Saturday, April 2, 2011
Today we had our first field trip in my Minnesota Master Naturalist class. Since winter has continued longer then normal the original plan to visit one of the local prairies to observe the habitat had to be modified. So we spent the morning talking about Minnesota mammals, many of which we had the pleasure of observing at the Wildlife Science Center. We also did some raptor handling, with captive raptors that could normally be found in Minnesota, and went out and worked on our prairie wild flower identification on a restored prairie at Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area. The wild flowers were difficult to ID at this time of year when they are dormant or dead. It is much easier in July when I took this picture of prairie larkspur, also known as Carolina larkspur. Prairie larkspur is a member of the buttercup family that is native to most of Minnesota, except for the north eastern portion of the state.