Hiking the woods, meadows and bogs

The summer flew by so quickly, and the fall seems to be doing likewise. I know time flies faster as we age – I’ve experienced it. I realize that is not consistent with scientific fact, but several friends agree with me! Others might call it ‘fake news.’  😉

Yesterday was a beautiful, sunny day, and I just had to get out of town and take a walk in the woods. However, my time was limited. I decided to head out to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum -for a few hours of mid-day hiking, thus avoiding morning and evening rush-hour traffic. The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is part of the University of Minnesota, and it was named the #1 Botanical Garden experience, by a USA Today  Readers’ Choice Poll earlier this year -beating out the New York Botanical Garden and the Chicago Botanic Garden. It boasts over 5,000 plant varieties.

The Arboretum is about 30 miles west of Minneapolis, in Chaska, MN, and it encompasses just over 1200 acres. There are exceptional gardens, many of which change with the seasons, and a new addition this year is the Chinese Garden. But I didn’t go to see the gardens. I went out to simply hike several trails around the outer-reaches of the property -visiting deciduous trees sporting their bright, fall colors; grassy prairie-meadows with seed pods bursting; and several boggy wetlands, ripe with mature cattails and other wetland reeds -and, yes, red-wing blackbirds, as you might expect. I may stop out again in a week or so just to check the gardens with my wife, before they disappear and get covered over for the winter.

Without question, most visitors to the Arboretum come to see the beautiful flower gardens, with relatively few finding their way to the more distant outer-trails and meadows.  The photos below will provide a sampling of what I found on my Fall visit.

 

Hiking near Meadowlark Trail

Hiking near Meadowlark Trail, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, 10-’17.

 

Hiking near Meadowlark Trail, MN Landscape Arboretum, 10-’17

 

Hiking near Meadowlark Trail, MN Landscape Arboretum, 10-’17

 

Albino squirrel, MN Landscape Arboretum, 10-’17

 

This little fella was easy to spot on the tree trunk, but hard to follow through the brush. He/she was a welcome surprise, but a good 50 yds distant. I snapped about a dozen shots and these two were the best. I use a small pocket camera – a Nikon Coolpix S7000. I like traveling light on any trail, but such a camera does pose problems on occasion.

 

Albino squirrel on forest floor, MN Landscape Arboretum, 10-’17

 

Fall colors, MN Landscape Arboretum, 10-’17

 

Fall colors (2), MN Landscape Arboretum, 10-’17

 

Grassy meadow, MN Landscape Arboretum, 10-’17

 

Oak in the meadow lands, MN Landscape Arboretum, 10-’17

 

Fall colors among meadow grasslands, MN Landscape Arboretum, 10-’17

 

Colorful grasslands, MN Landscape Arboretum, 10-’17

 

Grassland meadow, MN Landscape Arboretum, 10-’17

 

Green Herron Pond surrounded by wetland bog, MN Landscape Arboretum, 10-’17

 

Cattails in bog, MN Landscape Arboretum, 10-’17

 

Wetland bog, MN Landscape Arboretum, 10-’17

 

Wetlands bog, MN Landscape Arboretum, 10-’17

 

Wetland bog, MN Landscape Arboretum, 10-’17

 

Cattails in bog, MN Landscape Arboretum, 10-’17

 

Wetland bog around Green Herron Pond, MN Landscape Arboretum, 10-’17

 

Ridge Trail SW of Green Herron Pond, MN Landscape Arboretum, 10-’17

 

Fall colors along Ridge Trail (1), MN Landscape Arboretum, 10-’17

 

More Fall colors along Ridge Trail (2), MN Landscape Arboretum, 10-’17

 

Spring Peeper Trail, MN Landscape Arboretum, 10-’17

 

More meadow lands, MN Landscape Arboretum, 10-’17

 

Birch and Poplar trees, MN Landscape Arboretum, 10-’17

 

Yes, the Arboretum is a great resource, and it is not far from home. I’ll likely get back again in a few months and do some snow-shoeing, and take some winter photos. Watch for them here in December, January or February -maybe a couple of snow-shoeing posts from a variety of locations. Maybe even some cold-weather radio!

Now I must get back to some radio work… my attic install of the Alpha Delta DX-EE dipole antenna, and the slow but sure prepping for my FCC General Radio License exam.

73 de Mike, KEØGZT

~~~~~~~

 

About Mike Hohmann

I did lots of camping/hiking as a kid in the Scouts, and I still strive to ‘be prepared.’ After high school, I got bored with more school and enlisted in the Army Corps. of Engineers, doing two tours in Vietnam.

Post military, I completed BS and MBA degrees and spent several decades with Corporate America, working mostly in the areas of conventional and renewable energy. I also spent over a decade as a self-employed small business consultant in marketing and finance.

As a young family man with a wife and two kids, we spent many vacations camping and hiking in northern Minnesota. I spent additional long weekends fishing the rivers and camping/hiking along the North Shore of Lake Superior.

I retired early and hit the trails hard– in the lower-48, Alaska, and western Canada. These days I backpack, car-camp and day-hike, go snowshoeing, and try to get the grand-kids out to teach them the ways of the trail.

Other interests include American Revolutionary War and Civil War history, 19th and 20th century firearms, Native American history; business and macroeconomics.

I’m a recently-licensed amateur (Ham) radio operator, and I look forward to many radio-related adventures in coming months. Life is good!

Member, Superior Hiking Trail Association;
Member, Appalachian Mountain Club;
Member, REI;
Member, ARRL- Amateur Radio Relay League, the National Assoc. for Amateur Radio;
Twin Cities Metro Skywarn Spotter;
Twin City FM Club;
Richfield Amateur Radio Club;
QRP ARCI, Low-Power Amateur Radio Club International;
Honorary Member, Toronto QRP Society;
Life Member, National Rifle Association

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6 Responses to Hiking the woods, meadows and bogs

  1. Jack McPherson says:

    Thanks Mike – great pics!

  2. ve3ips says:

    looks like a nice time in the forest. Try the hamtest app on your phone to prep. I heard it works great

    • Mike Hohmann says:

      Thanks, John. I’ll check it out. Regarding the antenna, space is tight in the attic, just doing temp. install over the winter to verify how the it works before drilling lots of holes, etc. Keeping my fingers crossed and the antenna grounded! 😉

  3. What a beautiful fall hike. I love this time of the year for hiking, but I fear our sunny days here in Vancouver are numbered. The albino squirrel is really cool; I have never seen one before. That time flies faster as we age is not “fake news”!!!

    • Mike Hohmann says:

      I’ve run across albino squirrels a few times over the years, probably because I’ve been around awhile… simple as that! We are due for some very nice above avg. temps for the next week, so I plan to get some outdoor work done. But I do enjoy the fall and the cooler weather. And I look forward to snow-shoeing this winter. Thanks for stopping by, Caroline.

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