St. Croix and Namekagon River levels higher than normal for mid-September
Water levels are higher than normal for this time of year due to recent rainfall. Along with below average water temperatures, river users should be alert to the possibility of faster than normal currents. More »
A Truly Dark Sky
August 09, 2012
On a recent clear night, I gazed up toward the darkened sky… no stars? A few dots faintly came into focus, but only when I had the opportunity to sit and spend a few moments of focused searching was I able to locate the Big Dipper. I looked to the right for Cassiopeia and to the left for the Summer Triangle, but neither could be found. I was sitting not along the St. Croix River, but visiting a theme park in Orlando, Florida. How can one wish upon a star when the stars can barely be found?
The Milky Way, an easy to find and broad paint stroke of light that arcs over the sky, cannot be seen by two-thirds of Americans. Outdoor lighting has altered the natural pattern of darkness, affecting not only stargazing but also wildlife. Many animals rely on patterns of light and dark for navigation, hiding from predators, feeding, and other behaviors. An abundance of artificial lighting causes disruption in these natural patterns.
For the upcoming Perseid meteor shower, one of the best of the year which peaks on August 12, how far must one travel away from Orlando or any major city in order to see this heavenly show? What will you do to ensure better viewing opportunities for adults and youth gathered to watch this annual celestial event?
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Did You Know?
The Old Man of the Dalles is one of the many features visitors can see looking at the rocks in the Dalles, or rocky gorge, of the St. Croix River. A great way to view these rocky features, as well as St. Croix NSR, is from the water in a boat or a canoe.