Gooseberry Falls, with Lots of Butterflies

This past weekend, I went on an impromptu camping trip with Fesworks. Our destination: Gooseberry Falls, which is probably the most popular state park on Minnesota’s North Shore, thanks to its easy trails and proximity to Duluth. It’s a tough park to visit if you don’t like seeing mobs of people polluting your nature hike, as every nice day brings mobs of tourists. However, if you strike out upon one of the unpaved trails, you quickly abandon the crowds.

We were lucky, as we wound up visiting while a massive fog bank engulfed the park. This kept some of the crowds at bay, while affording some unusual views of the beautiful Lake Superior shore. We also got to listen to foghorns all night, which was pretty nifty.

A few highlights are below, with a full photo gallery at the bottom. Enjoy!

Monarch Butterfly Unknown Butterfly on a Dandelion
It’s Monarch Butterfly season (Danaus plexippus)! In a rare move, this one hung around on a flower long enough for me to get dozens of close-up shots. I tried to identify this tiny butterfly via web, books, and asking experts last night, but to no avail. For a sense of scale, this critter is shown on the head of a common dandelion. Will update when I figure out what this little guy is.
Canadian Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies Canadian Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies
Canadian Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies everywhere! Fesworks spotted a dozen of them puddling near the Fifth Falls. He indulged me while I snapped a few hundred photos. More Canadian Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies (Papilio canadensis).
Red Columbine Prairie Rose
Red Columbine
Aquilegia canadensis
Prairie Rose
Rosa arkansana
Fifth Falls Fes and Me
Fesworks at the Fifth Falls, which is about a 1.5 mile hike upriver from the other Gooseberry waterfalls. Fesworks and me, both of us needing a shower very badly.

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