Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Leaves Are On The Trees

I've been to a lot of nature sites in the past several days. I've visited so many that I'll have to leave my older pictures on my computer and only share them with myself. There are just so many new things to share and talk about. And I want to stay relatively current.

The pictures I have today came from Five Ridge Prairie Preserve. The forest here sure looks a lot different with leaves on the trees. This forest is as thick as any that I visited back in Michigan. The difference is that it eventually opens up into a large prairie, and then lots of hills. This place is so big that there is even more forest beyond that.

I only visited this first forest this time. It's kind of a big hike into the other areas, and I can't seem to get myself into the proper shape I need to go on a long hike yet. I'll get there eventually, but for now I have to stick to this forest. It's easy getting into the next part, but it's all uphill coming back out. Coming back out when you're already tired is not fun at all.

I've been telling people that I need to slow down and take a closer look at things while I'm out at these places. But when I was here and I thought about that, I just wasn't sure what to look at. It's kind of frustrating really, because I could hear birds, but I couldn't see them. And I'm not very good at identifying plants.

I was just getting to where I could identify a good variety of plants at the small nature parks back in Michigan, but none here look very familiar. I felt almost competent within nature back then, but I feel like a complete beginner again here. That again can be kind of frustrating, but it also gives me new adventures that I wouldn't have had back there.

I think maybe if I make it a habit to get out here more often then I'll feel just as good here as I did back in Michigan, but it's going to take time. I always seem to be busier here than I was there, and the parks are a little farther away. The good thing is that the drive here is all country in between.

One thing I've noticed about myself and the nature parks here is that up till now I've been making excuses not to go. It seems that if the weather isn't perfect I decide to stay home. Back in Michigan I would go out in the middle of a rain or snowstorm. Once I realized I was making these excuses I began changing that.

Bad weather can be just as good of a time to take pictures as good weather. Animals like to come out into the open after a good rain. I didn't see many animals on this trip because the weather just happened to be pretty good, but that's also a good time to go out.

And one of these times I'm going to go out here and stop to take a look around me and I'll know exactly what I'm looking at. There will be no frustration. I'll know the important plants, and I'll see animals roaming the forest a little easier. They really are out there. You just have to know where and when to look. I'll talk to you later.

14 comments:

  1. Everything looks so normal sometimes, it is hard for us to get excited.

    So I am focusing on mushrooms these raining days.

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    1. Sometimes we think we've seen everything, but there is always something more.

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  2. Sounds like you need to gather a few field guides, there are a few that are Iowa specific

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    1. That's a good idea. My only problem with field guides is that I haven't figured out how to use them well yet.

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  3. That certainly looks like a fun place to visit. Thanks for sharing the photos.

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    1. It really is a fun place. I know not everyone can go to the same places as I do, so I try to share as many of my experiences as I can.

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  4. Wow, this is so pretty and green!

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    1. I've been enjoying this green a lot.

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  5. I like the suggestion to get an Iowa field guide. That might get you to slow down and identify plants and animals that you see.

    It certainly is beautiful there!

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    1. I agree. I think I am going to look for a few field guides. It might help to learn things a little easier this time around.

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  6. Regarding identifying plants, don't worry about the names right now, just focus on what it looks like, does it have a wide or narrow leaf, is the leaf ribbed, smooth, or rough, how many petals and what color is the flower, is the stem short, tall, or not there at all? Once you have honed your abilities to notice these things begin attaching the plants to names. You'll be shocked at how much better you remember them.

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    1. Thanks for the great advice. I'll try to remember it all when I'm out looking at plants. Plants are the one thing I have trouble with. This along with a field guide or two may help me finally get better with that.

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  7. New experiences and new photos are such fun! I'm not surprised you'd like to move on and share only the new bits. I'm certainly looking forward to joining you on your adventures and learning the different plants and animals with you.

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    1. Yeah, the older pictures looked kind of out of place with no green anywhere. I wish I could have shared them though, but they just felt old. All the new stuff is more fun and exciting though.

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