standing dead

in our part of the world, woodpecker holes and bracket fungus are the two infallible signs that a tree has died, even in winter when no deciduous trees carry leaves. in 2007, the ham lake fire burned 40,000 acres along the gunflint trails, and the woodpeckers have been feasting ever since.

superior national forest, gunflint trail, minnesota

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delicate vortex

an arrangement just slightly more orderly than random. sounds like my house some days.

nest of a northern cardinal

found in a small evergreen in our backyard, saint paul, minnesota

  • Shanon Gass says:

    So beautiful and amazing. I’ve always hoped to find an abandoned bird nest, but have never had the luck. They seem so special and intricate. Such smart little birds. Happy Friday from a fellow Minnesotan!

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internal combustion

we logged almost twenty miles of trail walking last weekend in northern minnesota.  and i picked up and carried home only one leaf: this one that looks as if it is about to burst into flame. or as if it has already burned, and the embers are still smoldering. I photographed this on white paper set on the bumper of my car. so there is no special lighting or photshopping creating that spine of fire.

autumn leaf

superior national forest, gunflint trail, minnesota

  • carrie says:

    breathtaking.

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and now . . . the larch . . . the . . . larch

what a thrill it was to be up in the superior national forest last weekend while the tamaracks were turning yellow.  they must have been at their peak, for i have never noticed before just how abundant they are up there. when they are green they blend with all the red and white pine, jack pine, and spruce. but when they are yellow, you can’t miss them.

this little sapling was about one meter high and caught our attention because it was still in transition to its fall colors. now i am wondering if they all turn yellow from the trunk out, like this one? or whether this guy was the exception, not the rule.  steve and eva stood behind it with four sheets of white tag board to get the shot.

tamarack sapling in ocotober

superior national forest, minnesota

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jewels underfoot

we logged several miles on isolated trails in northern minnesota this past weekend. i walked past so many colorful mushrooms i couldn’t identify, that on the last trail of the last day i decided to gather several of them so i could begin my education.

wild mushrooms of northern minnesota’s boreal forest

gunflint trail, grand marais, minnesota

  • Kerry says:

    What an amazing mushroom year it is in these parts as well! I know several edible ones, most notably the orange one second from the left, top row…chanterelle. Happy hunting!

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