Statewide: August 20, 2012 Archive
While reporting a story about land use and wildlife habitat, I collected some interesting tidbits about a frog's life.
The upper Midwest is a harsh climate for amphibians, so we don't have the variety of species you'll find in warmer climes. But the frogs that are here have evolved some rather interesting survival tactics.
The Leopard frog spends winters hibernating at the bottom of a pool of water. Hopefully they choose wisely, because if the pond or wetland is too shallow and freezes solid, the frog won't survive.
Other frog species spend the winter frozen, then thaw out and hop away in the spring.
The Boreal Chorus frog and the Wood frog spend winters out of the water, usually under grasses near a wetland. They transport sugars from their liver to individual cells to create a kind of anti-freeze so the cells don't freeze and burst, which would kill the frog.
So they spend the winter essentially frozen in place with all bodily functions suspended.
Climate change and human intervention are helping a new frog hop into Minnesota and the Dakotas.
The American Bullfrog is now found only in the far southeast corner of Minnesota. But with a warming climate it's expected to move north. And people sometimes buy the frogs for backyard ponds and unknowingly release a species that could threaten our native frog population and take over wetlands.
I think I'd much prefer falling asleep to the sound of Boreal Chorus frogs.
Posted at 8:00 AM on August 20, 2012
by Michael Olson
Filed under: Around MN
Best Buy names former Carlson Chief as new CEO
Wall Street Journal*: "Best Buy Co. has chosen a new chief executive to lead the company as it struggles with falling sales and manages a public back-and-forth with founder Richard Schulze, who proposed to take the retailer private earlier this month. The new CEO, Hubert Joly, was chief executive of hospitality and restaurant giant Carlson--which includes businesses such as Radisson and T.G.I. Friday's--before he stepped down Sunday for the Best Buy job."
Iron River boy dies after lightning strikes family seeking shelter with sailboat
"As hail started to fall, and the passengers were scattered on the beach, in the waves and on the boat, tragedy struck from above as a bolt of lightning hit the shallow water near the 26-foot vessel. 'Everyone was blown off their feet. It was like a grenade went off, and there was a blinding flash of white light,' said Sgt. Wade Rasch, an investigator for the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office, recounting the words of the boat's captain," reports the Duluth News Tribune.
More recent college grads relaying on food stamps to make ends meet
Recent grads are the exception on the food stamp rolls. Census data analyzed by the Minnesota State Demographic Center show they account for only a tiny percentage of overall users and make up very little of the food stamp growth in recent years. But they are growing at a faster rate than food stamp users who are their age with less education. Between 2006 and 2010, the number of young college grads in the program more than doubled both in Minnesota and nationally. In fact, by 2010, 3.9 percent of U.S. graduates with a bachelor's degree were receiving food stamps."
Solar business owners face end of Xcel incentive program
"Xcel Energy wants to end a solar energy incentive program in Minnesota by the end of 2013 that many in the solar business say has been the main driver of growth," MPR News.
Bachmann left out of Republican convention limelight
Rep. Michele "Bachmann, R-Stillwater, a contender for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination and a tea party favorite, is not among the 22 Republican 'headliners' selected so far to address the gathering in support of the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan ticket," (St Cloud Times).
Growing pains: Hmong farmers, May Township at odds over farming regulations
"In March, May Township passed an ordinance regulating the use of agricultural garden plots. More than 30 Hmong farmers learned their rented land north of Stillwater was out of compliance in late spring -- after the seasons seeds were sown," Pioneer Press.
Hope and a path through a legal thicket for young illegal immigrants found in Minneapolis gym, (MPR News).
Forum of Fargo Moorhead: "He's not "Forever Young," but at 71, Bob Dylan is still pretty good."
Does Bob Dylan have ties to the St. James Hotel? (The Republican Eagle)
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