Maple Leaves Asters Strange Mushrooms
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.
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 […]
Returning to Minnesota lake country in early June, we were happy to see several favorite roadside wildflowers. The slideshow below shows four small beauties.
Remarkably, tiny insects survive weeks and months of sub-zero cold each year. This post provides brief descriptions of how three common bugs manage this; Woollybear Caterpillars, Mosquitos, and Ticks. Woollybear Caterpillar (Pyrrharctia isabella) The woollybear hatches in the fall and overwinters in its caterpillar form, when it nearly freezes solid. Their bodies produce glycerol, a […]
The tamarack is unusual because it is the only conifer native to Minnesota that is not evergreen. The photos below show how local tamaracks have changed color from September to October prior to dropping all their needles. A disadvantage for deciduous trees is that they must expend considerable resources to make new leaves each year. […]
Gentle snow fell in Northwestern Minnesota in early October this year, providing a wintertime preview. Surviving winter temperatures far below freezing is a big challenge for plants and animals. Today’s post focuses on how trees make it through — with some scenic pictures of the recent snow. Trees are largely comprised of water, a critical […]
Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina) and Smooth Sumac (Rhus glabra) Two species of sumac are widespread in Minnesota, Staghorn Sumac and the slightly more common Smooth Sumac. Staghorn Sumac bushes are larger, have fine hairs on their branches, and fuzzy fruit. The pictures below are likely a mix of Smooth and Staghorn Sumac. The tart fruit […]
Photographs in this posting show off fall scenery near Walker, Minnesota along the Paul Bunyan Trail, a Rails-to-Trails route between Crow Wing State Park and Bemidji (115 miles). This hilly and remote section of the trail, between highways 34 and 371, runs through the Chippewa National Forest. Scenic Overlook Fir and Aspen Forest Views