Swamp Betony at Rowley Fen - Image 588665 (Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 9-17-19

  To the Citizens of Buchanan County – Thank You! Citizens of Buchanan County – from the Buchanan County Conservation staff, to the school administrators and education staff, and to the parents – thank you for your role in making today’s Buchanan County Fifth Grade Field Day a success. During the hours I met with …

Sunrise Through Fog and Pines (with text) - Image 588493 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 9-16-19

  “Light is Sweet, and It Pleases the Eye to See the Sun” A heavy blanket of fog this morning challenged drivers, especially those meeting people who do not turn their lights on. Other than that, the fog was really quite pretty. As I was heading west, I noticed this scene in my review mirror …

Black-eyed Susan Along Sweet Water Trail - Image 588306 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 9-15-19

  More Sweet Water Trail Color As I walked the Sweet Water Trail today I attempted to document more of the color along the path. Initially I imposed a “no duplicates” rule on myself, meaning I could not photograph anything I had photographed in the previous few days. Soon into the restriction I realized I …

Dew-covered New England Aster - Image 588031 - close (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 9-14-19

  Seasonal Urge About this time each year I get a strong urge to head to wilderness somewhere. In the past I’ve traveled to the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area (BWCA) for paddling and solitude, to Isle Royale National Park for hiking and quiet times, and on numerous shorter outings closer to home. I suppose …

Male Mating Darner Dragonfly - Image 587805 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 9-13-19

  What To Do When It Rains and a little more Imagine you are a dragonfly attempting to live your life at Sweet Marsh. Your life as a dragonfly may be as short as six-months; this after spending possibly much more time as a larva in the murky waters of the marsh. For the past …

Monarch Butterfly in Hand - Image 587669 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 9-12-19

  Giving Back, Should Feel Good, But Not Really Before my work day began a hardly moving monarch butterfly attempted to fly and caught my attention. I had a minute or two, so I stooped down to pick it up. Only the butterfly knew if it was injured or aged. Regardless, the butterfly did not …

Pollen-covered Bumblebee on Goldenrod Along the Sweet Water Trail - Image 587387 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 9-11-19

  Seen on the Sweet Water Trail as I Passed Through As I quietly walked the Sweet Water Trail from the trail head to the Wapsipinicon River and back this afternoon, I saw the following: Me sweating profusely, Mosquitoes biting me repeatedly, Butterflies and bees pollinating flowers, Flowers in all their glory attracting pollinating insects, …

Softshell Turtle on Cedar River - Image 587290 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 9-10-19

  Communicating My Feelings As the Cedar River winds through Northeast Iowa, including along the western edge of Bremer County, it seems as though the beautiful river resembles a good looking dog that is restrained by a painful buckle collar. The correlation is this… when the river (or a dog) is behaving, all is well …

Red-tailed Hawk - Image 587153 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 9-9-19

  Watching Me Watching Them Today was one of those days when the work day was longer than expected and the evening hours were dominated by the threat of severe weather. The only nature photography I pursued was three quick “grab shot” sessions of two bird species and a mammal species watching me.  Each time …

Katydid - Image 586653 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 9-8-19

  Where is the Family? Once again, for the seventh year in a row, there was a pair of trumpeter swans at a pond not far from our cabin. In years past the pond hosted a pair of adults along with their young of the year. This year only two adult birds – assumed to …