In our recent tour of the northern and western parts of Minnesota, we stopped briefly at Tamarack Wildlife Refuge. Here are a few shots:
Although this diorama is at Tamarack, it is really a story more germane to Itasca. Shown here is the ongoing struggle for existence, etc. etc., between the fisher and the porcupine. This is one of those interesting ecological stories reminiscent of the cats/bees/cows/milk story of Darwin. It goes like this:
- Porcupines eat pine trees.
- Fishers eat porcupines (and nothing else really does)
- Humans love their pine trees (to cut down and sell the wood).
- Humans love their fishers (to trap and make into hats, or whatever).
But, when you wipe out the fishers you end up with a porcupine population explosion, and you lose your pine trees. Poor human.
Once this was discovered at Itasca, fishers were hastily reintroduced.
A few shots of the plant life:
And this tiny fast moving bird: