Superior Views, October 2021

Ruffed grouse scare me as they fly up as I walk into my yard.   A flock of juncos fly into our yard, robins are devouring the Mt. Ash berries, yellow-rumped warblers are diving to eat flies off our house. The nuthatch and blue jays are emptying the feeder, the goldfinch are munching on something in a dead white pine, and woodpeckers are busy making their marks on trees. Yes, it is October on the big lake and we are all getting ready for the winter months ahead. All the energy and activity makes us happy.

For many days thick Fog hung thick over the lake signaling the drought has subsided and rain is again common. After many dark days the sun is welcome

It has been an unusual Superior Views summer with a sun that seemed more intense than usual, and winds off the lake that were calmer than most summers. Sadly, wild fires from Canada and Northern Minnesota polluted the air quality for weeks at a time.

The warmer than normal summer changed the pattern of the plants and trees. The leaves turned earlier than normal and the flowers bloomed weeks earlier than usual. Actually, I think the native plants and flowers enjoyed the warm temperatures and milder winds, but the trees suffered with the heat and drought.

Lake Superior is not for sale! A local resident is trying to sell ground water for profit.

Fall Gardening is for the Birds

Dried up cone flowers are a gift to the birds but not to the human eye. I took this picture in July
Dried up cone flowers are a gift to the birds. I took this picture in July

As I write this the goldfinch are eating seeds from dried up purple cone flowers, and hummingbirds are still flitting around for nectar.  Below is an excellent article on fall gardening by writer Val Cunningham.  My suggestions follow.

“As they fly around your neighborhood, birds won’t be attracted by gardens with flower stalks cut neatly to the ground and plant debris raked up and removed.” V Cunningham .

My additional suggestions for fall gardening are:
*Pull out all the invasive and bad plants
*Plan for next year. What worked and what didn’t work? How can you add more native

Hummingbirds and bees love this red menardia nardia
Hummingbirds and bees love this red

plants ?  (My favorites are milkweed, Liatris, cone flowers, bee balm  hyssop, wild geranium and asters)
*Plan where you can add a rain garden next year to capture the rain from your house, driveway or yard.

011Birds love driveways with seeds and leaves, but please keep our waterways clean by sweeping sidewalks, driveways and street from leaves and debris.


Happy Pollinator Week

pollinators“While insects and other animal pollinators may come in small sizes, they play a large partnership role in the production of the food we eat, in the future of our wildlife, and in the health of nearly all flowering plants. A garden without bees, butterflies, beetles, birds and even bats, is a garden devoid of the life-giving relationships that sustain plant reproduction.”

Good suggestions below, and please don’t use chemicals:

 Plant a Pollinator Garden. 

An excellent book by Heather Holm
An excellent book by

Views of a Warming World

999922_619252368141411_1083645899_n (1)Below are two excellent articles from Audubon

I too am worried about the future of our birds, butterflies bees, and all of us!  I have noticed a big decline in the hummingbirds and butterflies in the last 4 years.


July, 2014, Superior Views

“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” E. B. White


Superior Views, early July 2014

Finally, beautiful weather! Unfortunately, after rainy June, the gnats and mosquitoes take

White Admiral Butterfly on the shore of Lake Superior
White Admiral Butterfly on the shore of Lake Superior

fun away from the enjoyment of the magnificent sunny calm days!

Redstart warblers sing and love all the mosquitoes!  Also, song sparrows, Northern parula,  and red-eyed vireo sing in constantly until a fox walks down the driveway. Hummingbirds, finch and pine siskin frequent our feeders. Other birds that nest in our neighborhood are: Chestnut sided warbler, common yellow throat, white-throated sparrow, winter wren, and oven birds. They sing a symphony of joy soon to end with July nesting season.

The best plant for pollinators in early July is the wild geranium.

The hummingbirds and bees love wild geraniums
The hummingbirds and bees love wild geraniums

The birds can be heard, but seeing them is difficult. However, the swallow-tail butterflies, a few monarchs, viceroys, painted ladies, white admirals and northern crescent add to the beauty of each day. Eggs from the painted lady butterfly sit on the pearly everlasting plants, and we watch for caterpillars.

July sunset
July sunset