Northern Minnesota phenology for July 2014: Orchids

By: John Latimer The ditches in northern Minnesota are punctuated with the purple-fringed orchids in the last half of July. Tall magenta stalks of multiple flowers stretch above their neighboring plants. A casual glance might have you thinking fireweed, another tall magenta flowered plant also blooming at this time of year. But the fireweed has a wider flower head and […]

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Northern Minnesota phenology for May 2014: Ferns

By: John Latimer The shady forest floor will be perforated by dozens of species of ferns throughout the month of May. Nearly every one of them uncurls like the tongue of a butterfly. Most of these emerging ferns fall under the rubric of fiddleheads. They look like the head of a fiddle and are often harvested in the spring as […]

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Northern Minnesota phenology for February 2014: Gray Fox

By: John Latimer The warming earth has brought many new animal species to northern Minnesota. Several new species of birds are routinely seen throughout the area. Cardinals, and red-bellied woodpeckers have taken advantage of the warmer weather to expand their range northward.  Opossums are expanding their territory to include north central Minnesota. More recently in the Itasca County region we […]

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Northern Minnesota phenology for December 2013: Rabbits and hares

In my neighborhood there are two distinct versions of what are generically called “rabbits”. Actually they are two separate families of the order Leporidae. Commonly referred to as rabbits and hares they share many characteristics, long, fur covered hind feet, long ears that are always longer than they are wide, and a short fluffy tail. In Minnesota we have the […]

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