Monday, June 30, 2008

Meeting a Sweet Blogger Friend

Last Thursday I got to meet a blogger from Erie Pennsylvania. Through reading each other's blogs over the last year or so, Linda from Erie's Argonaut found we had a few things in common. he grew up for the first years of her life in Minnesota and both of our fathers were involved in the Civilian Conservation Corps in Minnesota in the early 1930s. Several weeks ago she emailed and told me that she and her husband Matt were coming to Minneapolis for a work convention. They would be staying in Minneapolis for a few days, then would drive up to Duluth and then onward to northern Michigan as they vacationed on their way home. I was thrilled and quite flattered when she said that they would like to see Hasty Brook while they were in northern Minnesota! We worked out the details and happily Linda had some free time while here in town to do some quick local birding. I've always enjoyed Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden so I picked Linda up and that's where we headed.

My sense of direction notoriously poor, we wound up in a not-so-very-nice part of Minneapolis. Eventually we made it to the Garden. Armed with 30% DEET bug spray and loaded with cameras and binoculars we headed in.

The day was warm and a bit humid. The garden trails led us down along a very wooded and shady path where there was not a breeze to be had.

One of the first birds we heard was this Common Yellowthroat. We stopped for a quick picture and were immediately swallowed in a cloud of mosquitoes. Didn't they read the memo about the effectiveness of 30% DEET? I'm not kidding- the mosquitoes were in my mouth and up my nose. Poor Linda! Well, we moved along the path and caught a quick look at an Indigo Bunting. No pictures of the Bunting, just mad slapping instead.

We did make one more quick photo stop in the bog area for a patch of gorgeous Pink Lady's Slippers. Linda remembered that this is the Minnesota State Flower. I suggested we hustle along the path and head for higher ground. Maybe the air wouldn't be quite so still and the mosquitoes so thick. Linda did not object!

Birds were few but the wildflowers were thick. Any ideas on this one?

Some kind of pea? The foliage was very pretty and about waist high.

Don't know what these are either but the white ones were VERY fragrant.

A variety of (Princess) buttercup?

I liked this short round fern but couldn't identify it in my fern field guide.

A yellow flag iris- finally something I know!

I'm pretty sure this is a Silvery Checkerspot. I didn't pay attention to the undersides of the wings. That would have helped. I took this photo at an odd angle and if I look at it too long it makes me feel tippy.

I'm always so impressed at people's knowledge of dragonflies. I don't have it. I am pretty sure this is a type of damselfly. When I was little we called these sewing needles. One of my brothers told me they would sew your lips shut if you talked too much. That didn't stop me!

Linda and I didn't spend too much more time on the upper trail before we decided to call it quits. So we jumped in the car, said good-bye to the mosquitoes and headed to Starbucks for coffee and a sweet. For me this was the best part of the day. Linda and I spent over two hours talking about our families, our lives and what we believed in. I was comfortable talking to Linda- it was like talking to an old friend. This blogging thing is really quite special. We all make choices of what and how much to reveal about ourselves through our writing. I think it is possible to get a pretty good sense of the person behind the blog. Linda is a gentle woman, kind and generous. I am so happy to call her my friend.

Stop in and visit Linda at Erie's Argonaut next week and read about her vacation.

But wait- there's more...


Mel said...

Hi Lynne!
It's so great that you get to meet other bloggers! I hope we could meet some day too!
Too bad about the mosquitoes, I bet you had fun anyway ;)

Jayne said...

How great that you and Linda got to meet up! It is always so neat to get to meet someone face to face.

Eve said...

Hi Lynne! How exciting about your visit!! What a thrilling time…well, except for the mosquitoes!! You will cherish that day for a long time!! I might be able to help with a couple flowers you have here. The blue one that you thought might be a type of pea looks like False Indigo Baptisia australis and the yellow looks like an Evening Primrose Oenothera fremontii . I have a wild primrose in one of my gardens every year and I bought some Baptisia for my gardens this and last year!
I enjoyed your visit as well! Thanks!!!

NCmountainwoman said...

Wow Lynne, what a great post! It must be great to meet a fellow blogger whom you admire.

Lovely pictures, although I'm itching already, just thinking of those mosquitoes.

Mary C said...

Thanks for taking us along virtually. At least we didn't have to get bitten by mosquitos. ;o) It really is something special to meet another blogger in person and get to know them better. It's great the two of you had that chance.

Bird Girl said...

How fun is that? To meet a blogger buddy and go on a photo adventure (mosquitoes and all (sp?)
You got some beautiful wildflowers (love that pink lady's slipper) and saw some great birds! Good for you guys and thanks for the fun post!

NatureWoman said...

How very cool Lynne!!!

Deb said...

