exploring our amazing natural spaces

Outdoor Minnesota Fall

Above average

Snow flurries fly but no accumulation. Pancake ice gathers on reed stems but no lake freeze over. As we approach “official” winter I can’t help but ponder this fall’s above average temperature pattern.

flurriesreed ice

Time’s a wastin’

I’ve heard many say the past few weeks have been the best fall weather they can remember. Of course we all know what’s right around the corner. So if you haven’t taken advantage of this fine weather what are you waiting for don’t you know time’s a wastin?

Last winter Metro Minnesota

Walk on the wild side

Yes we’re officially past peak statewide and many of the trees have given up their leaves. Yet pockets of color are still out there making a walk on the wild side well worth your time.

Past peak?

If I could talk

This is a 40s era Ford tractor I spotted on a trail recently and just couldn’t pass by without a look. The 8N was Ford’s most successful tractor model and if this one could talk I’m sure we would learn a lot about the changing landscape of far northern Minnesota and the hardy people who carve out a life in this challenging but beautiful part of the world. Ford 8N

Take a fall adventure

The Sawbill Trail splitting the arrowhead of Minnesota has some of the lower 48’s grandest topography traveling away from the north shore of Lake Superior. Mix in warm days, golden tamaracks and blue skies and I guarantee you will feel like you stole one from old man winter. Sawbill Trail MNSawbill tamarackSawbill Store

Putting soccer balls to shame

Our mild summer and plenty of leaf litter produced this giant puffball mushroom near the tree line in our backyard. It’s estimated an average sized one of these produces 7 trillion (that’s 12 zeros) spores at maturity. Now that’s a lot of spores!

Super sized mushroom

December farmstead

As the first official day of winter approaches it’s hard to believe we’re not already knee-deep in the middle of it as the wind whips snow across frozen fields and the sun works to crest the horizon.


Inch an hour

I’m sure meteorologists have many different classifications for types of snow. This morning we saw the inch-per-hour variety just enough to cover the ugly spots with a fresh coat of white.

let it snow

A bit ruffled

These mourning doves seem to appreciate a roof over their heads roosting all day in the feeder. At 4 degrees for the day’s high it’s not a bad strategy to hunker down and wait out this weather.

roosting doves

Just one

It’s one degree above zero this morning a cause to celebrate? after so many below zero days. Things seem to move a little slower when the temps get this low except the seed in the feeder…that goes much faster.

frosty morning sunrise