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Category Archives: Wildflowers

Wildflowers with some Fiddle heads thrown in for fun.

Each spring I delight in looking for wildflowers in our area of Central Minnesota.  This year it has been difficult because of the late spring.  I have a few favorite places where I know I will find wildflowers each year.  I visit those places each week in search of the flowers I think should be blooming at this time of year.

This morning I visited one of my favorite spots along the Mississippi River in Little Falls, Minnesota.  I was searching for Bloodroot which is usually one of the first wildflowers to bloom in our area.  I found White Trout Lillies first.  Here is what they look like growing near the Mississippi River in a wooded area.

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Next I found the Bloodroot.  They were not as plentiful as the White Trout Lily but they are some of my favorites.  Before their flowers open they remind me of miniature tulips.  I wish they bloomed longer.

 

 

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After I found the Bloodroot I got a couple of shots of the ferns starting to shoot up. and that’s where the Fiddleheads thrown in for fun comes in.

 
Fiddleheads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next I headed over to another favorite wildflower place in Little Falls, Minnesota, Pine Grove Park.  It was there that I found the Trillium just starting to bloom.  Next week they should be in full bloom which is always fun.

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Last but not least were the Hepatica.  I love how these wildflowers come in various hues from white to blue with a little bit of purple on occasion.

Round-lobed Hepatica

Have a great weekend.  I am hoping to enjoy the rain we desperately need this weekend while reading a good book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2013 in Nature, Photography, Wildflowers

 

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We All Start Small

For weeks I have been watching my garden and waiting.

I planted many flowers over the past few years to attract butterflies, specifically Monarchs.

This past week I managed to catch a Monarch on one of my Echinacea.

Last evening after my grandson’s birthday party was done and all the guests and kids had gone home I walked out to the garden and found signs that caterpillars were present on my milkweed plants.

I searched the bottoms of the leaves until I finally found a caterpillar. The first one I found was medium-sized from what I have seen in past years, about an inch in length.

I continued my search in hopes of finding more caterpillars. Next I found this tiny caterpillar eating its way through the plant.

A little perspective on the size. The caterpillar is at most only a 1/4 inch in length. I had to use my camera lens to magnify it to make sure what I was actually seeing. Probably not necessary for someone with good eyes but mine needed help to see it.

I heard an interesting comment on the radio yesterday about caterpillars, butterflies and moths about their brains. It said something that the caterpillar has two brains. The first in the caterpillar is designed for eating and then through metamorphosis its old brain is made into a new one designed for flight that is needed for a moth or butterfly. Two distinctly different brains.Signs of the first are gone after metamorphosis I thought it was interesting. Why not just one capable of both? I still am in awe of the metamorphosis process.

The Insect with Two Brains | Creation Moments.

 

I’m still looking for the elusive butterfly eggs to photograph.

 
31 Comments

Posted by on August 2, 2011 in Nature, Photography, Uncategorized, Wildflowers

 

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Three Kinds of Sweet

Each year in my garden I wait for the milkweed plants to start blooming. I love to watch the butterflies and bees that come for the sweet nectar.

This year in my yard I have three different kinds of milkweed plants. Only one of the plants I purchased and planted as a perennial. The other two have grown wild in my yard.

I purchased this plant a few years ago to attract butterflies. I wanted Monarch butterflies to come and lay eggs and then collect the caterpillars for my classroom to show them how they formed the chrysalis and then hatched into butterflies which we later released.

Last year I found Common Milkweed growing in my garden on it’s own and I decided not to pull it up like I would have done many years ago before I discovered Monarchs. I let it grow and go to seed. Now I have several plants to attract the Monarchs.

The last milkweed plant is the same kind of milkweed plant as the first only it is one that I found along our lakeshore this past weekend. It grew there naturally. It is a Swamp Milkweed.

This plant is in it’s happy place and I was excited to see it growing naturally. This past weekend I saw my first Monarch flying around the garden. I wasn’t able to get a shot of it with it’s wings open but only hanging on to the higher branches of our pine tree.

I’ve planted a lot of flowers over the years to attract butterflies, especially the Monarchs. These three plants along with my Butterfly Bush that isn’t blooming yet are sure to attract the Monarchs. The butterflies also like my Echineacea plants,Phlox and Monarda or Bee Balm as it is sometimes called. It’s been a treat to see the butterflies visit the garden each year.

Hopefully some butterfly pictures to follow over the next few weeks.

