Meet Dallas Hudson
Growing up in Akeley, Minnesota gave Dallas Hudson had many opportunities to explore surrounding public lands and waters. With the exception of ten years that he spent with in Michigan with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, he has lived in Minnesota his whole life with the last 20+ year spent in Akeley on Shingobee Lake. The lake drains the Shingobee River to the southwest corner of Leech Lake. Dallas has been an outdoorsman all of his life, but his deep interest in phenology started in the mid 1990’s after his boss at USGS ─where he has been working since 1996─ encouraged him to write down all of his observations.
Journals of phenology notes started to pile up, and it wasn’t long before Dallas became one of Minnesota’s most dedicated phenologists.
Since picking up a camera in 2015, Dallas has taken hundreds of photos of the plants and animal to go with his phenology notes and to help him identify the dragonflies, birds, flowering plants and butterflies that he finds. With the encouragement from friends and family members, Dallas has shared his phenology observations, records, and photos with Radio KAXE’s Season Watch community and the Minnesota Phenology Network.
The view from the Hudson's dock on Shingobee Lake
Photo by Dallas Hudson
“Sitting on the dock this frosty morning watching the sun rise, thinking on all the changes I have seen. Just now, I saw three hooded merganser fly by. I miss the days when flock after flock of divers would roar by. I am also wondering if I have seen my last jack rabbit in the state of Minnesota. Are they gone like most of the prairie? There are now more cottontails than snowshoe hare, more deer than grouse and yet we audit the state over how they manage deer? We now have Canada geese, wild turkey, sandhill cranes, and trumpeter swans nesting here, but I no longer see evening grosbeaks that use to visit our feeders by the 100s. Now gray foxes are as plentiful as reds; wolves, fisher, and bobcats were rare and are now plentiful. So much change in such a short amount of time.”