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It's summer sights slide show time! Images of the northern Minnesota savanna

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Summer is fleeing by -- but an amazing variety of Minnesota wild plants and sundry critters are taking advantage of near ideal rain perfectly punctuated by periods of sun this season.

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It’s been an especially good year for mushrooms, although the long cold spring meant that not a single morel mushroom peeped out here in the northern extremes. But other shroom varieties have been popping up everywhere, including the incredible, edible king bolete and golden boletes.

A troubling note for summer 2013 is that monarch butterflies are much in decline. Last summer there were hundreds flitting about my rural home-scape – this year I have seen perhaps ten total. Experts are increasingly afraid that the proliferation of ag chemicals, GMO crops and climate change are putting heavy pressure on the monarch, and extremely important pollinator of plants. SEE MORE

Well, without further ado, I hope you enjoy this slideshow of just a few of the plants and critters I have run across during my daily jaunt with my dogs in the aspen-oak savanna of northwest Minnesota.

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