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Category Archives: Menomonie

There are an unusual number of Jack-in-the-Pulpits on the farm this spring.

 

Not long ago the goslings hatched at Hoffman Hills. We stopped by to check on them a few days later and found them feeding on pond scum.

Large-flowered Trillium are now blooming on the farm.

 

There are a lot of flowers out on the Red Cedar Trail. Large-flowered Trillium are covering the hills.

In the marsh areas along the trail the Marsh Marigolds and Skunk Cabbage are out.

The Trout Lillies are blooming along some sections of the trail.

The trees are just starting to get their leaves.

 

The last several times we have been at Hoffman Hills we have seen warblers. There have been a lot of Yellow-rumped Warblers around.

We also saw one Palm Warbler.

We had gone out to Hoffman Hills to check on the nesting Canada Geese but there were many more things to see. A Green Heron landed on the other side of the pond. We watched as it hunted along the shore for frogs.

There were also quite a few Red-winged Blackbirds around

The Marsh Marigolds are blooming in the swampy areas.

The Painted Turtles were sunning themselves along the edge of the pond.

The last of the Pussy Willows were blooming.

The Willow Trees are getting ready to bloom.

There were a number of Turkey Vultures flying around the area.

 

With fresh snow we have been able to ski on the Red Cedar Trail almost every day. We had about six inches overnight. It was great skiing in the morning but the winds came up and the temperature started dropping in the afternoon. We have been seeing a couple of deer each morning at the 2 mile marker.

 

On our way to Devils Punchbowl we also stopped at Tripp Falls Ravine to check out the ice. There was some nice ice in the stream but not much had formed along the walls of the ravine.

 

My wife has taken up weaving after a 30 year gap in her weaving career. She has also created a beginning weaving blog describing some of her weaving projects. She asked me to take some photos of her weaving for her blog. The first items are dish towels. They seem to be a little too good to wash dishes with.

More on her weaving can be found at Loomcraft Weaver.

The second project is a poncho which was finished just in time for fall.

The final project was a set of Placemats.

The first couple of weeks in September I had been working out in the yard mowing and repairing my mail box. As I was out and about I would see the occasional monarch butterfly in the surrounding prairie. I tried to get some photos but by the time I retrieved my camera they would be gone. I assumed that they were just a few stragglers hanging around the farm before heading south.

One day I noticed a couple of monarchs out by my mailbox so I went back to the house to get the camera. Of course, when I returned they were gone so I stopped to take some shots in the prairie. When I started walking back to the house I noticed several more Monarchs approaching. I followed them as they moved through the farm in a southerly direction. As they left the prairie several more took their place. I soon realized that what I thought was a few monarch stragglers hanging around was the in fact the fall monarch migration.

I should point out that on my farm I have a house surrounded by a large yard. Between the yard and the pine forest is a prairie buffer. The open land is shaped like a bicycle saddle. The back of the saddle is on the north side of the property and the nose faces the south. I spent most of the day watching the monarchs migrate through. They entered to property from the north and gradually worked their way south and out into neighbors farmland. In all I counted over 40 monarchs in the time I was out taking photos. The irony is that a few days earlier I had driven over 100 miles looking for a cluster of migrating monarchs and didn’t find any.

Most of the prairie flowers were no longer in bloom but I had been doing some selective mowing to cut down the number of goldenrod plants in the prairie. As a result the prairie flowers in the mowed areas were several weeks behind and were still in bloom. These were the plants that the monarchs were feeding on. I need to keep this in mind for next year so that I can provide food for the migrating monarchs.