Thursday, August 6, 2009, Marie and I continued north on the paved Mesabi Trail through former iron mining lands. This view shows how the trail has more interest and topography than a simple rail-trail. You can also see the greenery beginning to cover the raw landscape.
Two of our most interesting wildlife sightings happened this day. First we saw a mammal completely new to me at that time, Richardson's Groundsquirrel. It's more commonly called a Flickertail because of it's nervous habit of twitching that tail.
Not long after that, a gray fox calmly trotted across the trail ahead of us. Unfortunately, the picture isn't focused well. But I was amazed at how unconcerned the animal was with our presence.
I think Marie loves the turtles best of all. This is a common Midwestern Painted Turtle, but it's not covered with pond muck or duckweed, so it was looking nice. I've recently learned that this sub-species differs from the Eastern Painted Turtle in a couple of ways. Easy field mark is that the scutes (plates) of the shell are alternated across it's back.
And, I found another new flower. The blue one. It's Creeping Bellflower, Campanula rapunculoides, and the yellow is Common Tansy, Tanacetum vulgare. Although the blue and yellow are so pretty, both plants are alien.
For the days we followed the Mesabi Trail we loved marking our progress with the gateways to each town.
Marble to Kewatin, Minnesota. 15.8 miles, 63.6 to date for that trip.
| See Grand Rapids to Marble|
See Spermophilus richardsonii
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