FIELD TRIP: Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden, Minneapolis, MN - May 2015

On a work trip in Minneapolis and decided to check out some nature. A friend from Minnesota recommended the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary and since it was spring I thought I'd find some local wildflowers in bloom. And I was right! What a beautiful place.

Here's where I was:

Before arriving I expected more of a botanical garden feel with manicured beds and the like so I was pleasantly surprised when we pulled up and it was more wild and natural.

The garden is home to more than 500 plant species and 130 bird species! They have a lot of resources on their website too including a nice hand-drawn map of the garden (below), photos of some of the wildflowers and weekly garden highlights with phenology notes. (Phenology is the study of periodic biological phenomena such as flowering, breeding and migration especially as related to climate.)

Another great resource developed by the Friends of the Wild Flower Garden is an A-Z plant listing that includes photos. They also have them sorted by season and color! That made it so easy to identify the flowers I'd seen which was great since I hadn't seen any of them before.

Also check out Minnesota Wildflowers for help with wildflower IDs.

Click to enlarge
Right as I walked in this butterfly posed for me

American Painted Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

and then as I got deeper into the garden I heard a rustling and looked up to see this lady

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)

Everything was so green and beautiful!

Here are some of the flowers I saw

Celandine-poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum)
 Large White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)
 Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata)
Spotted Geranium (Geranium maculatum)
Small White Fawnlily (Erythronium albidum)
Purple Trillium (Trillium erectum)
Rue-anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides)
Also, there was this great sign when we were driving in. Unfortunately I didn't see any baby turtles.

I didn't get an other photos of birds or observe any but I also didn't bring binoculars and they were far up in the trees. I was only there for a short time (I had to catch my plane!) and the flowers gave me enough to look at.

I'd definitely recommend visiting this garden if you're in the Minneapolis area.

You can see some more of my photos from Minnesota in the Flickr set.