Nature Notes

By Jim Gilbert Unfortunately for quite a few farmers in Carver County, due to the late spring and then heavy rains, many cornfields were never planted this year. The corn that is in and developing has begun showing tassels, the male structures located up on top. In Minnesota, corn an annual is usually planted in [...]

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By Jim Gilbert During the last couple of years we have noticed a big decline in the numbers of monarch butterflies, the official Minnesota state butterfly since 2000. There are several reasons for this but one is the decrease in numbers of milkweed plants that are the feeding and growing places for their caterpillars. Since [...]

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By Jim Gilbert Fireflies in Carver County have been on the wing since June 10 this year. The common names firefly and lightningbug are used for insects that communicate with pulsating “taillights” – segments at the ends of their abdomens with which these small animals are able to produce light by a chemical reaction controlled [...]

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By Jim Gilbert A common year-round resident throughout Minnesota, the black-capped chickadee is the familiar gray bird with a black cap and throat patch, and a white chest. They can be backyard birds easily attracted to seed feeders, and are usually the first bird to find a new feeder. This bird calls its own name: [...]

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Jim Gilbert Nature Notes It’s time for the common purple lilacs to begin blooming, and for mushroom hunters to be gathering morels, our official state mushroom since 1984. Morels are sometimes called sponge mushrooms because each resembles a piece of sponge growing on a short stalk. In form they are different from most mushrooms. Somewhat [...]

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By Jim Gilbert Narcissus is the scientific name for the well-known spring blooming plants called daffodils and jonquils. All three names are used indiscriminately for the perennial plant that comes up each year from a bulb and has a star of petals surrounding a trumpet-like structure. Daffodil is the name most often used in Minnesota. [...]

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