Female Ruddy Duck with Neck Injury - Image 660485 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 10-30-20

  What Did This? While paddling my kayak on Volga Lake today I noticed a dozen or so ruddy ducks moving around on the water. Three of them were relatively close to me, so I photographed them. As I watched the female ruddy ducks, I noticed something orange on the neck of one of the …

Whitetail Deer (Doe) - Image 660410 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 10-29-20

  The Value of Camouflage In the event you are hiking through a timber this autumn, you might want to wear camo if you have some. It is possible you will see whitetail deer. Although unlikely, the deer may not recognize you and may approach you. If the deer is curious enough, it may close the …

Double-crested Cormorant (Image 660328) © Kip Ladage

Kip’s Comments 10-28-20

  One of the Two Best Days of His Life There is a saying that the best day of of a guy’s life is when he buys a boat. The other “best day” of his life is when he sells the boat (hopefully for a bigger and faster boat). This past weekend my cousin bought …

Wood Duck on Downed Tree - Image 660280 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 10-27-20

  Wood Duck Drake Being A Wood Duck During the very few minutes I had to look around in nature today, I spotted a drake wood duck doing what wood ducks do – they sit on logs or in trees or on water. This guy looked mighty impressive standing on top of a downed tree. …

Juvenile Pied-billed Grebe - Image 660136 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 10-26-20

  One Way of Spreading Sweet Marsh has been overwhelmed with exotic/invasive aquatic plant species. Eurasian watermilfoil and brittle naiad choke off the water when established. Marten’s Lake this summer was nearly unusable, whether by paddle or motor.    Both vegetation species can become established when just a small part of either plant remains in …

Muted Timber Along Wapsipinicon River - Image 660120 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 10-25-20

  Enjoying Nothing (and more) Mother Nature provided a special experience today that I have waited for since I heard the weather predictions for this weekend. When I learned snow was in the forecast for today, I waited and waited for the flurries to begin – at times it seemed the snow would never begin …

Horned Grebe in Non-breeding Plumage - Image 659825 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 10-24-20

  Value-added Learning Some of you may know that one of the responsibilities in my job is to assist with missing person searches. Over the years I have been a part of many search efforts – some with happy outcomes and some ending with sadness. During each response I learn something…maybe a new technique, perhaps …

Dead Mink - Image 659727 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 10-23-20

  Education After Death It seems as though at least a time or two each year I am asked about a small brown animal that looks like an otter, but is too small… it is seen not far from water… seems like they have limitless energy… and the descriptions go on – “what did I …

Blue Jay Feather Macro - Image 659714 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 10-22-20

  Blue Jay Feather Macros Fall is here and Mother Nature is making it very clear who is in charge – and it is not us mere mortal humans. Rain, thunderstorms, and wind are making outdoor conditions cruddy. As a result, outdoor activities have pretty much come to a screeching halt, including my outdoor photography. …

White-breasted Nuthatch in Autumn Maple Tree - Image 659712 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 10-21-20

  Worked Up Nuthatch For reasons unknown to me, we had a white-breasted nuthatch spazzing out near our feeder this afternoon. I did my best to determine the cause of the bird’s agitation or excitement, but saw nothing. As the bird was yapping up a storm, it was also bouncing around on a tree limb …