Where my summer went (2)


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!

Marsh sunrise 1320407 BLOG

Rainbow 1320236 CL CT BLOG

Wheat sunrise 1320409 BLOG

June is also lady slipper season, so I make the annual trek to Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden to see my state’s official flower.

Lady slipper 1320133 BLOG

Lady slippers 1320089 BLOG

Lady slippers 1320183 BLOG

The cattails are already taller than I am, even when the elevated walkway gives me an extra six inches.

Butler reeds 1320139 BLOG

Butler path 1320122 BLOG

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.

Forest bath 1310744 DK BLOG

Forest bathing 1310738 BLOG

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).
 Bell diorama 1310978 CL BLOG

But it’s a bit disconcerting to see other things still in storage, like these pheasants in a plastic bin.

Bell museum 1310969 BLOG


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.

Bell squirrel 1320975 CR BLOG

Plus the stunning building, of course! If the architects designed it to reflect its environment, they succeeded in spades.

Bell Museum 1340090 BLOG

Bell museum sunrise 1340068 CL BLOG

Bell sunrise 1320391 BLOG

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.

Pam in Frontenac 1330302 BLOG

But I do manage to spot an elusive damselfly among the leaves, and a hummingbird moth in the neighbor’s garden.

Dragonfly 1330305 BLOG

Hummingbird moth 1330333 BLOG

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.)

Sidewalk art IMG_8771 BLOG

During another stroll, Esteban and I happen upon a juvenile hawk that seems to have an injured eye.

Juvenile hawk 1320705 BLOG

Juvenile hawk 1320709 BLOG

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.

Bird of prey meme BLOG

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.)

Juvenile hawk IMG_9010 BLOG.jpg

During a visit with my friend and neighbor Mary, I note through her stained-glass window that the days are getting shorter already.

Mary stained glass IMG_9241 LIGHTER BLOG

And soon it will be August …

58 Responses to “Where my summer went (2)”

  1. We also have Lady Slipper orchids in June, it is an irregular ritual to visit the site.

    • 2 Heide

      How wonderful, Michael! It’s great to have these seasonal rituals, isn’t it? I find them a beautiful way to maintain a connection with nature.

  2. I loved how you called it “forest bathing” – such purification it brings. I’m borrowing the term now! 🙂 Happy forest bathing!

    • 4 Heide

      I can’t take any credit for the term (because the Japanese invented it, I believe) but I agree with you wholeheartedly that it’s a wonderful idea. I also love your interpretation of it as a means of purification … that is a beautiful way of looking at it. Thank you so much for stopping by!

  3. 5 J P

    Beautiful photos, as always. I was surprised at first that the Bell Museum was not devoted to an amazing collection of bells. Oh well.

    And that stuffed squirrel is just creepy.

    • 6 Heide

      You are so funny, JP — but you make an excellent point. Now you have me thinking of writing a Yelp review decrying the misnomer and lamenting the utter lack of bells. Ha ha!

      And isn’t that poor squirrel a riot? It was in the “see and touch” section of the museum, where kids are invited to play with the specimens, but I couldn’t help wondering whether it would give most kids nightmares.

  4. Love the photos! I don’t think the phone photo of the bird afterwards was bad at all. It was quite good. The forests look amazing!

    • 10 Heide

      Thank you for the kind compliment! I’m (probably too) picky about my photos … but you’re right that the phone photo still gives you an idea of how the bird looked a few weeks later. I was just relieved to see it had survived!

  5. I love the photos, Heide. You had a busy summer and a productive one!

    • 12 Heide

      It was busy indeed (as you know from your front-row seats, ha ha). But in hindsight it’s good to see how much time I did spend outside, enjoying the outdoors. Any summer spent outdoors is a summer well-spent, in my book. 🙂 Thank you so much for stopping by, and for your kind words!

  6. What a photo journey, Heide! Summer passes too quickly for my liking. Love the idea of forest bathing.

    • 14 Heide

      Summer passes WAY too quickly for my liking too, V.J. — and it seems to be speeding up as I get older! (What’s up with that?!!) But isn’t the idea of “forest bathing” lovely? The Japanese came up with the concept a few years ago, and it does seem they’re on to something.

