June 15, 2010

84,068



Numbers have never been my passion, but I'm about to throw some at you like slick boomerangs with the hope that they'll fling back and sting me between the eyes, seep into my skull, and do that one thing I'm doing all this for: inspire.

In Minnesota...
-- there are over 15,000 lakes and ponds
-- there exist three of North America's major drainage systems (meaning, lots of rivers and streams)
-- there are four ecological biomes: prairie parklands, eastern broadleaf forests (sugar maple, basswood, and elm), and Laurentian mixed forest (white pine, red pine, spruce, fir, aspen, and birch), and tallgrass aspen parklands
-- the area of greatest relief is the Arrowhead region, with the lowest elevation at 602 feet above sea level (Lake Superior's shore) and the highest at 2,301 feet (Eagle Mountain)
-- the greatest twenty-four-hour rainstorm of record was 10.8 inches on July 21-22, 1972, in Morrison Country
-- the lowest annual precipitation was 7.8 inches in Polk County in 1936
-- approximately 65% to 75% of the annual precipitation falls from May through September
-- the ground is covered with at least one inch of snow on an average of about 110 days in the northeast to eighty-five days in the southwest
-- the lowest temperature recorded was -59' F at Leech Lake on February 9, 1899
-- the highest temperature recorded was 114' F at Beardsley on July 29, 1917
-- temperatures at a given location frequently vary by more than 30' F in twenty-four hours on spring and fall days

Oh, and all this exists within the state's 84,068 square miles—quite a bit more than, say, Maryland.
-- Information taken from John R. Tester's 
Minnesota's Natural Heritage

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