 
24 Comments

Posted by on July 19, 2011 in gardening, Nature, Photography, Wildflowers

 

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I Think I Am Down A Pint…

This evening when I finally got home I decided to take my camera and walk down to the lake in hopes of getting a picture of the very vocal loons that I heard last evening.

It was a very still, humid evening. Just perfect for mosquitos and not so much for me. (Yes, That is my arm being sucked dry by this mosquito and many others.)

As I wandered around my yard to check out what was new blooming in my garden I was already swatting mosquitos but wasn’t intimidated enough to head back in yet.

I walked out on our dock in search of the loons but they weren’t around our dock area and I couldn’t hear them in the near vicinity.

As I was walking I continued swatting mosquitos. I could have used spray but I don’t like to because that means a shower before I head to bed.

Down by the lake the grass was moving with my every step. Here is what was on the move. Hundreds of them. They were really quick and it was very challenging to get close enough to one and get it in focus before it moved.

If you look at the size of the frog compared to the clover you will notice that they are only about one inch in length now.

Today on our drive home from a funeral we saw this wildflower growing along the roadside. It is the first I have seen of its kind this spring/summer season. It is a Cow Parsnip and it is a very large and tall plant. It was about four feet tall in the ditch where we stopped.

The Cow Parsnip plant reminds me a bit of the Dill plants that grow in my husband’s parent’s garden.

There is not much blooming for color in the wildflower department lately. Mostly yellow or white flowers. Soon some pretty pinks will be added to the mix. Can’t wait to share them.

Heading to bed in hopes of being sung to sleep again by the loons, frogs, and the waves on the shore but not the buzz of the mosquito.

 
18 Comments

Posted by on July 7, 2011 in Nature, Photography, Wildflowers

 

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Wildflower Wednesday Revisited

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On Memorial Day when my husband and I were out for a motorcycle ride I spotted some wildflowers on the roadside of a nearby country road. Since taking pictures from the back seat of a motorcycle rarely goes that well I decided to take my camera and drive to the country road last evening after work to find the wildflowers I had spotted.

I was pleased to find the Wild Geranium and the Columbine that I was looking for along the roadside. After I parked my car to take pictures I wandered along the road and found some Pussy Toes and Wild Strawberry plants. The Pussy Toes that I found in my yard earlier this spring were not as large or the pastel pink color of the flowers I found today.

There was a nearby gravel road that meandered off the road I had parked on and I decided to walk up the road a bit to see if I could find anything new. I was excited to find a Nodding Trillium along the side of the road. I almost missed it because the flower for the Nodding Trillium is under a triple set of leaves. I recognized the leaves but thought I might find a Jack-in-the-pulpit under the leaves but when I moved them I discovered the Nodding Trillium.

I have looked for wildflowers for the past four or more years in our area ever since I took a class at the local arboretum. This is the first year since my class that I have found the Nodding Trillium. It makes me want to look under every leaf to see what hidden treasure might be there.

 
 

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Wildflower Wednesday

By now I am afraid that my regular readers may be tired of my obsession with wildflowers. Today as part of my usual Wednesday routine of an early morning bible study and transferring motor vehicles titles I once again visited some of my favorite places looking for what is new in the wildflower department in our part of central Minnesota. I was not disappointed.

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I was happy to see that the Trillium were still blooming along with the violets. I even saw some Trillium in wooded areas just off the road I was driving this morning. I visited a park near the Mississippi River and found my first Jack-in-the-pulpit and Columbine of the season. Then I drove over to Pine Grove Park and found a couple of plants that have blossoms that aren’t yet open and I can’t seem to identify them yet. I will have to wait for them to open to decide what they are for sure. Without knowing the color of the flower it’s sometimes hard to figure out what it is.

On the way home I saw some Winter Cress along a farm field. There was plenty of yellow out there but mostly dandelion and very little Winter Cress except in a few places.

After work today I went over to my brother-in-law’s home to check on the progress of the Lady Slippers. They have some plants in the woods near their home. They aren’t quite open yet so I will have to wait a few days before I take some pictures.

This morning on my way into town for bible study I drove past a friend’s home and saw a pheasant standing on top of a rock she has in her yard in the middle of her garden. I thought that is a really cool statue of a pheasant and then it moved. A real pheasant had perched itself on top of the rock in the garden. I wasn’t quick enough with the camera so I will have to be better prepared next time.

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2011 in Nature, Photography, Wildflowers

 

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