Saturday, December 24, 2016

A Very Squirrely Christmas

Here's a special Christmas present from me to you. This picture is for all of you who have decided to visit me on Christmas. Click on the picture to make it bigger for the best effect. Take a close look at Santa's reindeer. There's something very strange about them.

Merry Christmas everybody!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Friendly Little Red Squirrel

#wildlife #pictures I'm revisiting an older post with a friendly little squirrel I found at one of the larger nature parks near me. I was known for my squirrel posts back around this time. Read on and you'll see that there's a reason this particular squirrel was so friendly.

Why is this little Red Squirrel standing there so expectantly? It saw humans on this busy park walkway and thought there would be a free meal of piles and piles of sunflower seeds. And did the little squirrel get that expected meal? Yes, but not from me.

It seems that the squirrels at this section of Kensington Metropark are fed regularly by the humans that walk by. Not only the squirrels, but chipmunks and birds are fed as well. So you might guess what kind of behavior we get to see out of these normally wild creatures.

This is what you get. These creatures have decided that humans are a good thing to have around. They come running right up when they see someone slow down on the trail at this section. They know exactly what kind of human behavior to watch for.

There were at least a dozen animals that came right up to me and begged for food. This squirrel was just one of several other red squirrels that came right up to me, begging at my feet. The Chipmunks were just as bold. There was at least one Nuthatch that wanted in on the action as well, hopping along on the ground with the others.

There are so many of these animals, and some waited so patiently, that I have plenty of video for you from this adventure. So this episode of Rat TV is of a chubby little red squirrel that kept coming right up to me begging and pleading for seeds.

There are more videos, of course. One of which is the Cool Nature Video over at Nature Center Magazine today. The squirrels in that video aren't peaceful and happy at all. No, they are very angry little monsters. They won't tolerate any other animals coming near them, growling at all that are near. They even get angry at one another. They actually begin brawling right there on the sidewalk!

But here's little chubby again, happily coming over to hopefully beg for seeds. This little squirrel is either pregnant or is just getting more than its share of seeds that are thrown down. You can see what I'm talking about more clearly in the video. It is a cute little girl though. I like squirrels.

I got a lot of video this time, maybe more than even the pictures. There were just so many animals here, and they were all moving around so fast. Fast is usually easy for me, but not when the animals are running around my feet like bratty little children. The bratty kind are the best, you know. I'll talk to you later.

Nature Center Magazine - Come see a video game style brawl, with squirrels! Watch as the champion takes on all challengers in this knock down drag out fight to the finish! LLLet's Get Ready To Squirrelll!!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Down The Rabbit Hole

What you are about to read is my second adventure with my old friend Alice. She was a real life little girl back then who had an odd habit of duplicating a good old story. Now she is all grown up and these adventures are just a memory. I never completely showed her in my pictures to protect her anonymity.

Alice was considering in her own mind (as well as she could, for the day made her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her.

There was nothing so very remarkable in that, nor did Alice think it so very much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to itself, "Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!" But when the Rabbit actually took a watch out of its waistcoat-pocket and looked at it and then hurried on, Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it, and, burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it and was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole, under the hedge. In another moment, down went Alice after it!

- Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

I liked having Alice with me at Orchard Lake Nature Sanctuary, so I invited her to come along with me to Heritage Park. After a while we came to a particularly nice area, and Alice said, "Look, a rabbit!" I told her we should be very quiet so we could get some pictures of it. I said the pictures might not be very good though, because we might not be close enough.

She said, "I can get really close to it. I've done this before with rabbits." I asked her where she saw a rabbit before. She said, "In my back yard. I know how to get right up next to them." Then she proceeded to try to sneak up on it. There it went, with Alice right behind.

I told her it wasn't working with this one, but she insisted that she could get closer. The rabbit continued to move away as she pursued hot on it's heels.

I was taking as many pictures as I could as the rabbit moved away. Alice kept after it, and I told her maybe she should stop. She said, "No, really, I can do it." But the rabbit was quickly moving away now. Maybe I could get one last picture.

Well, I got half of a picture. The rabbit then ran into the forest. Alice went to plunge right in after it when I told her more firmly now to stop. She finally stopped and said, "I can still see it. If I go in there I can chase it back out so we can get more pictures." I told her not to do it because we don't want to scare it anymore. She eventually reluctantly agreed, and I said, "Let's sit down and rest. This is a nice place."

