Photos from Itasca

As you know, we just spent a few days at Itasca (see this for the meaning of the word “Itasca”) where we saw some interesting wildlife. I thought I ‘d share a few photos of the trip.

We were at Itasca because Amanda volunteered to help out with the orientation for new biology grad students, by giving a demonstration of what she does in the Dave Thomas lab. I did not see the demonstration but I think it had something to do with reanimating tissues. Here’s a photograph of the entrance way to the research station, which is all most people can see because you are not allowed in there. (Reanimation experiments are highly sensitive):

Much of our trip involved observing plants and animals. For instance, here is a beaver dam and the path through the pond that the beavers maintain through regular use:


I’m not posting the photo of wolf dung here, but I will show you this bit of spoor:


… which prompted us to look up and see this …


And that isn’t the only woodpecker spoor one sees in this park. In fact, one of the most common categories of birds we saw was woodpecker or woodpecker like. Here is what happens when woodpeckers go wild:


Here’s a shot from a marsh trail maintained by the park:

And a shot of dead stuff in the marsh (click to enbiggen):


A bit of wetland (click to embiggen):


Here’s an old boat lift rotting along side the lake:


And here’s the boat it lifted:


Here’s a shot of what it looks like to drive around on the roads in Itasca State Park (click on image):


And a shot of the lake through the trees (click):


Here is the Douglas Lodge, which looks like a pretty good place to say (and is not where we stayed):


This is interesting (click to expand):


Upstream form Itasca is the REAL source of the Mississippi, this stream coming out of Elk Lake and into Itasca:


That is all for now. Coming soon: A wildlife quiz!


  1. #1 Lorax
    August 23, 2010

    Ah, the fond memories of a few weeks ago. Wish I was still there, although I may get involved in some research myself up there next summer. I’ll see if I can afford 3-4 weeks away. I almost thought you stole some of my photos, since I think we were often standing in about the same place albeit separated by a couple of weeks.

    I notice there are no photos of fungi, Ill have to get some of mine together.

  2. #2 Benton Jackson
    August 23, 2010

    Nice shots.

  3. #3 Jill
    April 25, 2012

    I just sent you an email, but wanted you to know that the picture you’ve indicated as Douglas Lodge really is Nicolette Court. Douglas Lodge is the building right behind it in your picture. Nicolette Court used to be more of a ‘motel’ type place to stay, with double beds on I believe the first floor and two single beds on the second floor. This accomodation used to boast that it had ‘bathroom facilities’ in each room, whereas at Douglas Lodge, some of the rooms had to share a common restroom and shower. There was no ‘bathtub’ available for the single rooms at Douglas Lodge, but if you booked one of the ‘suites’, these had bathrooms.

    I miss that place so much and want to go back SOON!

  4. #4 Greg Laden
    April 25, 2012

    Thanks! Fixed. I’m not sure how I made that mistake. I’ve really spent very little time among those buildings … most of my time has been at the research station.

  5. #5 Gavin Watt
    April 25, 2012

    The first photo appears to be of a beaver lodge. The dam (if there is one) would be on the outlet stream. Here’s an insider’s view
    –Gavin MN SD60 all DFL all the time!

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    April 25, 2012

    Yes, you’re right, it’s a lodge. I think I took up my inlaw’s parlance … they are always calling the lodge in the back yard a dam. Damn them.

    Great Beaver-Cam!

    Is that the Old 60 or the New 60?