Minnesota Seasons


2015: A year of growth at MinnesotaSeasons.com


2015 has been a year of growth at MinnesotaSeasons.com. We have had 1,170,684 hits in 2015 generated by 709,481 unique visitors. December was the best month ever with a total of 100,147 hits by 52,760 unique visitors.

Over the year contributors have posted 306 new photos bringing the total to 694 photos posted by 58 contributors.

We have added 167 new species and 14 new destinations, bringing the total to 1,332 species and 371 destinations.

  Savage Fen SNA



These are locations in Minnesota where native plants, birds, and other wildlife can be viewed. With very few exceptions, these destinations are open to the public.

Visitors can share their own photos, videos, plant and wildlife sightings, and other observations.

  Ritter Farm Park


  European bur-reed

Native, naturalized, invasive, or simply planted—any plant growing outside of cultivation in Minnesota.

More than 800 plant pages include photos, a description, a multi-sourced distribution map, and a list of sites where the plant has been sighted.


Insects and Arachnids
  Japanese beetle

Insects and arachnids found in Minnesota.

Species pages include photos, a description, a list of sightings by MinnesotaSeasons.com, visitor sightings, and distribution maps.


  northern short-tailed shrew

Birds and bears, snakes and squirrels, toads and turtles—wildlife found in Minnesota.

Wildlife pages include photos, a description, and a list of sightings, as well as distribution maps for amphibians, mammals, and reptiles.

    Photo by Bill Reynolds

Fungi and Lichens
  Late Oyster Mushroom

Lichens, mushrooms, and other fungi found in Minnesota.

Fungi and lichen pages include photos, a description, a list of sightings by MinnesotaSeasons.com, visitor sightings, and distribution maps.





Download free high resolution wallpapers (screen backgrounds). These are photos of destinations featured on MinnesotaSeasons.com. The wallpapers are grouped by ecological season. Each wallpaper is optimized for the screen resolutions used most often on desktops, laptops, and tablets.


Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area - Lawrence Unit



















Hibernal Season


The hibernal ecological season corresponds to the winter calendar season. In our area it is characterized by cold temperatures, a usually snow-covered landscape, and an absence of migratory bird species. Deciduous trees are bare and fallen leaves begin to decay. Migrating birds have settled in winter habitats. In Minnesota the hibernal season usually begins about December 1 and lasts until about March 1.

Snow Cover
The average date for the first one-inch snow fall in the Twin Cities is November 18. The average date for “permanent snow cover” in the Twin Cities is unknown but is probably mid-December. Permanent snow cover here is defined as at least one centimeter of snow cover that lasts at least one month.

On November 30, 2015, Minnesota was hit with its first major snow storm leaving the Twin Cities with a snow cover that persisted for, well, less than one week. For the second year in a row, unusually warm weather in December melted all the snow and left the ground bare.

On average, cold temperatures arrive in the Twin Cities on December 3. On that date the average high temperature is below freezing. This year, the first stretch of cold weather did not arrive until December 27. The unscientific term “stretch of cold weather” here is defined as a week with more daily high temperatures below freezing than above. Beginning December 27 the Twin Cities saw nine consecutive days when the temperature did not rise above freezing.


Whitetail Woods Regional Park





















What’s New

Recent Uploads

Bill Reynolds uploaded 2 photos of northern short-tailed shrew 1/28/2016.

Kirk Nelson uploaded 3 photos of Trumpeter Swan 1/19/2016.

Peggy uploaded 2 photos of Pileated Woodpecker 1/1/2016.

Kirk Nelson uploaded 2 photos of Fort Snelling State Park 12/27/2015.

Bill Reynolds uploaded 1 photo of Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 12/19/2015.

Bill Reynolds uploaded 2 photos and 1 video of Robin’s carpenterworm 12/17/2015.

Bill Reynolds uploaded 2 photos of woolly bear caterpillar (Isabella tiger moth) 12/17/2015.

Bill Reynolds uploaded 2 photos of western honey bee 12/15/2015.

Bill Reynolds uploaded 1 photo of Indiangrass 12/15/2015.

Greg B. uploaded 1 photo of Barred Owl 12/10/2015.

Kirk Nelson uploaded 2 photos of Ney Nature Center 12/5/2015.

Kirk Nelson uploaded 7 photos of Ney Nature Center 12/3/2015.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker sign

Robin’s carpenterworm

Barred Owl

New Pages

northern short-tailed shrew (Blarina brevicauda)


Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica)


Ritter Farm Park


European bur-reed (Sparganium emersum)


American badger (Taxidea taxus)


cypress spurge (Euphorbia cyparissias)


Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park


Allegheny monkeyflower (Mimulus ringens var. ringens)


North Mississippi Regional Park


Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)


Late Oyster Mushroom (Panellus serotinus)


Brown Creeper (Certhia americana)


sandbar willow (Salix interior)

oak leaf gall midge (Polystepha pilulae)


Caribou Woodland


grape phylloxera (Daktulosphaira vitifoliae)


frosted whiteface (Leucorrhinia frigida)


Skull Lake (TNC)


Robin’s carpenterworm (Prionoxystus robiniae)


Lake Johanna Esker


red fox (Vulpes vulpes)


gray wolf (Canis lupus)


Marcoux Prairie (TNC)


eastern spotted skunk (Spilogale putorius)


Mentor Prairie (TNC)


striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis)


Antelope Valley SNA


rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium var. yuccifolium)


Glacial Lakes (TNC)


southern red-backed vole (Myodes gapperi)


Bluestem Prairie Additions (TNC)









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