Carlton County nature writer publishes new book packed with ‘critter’ photos from Carlton County


Larry Weber, a rural Carlton County resident who writes a nature column for the Pine Journal and Budgeteer News, recently published his newest book, “In a Patch of Goldenrods.”

Weber said he’s been a “critter watcher” his whole life, and the former science teacher starts most of his days with a nature walk that lasts up to two hours. In his latest book, Weber chronicles all the critters he’s found in his local patches of goldenrod — native to Minnesota — over the past few years.

“Recently I have become fascinated by these plants and their numerous and amazingly diverse visitors — insects, spiders, mites, slug, snails, treefrogs and more,” he writes in the introduction to the book. “The variety of insects and spiders here has been amazing (almost 200 species).”

Weber also points out that goldenrods are often wrongly blamed for allergies when the actual culprit is ragweed. Goldenrod pollen is too heavy to drift in the wind and is transported by insects, he explains.

This highly educational and easy-to-follow book contains 300-plus photos of different species of goldenrod and the amazing critters that frequent them, from dragonflies to beetles and butterflies to flower flies and spiders and lots lots more, all in Carlton County.

The book is not yet available on local bookstores. Email Weber at to purchase one.

Weber was a science teacher for more than 40 years, and received two different Teacher of the Year awards. Previous books include“Butterflies of the North Woods,” “Spiders of the North Woods,” “Fascinating Fungi of the Northwoods, “Backyard Almanac,” “Minnesota Phenology” and “Webwood: Seasons of Life in the North Woods.”