Natural North Dakota | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Natural North Dakota

Saturday and Sunday at 8:35 am CT
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Chuck Lura has a broad knowledge of "Natural North Dakota" and loves sharing that knowledge with others. Since 2005, Chuck has written a weekly column, “Naturalist at Large,” for the Lake Metigoshe Mirror, and his “The Naturalist” columns appear in several other weekly North Dakota newspapers. Lura was a biology professor at Dakota College at Bottineau, and published research on ecological aspects of grasslands in the northern Great Plains.

Thanks to Sunny 101.9 in Bottineau for their recording services.

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There are a couple interesting members of the pea family that are or will be flowering near you soon.  Both may be found across the state on upland prairie.

There is much to see and do outdoors this time of year.  When winter is finally in the rearview mirror and spring has sprung, it is as if life comes gushing out from everywhere.  


Apr 7, 2018


The landscape looks quite drab this time of year.  But if you have some hazelnuts growing nearby, you might find some intriguing small flowers in the next few weeks.


Mar 31, 2018


I was recently perusing through Lewis and Clark in North Dakota by Russell Reid (1948) which contains the journals of Lewis and Clark as well as the Biddle texts and annotations by the author.  

Porcupines and Salt

Mar 24, 2018


Spring is here!  The equinox occurred on the twentieth.  Animals are starting to become more active now, even the porcupines.   

Are you ready for spring?  The calendar says it will start next Tuesday the twentieth.  Now if the weather cooperates we will be in business!


The Great American Desert came up in conversation recently.  You may recall from your American History classes that that back in the 1800’s explorer Stephen H. Long, coined the phrase to describe the Great Plains.  

Juniper Berries

Mar 5, 2018


Do you ever cook with juniper berries?  I was recently snooping on the internet and found a recipe for sage and juniper venison sausage on Hank Shaw’s website “Hunter Angler Gardener Cook.”   


Did you know that this is the “Year of the Bird.”  No, that is not the Chinese year. This is different.  


The North Dakota landscape is occasionally described as a stairway rising westward.  It is not a long stairway, and each step certainly differs in height.  Nevertheless, the stairway metaphor is a good descriptor.