It’s officially fall in Minnesota — as I will show you soon. But first, here are a few more memories from my unintentional summer vacation.
June brings us the summer solstice — which in Minnesota means days that stretch from before 5 a.m. to well after 9 p.m. Although my photos don’t do it justice, the light is spectacular!
June is also lady slipper season, so I make the annual trek to Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden to see my state’s official flower.
The cattails are already taller than I am, even when the elevated walkway gives me an extra six inches.
I continue my habit of forest-bathing, too — until a cloud of horseflies turns my strolls into involuntary interval workouts, with much sprinting and shouting and waving of the arms.
June also heralds another beginning: a sneak preview of the new Bell Museum. I am thrilled to see the restored dioramas by Minnesota painter Francis Lee Jaques (and grateful to my friend Tom for teaching me about Jaques).
But it’s a bit disconcerting to see other things still in storage, like these pheasants in a plastic bin.
With much (well-deserved) fanfare, the Bell Museum opens to the public on July 14. I don’t know what it says that my favorite part of the big celebration is a poorly taxidermized squirrel.
Plus the stunning building, of course! If the architects designed it to reflect its environment, they succeeded in spades.
July also takes me back to Frontenac for another visit with my friend Pam. It’s blistering-hot again, so we stick mostly to the woods.
But I do manage to spot an elusive damselfly among the leaves, and a hummingbird moth in the neighbor’s garden.
During one of our strolls Esteban and I stop to admire our neighbor’s kids’ sidewalk art. (Note the sea turtles and starfishes. These are not native to Minnesota.)
During another stroll, Esteban and I happen upon a juvenile hawk that seems to have an injured eye.
We consider taking it to the Raptor Center for evaluation, but realize it’s already quite sharp and pointy — and that one does not simply pick up a bird of prey.
When we come back the next morning it is gone. I fear the worst … until I see it high up on its perch a few weeks later. It sees me, too. (Sorry for the crappy phone photo.)
During a visit with my friend and neighbor Mary, I note through her stained-glass window that the days are getting shorter already.
And soon it will be August …