Nature Finds Along the Paul Bunyan Trail

The proud owner of a “new” used bike, I decided to check out 3-4 miles of the 110 mile Paul Bunyan Trail. I got on the trail at Lake Bemidji State Park and pedaled to the Mississippi River with my camera in my backpack.  I found lots of reasons to stop and pull it out. The most exciting for me was spotting a scarlet tanager. What a beautiful bird!

Red bird with blackHe even posed so I could get a good view of his tail feathers.

Red bird with black tail feathersWild flowers were also abundant along the trail, some familiar and some I had to look up. Here is a sampling.

dark lavender wildflower

Wild Bergamot

purple coned wildflower

Purple Prairie Clover

Light yellow wildflower

Goat’s Beard

Red wildflower

Joe-Pye Weed

The Paul Bunyan Trail crosses over the Mississippi River just before it enters Lake Bemidji. The bridge has some open areas that make for great wildlife viewing.View of Mississippi River

A family (mama and babies) of hooded merganzers showed up to entertain us. We didn’t see an adult male, whose striking colors stand out more than the bland browns and grays of the female. I do like her crest, however.hooded merganser duck with babies

Biking the Paul Bunyan Trail is a fine way to spend a summer morning in the great outdoors of northern Minnesota.

Paul Bunyan bike trail as it crosses the Mississippi River.

~ by Pinetree Photo Nature Discovery on July 13, 2012.

10 Responses to “Nature Finds Along the Paul Bunyan Trail”

  1. Outstanding photographs Carol!

  2. You were so very lucky to see the tananger, Carol. I am happy for you. And thanks for sharing that with the rest of us.

  3. Apparently there is “Prairie Iron Weed” in southern Mn and around the Twin Cities. I haven’t seen any in northern MN. (BTW – your gravatar image is too cool!)

  4. Sounds like a good idea to me ( or at least the 17 around the lake.)

  5. Great shot of the tanager. Had a western tanager in our campground last Spring but too quick to get a shot. Beautiful! Good job!

  6. “Wow”! when I saw the Scarlet Tanager. I find that birds do occaisionally pose but become impatient as we try to get our best shots. I will bring my bike next summer . . . should we do the 110?

  7. Love the Scarlet Tanager. Joe-Pye weed as well. Do you have iron weed there too?

  8. Getting the bike is a great idea. Lovely nature discoveries for your photo journal. Thanks for sharing. Beautiful shot of the the scarlet tanager.

  9. Beautiful as always!

  10. Beautiful pictures Carol! Maybe I’ll see you on the trail sometime this summer!

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