I'm so glad you got to meet up with Linda! And thanks for the phone message on your way to Hasty, I didn't happen to have the phone on me or I would have been glad to talk with you!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Lynne,
What a fun day you must have had (except for the mosquitoes-UGH!). I love that smiling picture of you and Linda together!
I've never seen a Pink Lady Slipper in real life--that was a great picture.
Your little blue damsel fly is one of the bluets--maybe Marsh? (they're hard to ID-my field guide says you have to look at the eye spots!)
I think you're right on with the Silvery Checkerspot ID on your butterfly--that little white spot in the center of each bottom wing confirms it!

Susan Gets Native said...

Is the mosquito the State Bird of Minnesota?

Blogging is a cool thing, huh? We all carry around pieces of each other's lives,and to actually meet a fellow Blogger FTF is a treasure. I'm glad you got to have a nice visit with Linda.

When will it be our turn? Cause you know I plan on knocking you down when I hug you.

: )

Marsha said...

How fun for you to meet a blogging friend! Those pesky mosquitoes sure are bad this year.

KGMom said...

How interesting to meet up with a fellow blogger. Not something I have done yet, though I have no objection to so doing.
Oh mosquitos--pesky nasty critters. Glad you had a camera to capture the lovely flowers, though.

mon@rch said...

Hey, great to see you two having the opportunity to meet! Linda and I have had the chance to meet on a few occasions! She's a sweatheart!!

Trixie said...

What a great opportunity. I am so very glad you brought us all along. The flowers were beautiful, too.

Also, coral is a good color for you.

Kathiesbirds said...

Lynne, how hapy I am that you met such a nice blogger buddy! I am heading back east for 2 weeks and I hope to meet Beth of Beth's Stories. Your photos are all lovely, especially the Lady's Slipper. Troy of "Ramblings Around Texas" has a post about your damselfly. It is called a Familiar Bluet. You can see his photo and find the latin name here:

BTW, I heard that same tale about them being able to sew your mouth shut. It use to terrify me! I guess you were smarter than I was!

Mary said...


It's amazing how we know each other so well through our writing and sharing. Sometimes I feel I know you and many other bloggers better than I know my co-workers.

Glad you met Linda and had a fun time! Sounds like you handled the mosquitoes better than I would...

Can' help with flower IDs but I've been under the impression that damsels have two wings - dragons have four. LOL!


Linda in Erie said...

Hi, Lynne!!! I just got home. What a vacation! I had such a great time visiting with you. We didn't have internet service or cell phone service after leaving Duluth until we were leaving the Porcupine mountains and then it was just a few minutes so I couldn't blog. I'll catch my breath and then start blogging about what a great time I had! Eriesargonaut

Linda in Erie said...

I forgot to add, I'm really laughing at that first photo of me with all that equipment for 15 minutes of birding, ha.

Anonymous said...

Looking at my field guide, I believe that damselfly is a bluet, but beyond that, I cannot be too specific.

Laurie said...

Loved this post, Lynn. I am meeting (for the second time) one of my blogger friends today. She is wonderful and so much fun.


Jenny said...

Hi Lynn
This is my first comment on your lovely blog. I found it through Eve's Sunny side up. I have to echo everyone else's comment on how fabulous this blogging milarky is. I've only just started on it really and am enjoying it immensely.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lynne

I have accessed your blog via my sister's - Wren's Nature Notebook - she also commented on you blog. Just aq couple of quick thoughts on the two flowers - the white and yellow flowers. If you were in England I would say that the white flower was a member of the Bedstraw Family, something like our [Sweet] Woodruff and the yellow was from the Spurge Family.

Not sure if this helps you too much but it was great to look at your blog. I am in the process of setting one up to show the wildlife where I lve in England. Watch this space!


Anonymous said...

Great photos, Lynne. I just saw the yellow flag on a blog from Montana. Strange, I didn't even know there was one until today.

Atleast you don't have blackflies to go with your mosquitos!

I am looking forward to reading more about your new Hasty Brook plans. Keep the photos coming, please.

kayceebeebee said...

First time commenting on your blog but I've looked quite frequently. The fern is Maidenhair Fern. I have some in my backyard garden.

We've found the mosquitos to be really bad this year too in the Twin Cities area.

Corey said...

Hi Lynne -

Sounds like a fun trip . . I love the thought of meeting other bloggers face to face. Pop over to my page when you get a free minute, I've given you an award of sorts.


Larry said...

That is a really nice picture of the two of you.The thing that makes me laugh about deet is that they tell you not to put it on your skin. Last I checked, that is where the mosquitoes bite you .They can bite my clothes all they want.

VJ said...


I was glancing through your post when I caught the words Civilian Conservation Corp. For my son's fourth grade report in state history this year, I'm going to have write about the CCC. Any stories your dad has that you could email me would sure be great!