The Vermilion River is a designated “wild river”. There are campsites along the river and a few portages around rapids and waterfalls. No permits are needed to travel this 30 mile section of river that connects Crane Lake to Lake Vermilion. All you need is a canoe.
My #1 all time favorite wildflower: Pip – sis – sue – wah.
pips in hand
This small wildflower is another evergreen plant of the forest floor. The leaves are leathery and do not fall of the plant in the winter. If you dug down through the snow in the winter, you would find the green leaves of this plant.
close up image of Pipsissewa
buds of the Pipsissewa wildflower
The above photo shows old dried up flower seed pods from last year, and new flowerbuds formed this year.
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.
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.