As we sat down on one of these benches, I thought to myself that if she would have gone into the forest after that rabbit I probably wouldn't have been able to keep up with her. I was glad I was able to get her to stop. Wow, I'm tired. What is it with Alice and rabbits?

You know, when I started this Everyday Adventurer thing, I never thought I'd find myself in Wonderland.

I'll talk to you later.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A Fun Deer Encounter

I haven't been able to get out much to get any new material to post so I decided to use some good older pictures of mine and write a new post about the memory. Maybe I'm a little rusty from not writing in so long, but I'm excited to get back here. And maybe I can get out for some new stuff soon.

I remember how excited I was when I first spotted this big guy at the front of my favorite old nature park. I was just leaving when I spotted him lying there to my right. He didn't have the biggest rack of antlers, but he was a big deer, the biggest I had ever seen up to that point.

I remember telling myself to appear calm and move slowly so I wouldn't frighten him away. I was excellent at keeping deer calm back then. Some of them even approached me out of curiosity. They ran from almost anybody else. This one didn't mind me at all. I got lots of pictures.

After my initial bunch of pictures I decided to move on and give the big boy some peace. As I moved up the trail I looked back and noticed that I could get more pictures from a different angle. So I stopped and began to do just that. There was one problem though.

It was right as I was about to take the first of my new pictures that another guy came walking up the trail from where I had come. As soon as the deer saw this new person it jumped right up and prepared to run. See what I mean about other people and deer? It was just mostly about the way I moved back then around wild animals. They never felt threatened by me.

It took no time before the deer lifted its tail in fright and ran off into the thick brush and trees and was never seen again by me. You may notice when the deer was clearly frightened that he never looked my way. He only looked toward the threat. And I was every bit as close as the other person.

My point here isn't to brag that I'm wonderful with animals. It's just to point out that you can put them at ease by adjusting your body language just a bit. I haven't been able to do this for the past few years because I haven't had these types of encounters. But I just know I could do just as well with these country deer too. It'll happen one day. I'll talk to you later.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

I'm Still Lurking Around

I'm still here. I just don't have any material for a new post right now. I hope to have something soon. Thanks for stopping by. I'll talk to you later.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Advice From A Caterpillar

I'm a little short on adventures lately so I decided to introduce you to an old friend. I often found myself oddly in Wonderland with my little friend along. It was a kind of joy seeing a little kid love nature so much. I'll revisit some of our adventures whenever I get the chance between my newer ones. This one is from back in the summer of 2008.

"Who are you?" said the Caterpillar.

Alice replied, rather shyly, "I-I hardly know, sir, just at present-at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have changed several times since then."

"What do you mean by that?" said the Caterpillar, sternly. "Explain yourself!"

"I can't explain myself, I'm afraid, sir," said Alice, "because I'm not myself, you see-being so many different sizes in a day is very confusing." She drew herself up and said very gravely, "I think you ought to tell me who you are, first."

- Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

I thought this blue caterpillar reminded me of something. The top picture is the size we saw it when we first arrived. In the bottom picture it got just a little bit bigger. You can see all the little details, even it's legs clinging to the leaf. Maybe you're thinking, "Here's the blue caterpillar, but where's Alice?"

Of course the blue caterpillar is in these two pictures. You can't see Alice because she's standing just to my left, trying to get her own picture of the caterpillar. She probably doesn't know that she's Alice, but I can see by the look on her face that she does know that she's standing right in the middle of Wonderland.

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Mystery Of The Blood Red Bugs

I took pictures of some milkweed plants while I was out on another everyday adventure back some years ago. I saw milkweed plants before that, and have talked about them here in the past many times. I wanted a small update for myself because I've always liked milkweed.

When I got back home and examined the pictures from the day, I got a little surprise. That seems to happen to me a lot. I was checking out the pictures of these milkweed plants, when I saw these little blood red bugs crawling all over some of them.

I examined the pictures very closely. I zoomed in to see as much as I could. You can see the discoloration of the pod that they're on in the last picture. I'm assuming it's either dead or dying. In one place to the top of the group of bugs, one bug is seen boring right into the side of the seed pod. A little on the lower end there is a bug already embedded in the pod.

What were these bugs? I was fascinated by them. I was, and still am, a little repulsed. They're feeding on, and even destroying my beloved milkweed plants! I had to find out what they were. I decided to search everywhere I could, with every resource I had. I think I found the answer!

These bugs are called Small Milkweed Bugs (Lygaeus kalmii). I wasn't at all sure at first, because the pictures I saw didn't look quite the same. The pictures I found showed something that was more orange and black, instead of these blood red things.

As I did further research, I found that these are the only insects that eat from the pods. They like the taste of the seeds apparently. I also found out that the nymphs (young ones) are red just like in my picture above. As they grow older, they grow more orange and develop black areas.

These bugs can be found in large numbers on milkweed plants. They mate right on the plants. They also feed on the seeds late in the season, which would be right around October when I took these pictures that year. They also suck the nectar from the flowers of various herbaceous plants. In the spring they are also reported to be scavengers and predators, since milkweed seeds are scarce.

The only thing that confused me was that these appear to be nymphs. I thought before that I would only see them earlier than now. But I found out more.The adults lay their eggs on the milkweed in the spring, and they have sometimes more than one generation in a year. That would likely solve my nymph mystery.

As to the noticeable red coloring of the small milkweed bugs. This coloration and the fact that they don't seem to move around very quickly, tells us something about them. After feeding on the poisonous milkweed seeds, these bugs have themselves now become poisonous. They are immune to any poisons from the plant, but any potential predator is not. The red coloration is a warning for predators not to eat them.

Well there you go. That explains what these blood red bugs are. This article is now the best place on the internet to find information on Small Milkweed Bugs. I have gathered together more information on them than any other website I have found so far. It's my gift to you. If you can show me otherwise, I'll post new information and give you credit.

Another mystery solved by The Everyday Adventurer. I'm just like Scooby Doo, except with an eye patch. (That last part was for my old friend Alice. I'll have to tell all of you newer readers about her sometime.)

I'll talk to you later.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Surprise Flowers

I have two surprises for you today! The first surprise is these flowers. I keep saying that I almost never see flowers around here. And I really don't, but here are these. When I see them I make sure I get at least a few pictures.

I'm lucky I had my phone this time because these flowers were tiny and the phone zooms right in and gets good focus on small things. My big camera doesn't do quite as well in automatic mode. Now whenever I have something small to share I use the phone.

And you may not have noticed my second surprise. There's a bug in the picture above. I don't know whether I caught him by surprise or he just diesn't move anymore. But I got the bug in the picture too. And it's a nice clear shot. Pretty good for just one picture.

And I found another flower! I said I had two surprises, but does another flower count as a third? This looks to be some kind of thistle, maybe of the Canadian variation, but it's kind of small compared to most. This flower is also tiny, but not as small as the others.

This is a nice lavender colored flower, but you won't want to pick it. It bites. Look at those thorns below the flower. I don't like that part. Such a shame. I wanted to pick this flower to death so much too.

I would have posted more pictures this time, but I only had these two. Like I said, I don't see many flowers around here. Maybe I need to look harder. My next trip might have more flowers or some other interesting plants. I guess we'll find out next time. I'll talk to you later.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Hills So Steep

I recently visited a new nature park, kind of. This new park is actually the back entrance of Five Ridge Prairie Preserve. I've visited the front entrance several times over the past few years. The reason that it is new is because this park is so big that I've never been anywhere close to this end of it.

The park is very hilly and even if I was still in my best shape I'm not good enough to hike through the whole thing. The hills just about kill me. And that brings me to the good and bad points of this mostly new nature park.

First of all, this end of the park is beautiful. It's almost exactly what I've been looking for in a nature park. The trails are only just wide enough to walk through, and there are lots of trees. The trees are the important thing for me. I love being surrounded by trees on a good nature trail. And this park doesn't disappoint with trees.

But now comes the part I didn't like, and it was unfortunately a deal breaker. This main trail goes up a very steep hill. Take a look in the picture above. You can kind of see it. Pictures never show hills properly for some reason.

I said before the hills just about kill me, even at the best times. My back has become weak, and I can't seem to fix it, so I do the best I can. Surprisingly it wasn't my back that was the problem here. It was my legs. I went as far as I could before I was in agony, and I had to turn back.

It's hard to see it in the picture above, but from here I could just see the top of the hill. I couldn't walk any farther. At least I got a picture. I had to turn around and make my way back down the steep hill. It was a much easier journey on my legs, but going down the hill was much harder to maneuver. I had to be very careful not to slip and fall.

After awhile I made it back down to the bottom and to the beginning of the trail again. I knew I wouldn't be back here again for quite some time, and I was regretting it because the trails are so nice looking. I really wish they were flatter. It would become my favorite park if that were so.

