Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bottle Gentians at the Visitor Center

You might see a small bumblebee pry open the top of a bottle gentian flower and dip in to collect pollen. The bee will stay inside the flower for a minute and then back out and fly to another. Bumble bees are the primary pollinator of bottle gentians.

Stop by the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center native plant gardens and see this beautiful late summer wildflower.

My grandfather, an early conservationist in Iowa had this poem read at his memorial service:

William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878)

To the Fringed Gentian.

THOU blossom bright with autumn dew,
And coloured with the heaven's own blue,
That openest when the quiet light
Succeeds the keen and frosty night.

Thou comest not when violets lean
O'er wandering brooks and springs unseen,
Or columbines, in purple dressed,
Nod o'er the ground-bird's hidden nest.

Thou waitest late and com'st alone,
When woods are bare and birds are flown,
And frosts and shortening days portend
The aged year is near his end.

Then doth thy sweet and quiet eye
Look through its fringes to the sky,
Blue—blue—as if that sky let fall
A flower from its cerulean wall.

I would that thus, when I shall see
The hour of death draw near to me,
Hope, blossoming within my heart,
May look to heaven as I depart.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Slow the Flow workshop September 9 and 10

Forests, Water Quality and Land Management in the Lake Superior Basin. A free one-day workshop for forestry, wildlife, fisheries, and land managers.

September 9, 8:30am-4:00pm Superior (at the DOT/DNR building 1701 N 4th St) or
September 10, 8:30am-4:00pm Ashland (at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center)

Dr. Sandy Verry--Understanding the Effects of Young Forests and Open Lands on Watersheds
Tony Kroska--Using Land Cover Maps for the Lake Superior Basin
Ruth Oppedahl--Private Woodland Owners Attitudes on Forest Management
Carmen Wagner--Forestry and Watershed Management Considerations
Colleen Matula--Aspen Conversion Options

Registration is required by August 31. Download the schedule and registration form here. Lunch and refreshments are included. Space is limited, so sign up early!