‘Arboretum Scenery’ Category

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Fall color forecast looks good… maybe.

A long autumn with sunny dry days and cool dry nights can make for a colorful fall. Autumn in Minnesota is a time of cruel ironies. Any Vikings fan can tell you that. One of autumn’s cruelest ironies is that the beauty of autumn is quickly replaced with the general crumminess of winter. And so, […]

Ragweed and the Afterlife

  Although I have no plans to end up there, I can’t help but imagine what sorts of things might be found in hell.  I am, of course, familiar with the traditional images of fire, ragged clothing, and stalagmites, but I believe that the more mundane forms of punishment would actually be the worst.  I […]

Butterfly populations at historic lows

Monarch Butterfly on goldenrod flower If you’ve seen a Monarch butterfly recently, (or any butterfly, for that matter) consider yourself lucky.  As gardeners, wildlife-watchers and insect-lovers can all attest, there has been a considerable shortage of the graceful creatures in our area so far this summer.  The common yellow sulfurs aren’t so common, and the […]

Pasqueflowers in bloom (finally)

Pasqueflowers in bloom Prairie wildflower season has officially begun.  Pasqueflower (Anemone patens) is the earliest blooming flower on the prairie.  These were just photographed at Kasota Prairie today, and the pasqueflowers near the rock outcrop prairie overlook site in the Arboretum will soon be following suit.  The name means “Easter flower” and these plants usually […]

First Day of Spring

No signs of spring in the Arboretum yet.   But don’t worry…  it’s coming.  

Groundhogs Set to Prognosticate!

Groundhogs (or Woodchucks as they are often called) are a strictly North American species. Having entered the doldrums of winter, it is now, more than ever, that we need a holiday to bolster our spirits.  Thank goodness Groundhog’s Day is nearly here!  Unfortunately, Groundhog’s Day is not nearly as prominent of a holiday as one […]

Cicada-killer wasps

Most gardeners have had the occasional encounter with a wasp.  Whether it’s a confrontation with a paper wasp or an unfortunate misunderstanding with a hornet, most of us are personally familiar with the havoc and anxiety that a wasp can create. Then there are the cicada-killer wasps.  When it comes to panic-inducing capabilities, the cicada-killer […]

First Post of the spring, Butterflies are back

Hey all: First…. an apology.  I’ve been the new Naturalist here at the Arboretum for over 4 months, but this is the first time I’ve made time to post.  Rest assured that posts will be coming MUCH more regularly in the future. That aside, the butterflies are back!  As of May 2, I have seen […]

April Showers…

On this rainy day in late April, I’m looking forward to the bright, vibrant colors of May. We desperately need today’s rain, as so far this spring has been another dry one and the next ten days’ forecast calls for no precipitation. But it is certainly looking greener, and many of our trees now have […]

It’s Snowing!

As a child I was always exited to see snow falling, because it meant that fun times outdoors were soon to follow. As an adult, it’s always a joy to see the first snowfall of the season. The charm is somewhat lost, however, after the second snowfall. And the third. And the fourth. And the […]