      Well … now that I’m done posting, it’s time to visit YOUR blog and see what you’ve been up to. Hope all is well in your world! And thank you, as always, for stopping by.

  7. So many beautiful shots captured in there! Thank you for a view of Minnesota summer through your eyes and experiences, Heide “) I love the virtual travel. The light is so interesting to me – it really is so wonderfully different in every area of the world and can “feel” that you are somewhere else because of it. Exquisite subtleties. Looking forward to some Minnesota fall pics, if you do!

    • 16 Heide

      You are so right about how the quality of the light differs from place to place — that’s part of the reason I love Minnesota, especially up on the North Shore (where I’ve just spent the weekend). I promise there will be many, many photos of fall color. But first? August and September! Thank you so much for tagging along on the virtual tour … I can’t imagine a lovelier travel companion. 🙂

  8. 21 mandossa

    long may we bath in forests oceans and all that mother nature shares with us! Thank you for sharing your wash cycle 😉

    • 22 Heide

      “Wash cycle.” HA HA! And thank *you* for stopping by and bringing a big smile. 🙂

  9. Somehow, I see myself reflected in that squirrel: hesitant, a little fearful, more given to flight than fight. The moment I saw your photograph I felt empathy with him. Then I found out he was totally stuffed and the connection was complete. But I love your sunsets and I feel inspired to see the Bell Museum for myself. Thank you for the tour.

    • 24 Heide

      OMG … you are HILARIOUS! (“Then I found out he was totally stuffed and the connection was complete.”) Who would have thought that your spirit animal was a stuffed squirrel, eh? I’m going to be laughing about that one for a while, thank you. And thank you too for the kind words! If you ever do find yourself out this way, I will give you a real-life, in-person tour of the Bell Museum. It really is quite beautiful. Thank you again for making my day!

  10. Again these pictures are stunning! While I am sure the sunsets were even better in person, your pictures are frame worthy! And that poor squirrel! :p I find that funny too! I am glad you had such an amazing summer! ❤

    • 26 Heide

      Thank you, thank you, thank you! You sure know how to make a gal’s day with your kind words. But we’re not done with summer just yet! We still have the Renaissance Festival and the State Fair to get through … and *then* comes the fall color. 😉 Thank you so much for stopping by! xx

  11. Beautiful pics.

  12. Nothing says bad day like a big, gross bottle fly parked leisurely atop your head. Where do your raptors overwinter?

    That’s a cool hummingbird moth! They are so loud. I was on a long walk a few years ago, down a remote country road and just daydreaming to myself, when one of these came zooming out of a patch of flowers in the ditch. That just about startled me out of my gosh darn shoes!

    • 30 Heide

      Oh, these flies don’t just park casually on your head — no, siree. Instead they land on any exposed flesh, use their plier-shaped mouths to pinch-bite open a little wound, and then lap up the blood as you scramble through the woods like a deranged person. Having five or six of those in pursuit is the stuff of nightmares.

      As for the raptors: Their wintering habits depend on the species, I’m told. We actually drove past one of the primary migration corridors on our way home from the North Shore on Sunday but didn’t have time to stop. Lots of info here, though: https://www.hawkridge.org/

      And how cool that you’ve spotted a hummingbird moth also! I must confess I didn’t notice the sound, but that’s probably because my friend Pam and I were jabbering away with such excitement at the sight of it. 🙂

      Thank you so much for (virtually) tagging along with us!

  13. Great shots. I love the lady slippers. We didn’t see any this summer. It looks like the Bell has been moved off campus?? I remember the old one. But OMG, that squirrel. I agree with others. Nightmare worthy. 🙂

    • 32 Heide

      What a shame you didn’t see any lady slippers, Marie … though you certainly saw everything else in Minnesota! 🙂 Yes, the Bell Museum has moved — to the St. Paul campus. I do miss the musty old building for the memories it always evoked, but must admit the new site is stunning. Much easier to park there, too!

