Gloria Falls Trail in Little Cottonwood Canyon

The trailhead for Gloria Falls is just short of the Snowbird and Alta ski resorts as you drive up the Little Cottonwood Canyon from Salt Lake City. Longer trails to White Pine and Red Pine Lakes also start from this site. In mid-October we were rewarded with magnificent views of fall colors in the canyon …

Summertime Clouds in Minnesota

Cumulous / Cumulonimbus clouds Cumulonimbus clouds are tall clouds associated with thunderstorms. Sometimes they form from smaller fluffy cumulous clouds, as seen in this You-Tube video. I believe the picture above shows clouds in the transition from cumulous to cumulonimbus. Cirrus clouds Cirrus clouds are comprised of ice crystals at high altitudes. They are found …

Destroying Angel? Death Cap?

Recently I found this mushroom at the edge of our yard. I was surprised to learn from mushroom ID apps that it is likely either the Death Cap (Amanita phalloides) or the North American Destroying Angel (Amanita bisporigera). As you can probably tell from these names, both of these mushrooms are deadly poisonous. The Amanita …

Paul Bunyan Trail in mid-August

The Paul Bunyan Trail is a paved recreational trail in northern Minnesota that runs 120 miles from Brainerd to Bemidji. It is an ideal route for biking and running in the summer and for snowmobiles in the winter. The photos below are from a recent bike ride in the middle of the trail, between Hackensack …

Nobletts Trail in Uinta National Forest, Utah

The Uintas Mountains are an east-west trending sub-range of the Rocky Mountains that contain the highest mountain in Utah, Kings Peak (elevation 13,528′). Nobletts is an easy hiking trail on the western flank of the Uintas, its trailhead is about 50 miles west of Salt Lake City. The trail follows Nobletts creek for about 2 …

Minnesota Nice Weather

North-central Minnesota has been blessed with good weather recently. Unlike the arid conditions in 2021, late spring and early summer of 2022 has brought sufficient rain, interspersed with temperate sunny days. Overcast skies have provided enough rain for the lake to be several inches higher than last year. Today a small storm skirted by the …

Native Flowering Shrubs

From late May through mid-June, we have noticed a succession of native shrubs blooming in north-central Minnesota. Each of them has similar small white flowers, and seemingly take turns blooming one after another. Serviceberry was first, in late May. It was followed by Red-osier Dogwood, then Viburnum in mid-June. Serviceberry Red-osier dogwood Viburnum Two species …

Quaking Aspen and Paper Birch

Quaking Aspen and Paper Birch are both fast-growing trees common in Northern Minnesota. While they are similar in some respects, they actually belong to different plant families. Paper birch (Betula papyrifera) belongs to the birch family, Betulaceae. Paper birch is distinguished by its white bark that readily peels off of the tree. The leaves of paper …