Monday, December 6, 2010

Lac Qui Parle State Park

This summer I did some exploring to try and help out the Minnesota Odonata Survey Project. The mission of the MOSP is to survey the odonates, dragonflies and damselflies, in the state of Minnesota. Minnesota has been behind when it comes to surveying odonates especially in the more rural areas of the state.
One area that I found had not been very well surveyed was Lac Qui Parle County which is located in western Minnesota along the South Dakota border. There were only a few species recorded in this county, as well as several others around it, so I decided to take a day and explore Lac Qui Parle State Park.
It was a long drive. It took me over 6 hours to get to the park, although I did stop in one of the neighboring counties to collect a few specimens on my way. I spent a couple of hours in the park and I came away with about a dozen new county records. One of the not so common dragonflies that I found was this Halloween pennant.
There were other things besides dragonflies for me to photograph. The name Lac Qui Parle is a French translation of the name which the Dakota Sioux gave to the lake, Mde Iyedan. The English translation is " the Lake that Talks". It was named this because of the large numbers of waterfowl, especially Canada geese, that use the lake for staging during migration. Besides the migrating geese and ducks there is also a colony of white pelicans that nest on an one acre island in the park.
Lac Qui Parle was also the sight of a Christian Check SpellingMission. The mission was built in 1835 and was adjacent to a trading post owned by Joseph Renville, a half French and half Dakota fur trader and explorer. The missionaries worked to teach the Dakota Christianity and western ways. They also worked to learn the Dakota language and develop a Dakota alphabet. However when Renville died in 1846 things went down hill and the mission was abandon in 1854. The building above is a replica of the original chapel that was built back in 1940s. It is registered under the National Register of Historic Places as well as with the American Presbyterian Historical Society.


14 comments:

Sylvia K said...

Fantastic captures as always and what a gorgeous place! Would love to visit there! The old Mission is beautiful! Hope you have a great week!

Sylvia

ladyfi said...

What great shots! Love that old church in the last shot.

kjpweb said...

Beautiful shots! Good job!

aka Penelope said...

Really, really incredible capture of that dragonfly. Pelicans are not something I see in BC so it was fun to see your photo of the pair looking pretty content on that log. Where I am it’s usually seagulls.

Gary said...

A really interesting photo essay. There was a dragonfly census done up here this summer. Boom & Gary Of the Vermilon River, N. Ont. Canada.

Riet said...

Wow beautiful pictures. The dragonfly is so very special.

indicaspecies said...

Thank you for sharing your world through these lovely shots.

lotusleaf said...

What a nice name for a lake! The dragonfly is very beautiful .

Kala said...

Lovely image of the pelicans - they are my favorite type of bird.

Marites said...

I think, it's such a beautiful place to explore and take photographs with. I like the pelican photo. have a good week!

Tarun Mitra said...

greats shots...loved the shots of drangonfly and the church

ksdoolittle said...

What a fabulous place to visit! I love the translation of the name. So appropriate. There are some great photos here illustrating your visit. I've never seen a halloween pennant before! ~karen

sunflowerkat321 said...

This looks like a wonderful place to spend a day exploring. You have me curious as to just what this survey involves.

It surprised me to see your photo of pelicans. I think they're fascinating birds to watch but I didn't realize they come that far north. I live on Long Island and we have none here.

Loved your pics!

Kat

Míriam Luiza said...

Lindo lugar!