So now my next plan is to visit the other end of the park. I can walk much farther there. That end is good, but the trail looks like an access road. I like the small forest trails better. They make me think of hidden secrets to explore so much more than others.

So I guess I'm done here until my next adventure. This one was a little more serious this time. That's sometimes good. We'll see what my attitude is next time. And until then, I'll talk to you later.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Henry's Horrible Hallucination

I'm having a little trouble hunting for new material right now so I decided to bring back some strange fun from the past. You might like reading this or you might just think I'm strange. This will be new to most of you, but a long time reader will remember this one. I hope you like it either way. And besides...

A Little Fiction Won't Hurt You

Hello, my name is Henry. I have a story to tell you about something that just happened to me. It might seem strange, but I think I've been hallucinating. I mean, it must all be a hallucination, right? It has to be!!!

It all started when I was reading a story on the internet. It was about some idiot who started a war with a bunch of squirrels. The story was kind of stupid but I liked it anyway, so I decided to look through the site. As I started reading I saw that there were some very good ideas on how being out in the middle of nature can relieve some of the stress from our everyday lives, so I decided I might try it for myself.

After one particular tiring day at work, I was driving home through a wooded area. I saw a sign for a nature preserve, and I decided to stop and go in. I noticed it was just like the website said, there was a small dirt trail leading into the woods, and a sign with some park rules. I was still kind of stressed out, and I didn't need no stinking rules, so I walked right in without reading them.

I have to tell you, after walking for a little ways in the woods, my stress began to melt away. The air smelled so fresh. And there were all sorts of beautiful plants, little animals like squirrels and a few other cute little things. I didn't start any wars though, I was too relaxed now. As a matter of fact, I was feeling so relaxed that I decided to take a little siesta beside a tree that I saw several feet off the trail. Just a short nap, no big thing.

I must have been asleep longer than I thought, because when I woke up it was beginning to get dark. I figured I'd better get up and head on home. I really felt much better now than when I got here. I was going to remember to come back here as often as I could. As I got to my feet, I heard the sound of a man clearing his throat.

I turned toward the sound and saw a man standing there in a white suit. Everything about this guy seemed to sparkle. His suit was the cleanest I've ever seen, complete with a very odd looking blood red tie. That tie really stood out for some reason. He was a tall slim man with slicked back black hair and a little thin mustache, and he was looking right at me. If you're not already thinking it, I'll say it. This was really strange out here in the forest!

Since he was staring so intensely at me, I decided to ask him, "Uhmm, is there something you want?"

"Well of course there's something I want," he said. "I want you! I mean, I want to talk to you. I have a deal for you, and I don't think you can refuse this one." I began to put two and two together, and I remembered reading stories like this before. I didn't think he had any deal that I'd really like. This kind of deal never worked out very well for guys like me, and I told him so.

He kind of laughed and said, "That's all in the past! In these modern times I let you think it out before we finalize the deal. In the past it was just my inexperience that led to a few bad endings to a few little agreements."

"What happened with those past agreements? I don't want something bad to happen to me. Not that I'm agreeing to anything, I just want to know," I said suspiciously.

He said, "Well, there was the time a man asked for one billion dollars and..."

"Wait a minute," I said. "A billion dollars! So you really are..."

"That's right! The one and only... But let me finish," he said. "I gave him the money, all in pennies, and I kind of accidentally dropped it on him all at once. That was too bad for him," he chuckled. "We'll make sure that won't happen with you though. You're much smarter than him. And besides, I'll protect you for this one because I'm trying to repair my bad reputation. It's just not good for business to keep letting my marks die on me."

I didn't like the way this was going, so I asked him how he would guarantee that I wouldn't die. I figured that if I played along, he'd let me leave soon. He said, "Well, I'll make sure you don't ask for anything quite so outrageous as a billion dollars. It's always the greed that does 'em in, so try to ask for something that might help others. You know, like having a superpower or something. You could be some sort of superhero, and I guarantee you won't die."

Actually, I thought, this was getting interesting now. A superpower sounded kind of cool. I know, I could be Superman! Wait, no, that was getting greedy and he said not to be greedy. I'll only pick one superpower, but which one?

"I want to fly! I mean, I want the power of flight," I told him.

"A wonderful choice," he exclaimed. "You will have the power of flight. It will last your whole lifetime, and I guarantee that no physical harm will come to you as a direct result. Your wish is granted. The deal is done!" As soon as the last words were out of his mouth he disappeared in a puff of smoke.

