High Water Levels On The St. Croix And Namekagon Rivers
The St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers are running high, fast and cold due to snowmelt and recent rain. Ice flows and other floating debris may be present making conditions additionally hazardous. 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?
A new species of dragonfly, the St. Croix Snaketail, was discovered within St. Croix NSR in 1989. It has only been found to reproduce in one other river in Wisconsin. It prefers large streams with fast flow and clean water, abundant cobble and gravel with sand bottoms in forested watersheds. More...