Beaver at Sweet Marsh - Image 683248 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 4-16-21

  Like Hunting Nightcrawlers (and more) Before I discuss the title of today’s thoughts, I want to share what an exceptional morning I enjoyed from the seat of an aluminum canoe. Due to its size and reflectivity, I did not really think I would see much wildlife at close range. Just the opposite happened.    …

American White Pelicans - Image 682741 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 4-15-21

  Pelican Beak Bumps As I studied a group of American white pelicans, this morning, I wondered about their beak bumps and what happens to the bumps in time. Do they drop like deer antlers? Are they absorbed? Where do the bumps go? Most of the birds I watched this morning also exhibited extra long …

Great Egret at Sweet Marsh - Image 682433 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 4-14-21

  A Pleasant Half-hour This Morning Even though it was early and the sun had not brightened the sky, I still performed a quick check around Sweet Marsh in search of wildlife. Species found and not featured here were two barred owls, a few northern shovelers, a great blue heron, American white pelicans, and plenty …

Trout Lily - Image 682231 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 4-13-21

  A Target Species and a Surprise After seeing so many wildflowers yesterday, today I went searching for one very pretty, very delicate species. In the process I found a half dozen or so plants of a more uncommon species.      My target species for the day was trout lily (also known as dogtooth …

Hepatica - Image 681943 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 4-12-21

  Looking Down and Things are Looking Up During a pause in activities late this afternoon I enjoyed a very brief stroll through a forest floor covered in wildflowers. I counted at least six species in full bloom – some much more than others. Since my wildflower walk was short and at a time when …

Blue-winged Teal on the Wapsipinicon River - Image 681847 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 4-11-21

  Dominance at Near Eye-level This morning during low-light levels and again tonight when it was nearly dark I paddled around the island on the Wapsipinicon River near Frederika. During both outings I saw many blue-winged teals and heard several wood ducks and Canada geese. Turkey vultures and bald eagles were flying over too.    …

Marsh Marigolds - Image 681812 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 4-10-21

  Pretty Colors on a Drab Day Heavy clouds, drizzle, and occasional rain limited my outdoor photography efforts for today. It would have been easy to leave my gear safely protected in my truck. In fact, that was happening until I spotted many marsh marigold plants in bloom as I traveled down a road. I …

Antherium Blossom - Image 681564 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 4-9-21

  One Question-filled Week As of tonight, one week has passed since my mother-in-law left her battle with cancer and increasing memory loss to join so many friends and family members in a better place. Marlene was more than my mother-in-law. I was honored to travel with her to most of her doctor appointments and …

Bloodroot with Raindrops - Image 681533 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 4-8-21

  Simple Things Knowing today and tonight were going to be a very busy, I enjoyed a brief outing during the drizzle this morning. I was hoping to see first of the year warblers, but did not. Trumpeter swans and many ducks were seen and heard. Seeing the wildlife was pleasant, but did not really …

Blue-winged Teal - Image 681425 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 4-7-21

  Seen While Thinking For our family the past days have been a blur.  A death followed by funeral planning followed by a visitation followed by a funeral followed by a meeting with a lawyer followed by a state of feeling disconnected and unorganized with so much to do. At our age we are learning …