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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Mesabi Hike - Marble to Kewatin


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.

Mesabi Trail

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.

gray fox

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.

painted turtle

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.

creeping bellflower

For the days we followed the Mesabi Trail we loved marking our progress with the gateways to each town.

Kewatin sign

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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Rick (Ratty) said...

Very cool animals. I miss seeing lots of animals along hikes. There's more nature where I live. But that gives the animals more places to hide.

Ann said...

I'm loving all the green in these pictures. I'm getting a little antsy for summer