First, let's follow up on yesterday's posting about the juneberry / serviceberry / shadbush suspects. The LeafSnap app finally tried to identify the leaf photo I sent. It came back with 4 options, none of which were Amelanchiers. I respectfully disagree with their selection. The Eloise Butler Wildflower web site lists 10 species of Amelanchier native to Minnesota. In a "Notes" section they made me feel lots better by acknowledging the difficulty of identification at the species level:
"Amelanchier spicata has been listed as indigenous to the Wildflower Garden but that is probably erroneous as the species, per the DNR surveys, has only been found in the 3 counties of the Minnesota Arrowhead region. It is more likely that a low growing, suckering Serviceberry in the area of Eloise Butler was A. humilis, the Low Juneberry, or A. interior, Inland Juneberry as both of those species are normally found in the Metro area."
Photo by J. Harrington
The Chisago County plant listing only contains five Amelanchier species:
Amelanchier arborea downy serviceberryI'll try to remember later this year to check back when the berries are growing and see id that helps. Maybe by then the local bear and coyote population will have "cleaned up" a pile of twenty or thirty carp bodies some idiot(s) dumped just off one of the parking areas near the bushes. As the recent story about the closure of 1.6 miles of Superior Hiking Trail establishes, it only takes a limited number of miscreants to screw something up for everybody. I wonder if the farmers have noticed that yet.
Amelanchier humilis low juneberry
Amelanchier interior inland juneberry
Amelanchier laevis smooth juneberry
Amelanchier sanguinea round-leaved juneberry
agricultural crop residue in Winter
Photo by J. Harrington
At the risk of hurting our editorial arm as we pat ourselves on the back, we note that today's Star Tribune Editorial Board echoes many of the points we've recently raised in My Minnesota about the need for agriculture to cease its "free riding" in clean water efforts. Even on a good day we're not grandiose enough to think this little blog is being read by or otherwise paid attention to by the Strib, but it is nice to see validation including these statements:
"Saying that agriculture needs to make a concrete contribution is a hard but necessary truth. Policymakers shouldn’t be soft-pedaling this. Nor should legislators be backpedaling on buffers or other water-quality protections. Unfortunately, there are a raft of bills this session aimed at undermining clean water. One would give lawmakers veto power over new water-quality standards. Minnesota waters are in crisis. Forward thinking, not more kowtowing to special interests, is needed to save them."We'd be more than happy to chalk up to common sense solutions to the concerns we share with the Editorial Board, but common sense needs to be where the action is: in Minnesota legislative chambers, back rooms and in farmers' fields. What do you think are the odds?
Each day I go into the fieldsto see what is growingand what remains to be done.It is always the same thing: nothingis growing, everything needs to be done.Plow, harrow, disc, water, praytill my bones ache and hands rubblood-raw with honest labor—all that grows is the slowintransigent intensity of need.I have sown my seed on soilguaranteed by poverty to fail.But I don’t complain—exceptto passersby who ask me whyI work such barren earth.They would not understand meif I stooped to lift a rockand hold it like a child, or laughed,or told them it is their povertyI labor to relieve. For them,I complain. A farmer of dreamsknows how to pretend. A farmer of dreamsknows what it means to be patient.Each day I go into the fields.
Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.