fall color is a hallowed time in minnesota. people drive hours to remote locations where slopes of sugar maples ignite and then burn orange-red for days, as gawkers stream past in their subarus outbacks.. we’re about a month away from that right now, but in the meantime, i just drove about 2 1/2 miles tonight to a lakeside trail in shoreview, where little sparks flared in the greenery, and i did not have to wonder just where in the world i was going to find a decent meal.
assorted berries from one walk in late august
vadnais lake, saint paul, minnesota
yes, you’re very pretty. ok turn to the side. now lean back slightly. good. good. hold your arms out. perrrfect. now hold that pose. hold it. chin up. yes. a little higher. hold it. hold it. yes. beautiful. all right. i think we’ve got some really great stuff. thank you, darling.
green foxtail grass
north oak, saint paul, minnesota
my ability to identify this plant has an unusual history. it’s one of the very few local minnesota plants i’ve ever known whose name i learned first in french and then had to translate back into english. when our friend, jean-luc, pointed out a pretty, delicate purple-flowered plant growing low in some languedocian scrubland alongside a vineyard, he called it “la vaisse.” it looked vaguely familiar, and then one day, back home, alongside a minnesota prairie, i saw a lovely little purple flowered plant with tiny fern-like fronds, and recognized it as “la vaisse,” which translates naturally and exactly to “vetch.” if you had forced me to place a bet, i would have said there was some latin mixed up in there, and sure enough, according to google, the latin name for vetch/vaisse is “vicia.” there is, as always, nothing new under the sun.
common crown vetch leaves
saint paul, minnesota
late august leaves: linden, maple, oak, fern, arrowhead, and poplar