Journal for October 1, 2010

It’s not raining at the moment – amazingly enough!  We’ve had incredible amounts of rain all summer.  We got 6 1/2 inches in two days last week.  Fortunately, it didn’t come down as fast as it did a few weeks ago.  It washed out some of our driveway, but we can still drive out. 

The mushrooms are loving it.  Here are a few of the ones I’ve seen in the last week – I don’t know the names of most of them.

This one is a Sulphur Shelf Fungus – id confirmed by Pete Hautman

I like this combination of tiny shelf fungi with blue-green lichens.

I’ve been seeing a lot of these orange mushrooms on dead aspens.

These big white mushrooms grow out from the trunks of live trees.

Beautiful pale lemon-colored mushrooms

This is another Lycoperdon pulcherrimum – much larger than the others I’ve seen – about 3 inches across.

Carlos and Susana came to visit on the only day without rain in the last few weeks.  Carlos rode his bike down – 102 miles from Eagan.  The last hill – over the ridge from the Buffalo River valley – was the hardest one.

It rained a little that day, but the next day, while we were touring the farm, it was beautifully sunny and warm.  I have a few photos from their visit, but Mike did a much more extensive story with lots of pictures: HERE.

Carlos & Susana on the Big View bench

And in the boat.

We had a great time.

I’m still seeing butterflies on sunny days.

Still a few Monarchs

One late Monarch caterpillar

Lots of Milbert’s Tortoiseshells – more than I’ve seen for several years.  They’ll spend the winter as adults, then mate and lay eggs in the spring.

Little Yellow

Giant Swallowtail

Common Buckeye

Common Checkered Skipper – these aren’t really common.  I usually see a few at the end of the year – they fly up from farther south.  This is the first one I’ve seen this year.

We had a visit from Scott Perez, from the Lost Ladybug Project.  The LLP is at Cornell University – they’re trying to find more about native ladybugs.  Most of the ladybugs we see now are exotics – the Multicolored Asian Ladybug and the Seven-spotted Ladybug are the most common around here.  But there are many native species which seem to be becoming rarer, and the LLP is trying to find them and figure out if their populations can be preserved. We’ve found two Nine-spot Ladybeetles here at the farm – one of the rare native species.  Now that I’m looking harder, I’m hoping to find more.

Scott and I took two long walks looking for ladybugs.


There weren’t many ladybugs, but we found a few.  These are non-native Seven-spotted Ladybugs on a dried up Field Thistle.

I found a stash of acorn caps under one of our oaks on Hidden Oaks Point.  It looks like something was eating a lot of acorns.

There are still flowers blooming, and the prairies are beautiful.

Showy Goldenrod in Western Prairie

Zig-zag Goldenrod

Yellow Coneflower

Sumac leaves

Gray Goldenrod

Path to Indian Grass Prairie

Butterfly Weed with ants – every Butterfly Weed flower I found was covered with ants.

Brown-eyed Susan

Sky-blue Aster

Smooth Blue Aster

Purple Giant Hyssop

There are still a few moths – but the nights and days are getting colder.  They won’t be around for long.

This is a stem borer moth – I’m not sure which species.

Wavy-lined Emerald

Bent-line Carpet

I saw another skunk – but by the time I got my camera out, it realized I was there and was starting to run.

I think there’s been a bear around – we found one of our birdhouses bend down to the ground.

The sky over Hidden Oaks Point.