I was kind of scared, but it was too late, the deal was done. I decided that maybe I should try out my new special power. I jumped into the air, and nothing happened. Just kidding! I flew! I was now soaring freely in the air! I was really flying! I did it! I was the first one to get the better of him in a deal!

Because this was so great, I decided to fly around for the rest of the day. I eventually tired myself out, so I decided to find another nice place to rest, somewhere nearby. I looked down and saw a piece of land in the middle of a small lake. That looked like as good a place as any to take a nap after my first day as the newest superhero.

I woke up to the sound of footsteps coming towards me. I thought it was him again coming to try and change the deal since I had beaten him so badly. But when I turned to look I saw a completely different sight. It was some big idiot wearing a hat of fake mouse ears and a toy eye patch. He was running towards me with a camera in his hand!

He lifted the camera in my direction and took a picture. I angrily looked at him with my head cocked to the side and yelled, "HONK!!!"

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Back With An Interesting Bug

Since I haven't been on the internet for a month my writing is a little bit rusty. I'll leave my absence up to your wildest imaginations. But now I'm back and I've brought this interesting bug with me. It's good to be back.

The bug appears to be a moth of some kind, but I'm not really even sure about that. I found it on the front of my house. It was sitting there just looking cool one night so I whipped out my phone and took a picture of it. Having the smartphone with me really is handy.

I only have the one good picture so I'll keep the post short. I hope to have more posts starting in a few days. But I don't have any material yet so I'm not sure how soon I'll be back. Hopefully it won't be another month. I'll talk to you later.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

A Tall Tale Or Just A Whopping Lie?

I just have to come right out and say it. I lied. I'm a terrible liar. I lied in my last post. I never went on a pokemon hunt at all. In fact, I've never played the game. I've never even seen it. I have a wonderful phone, but my operating system just isn't one of the popular ones that can get this game. So I lied to make myself look cool.

I have another confession that you just won't believe. Wait for it. It's a shocker. I never even broke my leg. See, I knew you'd think it was unbelievable. Now that I've confessed you'll never believe again that a broken leg can heal after two weeks. What will the world do with that information?

So how can you ever trust my word again? Well, the simple answer is that you can't. I lie all the time. I can't say that I don't enjoy it, because I do. But I also tell the honest truth much of the time. So you can never know which is which, what's a lie and what's the truth. Does that make me like a devil? Or just a guy who enjoys wearing a rat suit far too much?

I've said before that my love of this rat suit has long passed. I would have taken it off long ago, but the zipper seems to be stuck and every time I try to ask someone to help me get it they run away screaming for some reason.

I never really thought that wandering around through the forest in a rat suit would be seen as strange, or even demented. But after some of the reactions I get, maybe I miscalculated just a bit. I still get some good pictures sometimes though, don't you think?

(I'll still swear today that a talking squirrel named Flynn took the picture above.)

If you see this guy coming at you in the forest, run for your life. The last thing you'll hear is a high pitched little voice saying, "Hold still, I'm gonna make you famous."

But this is where I have beaten him. I moved far away. Far away from crazy little adventurer squirrels armed with their own cameras. In fact, I haven't seen a squirrel in months. But now because of my cowardice even the birds are ashamed to look at the guy in the Ratty old rat suit. So I have to catch them off guard to get any good pictures.

I'll say this. Even though I saw so many squirrels in the past that they began speaking to me, none of these robins have uttered a word. So far anyway. Their mocking body language is enough for them I guess. They think they're smarter than me, but I have the last laugh. It's them you see in the pictures, not me. Except for that one picture up there I guess.

So after all of that, even though it was all the truth, and I confessed to being one of the biggest liars of all time, do you believe my story? I swear it's all true. It all happened. Except that pokemon hunt of course. Oh, and that broken leg. And maybe a few other details. But it's the truth. Really it is. And I have the pictures to prove it.

Maybe in my next post, if I'm on the right medication, I'll get back to my normal serious posts. But maybe this is normal. If you check out a few of my old posts you'll see that maybe I was always like this. Don't be afraid. I'll talk to you later.