      Sorry about that squirrel, btw. Hopefully the nightmares won’t persist after the first night or two. 😀

  14. Oh my! I’m sure being there was even more spectacular, but you’ve got some fantastic sunset photos. As for the squirrel (my favorite of your museum series) 😂…is this part of a natural history exhibit?

    • 35 Heide

      Thank you for your kind words! Though I always give Mother Nature 100% credit for spectacular sunsets. And yes indeed, the squirrel is part of the “touch and see” exhibit for kids. The entire Bell Museum is devoted to natural history, in fact, so there are about 1,000 more stuffed animals to see … but none quite so grotesquely charming as the squirrel. 🙂 Thank you so much for stopping by!

      • Haha, grotesquely charming is exactly right! I once saw a video on how to taxidermy squirrels which was both fascinating and unsettling (ah, science).

        • 37 Heide

          Isn’t it funny how much of science is fascinating — but also deeply unsettling? Thinking too much about how quickly viruses propagate, or the fragility of our heart valves can make for many a sleepless night. Fortunately the process of preserving and stuffing a squirrel is not among my repertoire of nightmares, lol.

  15. You captured the light really well. Thanks for sharing, and letting us tag along. And I love the lady slipper photos!

    • 39 Heide

      Thank you so much, Patti! You have such a keen eye yourself, so I’m always pleased when you like my photos.

  16. A lovely review of your Summer, with understatement and humour. Yes, I wouldn’t be going anywhere near the raptor. It looks like it is feeding quite nicely, thank you.

    • 41 Heide

      Yes indeed … my husband eased my worries about the raptor somewhat by pointing out that there were three rabbits within walking distance, ha ha. It was still a huge relief to see it a few weeks later, though.

      Thank you so much for stopping by, and especially for your kind comment, Mr. Draco!

  17. Hey nice blog, wanna come over mine

  18. Lovely photos! I especially like the ones of the flowers.

  19. Aaaah just brilliant Heide! Your photos are just beautiful. Mist of my summer has been spent indoors (boo!)

    • 46 Heide

      Boooooo indeed to spending your summer indoors! But I hope it was spent profitably, at least …

  20. Reblogged this on AZAM KHAN.

  21. I am here in Arizona missing my home state of Minnesota! Where did it snow in Minnesota yesterday?

    • 49 Heide

      It snowed in northern Minnesota last Friday, April — on October 5! I was near Lake Superior at a friend’s cabin and we got three inches. I’ll publish some photos on Sunday in case you need a snow fix. 🙂 Cheers to you, Minnesota sister!

  22. Nice photo

  23. Ha, what a GREAT wonderful glorious and surprising post. You packed in everything you could, although the stuffed squirrel scared the living daylights out of me 😉
    It’s ‘funny’ (not ha ha funny, just funny!) to start with the first snow pics and then go back in time and season to your summer. Love that Bell Museum but did expect something with Bells….. 🙂 Then, of course, when I lived in Troooono (Toronto), I had a landlady who worked for BELL at the time and no bells were involved either.
    So much to enjoy, forest baths (yeah, heard and read about that before too), sundowns, weather playing games, and so much more. Thank you for sharing and courage for the time to come!

    • 56 Heide

      Thank YOU so much for stopping by, Kiki — it’s really wonderful to hear from you again (as I really love reading your reactions and memories). I am dreadfully sorry about that squirrel, though; it seems to have upset a lot of readers. Perhaps the Bell Museum should reconsider having it in the children’s section … and exchange it for an actual bell, perhaps? Ha ha. Funny too that your landlady in Trooooono worked for the *other* Bell company. Sounds like you have some fond memories of your time there. Just as I do of my summer! So delighted that you came along (at least virtually).

      • i was kidding about the squirrel – grew to hate them in both Canada and England. They were so bold …. they (the grey ones) can all get stuffed, as far as I’m concerned. And yes, the word stuffed is used in its full range of definitions 😉

        • 58 Heide

          Ha! I love your multi-meaning squirrel pun, Kiki. And I’m glad to know you were joking too, because I really was worried I’d traumatized a couple of people there. I’m quite fond of squirrels myself, but I’ve never had one get in the house or chew the wires. Then I might be joining you in telling them all to get stuffed! 🙂

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