Nature photography from a woman in the woods


Vetch . . . Also in Abundance

vetch1This is a wild flower called vetch .. there are a number of different varieties that grow in Minnesota.  I hear it is from the pea family and I am sure it has a more scientific species name, but I simply call it “the purple one”.  It is easy to find a yellow/white variety and a pink one in the area, also.  However, “the purple one” is growing like crazy this year.  It is everywhere, it’s colors seem extra bright, and they seem to be larger as there are more individual flower pods making up each grouping (maybe the brightness of color is due to the fact that we are still under cloudy gray skies most of the time).

Like the lady slippers, these flowers obviously like our wet conditions as they are flourishing, too. (click to see full-sized images)


** NOTE:  I found a “NEW” Wildflower yesterday … Well, new to me!   It is the Wood Lily!   If you would like to see my pictures of the bright orange Wood Lily, visit my home blog BEAR IN MIND and then take on my “NEW” Challenge!


The Ladies have Returned in Abundance . . .

hide:seekApparently, our rainy weather and wet ground are good growing conditions for our Fancy Pink Lady Slippers.  The ladies are flashing their beauty all over the woods this year, growing in abundance and popping up everywhere .. places where I have never seen them before.  (the pink “shoe part” is about 2 inches long).  Their fanciness is only on display for a very short week or two, so get out there and look a little closer at the ditches and edges of lakes, streams and rivers … you won’t have to search long to be rewarded with their gorgeousness.

Fancy Pink Lady Slippers are the State Flower of Minnesota, so it is illegal to pick them.  Since they are one of my favorite wildflowers and they only grow where they want to grow, I make a point to go out to visit them with my camera every year .. just sorry the sun was not shining this year to make them really brighten up the shot.  If you have not gotten your fill of this beautiful wild flower, here is a link to my post from last year which includes the story/legend of how they got the name lady slipper.  (link to last year’s post)


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Wild Flowers are Starting to Shine . . .

“None can have a healthy love for flowers unless he loves the wild ones.” ~ Forbes Watson


It finally stopped raining and dried up enough so that I could cut the grass around my house (it had grown about a foot high during all of the rainy days).  I appreciate the shorter grass as it keeps the bugs back a bit and flowers that were hidden shine brightly. The robins appreciate it, too as they are back to hopping around the yard.

The Wild Flowers of Minnesota are blooming everywhere. The fields are full of them and some of these I found in my yard yesterday.  (some of them are considered “weeds”, but they are wild flowers to me).  All are extremely common and bloom in abundance making them very easy to find.

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“The Earth Laughs in Flowers.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Rain, mosquitoes, more rain, more mosquitoes … My Latest Post at Bear In Mind:   “Trapped, Send Help”

A Glass Lake . . .

Shoreline Reflections

Shoreline Reflections

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. ~ Edith Wharton

Early mornings and late afternoons in the summer time are when the lakes are most likely to be perfectly still. At these times, they are like the glass on a mirror ~ shiny, smooth and reflecting everything back to you in duplicate. Logically, the lake reflection is at the bottom of the shot, but sometimes when I get home to look at photos it is hard to tell which is the reflection and which is the real version.

When it comes to taking photos, I really enjoy the opportunity water reflections give me to play with symmetry.
(the lakes here are crystal clear .. In the swan picture, what is floating on top is pollen and fuzzy seeds that have blown off the trees and plants around the lake)

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(My newest post at Bear In Mind: “Where We Sit …” creatures of habit)

New Spring Growth … of all kinds …

“Life stands before me like an eternal spring with new and brilliant clothes.” ~ Carl Friedrich Gauss


Spring arrived at a snail’s pace this year. The snow melted, slowly and returned several times. The temperatures remained cold, so the browned grass and leaveless trees remained naked for weeks. Dandelions, the first color of Spring did not appear until the end of May …

Spring was slow, but when it arrived it exploded the world with green in just a day or two.
The new babies are here finally, too.



new growth

Desert-Like Winter Storms . . .


“What a severe yet master artist old Winter is…. No longer the canvas and the pigments, but the marble and the chisel.” ~John Burroughs, “The Snow-Walkers,” 1866

This week’s visit by the polar vortex brought us a storm of wind and snow.  Twenty-something below temperatures (much lower with wind chills factored in), extremely high winds, and piles of snow fueled a windy snowstorm similar to a sand storm in the desert.  Clouds of snow plowing across the open fields and down the roads, twirling, spinning and then slamming into an obstacle that sent it back up into the skies.  At times, it appeared to be snowing … but, it wasn’t.  The winds brought life back to the old snowflakes and gave them the  opportunity to fall from the skies and blow around giving them an additional winter birth of a second life, a third, and some many more.  The aftermath of the snows rebirth left behind huge swirling drifts (snow dunes) and artistic patterns on the crusty snow top.

(click for full-sized image)