28 September 2009

Purple Reign



New England Aster

23 September 2009

Fading Images from Late Summer

A goldfinch dines on the seeds of a green-headed coneflower.

American Elderberry

A buffer of beggar-ticks (see neat photo essay) grows on the pond edge
dry from the lack of water.


12 September 2009

A Working Waterfall

Vermillion Falls located in Hastings Minnesota was the water power behind a flour mill started in 1853 by Harrison Graham who produced the first graham flour in the state.
Graham flour, a version of whole wheat flour, commonly used today in pie crusts and graham crackers, was touted at the time as being much healthier than white flour.

This site is now an expanded mill operated by ConAgra Foods.
Remnants of the old mill are still incorporated
in the walls of the present structure.

11 September 2009

Hummingbirds on the Defense

This time of year, Minnesota is full of hummingbirds migrating through on their way south. Often they will stay a few days and defend a food source.
This hummer is protecting......

........this feeder station and keeping others away.

Here is the silhouette of a hummer doing the natural thing and guarding a stand of flowers below .....

.....not just any flowers but Jewelweed, a favorite late summer food of hummingbirds.
A plant that truly grows like a weed in wetlands and pond edges,
Jewelweed (also known as the Spotted Touch-Me-Knot) is a natural nectar source for the migrating birds.

These plants are highly prized and the hummers will fight
over who owns these clumps of flowers.

A great plant to have in wetland buffers, Jewelweed
will easily shrivel and disappear with the first frost leaving very little
plant material to have to cut down or rake in the spring.