Monday, July 31, 2017
The horses noticed me as soon as I got there. And they all looked right at me, just like the donkeys. But that's where the similarities ended.
These horses stayed huddled in this small group. They stared at me while the two in the front stamped their hooves and shook their heads at me. That didn't seem like they really wanted to make friends. That's okay. I only wanted pictures and a video anyway.
But these pictures are exactly what fun is all about because you get to see a bunch of horses all grouped up. And the ones lying down are just fine. While I was there, they were looking around as if they were on vacation.
So now you know what I do all day. I stand there annoying horses and other country critters with my camera. Maybe they wanted me to go away, but I was having fun fun fun. I'll talk to you later.
Friday, July 28, 2017
Whenever I go out with the purpose of getting lots of pictures I forget everything else and I just concentrate on getting those pictures. Nothing else. The real purpose of going out is to enjoy nature, but I forget to do that at its fullest when I get locked in on taking nature pictures. And I go too fast. I always do it and I can't help it at all.
So I only remember taking a bunch of pictures. I don't remember what the specific subjects of my pictures were at the time. I only remember taking lots of pictures. There were just so many flowers out there that they all seemed to run together a bit. I need to slow down and think a bit more. But I've been trying for years. I still have lots of fun though anyway.
But it looks kind of funny. The petals are thinner than any chicory I've seen before. The plant looks like chicory to me in the pictures. And I did examine the plant while I was out there, but I don't remember enough about it. So I'm just not sure.
I did do lots of searching on the internet and in a few plant guides, but I found nothing other than it might be chicory. I know one person who would have an answer for me right away, but she has become a hermit. So maybe I'll never find the answer. Such a shame.
Nature Center Magazine for a bit, you'll see that I'm a terrible liar. I pretend to be a beginner because it's more fun that way for me and for you. While I'm not a super expert, you probably won't find many people with as much knowledge of nature and wildlife as I have.
So now you know my terrible secret. I'll deny all of this in my very next post. I'll be back to bumbling my way through an encounter with a skunk or an elm tree or something like that. It's all about having fun with nature. And I really am having a lot of fun. I'll talk to you later.
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
This plant goes by many names, but the name I found first was Western Salsify. The scientific name for the plant is Tragopogon Dubius. Some people think of it as a giant dandelion. I read that it even starts out with a similar yellow flower that turns into these big puffballs.
As always, I might have terribly misidentified this plant. I never claim to know much about plants except what I learn on the internet. And I usually learn as I go along. I will say though that I think I know more than most people about plants because I have actually gathered quite a lot of information over the years.
If you like, you can find more information on this plant by searching the internet. It's pretty easy, and fun too. I'm not trying to be an encyclopedia, which would be terrible. I'm just trying to spark your interest in nature. That is fun too. I'll talk to you later.
Monday, July 24, 2017
Donkeys may not seem unusual, but I don't see donkeys most of the time, so I made sure I stopped for a few pictures of them. What I usually see is either cows or horses. Any other kind of animal is a little different.
The last time I tried to get pictures of cows they all kept turning their backs to me. I thought farm animals would be just fine with me getting out of my truck and taking a few pictures. But apparently not cows or sheep. I began to think they all hated me. I'm glad these donkeys are nice and friendly.
I didn't stick around much longer. I just wanted to get a few pictures, not necessarily make new friends. But I guess I did make friends with them. They were certainly friendly donkeys. For that I'll remember them for a long time. I'll talk to you later.
Friday, July 21, 2017
So now after I just kind of insulted the place, what is it that is so interesting about it? Don't worry, I'm getting to it. What makes it so interesting is that I'm not sure anybody else goes here at all.
There is never a hint or a clue of anyone else visiting this place when I visit. The only things I've seen are signs of maintenance on the roads going into this very hidden nature area.
I think at one time this might have been a popular fishing spot. Today it is mostly abandoned. In a way, that seems like kind of a shame. But I like it because I can come here and be all alone surrounded by nature.
I've shown you this lake before in the past. But after looking at the old pictures from that, I think this post gives you a little better look. One of these times I'm going to have to get you some video and really show you around the lake. I've really been doing a lot of video experimentation recently. You're going to like the results of that. I'll talk to you later.
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
But first, let me tell you a little about the pond since I have these pictures here just waiting for their story to be told. I've told you I keep seeing water birds in this pond. Every time in fact. But that was then.
But let's move on to the star attraction.
My video today features just some of the things I see in the countryside around where I live. I couldn't feature everything in such a short time, but I got a lot in. I'll always have future videos to show you my newest nature findings. I'll talk to you later.
Monday, July 17, 2017
For some reason, I don't see many ducks around here. There is a lot of water here, but none that water birds really like to visit very much, except this one place. So far every time I've visited this pond I've seen water birds of some sort. But nowhere else.
The one thing that I did find out was that these ducks aren't the usual kind I get. Usually, my ducks are the standard Mallards that I see a lot. These ducks are clearly not Mallards.
From what I can tell these appear to be Wood Ducks. You can't get a good look at them from my pictures, but the head of the mother seems to give away the identity.
This video of the ducks was actually two videos that I took, and I needed to merge them into one. For awhile before this, I was just uploading my videos straight to Youtube. I've never been happy with that. Even though my videos aren't much, I still like to enhance them just a bit.
I once saw an Egret in this pond so I know other birds come here too. I didn't have my camera with me back then, but I'll be sure to have it every time from now on. And I think I'll visit this place again this weekend to see what's going on. Who knows what I might find. I'll talk to you later.
Friday, July 14, 2017
What milkweed plants are really known for is their wonderful ability to attract butterflies. I have some pictures of that which I'll have to share with you one of these other times. But right now this plant alone is the best subject in the world because I like it so much all by itself.
All I have to do to see common milkweed around here is drive around an old dirt road in the country. It grows along the roadsides just about everywhere here. It seems to like the extra sunlight areas very much.
You can see these when you're driving along the road because of the big wide leaves. Every time I see those leaves from my truck I slow down to see if it's a good plant for some pictures. I don't always pick the prettiest plants. I pick the ones that capture my interest.
Where I lived before nature was a rare thing. Now it is everywhere here. For a couple of years, I had trouble with the concept of so much nature around me. It was almost as if it was too much in my own mind. My brain kind of overloaded. It took me a little time to adjust to this different world of nature being an everyday thing.
Now I'm back to seeking out the true beauty of nature. It may not be the obvious beauty that you think of, but I share the things that make the natural world around us special. These are mostly the everyday things you can find yourself right out your back door if you look for them. I'll talk to you later.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
These flowers have been growing in this place for many years now. I've been meaning to get pictures of them for a few years now myself. Their growing season has ended every other year before I ever got around to it. This year I've been right there to get my pictures. Kind of.
The brightness of the sun also blotted out the view screen on my camera. I couldn't see what I was taking pictures of. I had to shoot blindly at the flowers I wanted while trying to avoid shadows. When I looked at the pictures later it wasn't a good sight. Most of the pictures had bad shadows.
But in the end it all turned out well. I had just enough pictures to share all of these with you. I'm sure you like them because I took them just for you. But I like the little story of how I got them even more than the flowers because it was a memorable event for me. I'll talk to you later.
Monday, July 10, 2017
See that helicopter in the top right of the picture above? You might have to click on the picture to see it better. You may have already guessed that it's not really a helicopter. It's a really a dragonfly. There were lots of them flying around when I took this picture. Fun stuff.
This place in my first two pictures isn't really part of Broken Kettle Grasslands. It's right on the edge of that place. But I take pictures here every time I pass. I just like the look of this particular place so much for some reason.
I noticed the electric tower in the background after reviewing my pictures. It seems out of place in this place of nature at first, but it also makes the picture slightly more interesting. These towers hold up the power lines that supply electricity to the surrounding area.
If you want to see more scenery from Broken Kettle Grasslands I have several other posts that show similar scenes. Some are better and some are not. But I have them. But this is the end of what I have today. I'll talk to you later.
Friday, July 7, 2017
I think I liked this picture because of the entranceway that was beside the flowers. While maybe none of my pictures are masterpieces, I do like the way this one looks. I sometimes think I don't have much of an eye for beauty, but I think I do get lucky with my pictures sometimes.
I found these wonderful flowers just by driving around out in the country. You can find lots of good things by doing that if you're lucky to live close enough to the country. Try it some time. If nothing else, you might get to see a few cows wandering a field. That's good too. I'll talk to you later.
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
As it turns out, after checking a recent field guide I found, I have come to the conclusion that the tree that grows these berries is called Eastern Redcedar. I have to say now that I notoriously often get plant identification wrong. But even if this isn't the right kind of tree, I know it is closely related.
Anyway, as to the yes and no answer, while this tree is called eastern redcedar, it isn't an actual cedar tree. It is really a juniper. And these supposed berries are actually a kind of cone rather than fruit, even though they really do resemble a berry inside and out. Birds love to eat them for that reason.
And with all of that, I gave you a lesson on this tree and a little history lesson all in one. Even if my identification of the tree is horribly wrong, the story is still kind of interesting. At least it was to me.
I would love to tell the stories of many more trees, but I usually just don't know much about them. Maybe that will change now. The guide for trees I found is specific to Iowa so it probably wouldn't help most of you. But it sure did help me a lot. And it was easy to use.
And so we come to the end. I'll be back next time with some nature thing. It should have some pictures and a few words in there somewhere too. Maybe you'll think it's the best thing you've ever read because it's about your favorite thing. I'll talk to you later.
Monday, July 3, 2017
I wish my pictures could have captured the best of the drama, but I just wasn't quick enough. I was actually distracted at the time because I was busy geocaching. I had to keep switching apps on the phone and I wasn't fast enough. Let me explain better.
In the end, I came to the realization that the cache I was looking for was maybe very close to this blackbird's nest. So that was the end of my search. I knew when it was time to back down. I didn't want to cause this poor bird any more distress.
Now that I'm getting out more and taking more pictures I'm finding the need for the better zoom again. I knew it would happen eventually. So now maybe I'll get more animals to share with you. We'll see. Either way, I think I'll have some good stuff. I'll talk to you later.
Saturday, July 1, 2017
Most nature parks are kind of set aside so you definitely know when you enter them, but not this place. It looks like the surrounding farmland, but there are no crops growing in the fields. It's all just mostly grassland and hills.
You will see and hear that it was a windy day when I was there. There were a few other sounds that are difficult to hear. But if you listen closely you will hear a clue about a future post that is coming soon.
Still, I wanted to show you more of this pond, but the video will have to be what represents it the best this time. As I said before, I will be back. And I'll get a few pictures from other directions when I do come back.
I almost didn't include the picture of the sign, but I remembered at the last minute that it belonged here. And I was supposed to have this post up yesterday, but with all of my recent activity, I'm still trying to find the time to write these posts. It does all work out in the end though, and here is the post. I'll talk to you later.