Showing posts with label Nature
Today my daughter and I took a class on identifying edible vs toxic mushrooms in the wild. Since I was little I always wanted to know which mushrooms I could and couldn't eat but no matter how many times friends with mushroom knowledge would point out an edible mushroom I just didn't trust it. 

A few years ago we decided to remove the majority of our grass in the front yard to make room for pollinator gardens. We removed about 1/2 of the lawn and planted numerous Minnesota natives to feed butterflies and bees. In our backyard we added several native trees to help feed the birds. Immediately we started seeing the benefits of both. The birds come to the trees to nibble on the fruits and the pollinators visit the flowers for pollen and nectar, but this year we were surprised to find this...

This past weekend my oldest daughter and I attended another herbal workshop.  This time the location was a beautiful farm in North Central, MN and it was the perfect spot since there was a great variety of wild edibles and medicinals spread over the property, even this beauty… truly growing wild, there were just two plants on the 38 acres.


I think my daughter had the most fun hanging out with the chickens 


While I was busy eating wild foods


We talked about many plants including the a variety of uses for Solomon's Seal


and Black Medick


There wasn't a boring minute while Lise Wolff talked


I really can never get enough of these plant walks.  Lise Wolff is like an herbal encyclopedia that I wish I could just put on a shelf and open when needed.  How she mentally files away so much detail about medicinal and edible plants I will never know.

It truly was a great day!

For anyone who lives in MN and may be interested in these workshops, here is a link to Lise Wolff's website .  Her classes are not always posted on her site but if you sign up for emails she'll definitely send you one when a workshop or class is scheduled.

JUST SOME PICTURES

11:46 AM, in
At this time of year we have every insect imaginable hanging out in our backyard.  You have to be very careful if you walk the trail around the Joe Pye Weed and Goldenrod because literally hundreds of wasps, honey bees and bumble bees call the JPW & GR a source of food.
 
One of hundreds of yellow-jackets calling our yard home right now. They are hungry for the Joe Pye Weed and Goldenrod.

Monarch butterflies are just interested in the Joe Pye Weed.

This little lady(bug) has been spending her day poking around the goldenrod.



I saw this frog and thought it was deformed but turns out it was crossing its legs like that on purpose.  Who knew they did that? I didn't.
 
Yesterday we went to the Minnesota Science Museum to check out the Monarch exhibit.  If it wasn't for a time constraint I could have stayed in the butterfly house all day, as it was we had to bribe Aiyana with better things to come just to get her to leave.  


Who knew insects could be so fascinating but I'm finding myself more and more interested in learning about them, and not just the pretty ones either.


Mating pair.


Apparently I am the only one who thought this was fascinating. Mating butterflies. Maya kept telling me to stop taking pictures but I thought it was cool to see.



Monarch (male) - the swollen pouches (circles/balls) along the veins near the ends of it wings tells you it is a male.


Painted Lady Butterfly hitching a ride on Aiyana's head.

Maya and Monarch posing for the camera.

Painted Lady Butterfly

Monarch (female) having a conversation with my husband.  I think she had a crush on him :P





Have you ever wondered what climate change looks like through the eyes of our wild neighbors?


photo source: CLICK HERE

Climate Change through the eyes of a Grizzly Bear: more mountain pine beetles = less whitebark pine trees = less whitebark pine seeds = starving grizzly bears 


photo source: CLICK HERE


Climate Change through the eyes of a Polar Bear: melting sea ice = less access to seals = more energy spent hunting for food = less time for reproduction = less polar bears  


photo source: CLICK HERE


Climate Change through the eyes of an Orangutan: drought = loss of habitat due to more wild fires = no food and no place to live


photo source: CLICK HERE


Climate Change through the eyes of a Snow Leopard: warmer, wetter weather = loss of alpine habitat = loss of hunting grounds = desperation = exposure to humans & livestock = increased retaliatory killings of the snow leopard


photo source: CLICK HERE


Climate Change through the eyes of a Gazelle: drought = expansion of desert land = loss of of trees and grass = less food = having to compete with livestock for food = loss of life for the gazelle.  


photo source: CLICK HERE


Climate Change through the eyes of a Cheetah: loss of the gazelle = eating outside normal diet = getting less “healthy” protein = negative effect on sperm health = changing the ability to reproduce effectively = dwindling number of cheetahs




photo source: CLICK HERE


Climate Change through the eyes of a Tiger: rising temperatures = melting sea ice = rising water levels = flooded lands = loss of habitat



photo source: CLICK HERE

Climate Change through the eyes of a Shark: warmer waters = expanding food search area = becoming stressed = a refusal to mate = less sharks + more exposure to humans = more conflict = slaughtered sharks.




photo source: CLICK HERE

Climate Change through the eyes of a Sea Turtle: warmer weather = melting ice caps = rising sea level = erosion of nesting beaches & changes in sex ratios = less sea turtles



Photo source: CLICK HERE

Climate Change through the eyes of a Bird: warmer weather = change in migratory patterns = missing out on food sources & mates = unhealthy birds = less offspring. 

Add poaching and human caused habitat destruction and what do you get?

EXTINCTION!

Now what does climate change look like through your eyes?

If you're in Minnesota please attend Wolf Walk in Duluth to advocate for gray wolves and stop the wolf hunting and trapping season in November. 




I'm writing this for one reason only. How many people look at the International Wolf Center the way I did? That is why I write. If you are anything like I was you see the Intl. Wolf Center as a haven for wolves. A place that educates the public not he factual information pertaining to Canis lupus, a place that is run by people that care about and want to preserve our wolf population (their twitter page says they advance the survival of wolves). Well... if you think like that I would say that you are wrong, just as wrong as I was. 
The turnout of wolf protectors at the state Capitol in Minnesota yesterday was awesome!  We rallied to stop the hunt/trap this fall for over 3 hours.  It was wonderful to be surrounded by so many like minded individuals and know that we were all there for a greater good which is to protect Minnesota's gray wolf population and put a stop to the hunting and trapping that will happen this November. 
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