Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
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Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Lost Forty SNA


The Lost 40 SNA (Scientific & Natural Area)  owes its name to a surveying slip back in 1882. This site includes a narrow peninsula extending from a large upland esker (a glacial landform). The peninsula is flanked by a black spruce and tamarack bog on one side, and a willow and alder marsh on the other.
The area contains 30 acres of white pine-red pine forest and 20 acres of spruce-fir forest. The virgin old-growth white pine-red pine forest is considered to be the most significant old-growth white pine-red pine stand outside of the Boundary Waters Wilderness Canoe Area (BWWCA) and Itasca State Park. Red pine 240-250 years old can be found on the site. Minnesota's state red pine "Big Tree Champion" is found here and is 120 feet tall with a circumference of 115 inches.
On our recent trip into Northern Minnesota we were lucky enough to visit this gem of a virgin forest. Take a look....
 
 
And then there was John Latimer. He was our intrepid phenologist (a person who studies and keeps track of cycles in nature) who with nearly every step on our hike through the woods, identified interesting plants and animals,  while telling  interesting facts about them all. Here is John taking a break from all the questions were all were asking him.
 
He is a staff member of KAXE radio in Grand Rapids, MN. Below is a link to some of the North Woods topics he has written about....
 

24 comments:

  1. There's not much of this habitat left so I know why you value it.

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  2. I remember hiking in the Lost 40 about twenty years ago.

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  3. Awesome photos of the trees.
    Thank you for sharing the photos and the information.

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  4. Wow, I will put this destination on our must visit list.
    Great photos!!
    Carla

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  5. Our kids have worked with John as 5th grade phenologists.
    One year, quite a few years ago, I was at a science expo with our younger kids, then very small, when Mr. Latimer said to me - you have twin boys, don't you?
    Keen observer that he is, he could see their resemblence to me, without them present, from having worked with them during their fifth grade year.
    Very neat that you got to hike and observe with him at the Lost Forty!

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  6. Poor John looks like he's worn out!

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  7. That must have been fascinating to have him along on your adventure. I have always been interested in phenology. Oh, I would have LOVED to have been along!

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  9. Intriguing name... Lost Forty. I'm wondering how that name came about. You do have some interesting places to visit.

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  10. What an interesting place. I've been reading about it because I didn't know what an esker was and was curious about a pine virgin forest. There are a few small patches of virgin forest in SW Michigan where I grew up and I remembered that it ended up as birch because they have the ability to grow under the canopy -- so I wondered how a forest came to end us as pine (there were gaps in the canopy at some point. Perhaps because a young stock boy wanted to show of for his girlfriend and was driving her around out there in a model T without a muffler.)

    Anyway, the bird checklist for the Lost 40 has 87 bird species on it. It must get noisy in there sometimes. Thanks for that visit.

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  11. Wonderful walk in the woods. Thanks for the link to John Latimer's nature photography. It was a treat!

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  12. I spent a summer looking over champion trees. After that i wanted to discover a new one.

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  13. Wonderful looking tree! Sounds like a place I should visit someday:)

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  14. Thanks for sharing another bit of nature.

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  15. I've heard of that tree and enjoyed seeing your photo of it.

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  16. Very interesting. I wish someone would lose a 40 in my backyard.

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  17. What a beautiful place! I have never been there.

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  18. I have never heard of "Lost Forty", but I really do like your Header Photo!! :)

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  19. I'd love to have John as a guide through the woods! There is so much of interest that escapes me.

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  20. Lucky you to have such an expert accompanying you on your trek. I'm sure I miss so much when I take solitary walks.

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  21. What an interesting hike that must have been. Amazing place.

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  22. How grand to walk amongst trees that old.

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  23. Old growth forests are very special. Those majestic trees dwarf the people walking among them. Looks like you plum tuckered John out with your questions!

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