Sunday, May 13, 2007

I seem to be averaging a post every two months or so - sorry to my one loyal reader! this will be a photoless blog - I haven't had a camera handy on my latest outings.

Wanted to let you in on one of the best wildflower runs I have ever done. I had to go up north to Finland (Minnesota that is) last weekend. After spending an hour and a half driving, three and a half hours in a meeting I headednorth another 15 miles or so to one of the sweetest sections of the Superior Hiking Trail - at least in May! I ran from Cook County Rd 1 to the Gasco Rd (an old logging road) and back. This section goes through an RNA, similar to an SNA but established by the forest service vs the DNR. It is an old-growth maple forest. For wildflower geeks that means awesome spring ephemerals. I hit it perfectly. Following is a list of what I saw in that 5.8 mile rooty, rocky, steep trails run:

b=bud; f=flowering; l=leaf

Dutchman's breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) - f
Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) - f
violet species - white & purple flowers
Marsh marigold (Caltha palustris) - f
Bellwort (Uvularia species) - l
Clintonia (clintonia borealis) - l
Adoxa moschatellina (a species of special concern in Minnesota and a special treat and find from that day) - f
Carolina Spring-beauty (Claytonia caroliniana) also a species of special concern - f
Early saxifrage (Saxifraga virginiensis) - f
various tree species - aspen, birch? (my allergies say yes)

Couple spots had moose scat, even more spots had wolf scat. No fresh tracks that day. I called in a few chickadees and a flycatcher (?) while I sat and stretched after my run that day.

Since then I have been cruising around on trails in the Duluth area and have seen:

Corydalis species - f (either yellow or golden, though due to timing I am thinking yellow)
Coltsfoot (Petasites palmatus) - f
Hepatica (Hepatica americana) - f
Wood anemone (Anemone quinquefolia) - f
Wild strawberry - f
Viola species - white, pale purple and in my garden - fuschia - f
Wild leeks (Allium tricoccum) - l
Wild ginger (Asarum candense) - f

The turkey vultures are now out in full force. So are the ticks. Last Wednesday I went for a very hot run in Jay Cooke State Park and picked at least 15 or so ticks off of me throughout the run (those steep hills and slow walks up them are good for something besides catching your breath) and another two that evening, plus a few that lingered in the car and were discovered by others. I also had my first mosquito bite that evening!

The trees are all starting to leaf out so the spring ephemerals will be gone soon. My lilacs are budding, the plum is in full bloom and my hops are growing so fast I swear if you sat there watching them you could see it. Of course that means I should be out there encouraging them to grow up the trellis not onto the lawn. Speaking of the lawn, we have already needed to mow and almost missed the magic moment. The combination of a reel mower and our slope means it is best not to let the lawn get to long.

Obviously I have been spending more time outdoors and less time knitting so no major projects to report. I finished some half mittens from the jitterbug, plus a pair of socks and a hat all from the same colorway. I did end up getting a second skein of yarn to do all of that, so now have an bit of jitterbug looking for a small something to be. I also finished a baby surprise from sockyarn held with another fingering weight yarn for my newest nephew. Pictures to appear someday. On a cold couple of days I dragged the Rambling Rows queen size afghan out and worked on some applied i-cord edging. I have just a partial side left and the edging will be complete. Just in time for the warm weather to hit :->

I'll try to post sooner - and with pictures next time.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Sounds pretty up there! I'm going up to my brother and SIL's cabin with them this weekend - it's about 20 miles north of Nashwauk.

Heh, yeah, I'm working on a laptop cover from Kureyon and it's been a bit too warm for me to be happy working on that this weekend...