Monday, July 25, 2016

A Monster Of A Tale

It's been a little while since my last post. So, what happened? Well, I went on a little pokemon hunt and ran into a few little problems. First I wasn't paying attention to where I was going and walked off the side of a cliff. Broke my leg on that one. Then I accidentally walked into a raging river and got washed two states away. After some walking I accidentally crossed into Canada and got arrested by the border patrol. Finally, after straightening that out, on my way back here I was driving down the street playing this stupid game and I drove right into the back of a police car. All of this cost me half my fortune and took me two weeks to finally get back home.

So now I'm finally back. My broken leg heeled fast and I'm raring to go. Now I'd just like to forget about that moronic little adventure. Geocaching is much more fun than that game anyway.

But remembering what I was saying at the end of my last post. How could I top walking with bison? maybe an elephant? No. How about swimming with a whale? Unfortunately swimming just isn't for me. I had to think of something incredible. So I decided to look for an animal that hasn't been around for millions of years. This Stegosaurus is just the perfect thing.

Let me tell you, this giant dinosaur was much more dangerous than a few bison. I got just as close to this beast, but I really had to stealthily sneak up on it. I couldn't believe my luck when I saw it just standing there in this grass. Who wouldn't want the first genuine pictures of a real dinosaur in millions of years?

I parked my truck far enough away that this monster wouldn't notice. Then I crept up on him, but I did it fast, and I was able to get close enough to reach out and touch him. I have to say that these creatures must be kind of blind because he never really seemed to realize at all that I was there. He didn't react to me at all. He never moved a muscle.

I thought about trying to ride him, but the thought of those plates sticking into my backside wasn't very appealing. So needless to say I decided to just take my pictures then leave this poor lonely creature in peace.

Later I met some guy not too far away that told me this stupid lie that this wasn't a real dinosaur at all, it was only a statue. I told him I knew he was lying just to keep it to himself, but he stuck to his story no matter how much I objected. What a jerk!

So that's my story. I think my next post will come a little sooner than this one took. I'm not sure if I can top getting pictures of a dinosaur, but we'll have to see just what happens. Hey, anything can happen here. I'll talk to you later.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Walking With A Herd Of Bison

I told you a few posts ago that I was on a quest to find a herd of bison and a herd of rabbits. Well, here's the herd of bison. I'm still hunting for the rabbits. I'll get them soon enough. The only problem is that I don't think rabbits gather in groups. So let's talk about these bison.

From time to time I do some things that would be considered strange or dangerous to some people. I did indeed get this close to these bison. I was actually even closer than this. Let me tell you, these are huge animals. They make cows look small. You don't want to mess with them. They're not tame and they can get angry very quickly.

See that bison in the front there? Look at that lighter area toward the back. That's its baby standing there nursing. There are a few little ones in this herd. They're hard to see in this tall grass, so watch for that lighter color.

I told you in that earlier post that I might even get a picture of me riding one of them. The only problem is that I didn't have any way to get the picture because I was all alone. Who was going to take the picture? So maybe next time.

I didn't mention while we were on the first picture about the houses you can see in the distance. I wasn't exactly out in the wilderness here. But this is a bit of a wild area with the bison here. The reason I was able to get so close was because they don't exactly have miles to roam. The bison are still very wild and very dangerous.

Now we come to the part I really promised you. I have a new episode of Rat TV, a video of this herd of bison. As usual I kept it short so you don't have to suffer through a long video that you may not want to watch. But you do get a better idea of what the herd looks like, and you get to imagine just how close I was to them.

I took a few pictures from a little ways back from the herd. I wanted to get more of these huge animals in the shot. You can see that it's not the whole herd, but it gives you a better idea of their distribution. maybe there are bigger herds, but this was a good sized one.

I didn't take many pictures of the bison. I usually take lots. This time I thought it might be a better idea to get in there and do what I had to do and then get out. I was really standing there. I wasn't in a vehicle with protection or anything like that. I don't recommend anybody else try that. I will say that I was perfectly safe though.

So now that I've met this one goal, what can I do next? How can I top this? No, I haven't gotten that herd of rabbits yet. So what comes next? I know what it is, but I haven't done it yet. I won't reveal what it is here, but I hope to have it in my next post. See you then. And I'll talk to you later.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

My Newest Butterfly

I have to admit right off the bat that I've decided that I'm too lazy to keep searching for the identification of this butterfly. I searched for about thirty minutes with no luck and I'm giving up. The worst thing is that I've seen this type of butterfly many times before and I know that it's very common.

But who really cares anyway. The real thing is that I have pictures of a butterfly today. This plant was just swarming with them until I got kind of close. This one was the only butterfly willing to come back for me. It did good. Now it's famous. I'll call him Benny.

