In early September the oncoming fall season is already evident in Northern Minnesota. In addition to clear crisp days there have been hazy days lately, reportedly caused by smoke from the terrible fires in the far west. Remarkable that the fires have such dramatic effects over 1000 miles away.
A beautiful sunset on this chilly August 31 evening is a good marker for the end of summer.
What’s our first thought about fungi? Fungal infections? No doubt certain occurrences of fungus are unpleasant (athlete’s foot, black spot on roses). However fungi are critical to all life, particularly because over 90% of plant species benefit from a symbiotic relation with fungi termed mycorrhiza. Occasionally fungi in the form of mushrooms are attractive. Following […]
The slideshow below features photos of wildflowers seen in our area in late summer. The website Minnesota Wildflowers lists ten species of sunflowers within the genus Helianthus. The ‘Picture This’ app made the species identifications listed above.
Young swans are known as cygnets, a name derived from the swan genus Cygnus. These two were seen in a pond next to the Paul Bunyan trail in north-central Minnesota, their parents stayed at a distance. Trumpeter swans (Cygnus buccinator) are now fairly common in our area. However, in the 1930’s they were thought to be […]
Hummingbirds have been swarming around our feeders over the last few days. They provide a terrific subject for trying the i-Phone’s “SLO-MO” feature for the first time.
During these last days of July our blooming bee balm plants (Monarda fistulosa) have been a hive of activity for insects and an occasional hummingbird. The hummingbirds were too skittish to capture in a photo, but the insects were too busy to notice my presence. Two-spotted Bumblebees When the sun is out two-spotted bumble bees […]
Earlier this week a line of thunderstorms passed us right around sunset. Dramatic skies resulted…
July brings a distinct group of attractive wildflowers, including our state flower, the Showy Lady Slipper. Showy Lady Slipper (Cypripedium Reginae) Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia) Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) Bouncing Bet (Saponaria officinalis)
Peonies are beautiful garden flowers that bloom for a short time in late spring and early summer in temperate climates. Two peonies we planted last year in north-central Minnesota came through with gorgeous flowers in late June. Peonies are known as the “king of flowers” in China, where they have been highly appreciated for over […]