the fodder of dinosaurs and grew to the size of trees. They had foot-long dragonflies light on their fronds. It was 359 million years […]

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Grouse, the harbingers of spring

by Scot Stewart Looking for signs of spring can be one of the most engaging pastimes in places where winter can linger for six or seven months. Dripping icicles can be an exhilarating sight. Swelling buds, the first robin, a blooming dandelion alongside a building: they all make the heart sing! Figuring out this spring has been […]

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Barking up the right tree

Scot Stewart Bark, a trees first and largest form of protection, comes in all shapes, sizes, patterns and colors. Trees pictured are: Top row from left, balsam poplar; American beech with a fungus growing on the bark; red pine; white ash. Middle row, from left, trembling aspen; white birch; striped maple, also known as moosewood; […]

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To scavenge and survive

by John Smolens Yet another reason for living in Marquette is that I, your average, utterly amateur backyard naturalist, can have close encounters with denizens of the wild animal kingdom within sight of my house. Safaris to distant continents in search of exotic beasts are so yesterday. There have been summer mornings when I’ve stepped […]

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Monarchs of the night

by Scot Stewart “ I enjoy that there are owls. Let them do the…hooting for men. It is a sound admirably suited to swamps and twilight woods which no day illustrates, suggesting a vast and undeveloped nature which men have not recognized…” –– Henry David Thoreau “The plumage…of the wings of every species of owl […]

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All this for a hat…

by Barb Buchkoe Skiing the Noque for the first time The Saturday morning before the most recent Noquemanon Ski Race, I awoke to blue skies, sunshine and moderate temps, comparatively speaking. Sitting there sipping my coffee I started reminiscing about a Noque race I had participated in several years ago when the weather wasn’t quite […]

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