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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
  • To resist temptations for "forty days and forty nights" is a long time. The question is, do animals experience temptation?
  • Researchers believe that some large birds stay together until one of the pair dies. And some birds seem to reunite with the same mate each year. Is it undying love? Or just biological duty?
  • In many parts of the world, celebrations such as Carnival and Mardi Gras, celebrate with parades and food before a period of fasting. Similarly in nature, here in the Great Lakes region the fasting time is well underway.
  • How did the phrase “Groundhog Day," which refers to a secular holiday celebrating a rodent, become synonymous with unvarying repetition?
  • We might think of hoar frost as frozen dew. Beautiful, sparkling frozen dew. When he was writing a ballet, Alexander Glazunov was thinking of this very special and somewhat unusual manifestation of winter.
  • Now and then, one or two crows will appear and start circling and cawing raucously. And out of nowhere, other crows will start flying in from all directions — not unlike a flash mob.
  • Winter winds can be harsh, causing trees to sway, stretching the roots and sometimes pulling a tree right out of the ground. But, the trees of the Great Lakes region have adapted to such winds.
  • On a clear night this time of year, if we are far from cities or other light pollution, it's a thrill to see the wonders of the night skies. But what were the Three Kings following?
  • Thanks to a phenomenon called “seasonal lag”, in the Great Lakes region, the month of February is usually colder than the month of November despite February having significantly later sunsets.
  • Whatever our beliefs this dark time of year, we need candles at the window, we need a little music, we need a little laughter, and most of all, we need a little hope.