The Outside World, In and Around Duluth

Spring Ephemerals

Maya and I took a walk through Lester Park yesterday morning, scouting for spring ephemerals or any other picture-worthy scene. It was such a beautiful day, I hardly wanted to come back inside.

There were lots of wood anemone and marsh marigold out (and dandelions, of course), but not much else. I didn’t think to bring my wildflower key along with me, so (I guess) I’m glad I didn’t see anything new. Of course, I could have taken a picture, identified it after the fact, and then looked smart. That won’t be happening, either.

I also spent some time playing with long exposure pictures on the camera, but apparently, I still have much to learn, because even with a dark filter, I was still blowing out the exposure. I tried snapping several long exposures of the falls at ‘the shallows,’ but I was dissatisfied with them all. And with other shots, too – the color I see isn’t the color that that comes out on the memory card. I’ll figure it out eventually.

The rivers are back up, with the rain we got over the past week. I was surprised that there were no boaters out. On the other hand, school is over, and most of the college-aged kids were probably moving over the weekend.

Following the trail between the Lester River and Lester River Road, there were lots of wood anemone. I took a picture of this one, that had some dirt specks on it from the recent rains:

Dirty Wood Anemone

Dirty Wood Anemone

I thought the dirt was a purplish tinge, but I kind of like it better, just being dirty.

Moving along, there is a culvert that comes out on the uphill side of the Lester Park Golf Course parking lot. It pours into the Lester River, and where it does, there is this nice patch of marsh marigold:

Marsh Marigold

Marsh Marigold

I took a close up, and I think the yellow is almost too bright – the detail in the petals gets lost:

Marsh Marigold Closeup

Marsh Marigold Close Op

I was the co-leader for the wild edibles presentation a few weeks ago, and I remember talking about marsh marigold being edible, but off the top of my head I don’t remember which part you eat, or how you prepare it. Fortunately, my dad loaned me a wild edibles book, so can review that again so I know what I’m talking about.

As I got up to the overlook on the regular ski trail (just before the ‘C’ cutoff), I heard, and eventually saw, a hairy woodpecker. I was also hearing another bird, but I couldn’t place its call. It would have been nice to see it, but as the leaves are coming out, the birds are getting harder to see.

I also found a single downy yellow violet, but as I was crouched down to take its picture, Maya came up and walked right on it. She’s so friendly.

After this, I swung by my old plot study location, and it is finally blooming – lots of wood anemone on my old site, and marsh marigold just outside the site. I’m glad to see that there are flowers there.

I ended up taking about 50 pictures and deleting about 40 of them. Will the ratio always be that extreme, or will I end up taking fewer, but better, pictures eventually? I guess we’ll see.


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