Monthly Archives: August 2015

Scenic State Park

Scenic State Park

In 1921, in an effort to preserve the birch and pines around Coon and Sandwick Lakes from logging, 2,121 acres in Itasca County were acquired and Scenic State Park was created. Subsequent land acquisitions have almost doubled the size of this park.

Two areas of the park are included separately on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), the service yard and the CCC Rustic Style Historic District. The service yard includes four buildings on the western shore of Sandwick Lake. The historic district is 16 acres on the south shore of Coon Lake that includes five buildings and a set of stone steps. The buildings in these areas were designed by the National Park Service and constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). They were designed in Rustic Style Architecture and built with a labor-intensive process. They are considered irreplaceable. The work was performed during the Great Depression between 1933 and 1935. On June 6, 1992, the service yard was placed in the NRHP. On June 8, 1992, the historic district was placed in the NRHP.

Willow pinecone gall midge (Rabdophaga strobiloides)

willow pinecone gall midge

An abnormal growth (gall) on the stems, leaves, or buds of a plant can be formed by many insects, mites, and fungi. Willows are hosts to many parasitic insects, several of which form galls. Only willow pinecone gall midge (Rabdophaga strobiloides) forms a pinecone-shaped gall at the tip of a willow stem.

The adult midge is a small fly about 3 ⁄16″ long. It is most often identified by the large distinctive gall that houses the growing larva. The gall appears at the end of a willow stem. It consists of numerous, stunted, overlapping, loosely appressed, scale-like leaves. In the summer it is green, more or less globular, and densely covered with long, white, matted and tangled, woolly hairs. In the fall the cone turns brown and the shape resembles a pine cone.

Hitched arches (Melanchra adjuncta)

hitched arches

Photo by Bill Reynolds

Hitched arches (Melanchra adjuncta) is a stout, medium-sized, night-flying, owlet moth. It is common in moist woods along river and stream banks, in woodland edges and openings, and in old fields. It is also often found in large gardens.

When at rest the forewings are held roof-like over the body. The forewings are dark gray mottled with black, greenish-brown and white. They have a white patch near the base (closest to the head), a small round white spot, a large white kidney-shaped spot, and a gray fringe. The hindwings are light grayish-brown but are not usually visible.

The caterpillar is light green or light brown with dark semicircular patches on the back (dorsum) and a conspicuous hump near the end of the abdomen.