Today I went for a little walk on a dirt road not far from our house. But first I went around the yard to investigate something I noticed from the kitchen window.
All of these icicles were on our septic tank. So there you have it, folks, there’s beauty everywhere.
Some kind of shelf fungus, possibly Stereum ostrea or false turkey tail fungus.
I've never seen a leaf this big in our woods. It kind of has a cottonwood shape, but I can't say for sure what it is.
I wonder if that tree is naturally "nubby" or if it's being induced by something else?
This is one of the pines in our front yard. It is riddled with rows upon rows of holes. At first I wondered if it was larval exit holes or holes from birds feeding on them, but according to the Missouri Botanical Garden website, you can distinguish between the two by the regularity. Apparently only the birds leave holes in rows like this. The probable culprit: yellow-bellied sap sucker (a woodpecker).
Is there anything more heartwarming than conifers and deciduous trees living in harmony?
Goldenrod (Solidago spp.)
Here's where winter starts getting a little old. Soggy brown grass and dirtying snow.
A field on the other side of my neighbor's house.
Curly dock (Rumex crispus)
With its yellow fruit, this little guy jumped out at me on my walk (NOT LITERALLY, shocking, I know), but I was nowhere close to figuring out what it was. Luckily my mom said, hey, is that poison ivy? By gum, I think it is.
I've never actually knowingly run into poison ivy before. What I learned today: in looking up poison ivy, I most often saw it listed as Toxicodendron radicans, but some sources (Wikipedia) listed Rhus radicans as a synonym. I really don't know what "synonym" is supposed to mean in this context -- either it's Rhus or it's been assigned a new genus, which is what I'm assuming happened. In any case, sumac and poison ivy are in the same family, Anacardiaceae (the level of classification above a genus, which is above a species). OK, I'm trying to say that they're related.
Possibly ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) — difficult to say, as Minnesota is just outside of its range according to the USDA website, but those aren’t necessarily definitive. The needles are longer and the cones look different from other pines that are native to Minnesota.
I spend 70% of my time in ditches these days.
A windrow along one of the houses on the dirt road. These are some of the tallest trees in the area.
There will be peace in the valley, yo.
The end of the road, buster.