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 …

Mandeville LA, 70 Days after Hurricane Ida

People who have not experienced the aftermath of a severe hurricane may be surprised at how long it takes to clean up an area. Today, 70 days after Ida’s landfall, tree debris still lines the streets of my neighborhood in Mandeville LA. Mandeville is around 40 miles from the path of Ida’s eye, but still …

Maples in Itasca State Park

Minnesota’s Itasca State Park is best known for the headwaters of the Mississippi River, which is within the park. Established in 1891 it is the second-oldest state park in the US, only Niagara Falls State Park is older. Although it is not yet officially fall, the changing leaves on maple trees in the park were …

Oaks of Northern Minnesota

Seven species of oak trees are native to Minnesota, according to the website of the Minnesota DNR. Three of these are found in northern Minnesota; the Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa), Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra), and Northern Pin Oak (Quercus ellipsoidalis). There are two main groups of oak trees, the white oaks and the red …

Hawk’s Nest in our Sweetgum Tree

A pair of hawks have built their nest in the sweetgum tree in our front yard in Louisiana. The nest is too high for us to see any chicks, but there are calls that sound like chicks and the two adult hawks seem to be tending a brood. Identification of the hawk’s species was difficult …

Conifers; Utah’s Wasatch National Forest

A winter trip to Utah offered the opportunity to appreciate conifers in a different part of the country. The photos below show three trees seen along the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, east of Salt Lake City. Lodgepole Pine The Rocky Mountain Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta subspecies latifolia) is found at middle …