Great Blue Heron

“A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children.”

~John James Audubon (1785-1851), American scientist

(Quote Source: brainyquote.com)

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A great blue heron flies gracefully across a Minnesota lake as the sun dips lower into the horizon.

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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.

 

 

Garden Visitor

“The kiss of the sun for pardon,

The songs of the birds for mirth,

One is nearer God’s heart in a garden

Than anywhere else on earth.”

~ Dorothy Frances Gurney (1858-1932), “God’s Garden” lines 13–16, Poems, by Dorothy Frances Gurney
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A freshly emerged monarch butterfly flits about a garden in Duluth, Minnesota.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”

~Maya Angelou (1928-2014), American poet, memoirist, actress and an important figure in the American Civil Rights Movement

(Quote Source: goodreads.com)

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An Eastern Tiger Swallowtail enjoying the nectar of a zinnia in my backyard.

Juvenile Sandhill Crane

“Our ability to perceive quality in nature begins, as in art, with the pretty.  It expands through successive stages of the beautiful to values as yet uncaptured by language.  The quality of cranes lies, I think, in this higher gamut, as yet beyond the reach of words.”

~ Aldo Leopold (1887-1948), A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There

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I was startled to come upon this juvenile Sandhill Crane standing alone in a clearing.  No doubt the parents had taken cover by hiding among the trees in the background.