Blue Earth, Minnesota
Monday, July 12, 2010

Today we started at 8am. We pedaled out to the office were we met up with the rest and were taken out to a prairie. Bill told us it was the only original prairies or miles. No farming or building has ever been done on this land. When we arrived, Mike, Ngoc and the boys were already out in the fields looking for Camus, a long stemmed flower seed. I was glad that we had been supplied with boots as the grass was still quite damp.
I know I keep saying this but the Minnesota prairies are a beautiful sight, teaming with wildlife and not a thing to be heard apart from the insects and birds. Time really does stand still here when you close your eyes and soak up the surroundings.

We have seen several species of frogs, butterflies and birds all cohabiting in this ecological playground . Today has been a terrible battle of wills against the mosquitoes. We have covered ourselves several times with DEET spray the the little buggers just don't seem to care!

At breaktime Mike handed me a presentation pack with 2 Minnesota coins from the Mint and I handed him a collection of our UK currency in exchange. I have spent a lot of time with Mike when working in the fields. He is full of questions about how things are done in the UK and how it differs from the US. He is quite knowledgeable about American and European history and we have shared many discussions about the first world war, the Somme and the colonisation and history of Minnesota.

I had done a little research about Minnesota,
Blue Earth history and the Lakota Indian tribe and tried to get more information from  Mike about about them.I found, as with all conversations I start about native Americans, that it seems to be a topic that isn't discussed. The only history it seems people want to discuss is colonoisation and the hardship the colonials endured during the first winter of working and living on the land. But I suppose as visitor, there may be reasons why my questions aren't easily received and I will respect that.
 

Back in the fields again after break. We went to a field they call Home Field. I don't know the reason for the name and forgot to ask. I encounter a massive frog! It stretches way more than 6 inches when it moves. It is jet black with fluorescent day-glow yellow stripes and moves fast- an amazing sight to see! I tried my best to track it through the 3 ft tall grass but it was way too fast to get a picture- maybe next time.

At last I am finally getting a few more pictures taken but it seems I have the ability to stray away from everyone when working and because I'm not really aware of this I don't know if wandering around out of site is safe.

Well, at dinner Mike put my mind at rest about being safe. There are no poisonous snakes in this part of Minnesota but there are some rather large potentially nasty spiders- but they tend to live in your house!!!! Thanks Mike....just when we had started having a normal sleep pattern. I'd better not tell Diane.

I may wander into the cellar when we get back and see what arachnids live there...

 

 

Wildlife thrives in the prairies 

 DSCF1612.jpg picture by Bibblerspics

 

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 DSCF1665.jpg picture by Bibblerspics