Northern Forest Berries & Flowers

Northern Forest Berries & Flowers

I ventured north in the state this weekend.  Partly a familial visit, partly to fix the riding lawn mower on the familial property, and partly to fulfill a last minute favor that my sister had asked of me.  There was visiting and having a meal with my parents, the lawn mower was fixed, and the favor fulfilled.  I spent much of my time on the property.  The weather was wonderful for late July — with temperatures dropping into the 40s at night, sleeping in the small travel trailer that we have on property was, like the weather, wonderful.

A bit wandering our road, revealed, what seemed to be, countless varieties of species in the raspberry and blackberry family (Rubus).  Back my parents, my mother and I pored over Welby Smith’s Trees and Shrubs of Minnesota.  Was that a Rubus allegheniensis, or the R. ablatus.  Bluebead lily (Clintonia borealis), Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), and yellow tansies (Tanacetum vulgare) – which, although invasive, I like them as they remind me of when I traveled Finland years ago.

There were a few mushrooms, here and there.  But nothing in great numbers.

Summer Flowers & Bees

Summer Flowers & Bees

Backyard Bees

Backyard Bees

Araneus cavaticus

Araneus cavaticus

As best as I can tell, we have a number of barn spiders (Araneus cavaticus) around the property here in St. Paul.  We initially noticed them in the chicken yard.  We had a snow rake’s handle hanging over the side entrance of the covered run, and one of the buggers made a web at least five feet high with support webbing running more than eight feet.  The next barn spider showed up to the right of the main gate into the chicken yard; the web was smaller, but you could also easily find the spider, during the day, tucked behind the yellow “Chicken Crossing” sign.  Since then, another one showed up at the front of the house, in front of the attached garage.   Melissa wanted to name this one Charlotte, since the barn spider is the type of spider that Charlotte, of Charlotte’s Web was modeled after.