June 3, 2024

Sixteen years ago we moved into our current home in Apple Valley and at the time I didn't realize just how perfect it was for me. I'd always wanted to move to northern Minnesota but every time that opportunity came our way things just didn't work out. In 2016 we bought a cabin in Ely and in 2018 my health issues started. The combination of the two helped me realize that my home in Apple Valley was really all I've ever truly wished for. I've never been anywhere in the state of Minnesota as beautiful as where I live right now. I love nature and I feel like our entire backyard is a nature lovers heaven. I walk among native plants and abundant wildlife every single day. On our property alone we've photographed hawks, snakes, raccoon, squirrels, turtles, rabbits, eagles, coyotes, deer, chipmunks, turkey, ducks, fox and a variety of song birds. Nearly every day the deer visit our yard to eat from our garden and every summer the does park their fawns at our house while they go out foraging. I've found more native plants on my own property that I've ever seen in the wild. One of the main attractants for all things wild is Alimagnet Park which is my entire backyard. When I first became ill, just being able to sit outside and watch the wild critters scurry about or taking short walks through the park and photographing birds and deer kept my spirit up and filled my soul with everything I needed to keep fighting to survive. I didn't need to be in Ely or anywhere else in the northern part of the state to find that. We live in a really special place and it happens to be a very populated suburb.

Today Maya and I decided to take a walk in the park and see what wild plants had emerged. It's amazing how much a person can learn when paying attention. So often we all go for walks in through the forest and never notice a thing other than the fact we are surrounded by trees and plants. The next time you go for a walk try cataloging the plants you observe along the way and learn what they are, whether they are native or not, and whether they are edible and/or medicinal. It's truly fascinating what is all around us. 

Northern Bedstraw (Galium boreale). A native Minnesota plant. Wild medicinal.

White rattlesnake-root (Prenanthes alba). A native Minnesota plant. Wild medicinal.

Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia). A native Minnesota plant. Wild medicinal.

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium). A native Minnesota plant. Wild medicinal.

Allegheny blackberry (Rufus allegheniensis). A native Minnesota plant. Wild medicinal.

Some type of fungi. I don't know fungi well.

Early Meadow Rue (Thalictrum dioicum). A native Minnesota plant. Wild medicinal.

Riverbank Grape (Vitis riparia). A native Minnesota plant. Wild medicinal.

Wild Lettuce (Lactic canadensis). A native Minnesota Plant. Wild medicinal.

Some type of Fungi.

Canada Mayflower  (Maianthemum canadense). A native Minnesota plant. Wild medicinal.

False Solomon's Seal (Maianthemum racemosum). A native Minnesota plant. Wild Medicinal.