We were excited to walk today, because we had the opportunity to get together with our pal Michelle, the former education reporter at the Pioneer.
Michelle had suggested to us a while back that we go walking along the south shore of Lake Bemidji, but we never got around to it. Unfortunately, we thought of it yesterday, after two beautiful days, and connected with Michelle this morning, on a gloomy, rainy day. But it was still fun going down the Paul Bunyan Trail. Michelle and Bethany drove to my house and we rode with Michelle to the spot in Nymore to walk from.
I noticed right away that we were keeping up a pretty fast pace — I really had to work to keep up! It wasn’t until after Michelle left that Bethany mentioned the same thing. I had thought it was just me keeping up with her and Michelle, but Michelle was totally the leader!
It was cool to catch up, and to take a different route. The lake was so misty it was sort of like being on the ocean. We couldn’t make out any landmarks on the other side. We’ll have to try it again on a sunny day.
The walk was so much quieter than we’re used to, since our bit of rustic occurs only on the dirt trail, which is only part of our walk and which we don’t use on a wet day like today. Few houses, only one other walker, one chirpy bird that my guess, for whatever reason, was kingfisher. Having Googled the bird, I would say belted kingfisher. The bird had a head kind of like a blue jay (but was darker, like gray or black), and kingfisher stuck in my head.
That, of course, is not at all scienctific. For that, we would need Anne, Michelle’s replacement as education reporter, who has also walked with us and regaled us with her knowledge of wildlife. We kept saying "We need Anne." The one who can tell us all about juvenile bald eagles.
I took this picture to show Anne to ask her what the green stuff was. Of course, she knew right away it was lichen.
"It works in a symbiotic relation with algae."
That just made me blink, so she then looked up lichen for me and showed me a bunch of pictures (she determined it was probably foliose lichen), emailed me a couple of Web pages, and dug up the story of Freddy Fungus, who took a lichen to Annie Algae. (There were many bad puns in there. But I love puns.)
"It’s really cool if you take a magnifying glass up to a tree," Anne said. "There’s a whole forest of lichen."
Anne gets so excited about all things outdoors. I’m jealous of her enthusiasm!
But enough about Anne. We don’t want Michelle to be jealous.
(They haven’t actually met yet, but I’m sure they’d like each other.)
Here’s a picture that shows the rocky shore and the foggy horizon.
And here’s an example of the bright, beautiful green colors we saw.
A view of the Mississippi River toward the Lake Street bridge.
We had a great time with Michelle! If we’d had all day, we could have walked all around the lake, but work beckoned, so at some point we had to turn around and go back to the car.
We didn’t forget about the How Well Do You Know Bemidji? game, but for anyone who knows the trail, it probably will be pretty easy:
Our last mystery photo was of Bangsberg Fine Arts Center at Bemidji State University.