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Outdoors with Coggin Heeringa

Every Wednesday on Classical IPR, Coggin Heeringa takes us into the great outdoors. She is the program director and naturalist at Crossroads at Big Creek Learning Center/Nature Preserve in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. And she's taught environmental studies at the Interlochen Arts Camp since 1971.

Latest Episodes
  • Butterflies do not flap their wings like birds. So, how do they fly?
  • Squirrels' long tails act as counterweights for maintaining balance as they travel from tree to tree, using forest canopy “highways."
  • Water your plants when they need it, but let’s hope for some gentle and regular rains this summer. ”Rain will make the flowers grow.”
  • The nest is not a bird’s home, but rather a nursery in which nestlings are fed, sheltered, and protected by the parent birds. And if they are to fly away, like our Academy grads, they need an “arts education” too.
  • For the birds and the bees, or at least honeybees and some, but not all, native wild bees, spring is the breeding season, so most folks assume that mammals mate in May. Some may, some may not.
  • In Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta, Iolanthe lived for twenty-five years among the frogs at the bottom of the stream. In the Great Lakes region, some species of frogs do spend the winter buried in the mud at the bottom of a stream or pond.
  • May Day: a day on which, for more at least a thousand years, young people have welcomed spring by dancing and braiding ribbon around May Poles. But, "mayday" is also used internationally as a distress call.
  • In Michigan, Arbor Day will be celebrated on last Friday of April. But, it doesn't have to be. The best day for Arbor Day is when conditions are best for planting trees.
  • Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 and was organized to raise awareness of environmental issues, and indeed it did. Earth Day also inspired a number of musical compositions including the lovely “Rejoice in the Sun” sung by Joan Baez.
  • Woodland wildflowers seem to magically pop up after April showers, but May flowers — their buds, their leaves, their minimized stems —were formed during the previous growing season.