On my way home from Grand Marais the other night, I decided to have a five minute adventure. Near the North Brule River, a small road leads to the site of an old CCC camp. It is a part of the Superior National Forest, and it seems the current use for it is storage. Just past an iron gate, a large open area hosts culverts, picnic tables, and other big objects. The river runs along the far edge of the property. The reason I am familiar with this spot is that I had a chance to go birding there two years ago. I was with a group of fellow trail folks, led by two experienced birders. We were in the area listening and watching for the various birds that prefer a river-based habitat. As I recall, we were successful, as we saw a phoebe and an olive-sided flycatcher.
But this particular evening, I wasn't necessarily birding. I decided to have a five-minute adventure, and just stopped in to see what was happening in that neck of the woods. I was not disappointed. At my feet were thousands of twin flowers. The delicate pink and white blooms hung from slender stems, carpeting the forest floor. A few steps later, the bunchberry plants did the same thing. These were thick on the land, and I could only imagine how it will look in a few weeks when the white flowers are replaced with striking red berries.
I continued on a short way, and the meadow opened up wide. On my left, the yellow hawkweed was in full color. On my right, a patch of orange hawkweed, though not as large, wanted to show off as well. This is an absolutely wonderful time to be out and about looking for wildflowers, as evidenced by this short outing. All the recent rains are paying big dividends right now.
I headed back to the car, since my groceries were warming up and dinner still needed to be made. If I'd had more time, I would have hung around to listen for the birds, or to go down to the river to explore. But that can wait for another time. It will still be there.
Five minute adventures are a great concept. In just those few moments, I saw so many things. It's true, I probably could find them on my own property, but seeing these little beauties in an unfamiliar landscape seemed to enhance them. Stealing that time from my own schedule felt a little decadent, but I need that every now and again. Can five-minute adventures be a little luxury?
One way to have them, if you are unable to leave home and find a piece of woods as I did, can be found through a website I've been following for several years. It is called Morning Earth. The owner, John Caddy, is a naturalist and educator. He daily posts a photograph and poem that he has written. You can have them delivered to your email, or you can follow him on Facebook, or just click on to his website. Each morning, I am greeted with a photo that John has taken, somewhere in his neighborhood or from his travels. I've seen some incredible shots, thanks to him. The poems to accompany these pictures are informative, humorous and thought-provoking. Whether you enjoy reading poetry or not, it is worth the time to check out his site. Each day, you could have a five-minute adventure, right from your computer.