23 June, 2023

State flower blooming in Minneapolis

My trip ever to the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary is a city park that is managed by the Minneapolis Parks. This cultivated garden highlights the native biomes that can be in Minnesota. The trails in the park meander through wetlands, hardwood forests, prairies and savannas. The collection of species found here is great due to the habitats that have matured here. A boardwalk is perhaps the highlight of trip as it provides a unique look into a more difficult terrain to traverse through. Continuing through the wetland and the boardwalk leads to blooming Showy Lady's-Slipper (Cypripedium reginae), the designated state flower of Minnesota. While I have seen this species blooming in a few different spots in the state, this was by far the easiest population to get through, as no bushwacking required! Less than 5 miles from downtown Minneapolis, this park is a nature oasis surrounded by a concrete jungle! I will be back in the late summer to explore the upper prairie trail to see a full bloom site!

Posted on 23 June, 2023 13:48 by mnprairiegal mnprairiegal | 1 observation | 0 comments | Leave a comment

13 April, 2023

Looking for the pasqueflower

After finding the snow trillium in the odd spring heat, I was wondering if the pasqueflower would be blooming in the prairie. I made the short journey north to visit Ottawa Bluffs. I was almost 90 degrees by the time I got out to site. Slowly up the steep bluff I climbed until I made it to the top. My body wasn't acclimatted to this weather and I really hoped I could find a few individuals after the climb. Looking up and down the area I know they grow and couldn't find any. I was on the phone with my mom when I almost gave up. Right by my hiking boot was a small flower blooming through the leaf litter. Spring is here in the Minnesota River. Only a few are up and blooming but I saw so many closed blooms getting ready to open.

Posted on 13 April, 2023 20:58 by mnprairiegal mnprairiegal | 1 observation | 0 comments | Leave a comment

12 April, 2023

80 Degree day to view the snow trillium

In the Minnesota River Valley, we are having a late spring. With a record snow storm only happening 10 days ago, having it be 80 degrees on April 11th feels odd. But as someone who has spent the last winter cooped up and has been needing the warmth, i'm not gonna complain. The snow trillium is a rare species and is not common through most of its range. Its name comes from that fact that the snow doesn't stop the flower from blooming in those early spring weeks. No snow was found on this south facing bluff along the Le Sueur River in Mankato. This population was probably only open for a day or so and the open blooms were quite small. Probably saw over 100 growing on one bluff.
The usda have some information about this species and some good description of the morphological differences of this trillium species.

Posted on 12 April, 2023 15:29 by mnprairiegal mnprairiegal | 2 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

13 January, 2023

Lobster Mushroom

On a late fall adventure up north, I got to experience the best time of year to view fungi growing in the Minnesota. Staying within Pine County in a small off the grid shack, we made our way over to St. Croix State Park. We made it time for our old coworkers program. Even on our way to the program I was able to find so many species growing right out of the fill next to the paved trail. After the program we made our way to the firetower at the park. This area was littered with another large collection of mushroom species. I was able to find so many but the degraded and bright lobster mushroom that i found by the picnic table. Other foliage blocked its view so I really only caught a glimpse of color and went investigating. It was in poor condition, but the color was so bright.

Posted on 13 January, 2023 18:13 by mnprairiegal mnprairiegal | 8 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

26 May, 2022

Spring time-vernal pool style

At the beginning of the month I visited Nerstrand-Big Woods State Park. The purpose was to investigate if the Dwarf Trout Lily was blooming. While hiking down to the falls, I came across an over-filled vernal pool that the trail edged around. Before I was even close to the water I was aware of presence of many toads. They called loudly to one another, paying no attention to me as I got closer. The temperature was almost to 90 degrees F, which was for early May is odd. The frogs took advantage of this first warm day to mingle with potential mates. Multiple groups of toads wrestled which I imagined was some kind of spawning event. It was just a odd and close encounter with an amphibian species.

Posted on 26 May, 2022 01:53 by mnprairiegal mnprairiegal | 3 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Slime Mold

This was such a surprise to mind in the woods. I don't always find slime mold, but this species was hard to miss by its bright color. I didn't see any sexual structures, but the cytoplasm streaming occurring around the margins suggested a slime mold identification.

Posted on 26 May, 2022 01:40 by mnprairiegal mnprairiegal | 1 observation | 0 comments | Leave a comment