27 August 2009

Photos of the Gardens at Dusk

Wetland Buffer

Vegetable Harvest

Yellow and Purple Coneflower

16 August 2009

Human on a Stick

A fun way to tour the historical sites along the river in Minneapolis is by Segway.
Guided tours are conducted along the bike paths
that line the riverfront.

Along the river are remnants of the milling industry that made
Minneapolis from 1880-1930,
the "Flouring Milling Capital of the World
Gold Medal Flour was produced at the Washburn Mill
which later became part of the General Mills.

Detail of the outer wall of the Washburn Mill which is
now part of a restoration project
that created the
Mill City Museum.
The Museum is an incredible look back at the milling industry
with interactive demonstrations of the milling process.
A highly recommended stop for any visitor to the Twin Cities.

And the main reason for the beginning of the riverfront
industry is the St. Anthony Falls that provided
the waterpower necessary to run the mills.

15 August 2009

F1 Tornado hits Lake Minnetonka

One week ago a tornado with wind speeds of 85-100 mph
hit one of the northern bays of Lake Minnetonka.
Fortunately no one was hurt and the damage was
fairly minor with large trees down and roofs damaged.

Here the cattails were flattened where the tornado
came off the lake.

The tornado's path was about 200 yards wide
and it created sporadic damage along a length of 9.5 miles.

For some interesting reading on tornadoes, click here.

02 August 2009

Follow the Bumblebee

With the native plants beginning their blooming,
so too have the visits by the bumblebees.
Here a bee is sampling a woodland sunflower....

....and a purple coneflower.
Bumblebees are major pollinators - very important in crop production.
They can survive in the cooler temperature of the northern climes. They can raise their body temps by a form of "shivering", detaching their flight muscles and moving them to generate heat. That explains why some bees are found buzzing around on the ground in the spring, warming themselves up but unable to fly with the detached muscles.

This is a rather tall, unassuming native plant called the cupplant.

The cupplant is so named for its ability to hold water in the base of its leaves.
Hummingbirds and insects will use this as a watering hole.

Speaking of watering holes, or lack of right now in Minnesota, where rain is much appreciated at the moment. It has been a cool and dry summer to date.