My second favorite wildflower, the Indian Pipe, is blooming right now. It is a really good year for this unique wildflower and it’s all over the place over at the Vermilion Gorge Hiking Trail. (stayed tuned for my #1 favorite wildflower)
Ever wonder what the nodding heads of Indian Pipe hides? Here is a damaged flower that was lying on the trail. I would never pick any of these wild plants – they’re just too rare and delicate to disturb. They require very specialized soil ingredients in just the right balance to grow and thrive.
The flowering plant is completely white because they require no chlorophyll to grow – chlorophyll is the component that makes plants green.
I recently read that only the Bunchberry that blooms has 6 leaves. I remembered to check that out last time I was in the woods.
Here’s a plant that hasn’t bloomed, there’s only 4 leaves.
This is a plant that is setting fruit, notice again the 6 leaves.
Last week a very special bird visited the area. It was a Lark Bunting! A bird that’s supposed to be out on the great plains of Montana, Wyoming and Colorado. Their breeding range also extends into the prairie provinces of Canada.
This bird is actually the state bird of Colorado. We were thrilled that this bird made a stopover in northern Minnesota for a couple days.
There are a lot of Ruffed Grouse in the area this spring. This one was eating Aspen buds. They walk around on the smallest of branches, just look at the bird clinging to the thin branch. You wonder how it holds the weight of such a big bird.