Minnesota Seasons




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.

  Cannon River Wilderness Area

Species Profiles



prairie ironweed (ssp. fasciculata)

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

More than 780 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


bald-faced hornet

Insects and arachnids found in Minnesota.

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


    Photo by Kirk Nelson

  Texas brown snake

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.

Fungi and Lichens
  Purple-spored Puffball

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.


    Photo by James Folden



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 in 2014 on desktops, laptops, and tablets.


Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area - Lawrence Unit














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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 10, 2014, Minnesota was hit with its first major snow storm leaving a snow cover that persisted for more than one month. However, unusually warm weather in mid-December melted it all. On Christmas day most neighborhoods in the south metro area of the Twin Cities had not even a trace of snow left on the ground.

On average, cold temperatures arrive in the Twin Cities on December 3. On that date the average high temperature is below freezing. The first stretch of cold weather arrived with the November 10 snowfall. The unscientific term “stretch of cold weather” here is defined as a week with more daily high temperatures below freezing than above. Between November 11 and November 20 the temperature (in Lakeville) did not rise above 24°.

This year the winter calendar season began on Sunday, December 21, at 5:03 p.m. CST. By that time the hibernal season, whether determined by snow cover or by daily temperature, had been with us in the metro area of Minnesota for six weeks.


Savage Fen SNA





















What’s New

MinnesotaSeasons.com Redesign Completed

After almost nine months the redesign of MinnesotaSeasons.com was finally completed on October 10, 2014.

  • All species and destination pages are now tabbed, reducing page length and allowing the visitor to focus on their interest.
  • Thumbnail images have been replaced with much larger preview images.
  • Full size photos are now presented in a light box, not on a separate page.
  • A new Video tab has been added to every species and destination page. The embedded videos are from YouTube, from other sources, and from visitors to MinnesotaSeasons.com (you).
  • A slide show has been added to every destination page.
  • All species pages now include IUCN Conservation status and NatureServe Conservation status.
  • All plant pages also include wetland indicator status, if assigned; and weed status, if appropriate.
  • All species and destination pages include links to allow visitors (you) to upload photos, videos, species sightings, and observations.

Recent Uploads

Kirk Nelson uploaded 6 photos of Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit 3/26/2015.

Kirk Nelson uploaded 1 photo of prairie deer mouse 3/15/2015.

Kirk Nelson uploaded 1 photo of bald-faced hornet 3/15/2015.

Kirk Nelson uploaded 3 photos of Wood-Rill SNA 3/1/2015.

Bill Reynolds uploaded 2 photos of red-tailed flesh fly 2/13/2015.

Katy Chayka uploaded 1 photo of western Jacob's ladder 2/25/2015.

Kirk Nelson uploaded 5 photos of Carver Park Reserve 2/1/2015.

Lynn Connors uploaded 1 photo of Pileated Woodpecker 1/1/2015.

Kirk Nelson uploaded 3 photos of Lebanon Hills Regional Park 12/26/2014.

Kirk Nelson uploaded 1 photo of barn spider 12/23/2014.

Bill Reynolds uploaded 1 photo of small dung fly 12/1/2014.

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit





bald-faced hornet






red-tailed flesh fly










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