Here you can see Benny Butterfly just sitting there on the strange and possibly alien plant helping the plant plot to take over the world. I'll bet you didn't know that about butterflies. They don't start out evil. But when they get together with these evil alien pod plants they become evil super villains. I guess we can all be glad they're only butterflies. Right?

Now isn't that last little paragraph better than a boring old examination into the type of butterfly and plant we're looking at? You can find all that stuff just about anywhere else. You can always go to Wikipedia if you miss it. Well, if you really want it I'll give you just a little bit. Kind of. Not really.

Here above is a better look at the plant the butterfly is on. It's a kind of milkweed plant. These milkweeds are scattered all over the area. I have several pictures of them. The different kinds of milkweed make up a favorite kind of plant of mine. I may do a post about this particular type in the near future. We'll see.

Alright, I couldn't resist, so I looked a little more for the identity. I'm probably completely wrong, and I don't care, but it looks similar to a Spangled Fritillary. That particular type was the first one I saw when I searched for "Iowa butterflies". Maybe I'm a winner. If not, then ehh.

The one thing I can tell you for sure is that butterflies are special little creatures. So now that I presented a butterfly to you, how can I top it in my next post? I don't know. (Actually I do know), So you'll have to read my next post to find out what is better than a butterfly. I'll talk to you later.

Monday, July 4, 2016

My Favorite Wild Fruit

The subject of this post will be a light little look at my favorite wild fruit. What is it? It's mulberries! I look for mulberry trees wherever I go. I wasn't sure I would find one around here, but a nearby nature park is just full of them.

You might be able to tell by the picture that not all of them look the same. The black ones there are the ripe ones. The rest aren't ready yet. Whenever I find a mulberry tree I stop and eat as many mulberries as I can. There are plenty here for me and the birds.

The birds leave plenty of evidence that they've been eating them by their huge droppings all over the bridge on the trail in this park. I won't show you that picture this time, but I think you get the idea. The birds really do love these berries.

When I was about three years old we had a small mulberry tree in our backyard. My mom used to take me over to it and help me pick mulberries from there. That is my earliest memory of mulberries. I have loved them ever since.

I've had the trees at a few other houses that I've lived in. And I have found these trees on some of the nature trails I've visited in the past. But I've never found so many as the ones at the park I visit around here. This park is mulberry heaven for me.

You'd think I would get some good bird pictures from these trees, but even though I always hear lots of birds around I can never quite see them well enough to get any pictures. You'd think birds would see the camera and want to cooperate, but I guess these particular birds just think they're too good for me.

If you've been hanging around here long enough you know I've posted about mulberries before. Now I'm doing it again because I like 'em. The only place you can probably find them is in the wild on trees. Not at a grocery store. That makes them kind of unique.

These many mulberry trees at the nature park are one thing I've learned that I can appreciate about my local area. My quest this year is exactly about learning of the things around here that I can appreciate about nature. I want to learn to love the nature here as much as the nature I had when I began this blog. I think It's finally starting to happen. I'll talk to you later.

Friday, July 1, 2016

What's Up, Doc?

There are rabbits everywhere around here. I could open my front door and see rabbits just like this one much of the time. But I didn't do that this time. No. That would be too easy. I went out to the hills to find some genuine wild rabbits that may have never seen a human before.

When he saw me this little rabbit looked up and said, "What the heck is that ugly thing?" Hey, it's not every day that a rabbit sees a crazy guy with a camera wearing a rat suit. I know it's a strange sight. I didn't used to realize it until people began running from me.

After the rabbit got a good look at me it decided to go back to its main business. But I'm not foolish enough to think it didn't keep an eye on me. Even if he'd never seen anything like me before he probably wasn't too fond of me pointing my camera at him.

Look closely at the rabbits mouth in the pictures above and below. You can see the difference between them if you look closely. See? I knew you would. That difference is the reason I have two similar pictures here. The rabbit is chewing on the grass in front of it.

I'm on a quest this summer. I want to get video of a herd of bison. I've shown you up close pictures of some in the past, but I forgot the video. I hope to change that one of these days. Maybe I'll ride one of them this time. I don't know, they're kind of dangerous.

Maybe I'll show you a herd of rabbits one of these times. That's something I've never shown before. I know just where to look. Now I have two quests. I wonder which one I'll complete first. We'll find out one of these times. I'll talk to you later.