Apr 16, 2011

Flora and Fauna, Part 1

Now for something (almost) completely unrelated to genealogy. I've visited all 50 states (lived in 8), and 21 different countries. Although I love to travel, my favorite place is still Minnesota. We might not have any mountains, but there are plenty of lakes and forests. It's easy to understand why my ancestors settled here. Some of the areas they came from in Europe resemble the geography here, in Sweden, Germany, and what's now northeast Poland.

My paternal grandfather was a consummate outdoorsman. He fished, hunted, and trapped into his eighties. On the other side of the family, my grandparents had the traditional Minnesota version of the American dream–a house in the city, and a cabin up north. I spent a lot of time up at the cabin in my childhood: swimming, canoeing, fishing... That dream's out of reach for most Minnesotans today, because lakeshore property is far too expensive. But spending time outdoors in northern Minnesota is still a favorite pastime.

Even within the Twin Cities, there are many places where you can't tell you're in the middle of an urban area with almost three million people. We have more lakes, more parks, and more bike trails than any other metropolitan area in the world. And I wouldn't trade it for anything. Here are a few photos I've taken of the wildlife in Minnesota.

A common loon on Cross Lake, MN. (The Minnesota State Bird)

More after the break...

 A whitetail deer in Ft Snelling State Park. (He still has velvet on his antlers.)

A dragonfly on the Mississippi River in Ft Snelling State Park.

A bull moose near Ely, MN. (Notice the snowmobile crossing sign :)

An osprey near Garrison, MN.

A cottontail rabbit in Como Park, St Paul, MN.

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