Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge

“Whatever we are waiting for – peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance – it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart.”

~ Sarah Ban Breathnach (1947- ), American author

(Quote Source: brainyquote.com)

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A swan flies over the wild rice beds of the Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge located in McGregor, Minnesota.

To learn more about the refuge, please visit their website.

 

 

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Water Shield Plant

“Living big and joyful and content is almost always the result of our finding satisfaction in life’s ordinary day-to-day pleasures.  And God must be fond of them, too, for He made so many of them for us to enjoy.

~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr., (1940- ) American author

(Quote Source: BrainyQuote.com)

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The Water Shield plant is also known as the Dollar Bonnet.  Here is a photo of some that I found floating on a pond in northern Minnesota.  I’m told that this plant indicates a good spot for fishing as it provides shade for panfish, largemouth bass, and northern pike.

Learning

“Face it. We’re all ignorant. But there’s a big difference between not knowing anything about, say, astrophysics, and not knowing anything about the natural world we inhabit. The sad fact is, when it comes to nature, the average American is clueless about some very basic stuff.

For example, a recent poll taken at the National Zoo in Washington, DC, revealed that over 75% of their visitors did not know the purpose of pollination.”

~ Andy Wasowski, Native Gardens for Dry Climates

(Quote Source: October 24, 1997 interview as posted on loe.org.  See link at:  http://loe.org/shows/segments.html?programID=97-P13-00043&segmentID=6)

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(Honey bee on sedum plant)

I am grateful to people that blog.  I appreciate their courage and commitment to the sharing of ideas, experiences, creativity, research, and thoughts with the rest of the world.  I have learned so much in the last year.  Thank you!

 

Please Don’t Pick the Trilliums

“God has sown his name on the heavens in glittering stars; but on earth he planteth His name by tender flowers.”

~ Jean Paul Richter, (1763-1825) German Romantic writer

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This lovely white flower with just three petals on a single stem is known as the Large-flowered Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum).  It can be found in the woodlands of Minnesota and I am lucky enough to have quite a few growing on my property.  Because picking even a part of the plant can kill the whole thing, trilliums are considered quite fragile.  In addition, this plant is slow to establish, taking years to flower.

Large-flowered trilliums are also sensitive to changes in their environment, so they can be good indicators of the health of a forest. Trillium populations have been on the decline, primarily because of soil disturbance, the loss of soil organic matter from non-native earthworms, buckthorn invasion, and overgrazing by deer.  Consequently, Minnesota and many other states have laws to restrict the collection of trilliums. In Minnesota it is illegal to remove trilliums from public land or another person’s property without the owner’s consent.

(Source: http://www.bwsr.state.mn.us/news/webnews/may2014/5.pdf)

Happy Frogs

Always be happy.

When people are in a bad mood,

the last thing they want

is to hang around with

happy people.

~Kermit the Frog, Muppet

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Springtime in the marsh includes the many voices of frogs calling out to potential mates.  The variety of songs is fascinating!  Here is just a sampling of calls in a northern Minnesota wetland:

Natural Recycling

“Nature doth thus kindly heal every wound.  By the mediation of a thousand little mosses and fungi, the most unsightly objects become radiant of beauty.  There seem to be two sides of this world, presented us at different time, as we see things in growth or dissolution, in life or death.  And seen with the eye of the poet, as God sees them, all things are alive and beautiful.”

~Henry David Thoreau, (1817-1862) American essayist, poet, and practical philosopher; author of the book, Walden

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Fungi: Mother Nature’s recycling system

Listen

“The universe is composed of subjects to be communed with, no objects to be exploited.  Everything has its own voice.  Thunder and lightning and stars and planets, flowers, birds, animals, trees — all these have voices and they constitute a community of existence that is profoundly related.”

~ Thomas Berry (1914-2009), Catholic priest of the Passionist order

(Quote via ourhabitatgarden.org)

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The Northern Flicker is a woodpecker that often excavates nest holes in dead or diseased trees.  As I strolled my property I heard, and then discovered, one hammering on a dead tree.  I hoped that a nest was being built!  It turned out that this handsome bird was not in the market for a home, but I did get a chance to take a few photographs.