Thursday, June 26, 2014
I did a post just like this one awhile back, but I just like the whole idea, so I'm going to do this again. You may recognize what I'm talking about as you read, but maybe this is all new to you. Either way it's kind of a fun little idea with a zoom camera.
It's kind of fun that I can get such good detail on the buildings from so far away. I can read the writing on the water towers in the original pictures. You can almost make it out in these. They both say the name of the city.
I like coming up here on this hill and looking out over everything. That's one of the appeals of this place. The thing most people like to do at Stone Park is drive through the hilly forest roads. But stops along the road like this one makes it even better. Talk to you later.
Monday, June 23, 2014
It's because I think it's such a beautiful scene. It shows me a beautiful scene of what's to come. As I take the picture I'm standing in the middle of the forest looking out into a beautiful valley, and even farther out to the wonderful Loess Hills, that seem to stretch on forever. It seems as if I'm looking at this through a giant picture window.
I'm looking out at the place I call home, the place I come from. I spent most of my life away from this place. I wasn't even born here, and I didn't grow up here. But my entire family is from here. I only got to see this place from all too brief visits to see my family. I always knew I belonged here. Now I get to live here.
I haven't been able to even get to this place for the past several days because of the flood. The waters have receded a bit, revealing all of the ruined crops, but we get thunderstorms every night that refill it all quite a bit. I'll be back on the trails when the weather lets me.
I don't want to end things on a down note so I'll talk about a few other things. I've been seeing a lot of good nature things that I'll be writing about soon. I still haven't visited a few other good places that are close by, like the nature center that is just down the road from me, the whole time I've been here, really. And I also have a visit scheduled to the Sioux City Museum. That's going to be fun. I'll talk to you later.
Friday, June 20, 2014
The day before yesterday on a break in the weather I decided to go out for a drive to the grocery store. On my way back home I came over the last hill, which there are many, and the sunlight on the cornfield on the other side of the highway was making a mirage that looked like I was looking out over the ocean.
That was an interesting sight. I've seen strange reflections on the cornfields, but it never looked quite like this before, so I decided to investigate. As I got closer I realized that this was no mirage. It was water!
I didn't have my good camera with me because that's not why I was out. I took these pictures with my cellphone. I had to enhance the pictures in a photo editor because I was looking into the Sun. I'd say they came out pretty good.
Since I've been here the weather has been pretty mild up until now. Even the winters have been pretty snow free. That will most likely change one of these next times. It's kind of strange to see all of the rivers pretty much all the way full or overflowing. Usually they're almost empty.
I'm hoping the Big Sioux flood will recede in another day or two so they open up the highway again. Then I can get back to visiting the nature parks. This flood ruins a lot of things for the farmers around here, but I have to say that for me it's mostly just interesting. I'll talk to you later.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
I found these little white flowers in the forest on the edge of the hiking trail. I haven't really seen many other wildflowers up till now. Maybe it's because of the places I go, and maybe it's because I don't look hard enough. I'll keep watching.
The leaves seem familiar on the flowers for some reason. I must have seen them before. I'll have to remember that. Maybe it'll help me identify them one day. I've seen little white flowers a lot. The good thing about pictures is that I can come back here and look at these plants over and over again to find out what they might be.
I guess that's what I can write about these flowers. I'll talk to you later.
Monday, June 16, 2014
I wish my pictures could be a little better, but the cornfield background kind of makes it hard to see the birds for some reason. It doesn't look like they're eating their usual favorite, a dead animal, or anything else. I guess they were just taking a break.
As I was taking the pictures a motorcycle went by and gave them a scare, so they both flew up into the air. I tried my best to follow them with the camera but I just couldn't catch up. I even tried to pull back on the zoom, but that didn't work either. They were gone too soon.
One of the problems is thinking up stuff to write about. Sometimes I take a few pictures but have absolutely nothing to say about them. Animals aren't as hard as plants or nature scenes. Animals move around and do things. But I can still come up with something when I get used to writing more again.
I guess I'll find out what happens when I try. My next post will be up as soon as I can write it. I have plenty of stuff to write about and I'm gathering more every day. I'll talk to you later.
Saturday, June 14, 2014
I've been out a lot recently so I think I'm getting a good chance to learn about my surroundings pretty fast. One of the still new things for me is hiking with my dog. When I was alone I could focus all of my attention on the nature around me. But with the dog I have to pay attention to her just as much. It's been a little bit of a struggle even when she tries to help me with what I'm supposed to do.
Just yesterday we were out on a nice little nature trail when she began pulling me in a direction I didn't want to go. I had my head down looking at her and becoming a little annoyed. I wanted to continue down the trail, so I tried to pull her with me, but she pulled right back. So I looked up a little bit and told her in a loud voice to come on. It was right then that I saw the deer that she was pulling me towards. It was standing only a little ways away observing us. But when I yelled it ran away. I have to learn to work with the dog a little more.
She was very patient while I was taking the pictures of this damselfly. She stood there waiting and kept some slack on her leash while I got the pictures. She's usually like that. I never believed that a deer would come so close with her there, only things like this damselfly. I still have some things to learn, but at least now I am going out and learning those lessons.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
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 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.
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.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
One of my favorite things to do is to drive through the countryside around here. Much of it is cornfields, but there are very many areas that look just like this. I guess what you might see just depends on what direction you take. One thing I always do on these roads is go up and down endless hills. You can see another small one there in the distance.
I think I drive around here more than I do just about anything else. I get to see so much this way. The only problem is that I can't really take many pictures from a moving truck. I get to see all sorts of animals like cows, sheep, horses, buffalo, deer, wild turkeys, and some others that seem pretty strange to be around here.
That's really all I have this time. I just really liked this picture from the moment I took it. I couldn't believe it came out so well through the dirty windshield. I'll talk to you later.