Monday, May 26, 2008

Pasque Flower seedhead

First flower of the year goes out of bloom in the pond garden; the Purple Pasque Flower has officially gone to seed.

Wild weather yesterday in the North Metro. Hugo saw deadly tornadoes and Forest Lake, less than ten minutes down the I35 corridor, saw torrential hail. All we got was a noncommital burst of dime-sized hail and a few hours of Dish TV fuzz. Temps in the mid-upper sixties today with overcast skies and a cool breeze; supposed to be dipping into the thirties tonight with the possibility of frost!

Landscape at William O'Brian State Park

We took a trip to William O'Brian State Park today with the dog. William O'Brian was the first places I really realized just how fluid life is. In their wake, the glaciers leave left a litter of boulders. Over years, water erodes a strean just wide enough for pine needles, oak leaves, dead bugs, or bird doo to dam it. Moss latches on to this organic detritus, preventing erosion and making way for small plants and trees, which eventually grow and cover the lifeless rock; a small-scale analogy for our planet.

Stream running through William O'Brian State Park

Interesting hike, though the combination of a skittish dog and overcast skies made it somewhat less conducive for photography. Tree swallows are everywhere now; performing their acrobatics over the wetlands and ponds, sitting on the wires near the restored prairie or atop their houses by the visitor's center. You can tell Spring is fading; not a Marsh Marigold to be found (though their foliage (as seen above) is still quite prevalent in areas of moving water), and the calls of the peepers have already died out.

Wildlife Spotted at William O'Brian:
  • American Toad
  • Chorus Frog
  • Painted Turtle
  • Robin
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Ring-necked Pheasant
  • Swamp Sparrow
  • Tree Swallow

Columbine growing in William O'Brian State Park

Wildflowers in Bloom at William O'Brian:
  • Columbine
  • Declining Trillium
  • Hooked Violet
  • Large-flowered Bellwort
  • Marsh Marigold
  • Meadowrue
  • Pussytoes
  • Rue Anemone
  • Wild Blue Phlox
  • Wild Geranium
  • Wild Strawberry
  • Yellow Violet

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