neat little article about VNP

 

Everybody’s Cabin

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Indian Pipe is all over the place

Indian Pipe

Indian Pipe, monotropa uniflora

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)

monotropa uniflora

monotropa uniflora

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.

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Toads are out, look out!

toad

American Toad

baby toad

baby Toad

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Bunchberry

Bunchberry in bloom

Bunchberry in bloom

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.

Bunchberry with 4 leaves

Bunchberry with 4 leaves

Here’s a plant that hasn’t bloomed, there’s only 4 leaves.

6 leaved Bunchberry

6 leaved Bunchberry

This is a plant that is setting fruit, notice again the 6 leaves.

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more wildflowers

wintergreen, one-flower

One-flowered Wintergreen

flowers, twin

Twin Flowers

twin flower

Twin Flower

 

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Wildflowers are blooming

yellow lady slippers

Yellow Lady Slippers

orchid,dragon-mouth

Dragon’s Mouth Orchid

iris,blue-flag

Blue Flag Iris

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Rare bird visits northland

lark bunting

Lark Bunting

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.

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Ruffed Grouse

grouse,ruffed

Ruffed Grouse

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.

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Blueberry crop looks promising

Blueberry blossoms

Blueberry blossoms

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Pine Warblers are back at the Gorge

pine warbler

Pine Warbler

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