25 December 2008

Scenes from the holiday......

lots of snow

lights under the snow

and the cat asleep under the tree.

17 December 2008

Birds of a different season

Fun for birdwatchers: Here is an unusual photo two species of woodpeckers on the same feeder that are normally not present here in Minnesota during the winter.

Flicker and yellow-bellied sapsucker eating suet.

It is not usual for a hardy flicker to stay around during the cold months. Normally an insect eater in warmer times, the flicker can make do with nuts and suet that they find at the bird feeders.

On the other hand, the yellow-bellied sapsucker is definitely out of his element being in sub zero temps. Note how scruffy his feathers are and for a bird used to eating sap, not sure how the suet will work for him.

15 December 2008

11 degrees below zero


Frost on the door

30 November 2008

End of November

The last images of the month showcase the herd of deer that appeared Thanksgiving morning.

This deer looks dressed for the town with a white bow-tie.

Say good-bye to the browns of November here in Minnesota.

23 November 2008

The Littlest Birds

Flocks of pine siskins have arrived from Canada in search of more abundant food.

Their natural routine is eating pine cones in Ontario although they are finding the thistle seed here in Minnesota to be awfully tasty and plentiful in the bird feeders.
Many people are reporting large flocks at their feeders.

18 November 2008

November Sunrise

13 November 2008

The other dogs in the wildhood

Rather secretive by day, a lone coyote circles the edge of the wetland.

Weighing about 30 to 45 pounds, they look like a slender German Shepherd.

09 November 2008

Common Milkweed

06 November 2008

A Day for Ducks

It is November in Minnesota...
a grey day on the lake

lots of ducks (American Wigeons) passing through

a few bright spots in an otherwise grey day is the garden at Norenberg on Lake Minnetonka

and the needles of a tamarack tree - a deciduous conifer

28 October 2008

First Hard Frost

26 October 2008

Fleeting Fall Colors

Winds over 30 mph and snow flurries today are putting an end to our picturesque fall.
Here is a look back on some of the highlights.

The fiery orange of a sugar maple

The more subtle colors of the Long Lake Creek wetlands

Another sugar maple

Paul's Trail

19 October 2008

How do birds get their name.......

A cedar waxwing eating a berry off a red cedar tree.

This time of year, cedar waxwings feast on the ripened cedar berries. They are very fond of the cedar's berries working a tree for several days until all the fruit is gone.
As feeders, cedar waxwings are frugivorous, a zoological term meaning mostly fruit. Waxwings often wander in flocks in search of berries, leading a nomadic life.

Chasing down the berries with a little water

17 October 2008

Close Ups




12 October 2008

Fall Colors at Wood-Rill

Autumn in all its glory at Wood-Rill, a remnant of the Big Woods, a vast ecosystem that once covered 2,000 square miles of Minnesota.

Hardwoods form a dense canopy and lots of color.

Tamarack swamp

05 October 2008

More Dahlias

A few final exclamation points to the growing season.

The dahlia is the national flower of Mexico.

Plants imported to Europe in the 1800's were breed into the many different varieties that exist today.

They bloom from mid-summer until frost.

18 September 2008


Late summer blooms from three different Rubeckia plants

Brown-eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan

Green-headed coneflower

12 September 2008

Is an image worth a thousand words?

Here are two images of the polar ice cap. The first was taken on 9/02/2001 and the second taken seven years later on the same date in 2008.

Make your own judgments. If you want more data, there is plenty to mine at the National Ice Center website. One of the cool features is an interactive 31 day animation chart.
We Minnesotans need a fix of snow and ice in the off season.

01 September 2008

Prairie Daze

An end-of-the-summer view of prairie life

Little bluestem grass in bloom

A monarch butterfly on coneflower

Purple coneflower