Solstice Panoramas, Spittlebugs and Cow Parsnip

Panorama at 9:30 PM of the summer solstice

Disappointed at overcast skies during the latest sunset of the year.

Panorama photo during kayaking today. Still overcast, but with dramatic effect on the sky and water.


This is a strange thing that we noticed on several different plants during today’s dog walk — masses of bubble-foam. Online search quickly identified this as the work of “spittlebugs”, which are the nymph form of the froghopper insect. A good explanation of this behavior is given in a recent NY Times article. Terrific images of the spittlebug in action are available on a webpage from Ohio State.

Cow Parsnip

This is a Cow Parsnip plant along the Paul Bunyan bike trail between Hackensack and Backus. It a very dramatic big plant, and we had no idea what it was before consulting the “Picture This” app. It is a native plant, but is a close relative of a nasty invasive weed, the Giant Hogweed. Exposure to sap of the Giant Hogweed causes severe phytophotodermatitis — which results in rashes when the skin is subsequently exposed to sunshine. The Cow Parsnip can cause the same issue, but to a lesser extent.

For those who are risk takers and/or exceptionally hungry, many parts of the Cow Parsnip are edible. A webpage from Forager Chef will tell you all you need to know to enjoy Cow Parsnip in your next meal.

Published by jimr77

Recently retired, loving life in northern Minnesota

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