Readers’ wildlife photos

January 23, 2021 • 8:00 am

Roger Sorensen from St. Cloud, Minnesota sends some frigid plants. Click photos to enlarge; Roger’s captions are indented.

Central MN has been under overcast still air for the past week, with morning fog that has left some remarkable accumulations of rime ice on plants. Rime ice occurs when supercooled water droplets freeze on contact. Supercooled water droplets are still in liquid state when temperatures are below the freezing point (32ºF / 0ºC).
These are all from my back yard, where I maintain pollinator gardens of native perennials. In the winter they are also favored by Chickadees, Finches, and other birds who glean the seeds from the inflorescences.
Common ornamental yewTaxus baccata:

Joe-pye weedEutrochium purpureum:

Blue wild indigoBaptisia australis. This retains it leaves in winter and has dramatic blue-black seed pods.

Wild sennaSenna hebecarpa:

Purple coneflower, Echinacea purpurea. The birds, especially Chickadees, really go for these seeds.

Anise hyssopAgastache foeniculum. This is another bird favorite.

The empty seed pod of Common milkweedAsclepias syriaca:

The empty seed pod of Swamp milkweedAsclepias incarnata:

Big leaf aster, Eurybia macrophylla. This is one of the few shade tolerant asters and blooms into fall still providing pollen while other plants are long past flowering:

Blue vervainVerbena hastata. The birds do not find these seeds palatable.

Common goldenrod with Buckthorn leafSolidago canadensis and Rhamnus cathartica. Both are non-native invasive, Buckthorn especially so. I missed this one in my annual “Buckthorn Bust.”

White bur oakQuercus macrocarpa:

5 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Lovely photos, Roger. I like your pollinator garden; your birds will have sustenance throughout the winter. Milkweed seeds are quite interesting when the pods burst and the seeds fan out into a silken splendour when handled.

Leave a Reply