We live on the edge of "Bluff Country," that unglaciated corner of southeastern Minnesota, which borders the mighty Mississippi. A limestone region carved into hills and valley's by small but beautiful trout streams. Just a few miles to the west, the land levels out into flat farmland and ultimately ranches, stretching a thousand miles to the Rocky Mountains. Once, going back a little more than one hundred and fifty years ago, it was a vast prairie grassland. There native Americans made their living surrounded by millions of buffalo. It was, according to its first explorers, Lewis and Clark, a veritable paradise.
I take the very short drive to Lake Louise State Park. On my bike, camera in hand, I headed west on the Shooting Star Trail. Emerging from the woods, in my minds eye, I could imagine antelope, vast herds of bison and a sea of Big Bluestem grass. Actually, here the trail corridor was mostly only a hundred yards wide. It was on an abandoned railroad right of way. Now surrounded by soybean, cornfields and pastures, I took the narrow view, focusing on the mid-summer wildflowers along the trail. Come on along and take a look.
The Prairie or Wood Lily, is extremely rare in Minnesota. I was lucky to spot several.
Purple Prairie Clover
Rough Blazing Star
It was a twenty mile round trip bike ride with lots of stops for photography and one stop to stretch out and have a "prairie smoke" break. And what a rare and beautiful find they were.....:)